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Sounds Arabic for me


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#1 pscEx

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 05:27 PM

@All

Let me start with my own language:

If I hear / read something which is full of special technical words and therefore very difficult to be understood, I say
[German]
Für mich ist das alles Chinesisch
[/German]
Try to translate: For me all of that is Chinese.

As far as I know, English speaking people would say: For me, that's Arabic.

I'm curious, whether in different languages there are different 'foreign languages' to show the user's feeling that he / she does not understand.

Please post your personal 'Arabic'

Peter

#2 Nuno Brito

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 08:15 PM

In Portugal (and maybe Brazil) it's very often to hear:
"Vejo-me grego para perceber isto.."

Literal translation:
"I see myself greek to understand this.."


Strange enough because we have more historical contact with roman latin and arabic culture than ever did with greek language but it's still our local "saying" around here. :cheers:


Very popular saying in the Azores:
"Não vou d'sofrer.."

Similar translation to english:
"I won't hurt myself anymore trying to understand this.." :cheers:


:cheers:

#3 Galapo

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 11:15 PM

As far as I know, English speaking people would say: For me, that's Arabic.

Acceptable in my part of the world would be the same as you: "You might as well be speaking Chinese!"

Alternatively in some circles: "That's Greek to me!"

Or even: "That's gobbledygook!"

#4 smiley

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 10:19 AM

Here in Greece people say: "Μαυ φαίνονται Κινέζικα"
which means : "It sounds Chinese to me"

I wonder what Chinese or Arab people say. :cheers:

#5 Moon Goon

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 12:58 PM

I usually hear "It's Greek to me!" in the states.

German sentences seem backwards to me. Also, masculine and feminine words confuse me.
Chinese I just can't get the inflection right when I (try to) speek.
I don't know anything about Portuguese but English has enough in common that I can sometimes pick out the words.

Japanese might be the most "Arabic" to me. As the culture is so different you really have to think like a Japanese person to say things properly. Strangely, this is the second language I choose to study :cheers:

#6 MedEvil

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 04:52 PM

German sentences seem backwards to me.

:cheers: Backwards? Can you give an example?

Also, masculine and feminine words confuse me.

As far as i know, things are also considered to have a gender in the english language. Most confusing to me is always, that machines are cinsidered female in english speaking countries, while they are considered male in Germany.

:cheers:

#7 pscEx

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 05:00 PM

:cheers: Backwards? Can you give an example?

I remember a business trip to Japan.
Because not all people in meetings spoke english, there was a translator.
Usually she told the spoken sence after it has been finished.
For me that has been unusual, because I'm familar to hear the translated words just a second after the spoken word.

I asked her for the reason and she told me that it is very difficult to translate 'on the fly' English to Japanese or vice versa.
The reason is that in Japanese language very often at the end of a sentence appears a 'No'. This converts the whole sentence to the opposite.

Peter

#8 MedEvil

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 07:17 PM

The reason is that in Japanese language very often at the end of a sentence appears a 'No'. This converts the whole sentence to the opposite.

Peter, eighter one of us has misunderstood something.
I did understand Moon Goon that way, that german is backwards compared to english.

:cheers:

#9 Nuno Brito

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 09:44 PM

Aren't english, german and dutch languages coming from similar roots?

If you pick on latin, as an example, you end up finding similarities and differences from one extreme to another and sometimes we find our neighboor's language to be a just a tiny "bit" backward - not the best expression I'd choose but I also remember hearing once something similar when comparing Brazil and Portugal language differences.. :cheers:

http://en.wikipedia....opean_languages

In latin based countries it's common to share a lot of words together and I guess that each one leaves it's own impression to others. As long as you're happy speaking the way you like I think that is all that matters.

Italian language is mostly understood by portuguese and maybe Jaclaz can report his own experience on this matter - but I see that most people around here also seem consider it a very melodic when compared to our own. (portuguese women get crazy when we "borrow" expressions from italy.. :cheers: )

French is also understandable and very similar to my own language in terms of grammar. I remember needing to ask to speak a bit slower so that I can catch the correct meaning but it was fun to learn.

