Hunting Germany's linguistic gems (BBC News)
Thread poster: Aurora Humarán
Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
Aug 13, 2004

Hunting Germany's linguistic gems

The search for the most beautiful word in the German language is almost over...
( more information: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3943507.stm )


Some years ago, Mercurio, a Chilean newspaper, asked the Spanish Professor Francisco Javier Bernal to carry out a survey to find out the ten most beautiful words in the Spanish language. These were the 'top' ten words:


Libertad (freedom)
Madre (mother)
Paz (peace)
Amistad (friendship)
Esperanza (hope)
Belleza (beauty)
Amor (love)
Dios (God)
Azul (blue)

In what sense is a word 'beautiful'? Because of its meaning? Because of its music?...

Have a weekend!

Au


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:06
German to English
In what sense is a word 'beautiful'? Aug 13, 2004

AURORA HUMARAN wrote:

In what sense is a word 'beautiful'? Because of its meaning? Because of its music?...



Hi Aurora,
Nice topic. In one of my first classes on poetry, the professor told us a survey had been done to determine the most beautiful word in the English language when "beautiful" was based on sound alone. The winner was: syphilis!

My favorite word in Spanish - on the basis of its sound - is "entonces."

And here's an interesting discussion of your topic, including how to define an "ugly" word.

http://wordways.com/ugliest.htm

Cheers, Kim

[Edited at 2004-08-13 10:31]


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
sounds... Aug 13, 2004

Kim Metzger wrote:


My favorite word in Spanish - on the basis of its sound - is "entonces."




Hola, Kim!

Is your choice based on the Spanish Spanish pronouciation of the word "entonces"? ("c" is pronounced like the "th" sound in "thunder").
It 'sounds' so different if pronounced in Argentine Spanish... For us, "s", "c" and "z" have exactly the same sound (like the "s" in sand).

Did you know?

Au


[Edited at 2004-08-13 10:42]


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:06
German to English
entonces Aug 13, 2004

In Mexico, entonces is pronounced the same way as you pronounce it, Aurora. I love the combination of sounds and stresses in the word. I'm not so enthusiastic about entonthes

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Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:06
German to Spanish
Great! Aug 13, 2004

Kim Metzger wrote:


Nice topic. In one of my first classes on poetry, the professor told us a survey had been done to determine the most beautiful word in the English language when "beautiful" was based on sound alone. The winner was: syphilis!

Cheers, Kim

[Edited at 2004-08-13 10:31]


yes, just sound is beautifull!

But Syphilis is too monotonous, what about "Nowomannosyphilis"

Yes, words are only vibrations, beautiful is if a kid says, I like it!

any other attempt to describe what beautiful is, is (could be) a manipulation.
I do not think that words like madre, dios o estado (oh! this was not mencioned) have something special...or are we speaking about meanings?

Meanings can be meaningsful not more

my favorite word in Spanish is

Azahar

but with a good pronounced spanish Z , with the "american S" lost his sensuality

Regards

[Edited at 2004-08-13 12:30]

[Edited at 2004-08-13 12:34]


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
meaning Aug 13, 2004

Toledo wrote:

...or are we speaking about meanings?



I guess we (they) are speaking about meaning, Toledo.

From the point of view of sounds, I love the way the word "require" soounds in English. Acquire, require...and the word 'wizard'!

Ah....languages, we need to live thousands of lives to learn them all...

Au


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yeswhere
Local time: 18:06
German to English
+ ...
Kastanien Aug 13, 2004

It seems the beauty of the German words listed on the site are mostly in the meaning and not the sound. In order to judge beauty in a word's sound, perhaps a person should be totally unaware of its meaning so there is no association. During my high school days, when our German Teacher's words seemed strange, harsh and gutteral, one word which sent me running for my dictionary, because of its melodic sound was "Kastanien".
Anyone have any more?


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 00:06
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
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MODERATOR
maravilloso Aug 13, 2004

is my Spanish candidate

Mats


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Pee Eff
Germany
Local time: 00:06
English to German
+ ...
murciélago Aug 13, 2004

...is one of the Spanish words I like most. It's melody is just great with that stress in the middle of the word. - And moreover it's the only word I know with all the vowels in it.

Patrick


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:06
German to English
Nice German word: heilignüchtern Aug 13, 2004

Hälfte des Lebens - Friedrich Hölderlin

Mit gelben Birnen hänget
Und voll mit wilden Rosen
Das Land in den See
Ihr holden Schwäne,
Und trunken von Küssen
Tunkt ihr das Haupt
Ins heilignüchterne Wasser.

Weh mir, wo nehm' ich wenn
Es Winter ist, die Blumen, und wo
Den Sonnenschein
Und Schatten der Erde?
Die Mauern stehn
Sprachlos und kalt, im Winde
Klirren die Fahnen.

Translation:
The land with yellow pears and full of wild roses hangs down into the lake, you gracious swans, and drunk with kisses you dip your heads into the sacredly sober water.
Alas for me, where shall I get the flowers when it is winter and where the sunshine and shadow of earth? The walls stand speechless and cold, the weathervanes rattle in the wind.

[Edited at 2004-08-13 17:28]

[Edited at 2004-08-13 17:31]

[Edited at 2004-08-13 17:35]


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Hunting Germany's linguistic gems (BBC News)

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