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a limitation of english

Randall Twede
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english doesnt have enough words for love. the word love is totally ambiguous. even if you know the person saying it to you. how about some other languages? how many words do you have for love? and what is meaning of each?


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Michael Morris
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Joined: Jan 30, 2002
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English is limited in a lot of ways. It seems we English speakers have given up expressiveness for simplicity. One of the hardest things for me to learn in Spanish was the subjuntive tenses which for all intents and purposes are non-existant in English. For example we say "Tell him to come here", in Spanish you say "Dile que venga aca" or literally "Tell him that he may come here", since he may decide not to take the advice. I know of two ways to say love in Spanish, "Te amo" (I love you) would be what you would say to your mother, "Te quiero" to your wife. That's probably why English is a difficult language to learn, since context is as important as the words themselves.


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Andres Gonzalez
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Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 1561
I agree with you Randall. English is very limited in that area. For instance, I find the word "like" ver ambiguous. if you say "I like you", are you actually saying that you like someone as a boyfriend/girlfiend? or you like someone just because he's/she's nice. It depends on the context I guess..
I find saying "I love you" a big commitment. In spanish, some guys call girls "mi amor" (my love), but that doesn't mean a serious commitment. It just a way to treat women in a special way.
I guess I'd have to get use to it....


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Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Sometimes I say �I visited my female friend� because if I say �my girlfriend� people think I have sex with her, and if I just say �my friend� people think I visited some male and I�m a gay. Anyway it is sort of awkward.
Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Very limited. Its impossible to tell my colleague he's full of sh*t without him getting all offended and huffy at me
Sameer Jamal
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Joined: Feb 16, 2001
Posts: 1870
Originally posted by Randall Twede:
english doesnt have enough words for love. the word love is totally ambiguous. even if you know the person saying it to you. how about some other languages? how many words do you have for love? and what is meaning of each?

In Hindi and Urdu words for love are :-
"Pyaar", "Mohabbat", "Ishk" "Chakkar", "Lafra"
Andres Gonzalez
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Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 1561
Originally posted by <george jr.>:
Sometimes I say �I visited my female friend� because if I say �my girlfriend� people think I have sex with her, and if I just say �my friend� people think I visited some male and I�m a gay. Anyway it is sort of awkward.


Timothy Chen Allen
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Joined: Mar 16, 2003
Posts: 161
Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
Very limited. Its impossible to tell my colleague he's full of sh*t without him getting all offended and huffy at me

Hoo hoo hoo!
Actually, you could just tell your non-Spanish speaking co-worker the same thing in Spanish and then lie about the meaning:
You: John, that's a brilliant observation. You're a gilipollas (tr.note: obscene version of "dumbass" popular in Spain).
John: What does "gilipollas" mean, Richard?
You: John, it means "outstanding".
Then you can call him "gilipollas" every day and he'll never get it (just don't let him look in your diccionario or talk to your Spanish clients).
Being bilingual is cool this way. You could introduce perfumes and food with Spanish names that sound great in English but are completely the opposite in English:
Food: Zurrullos estilo murciano ("Murcia style turds")
Perfume: Noche de pajas apasionadas ("Night of passionate wanking")
(Other people's) ignorance is bliss.
[ August 25, 2003: Message edited by: Tim Allen ]

Timothy Chen Allen
Learn Spanish in Washington, DC
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5370
Originally posted by Sameer Jamal:
"Chakkar", "Lafra"


No No .. its not Hindi/Urdu .. these are slangs.


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5370
Originally posted by Sameer Jamal:

In Hindi and Urdu words for love are :-
"Pyaar", "Mohabbat", "Ishk"

to add some more
"Prem", "Dewangee"
Jamie Robertson
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Joined: Jul 09, 2001
Posts: 1879

Originally posted by Michael Morris:
... "Te quiero" to your wife...
or to Taco Bell right?? isn't that what the little Taco Bell dog says ( "Te quiero Taco Bell" ) !!??
Andres Gonzalez
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Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 1561
Originally posted by Michael Morris:
English is limited in a lot of ways. It seems we English speakers have given up expressiveness for simplicity. One of the hardest things for me to learn in Spanish was the subjuntive tenses which for all intents and purposes are non-existant in English. For example we say "Tell him to come here", in Spanish you say "Dile que venga aca" or literally "Tell him that he may come here", since he may decide not to take the advice. I know of two ways to say love in Spanish, "Te amo" (I love you) would be what you would say to your mother, "Te quiero" to your wife. That's probably why English is a difficult language to learn, since context is as important as the words themselves.

