False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

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Sglod
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Sglod » 24 Feb 2017 10:30

Someone's probably brought this one up before, but:

:swe: slut over, finished; end
:eng: slut

Another one from Swedish:

:swe: frukta to fear
:lat: fructus fruit

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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Creyeditor » 24 Feb 2017 13:54

Have I already mentioned the Papuan city named Fakfak?
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Sglod » 24 Feb 2017 17:51

What about the various places in NZ with Whaka-? The wh is pronounced as a bilabial fricative in Maori.

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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by GrandPiano » 26 Feb 2017 23:41

:esp: lujuria, :por: luxúria "lust" - :eng: luxury
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Creyeditor » 27 Feb 2017 01:59

Also Indonesian :idn: air water vs. English :usa: :gbr: , etc. air.
Mee :idn: mana voice vs. Indonesian :idn: mana where
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Shemtov » 28 Feb 2017 19:15

:eng: Whore and Yiddish /hor/ "Hair"

When the words "Shvartze Hor" appeared in my Yiddish book, it prompted my mom to ask me why they were racially insulting Black prostitutes.

Which reminds me: Yiddish "Shvartze" "N*gger" Yiddish Shvartze :deu: Schwarze "Feminine form of the adjective 'Black'".
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Noshi187 » 01 Mar 2017 15:08

GrandPiano wrote:which many English speakers hear as "n***er".
Similar thing happens in Korean. The informal subject forms of "I" and "you" are 내가 (naega) and 네가 (nega). Normally these would be pronounced exactly the same, so the second is pronounced 니가 (niga). Rather unfortunate...
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by alynnidalar » 01 Mar 2017 17:20

This deeply confused me when I first started listening to k-pop.

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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Noshi187 » 01 Mar 2017 21:16

alynnidalar wrote:This deeply confused me when I first started listening to k-pop.
Same [xD]
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by All4Ɇn » 04 Mar 2017 06:16

Seems like it happens quite a bit with school types
:fra: collège "junior high school" - :eng: college
:deu: Hochschule "college" - :eng: high school
:eng: public school - :eng: :usa: public school

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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Iyionaku » 04 Mar 2017 09:18

All4Ɇn wrote::deu: Hochschule "college" - :eng: high school
I struggle with this every time I attempt to describe to an English speaker which kind of school I attend. I normally just leave it untranslated therefore, e.g. "I am going to a Hochschule".
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Creyeditor » 04 Mar 2017 12:36

Some Fachhochschulen call themselves Universities of Applied Science.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by GrandPiano » 04 Mar 2017 18:24

Iyionaku wrote:
All4Ɇn wrote::deu: Hochschule "college" - :eng: high school
I struggle with this every time I attempt to describe to an English speaker which kind of school I attend. I normally just leave it untranslated therefore, e.g. "I am going to a Hochschule".
Why not just say "college" or "university"?


The way Mandarin divides up the school system is also a bit confusing for an English speaker:
  • 小学 xiǎoxué (tr. 小學) = elementary school (lit. "small learn")
  • 中学 zhōngxué (tr. 中學) = middle school + high school (lit. "middle learn")
    • 初级中学 chūjí zhōngxué (tr. 初級中學) = middle school (lit. "beginning level middle learn"), often shortened to 初中 chūzhōng
    • 高级中学 gāojí zhōngxué (tr. 高級中學) = high school (lit. "high level middle learn"), often shortened to 高中 gāozhōng
  • 大学 dàxué (tr. 大學) = college/university (lit. "big learn")
(It's possible that 学 is short for 学校 xuéxiào "school", in which case "school" would be a better literal translation than "learn".)

Based on the American system, you would think that 中学 is middle school and 大学 is high school, but in fact 中学 covers both middle school and high school while 大学 is college. There have been a couple times where I've accidentally said 大学 instead of 高中 to describe what kind of school I go to (high school).
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Lao Kou » 05 Mar 2017 02:28

