The words you can't translate
Thread poster: Chiara_M

Chiara_M  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:04
French to Italian
+ ...
Oct 23, 2005

The meaning of Tingo is a book I've just heard of and I think it could be quite an interesting reading for linguists.

Here you may find an article about it:
http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/books/features/article315207.ece


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Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:04
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
A recent purchase. Oct 23, 2005

Funnily enough, I bought this book yesterday as a Christmas present for my father. I couldn't resist having a flick through, and it's full of interesting language quirks. Highly recommended for a bit of light reading!

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Valérie Madesclair
France
Local time: 05:04
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
linguist? Oct 23, 2005

The so-called french word I found in the article "SEIGNEUR-TERRASSE" does not exist in french. I checked in all my dictionaries to be completely positive, and on the web (the only links found are english and refered to this book).
It looks like a neologism (or a bad joke): "Someone who spends time, but not money, at a café.", what a cliché for us!

Makes me doubtful about the quality of the book and the research (if any) made by the author.
I think he should stop the booze or refrain from using web translator.

[Edited at 2005-10-23 22:31]


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
More on the authenticity of this book Oct 24, 2005

Valérie M. wrote:

The so-called french word I found in the article "SEIGNEUR-TERRASSE" does not exist in french. I checked in all my dictionaries to be completely positive, and on the web (the only links found are english and refered to this book).
It looks like a neologism (or a bad joke): "Someone who spends time, but not money, at a café.", what a cliché for us!

Makes me doubtful about the quality of the book and the research (if any) made by the author.


This posting develops the theme Valérie raised.

Some excerpts:
De Boinod [the author] is no linguist (he's a researcher for the BBC comedy quiz show QI), but he claims to have read "over 280 dictionaries" and "140 websites" (or, according to his publisher's site, "approximately 220 dictionaries" and "150 websites" — take your pick). It's safe to assume that the fact-checking for such books is rather minimal — if a website says it, it must be true, right?

As an aside, the reliance on sketchy online dictionaries and wordlists can yield unintentionally humorous results. Take, for instance, the Maserati Kubang. Unveiled in 2003, this "concept car" is supposedly named after "a wind over Java." (Maserati has a tradition of naming cars after exotic-sounding winds.) Close, but no cigar — the actual word is kumbang, not kubang. Angin kumbang literally means "bumblebee wind" in Javanese and Indonesian, and it refers to a very dry south or southwesterly wind that blows into the port of Cirebon on the north coast of Java. But this got mangled on various websites listing winds of the world
nd kumbang was changed to kubang. What does kubang mean in Indonesian? "Mudhole, mud puddle, quagmire." Probably not the image Maserati was going for!
[/quote]
The original article contains quite a few more interesting examples and further references.


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Antje Harder  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 05:04
Swedish to German
+ ...
Agobilles - "German"? Oct 24, 2005

Valérie M. wrote:

The so-called french word I found in the article "SEIGNEUR-TERRASSE" does not exist in french.


The same applies to the so-calles German word "AGOBILLES": it doesn't exist at all. Well, it can be found on the web by now - there a lots of citations from the book...

If anything it is a French word:
http://www.languefrancaise.net/glossaire/detail.php?id=5027
(However, I cannot judge the quality of this website.)

So I suppose the book must be read with a certain caution.

Regards from Sweden
Antje


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Marta Argat  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:04
Chinese to Ukrainian
+ ...
Bullsh*tnik :D Oct 24, 2005

"A person very fond of cats or the one who deals a lot with cats" is the primary meaning of the coinage "koshatnik" (I esteem that word has a history of only a few decades), as "sobachatnik" (from "sobaka", a dog) is a dog lover. Well, it could be occasionally used for somebody selling stolen cats or somebody living with 40 cats in a one-bedroom apartment - as the word "teacher" could be used for a kind and intelligent teacher as well as for a rude and stupid teacher too , so the "dictionary" entry could be based on the negative usage. However, the Russian Internet is full of texts like "How to bring up a real koshatnik" (how to teach your child to enjoy playing with cats and caring for them) and humorous "10 main features of a real koshatnik" (=cat lover), where this word is used only in the positive meaning.

"ANGUSHTI ZA'ID Russian

Someone with six fingers."
These words are not Russian at all! "Someone with six fingers" is "shestipalyj" in Russian.

"ZHENGRONG Chinese

To improve one's looks by plastic surgery."
A plastic surgery or to do a plastic surgery. Well, what other purpose of the plastic surgery one may suggest?!

[Edited at 2005-10-24 20:02]


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