Actually, it's the other way around. "te amo" is something bigger than "te quiero", so saying "te amo" is implicitely saying "te quiero" * 100 .
For instance, if you just got a new girlfriend, you start telling her "te quiero mucho" (It's like "I really like you"). After time goes on, you feel like saying to her "te amo" (I love you), that means a lot.
In my country, we never say "te amo" to our mothers. I haven't heard the first person saying that. Instead, you use "te quiero" or "te adoro" (something more than "te quiero" but less than "te amo"). For your wife/girlfriend, you definitely use "te amo", otherwise girls would start complaining that you don't like them enough
Michael Morris
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Joined: Jan 30, 2002
Posts: 3451
Glad you cleared me up on that Andres. De donde eres? I was basically taught Spanish by some very close amigos who were, shall we say, mojaditos from central Mexico. Perhaps the meanings are different or they were just trying to make the gringo look like a pendejo. The latter would not surpize me. Many times, one in particular, would say very unflattering things in Spanish about non-Spanish speakers while they were within earshot just to get a laugh. That one finally stopped working for a paycheck and started his own business and is very successful. His children are my godchildren, which makes us compadres. I get very few oppurtunites to speak Spanish anymore, but try to read some every now and then so that I don't totally forget.
Andres Gonzalez
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Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 1561
you seem to have a very good spanish Michael. For the few sentences you've written you can conclude that. I'm colombiano and spanish is very different in the country you learn it/come from. I have mexican friends and sometimes don't understand their slangs, and some spanish words I say have different meaning to them, or they probably use them in a different context (like te amo/te quiero).
BTW, you know why americans are called "gringos"? it is because of mexican people
Perhaps the meanings are different or they were just trying to make the gringo look like a pendejo

[ August 25, 2003: Message edited by: Andres Gonzalez ]
Andres Gonzalez
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Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 1561
hmm.. Do americans get upset if they're called "gringos"?
Michael Morris
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Joined: Jan 30, 2002
Posts: 3451
Originally posted by Andres Gonzalez:
hmm.. Do americans get upset if they're called "gringos"?

Nope. Mis amigos me llamaban "El Gringo Mojado", an American wetback! It never bothered me and they never seemed upset when I jokingly called them wetback or mojado. I have spoken with some Columbians and found their Spanish to be more like the true pure Castillian. I spoke once with a true Castillian and, though I understood him, the accent almost sounded French and of course he always "lisped" his Ss and soft Cs and Zs like "the hitho" instead of "se hizo". I also have some Argentinian friends who pronounce "caballo" like "cabacho" with the ch sounding like "jh" in Engish. I guess it's like the differnces between Brittish, Irish, American, etc. vernaculars.
Timothy Chen Allen
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Joined: Mar 16, 2003
Posts: 161
Originally posted by Michael Morris:

I spoke once with a true Castillian and, though I understood him, the accent almost sounded French and of course he always "lisped" his Ss and soft Cs and Zs like "the hitho" instead of "se hizo".

I'm living in Spain now, in Barcelona. It took me a good long while to adapt my accent to the lisping here-- I had my Spanish wife drill me on it. I had learned my Spanish (well, Castilleon-- more on this later) in Guatemala. So I said, "Gracias" as "Grasias". Here it's more "Grathias", as you've noted. Spaniards make fun of the Latin American accent by adopting a sing-songy, Speedy Gonz�lez type accent.
However, in Barcelona, Spanish is spoken alongside Catalan, which is *not* a dialect, but a language that developed from the same roots as Proven�al (Example: "You can call me tomorrow"; Castilleon: "Me puedes llamar ma�ana"; Catalan: "Em pots trucar dem�"). BTW, in Spain, the Usted form is not used as much as it is in Latin America-- and they have the Vosotros form, which is the informal "Y'all" which your Spanish teacher told you to ignore in High School.
Catalan is really the first language in Barcelona, at least in the streets and the government. In Catalan, the lisp doesn't exist. So guess what? They say "Gr�cies" as "Grasias". Jolines.
Thoe "more on Spanish" bit: Catalans don't appreciate that people call Castillano "Espa�ol" or "Spanish". Their argument is that there are four official languages spoken in Spain: Castellano, Catalan, Basco, and Gallego. If you count Valenciano, Mallorquin, and Menorquin... there are a lot more. So there is no single "Spanish" language. Latin America Castilleon is considered "Castellano Meridional" here.
About that lisp-- I just spent a week in Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. The accent in the Canaries is very similar to that of Latin America. As it turns out, many of the sailors on the explorations of the Americas came from Canaries, so the accent in Latin America derived originally from there.
Guay, �no?
-tim
 
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