GrandPiano wrote:
Iyionaku wrote:
All4Ɇn wrote: :deu: Hochschule "college" - :eng: high school
I struggle with this every time I attempt to describe to an English speaker which kind of school I attend. I normally just leave it untranslated therefore, e.g. "I am going to a Hochschule".
Why not just say "college" or "university"?
I'm coming at this as an American English speaker (so these words may have different colorations). "College" and "university" used to mark different pedagogic approaches to higher education; whatever those might have been (and perhaps people in academe still maintain these), the distinction has by and large been lost with regard to the terminology in everyday usage, and for me, "college" and "university" are pretty much synonymous ("university" may up the tuition a couple grand per year [;)] )
The way Mandarin divides up the school system is also a bit confusing for an English speaker:
I'm afraid I don't find this as confusing as you do. But I started Chinese in university, so 大学 was firmly inculcated as "university".
(It's possible that 学 is short for 学校 xuéxiào "school", in which case "school" would be a better literal translation than "learn".)
Literal translation is lovely and all, but it makes Chinese sound incredibly backward, quaint, and twee. English has a relationship with French/Latin that makes things sound more highfalutin than they actually are ("submarine" is a lot sexier than "underwater boat", and makes you sound like you know what you're talking about). I may well be being overly sensitive, but parsing "小学 xiǎoxué" as "small learn", to me, makes it sound like Chinese is kind of inexpressive and does the best it can with what it's got ("big" and "small") and uses twee terms to express more complex concepts (which is what English, like any other language, does; it's just the roots aren't always immediately transparent).
  • 中学 zhōngxué (tr. 中學) = middle school + high school (lit. "middle learn")
    • 初级中学 chūjí zhōngxué (tr. 初級中學) = middle school (lit. "beginning level middle learn"), often shortened to 初中 chūzhōng
    • 高级中学 gāojí zhōngxué (tr. 高級中學) = high school (lit. "high level middle learn"), often shortened to 高中 gāozhōng
Based on the American system, you would think that 中学 is middle school and 大学 is high school, but in fact 中学 covers both middle school and high school while 大学 is college. There have been a couple times where I've accidentally said 大学 instead of 高中 to describe what kind of school I go to (high school).
The salient feature is 初/高 (chu/gao), and I've yet to meet someone in that age range that doesn't make the distinction (cf. English: I'm five and a half.)

In my day, the distinction was junior/senior high (school), which was 7-8/9-12 or 7-9/10-12, depending on your school district. When last I lived in the US, it seemed to me that "junior high" was practically echt verboten, ceding to "middle school" (and I think that's also about pedagogic strategies).

高 = high

you can do this [:)]
Iyionaku wrote: :deu: Hochschule "college" - :eng: high school
I struggle with this every time I attempt to describe to an English speaker which kind of school I attend. I normally just leave it untranslated therefore, e.g. "I am going to a Hochschule".
Can I guess that this is more like a 五传? In five years, you finish high school, but also get two years of professional training, so you don't "graduate" high school, per se, but get something like an Associate's Degree in US. You can parlay those credits toward part of a four-year degree

Image

but they're professional accreditation in fields like auto repair, cameraman, nursing(?) (my partner in Taiwan had "international business")

五传 might translate as "voctech" (vocational/technical), which suggests "moron who couldn't do better" to me, but I think 五传 sounds perfectly respectable in Chinese. Meanwhile, Community and Modern Family make "community college" sound like a "moron" dirty word, which I don't think is necessarily the case (and what community college has an anthropology department (with Betty White drinking her own pee))?

Or here, where I teach (I haven't heard 五传 in these parts), there's a middle and high school, but if you go on (for two years), you are certified to teach English (French?/Japanese?) in the public school system.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by GrandPiano » 05 Mar 2017 03:32

Lao Kou wrote:
GrandPiano wrote:
Iyionaku wrote:
All4Ɇn wrote: :deu: Hochschule "college" - :eng: high school
I struggle with this every time I attempt to describe to an English speaker which kind of school I attend. I normally just leave it untranslated therefore, e.g. "I am going to a Hochschule".
Why not just say "college" or "university"?
I'm coming at this as an American English speaker (so these words may have different colorations). "College" and "university" used to mark different pedagogic approaches to higher education; whatever those might have been (and perhaps people in academe still maintain these), the distinction has by and large been lost with regard to the terminology in everyday usage, and for me, "college" and "university" are pretty much synonymous ("university" may up the tuition a couple grand per year [;)] )
I think you might have misunderstood me... My question had nothing to do with the difference between college and university; rather, I was asking why Iyionaku uses the German word "Hochschule" to describe his school situation in English rather than just using one of the English words.
Lao Kou wrote:
The way Mandarin divides up the school system is also a bit confusing for an English speaker:
I'm afraid I don't find this as confusing as you do. But I started Chinese in university, so 大学 was firmly inculcated as "university".
It's not as confusing to me now as it used to be. I started studying Chinese (on my own) somewhat late in middle school, so since entering high school I've had much more opportunity for slips of the tongue. I also have a feeling that 大学 was used much more frequently than 高中 in my earlier learning materials, which may have affected which word came to my mind first.
Lao Kou wrote:
(It's possible that 学 is short for 学校 xuéxiào "school", in which case "school" would be a better literal translation than "learn".)
Literal translation is lovely and all, but it makes Chinese sound incredibly backward, quaint, and twee. English has a relationship with French/Latin that makes things sound more highfalutin than they actually are ("submarine" is a lot sexier than "underwater boat", and makes you sound like you know what you're talking about). I may well be being overly sensitive, but parsing "小学 xiǎoxué" as "small learn", to me, makes it sound like Chinese is kind of inexpressive and does the best it can with what it's got ("big" and "small") and uses twee terms to express more complex concepts (which is what English, like any other language, does; it's just the roots aren't always immediately transparent).
I'm well aware of this effect, and I only included the literal translations because they were necessary to demonstrate why I find the system confusing as an English speaker.
Lao Kou wrote:In my day, the distinction was junior/senior high (school), which was 7-8/9-12 or 7-9/10-12, depending on your school district. When last I lived in the US, it seemed to me that "junior high" was practically echt verboten, ceding to "middle school" (and I think that's also about pedagogic strategies).
For most of my life, the distinction I knew best was between middle school (usually 5-8 or 6-8) and high school (9-12). However, at the 6-12 school I've been going to for the past three years, the distinction is usually between junior high (6-8) and high school (9-12).
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Lao Kou » 05 Mar 2017 04:00

