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Picture of zmježd
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A friend of mine who liv es and teaches English in Paris asked:

"In French, when a hypermarket invites another brand, usually a clothes shop, to set up in a corner of the hypermarket and sell their clothes there, that concept is called cornérisation. What do we call it in English?"

I have seen this phenomenon but do not have a word for it. Embedding?

A little research turned up a not-so-related word cornériser which means 'to corner a market (finance)'. Interesting both cases that an English word has been borrowed.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Not so long ago the French would have been up in arms! But then: https://idebate.org/debatabase...guage-face-franglais
 
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Originally posted by Geoff:
Not so long ago the French would have been up in arms!

Yes, for sure. Longer ago, when I was taking French in K12, you had the Académie Française sitting in judgment over daily speech.

We love to watch Professor T. It's ostensibly in Dutch - presumably the Brabants dialect, because it takes place in Antwerp. But it's peppered with French and English expressions seemingly used at random. And they say "hae" - translates as "Hey!", but clearly used as "Hi!" - just as in several Nordic countries. Clearly the Belgians are not as fussy as the French.
 
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It's so interesting how language changes. The first thing I thought of when z brought up "embedding," was the integration of links, etc. That never would have been thought about even 10 years ago.
 
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Bethree, I think "hej," is Swedish for "Hi." The seveeral Swedes I've known used it. A normal greeting would be, "Hej, hur går det?"
(Hi, how's it going?")
 
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Originally posted by Geoff:
Bethree, I think "hej," is Swedish for "Hi." The seveeral Swedes I've known used it. A normal greeting would be, "Hej, hur går det?"
(Hi, how's it going?")
Thanks, Geoff! I hadn't checked the Swedish spelling. We enjoyed both seasons of the Swedish series "Modus," that's where I heard it most recently.
Meanwhile, back to Dutch: I looked on youtube & learned that in Limburg - only Limburg! - you can have an exchange meaning "Hi, how are you doing?" "Hi, I'm fine, how are you?" with just 3 words. "Enne!" "Ook enne!"
 
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Kinda like French, using just two words. "Ça va?" "Ça va." Only the inflection changes.
 
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The Chinese greeting is "ni hao ma" - literally "you good <question>" - "ma" is something you add to the end of a sentence to make it into a question.

At least so we are told. I have seen online sources that claim only foreigners say this. The reply is "hen hao" - very good. Or "hen hao, ni ne" - "very good, you <question>" because "ne" is another way to make questions.

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"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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I had only heard "Ni Hao," but I don't know very many Chinese speakers.
 
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Bob, do they speak Mandarin Chinese where you are? My 5-year-old granddaughter is learning it in kindergarten.
 
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Officially everyone in China speaks Mandarin Chinese. Cantonese is also common in Hong Kong and parts of the south of China. I live in the north, so Mandarin is the main language. There are also a very large number of local languages (Officially 302) and almost everyone will speak at least one of those.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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How many are mutually intelligible?
 
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I don't know but from talking with students and colleagues I would guess that it's not many.

Here's an article about it.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Originally posted by BobHale:
I don't know but from talking with students and colleagues I would guess that it's not many.

Here's an article about it.


Yikes! Looks similar to the language situation in India ! The Indian immigrants I meet at stores and gas stations in NJ speak mostly Bengali or Gujarati, and I used to tutor kids whose at-home language was Marathi. Most folks I've met also speak Hindi and English, and some Urdu.
 
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The linked article says the main languages are mutually intelligible in written form but not in spoken form. How can that be?
 
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It’s because the pronunciation is radically different. Remember here every word is written as one or two characters and they are all different. While (I am told) pronunciation isn’t totally arbitrary they don’t have an alphabetic system like English so any word that is completely new to you can’t be read and pronounced without someone who already knows it telling you what it is. Imagine that all the written letters in English were arbitrarily assigned a different sound so that - for example - d was pronounced like a k, o like an a and g like a t. The word written as “dog“ would now be pronounced “cat”. You would still recognize it written down but not when spoken. Now imagine that instead of that the whole word is assigned an arbitrary new pronunciation so that the word "dog" is now pronounced "splinge". You would STILL recognise it written down and know that it referred to a four legged animal that barks but you would have no idea what the spoken word meant at all.

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"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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I guess we don't have it so bad with English.
 
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The Japanese writing system is even worse than Chinese. Sure, there are fewer characters, but each character has multiple pronunciations which are not really discernible from the character itself but more from tradition and context.

It reminds me of the various forms of cuneiform languages in the ancient near east: e.g., Sumerian, Akkadian, Hittite, &c.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Bob, your explanation [9/1] is brilliant. Teaching is obviously your métier & you’re great at it.

I was just pondering something similar, re: Icelandic. The Icelandic Scan Noir writers have seized the medium-- the last 8 mysteries I’ve read are by one or another of them. I find it irksome to read so many people-/ place-names I can’t pronounce (at least mentally). So I’ve been reading about the language and doing some mini-lessons at youtube. Although Danish, Norwegian and Swedish are mutually intelligible, they are not with Icelandic [except perhaps to Faroese, and to one W Norwegian dialect].

Yet I learned that modern Icelanders can read—only read!—the 11thC Icelandic sagas & poetry without difficulty. Neither the alphabet nor the grammar have changed much at all from the Old West Norse [ = Old Icelandic + Old Norwegian] of the Middle Ages. It was once spoken in Norse settlements over a swath from Vinland in the West as far East as NW England and Normandy. But the pronunciation of Icelandic, particularly vowel phonemes, has changed considerably.
 
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Interesting stuff. Now when did Icelanders become matriarchal in names? Are there any traces of that in other Norse cultures?
 
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Wikipedia says: "The vast majority of Icelandic last names carry the name of the father, but occasionally the mother's name is used: e.g. if the child or mother wishes to end social ties with the father. Some women use it as a social statement while others simply choose it as a matter of style."

There's much more at the Wikipedia article "Icelandic Name." I had already caught on from my reading- confirmed by the article- that Icelanders think of each other as an entity with a single name, and the rest is just to identify which "Jón" or "Helga" you are. There's no such thing as Mr/ Mrs/ Ms [last name] as a formality or sign of respect. Even the Prime Minister is addressed by her first name only.

For a while, a century ago, it was permitted to adopt a "family name." But that was outlawed in 1925: it wasn't in keeping with Icelandic tradition. It can be done, but you have to have a good reason [there's a Naming Committee overseeing such things]. This might make them sound awfully conservative, but catch this: "A gender autonomy act approved by the Icelandic Parliament in 2019, allows individuals who register their gender as neutral to use bur, a poetic word for "son", to be repurposed as a neuter noun, as a suffix instead of son or dóttir."
 
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"The vast majority of Icelandic last names carry the name of the father, but occasionally the mother's name is used: e.g. if the child or mother wishes to end social ties with the father. Some women use it as a social statement while others simply choose it as a matter of style."
I like that. I wonder if other cultures do that with names. I have always hated that the woman's name eventually dies out, unless there are boys in the family.
 
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