GrandPiano wrote:My question had nothing to do with the difference between college and university; rather, I was asking why Iyionaku uses the German word "Hochschule" to describe his school situation in English rather than just using one of the English words.
My point was more that a Hochschule could more resemble a 五传 which could make it tough to translate. But, to be clear, I just don't know.
It's not as confusing to me now as it used to be. I started studying Chinese (on my own) somewhat late in middle school, so since entering high school I've had much more opportunity for slips of the tongue. I also have a feeling that 大学 was used much more frequently than 高中 in my earlier learning materials, which may have affected which word came to my mind first.
I'm well aware of this effect, and I only included the literal translations because they were necessary to demonstrate why I find the system confusing as an English speaker.
Lao Kou wrote:In my day, the distinction was junior/senior high (school), which was 7-8/9-12 or 7-9/10-12, depending on your school district. When last I lived in the US, it seemed to me that "junior high" was practically echt verboten, ceding to "middle school" (and I think that's also about pedagogic strategies).
For most of my life, the distinction I knew best was between middle school (usually 5-8 or 6-8) and high school (9-12). However, at the 6-12 school I've been going to for the past three years, the distinction is usually between junior high (6-8) and high school (9-12).
I suspect that if we were at the same Mickey-Dee's and were sharing a large fries, we would be on the same conlanging page in fairly short order. [:)]
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by clawgrip » 08 Mar 2017 15:01

GrandPiano wrote:The way Mandarin divides up the school system is also a bit confusing for an English speaker:
  • 小学 xiǎoxué (tr. 小學) = elementary school (lit. "small learn")
  • 中学 zhōngxué (tr. 中學) = middle school + high school (lit. "middle learn")
    • 初级中学 chūjí zhōngxué (tr. 初級中學) = middle school (lit. "beginning level middle learn"), often shortened to 初中 chūzhōng
    • 高级中学 gāojí zhōngxué (tr. 高級中學) = high school (lit. "high level middle learn"), often shortened to 高中 gāozhōng
  • 大学 dàxué (tr. 大學) = college/university (lit. "big learn")
In Japanese, it's similar but slightly different:
小学校 shōgakkō - elementary school
中学校 chūgakkō - middle school / junior high school
高校 kōkō (short for 高等学校 kōtōgakkō) - high school
大学 daigaku - university

中学校 is legally defined as 前期中等教育 (lower secondary education), while 高校 is 後期中等教育 (upper secondary education), so it basically matches the Chinese system. In English there is also the term junior high school for middle school (this is the standard term I have always used), and this seems to jive with the Chinese system as well.

However, what I find odd is that, in Canada, the official classification for the schools is sort of the reverse of the Chinese: elementary schools are called "public schools", middle schools are "senior public schools", and high schools are "secondary schools". People normally just say "high school" and so on, meaning the terms regular people actually use are different from the official terms used by the school boards (and, of course, the actual names of the schools themselves). Don't know what's going on there.

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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by GrandPiano » 15 Mar 2017 02:29

:jpn: 何 nani/nan "what; how many" - :tan: Swahili nani "who" - :sle: Mende naani "four"
:chn: Middle Chinese 一 */ʔit̚/ "one" - :sle: Mende ita "one"
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Imralu » 18 Mar 2017 01:39

Sglod wrote:What about the various places in NZ with Whaka-? The wh is pronounced as a bilabial fricative in Maori.
Whaka- is an extremely productive prefix. My favourite is the word whakapapa, meaning "genealogy". [xD] In modern Maori, most speakers just pronounce <wh> as [f] and it's worth noting that in Australian and NZ English, "fucker" is pronounced pretty close to ['faka] (short <u> is basically [a] and, especially with a broad accent, final schwa tends to be lowered down that way too).

On the education systems and all their issues, I hate talking about education in German because I didn't go to a Gymnasium (another false friend that I'm assuming has been mentioned in this thread) or a Hauptschule, Realschule, Gesamtschule etc., so I have to loan the word Highschool into German and some people find that funny. I guess I could just say Gymnasium because (at least in theory) it's possible to go to university after attending any Australian high school, but it's not exactly correct either.
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Imralu » 18 Mar 2017 01:41

GrandPiano wrote::chn: Middle Chinese 一 */ʔit̚/ "one" - :sle: Mende ita "one"
I think that's more for the false cognates thread. It doesn't really look like a false friend ... more like just a friend.
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