Spanish people often consider portuguese a very strange language even thought we can both understand each others just fine. (except for some very important words like chicken - which in portuguese is said "Galinha" and Spanish is "Pollo" - I learn this the hard way when I was starving and trying to get some food at a restaurant in spain.. :cheers: "Excuse me.. Do you have chicken?" - "Qué dices?" - "Chicken - C-H-I-C-K-E-N" - "No, no lo tengo signor..")

Never visited Germany or England, maybe I can visit them one day to see the local language in action - maybe the next summer vacances would be a good time to met new places..


btw: Funny enough that in my local home town (Coimbra) - women have a tradition of being very strict when teaching their children the correct grammatical sentences and pronunciation. As a result, there's a sort of paranoia to avoid any slang expressions or "bad" words. On my case and because I've moved away some years ago - this means often being "corrected" by my own mom and friends on familly visits (also need to improve my ortography too).. :cheers:

#10 allanf

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 04:30 AM

Aren't english, german and dutch languages coming from similar roots?

English is more of a blend of the languages of various invaders over the centuries - Vikings, Angles, Jutes, Saxons, Danes, Normans, Romans, etc.

Trying to remember back to school days...

Words ending with "...tion" come from French, words starting with "kn..." come from German, words ending with "...ology" come from Greek (did they ever manage to invade England? :cheers: ), and words ending with "....us" come from Latin. Intermingled are words coming from ancient old English; simple everyday words like "pub" ...not really .... :cheers: ... maybe words like "dog" and "cat".


Peter, eighter one of us has misunderstood something.
I did understand Moon Goon that way, that german is backwards compared to english.

:cheers:

I understood Moon Goon to mean that a direct translation, word-by-word from German to English might end up with something like:
"English to compared backwards is German that, way that Goon Moon understand did I!"
... not meaning...
"English good! German backward!"

Can any give an example of a German sentence translated to English word-by-word?


As far as i know, things are also considered to have a gender in the english language. Most confusing to me is always, that machines are cinsidered female in english speaking countries, while they are considered male in Germany.

Generally, in English, inanimate objects are given the neutral gender "it". I can't think of any hard rules for gender association. Perhaps ships are feminine for sailors; and some countries - England (she/her), and Germany (he/his) - for poets.

Anyway... It's all Double Dutch to me!

(Perhaps, that expression is little-seen these days because of many other meanings, including the combined use of a condom and the contraceptive pill by a couple! ... don't want to be misunderstood! ... :cheers: )

#11 h7se

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 05:15 AM

Here in Greece people say: "Μαυ φαίνονται Κινέζικα"
which means : "It sounds Chinese to me"

I wonder what Chinese or Arab people say. :cheers:


arabs may say "ما بفهم هيلوغريفي"
which means : "can't understand Hieroglyphic"

#12 Nuno Brito

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 10:06 AM

Only missing Oleg_II or TinyBit's favourite quotes.. :cheers:

#13 bilou_gateux

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 11:48 AM

@All


Let me continue with my own language:

If I hear / read something which is full of special technical words and therefore very difficult to be understood, I say
[French]
Pour moi, c'est du chinois
[/French]
Try to translate: For me all of that is Chinese.

C'est du chinois

A very popular french singer Serge GAINSBOURG had written a song about Womans called:
Les femmes c'est du chinois :cheers:

but maybe only french native speaker can understand the subtilities of le beau Serge lyrics.

#14 Oleg_II

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 01:23 PM

In Russian it sounds like: "It is Chinese alphabet for me." (китайская грамота).

I've just asked native Chinese and she didn't find any similar expression :cheers:

#15 MedEvil

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 11:30 PM

I've just asked native Chinese and she didn't find any similar expression :cheers:

Of course!
If everything 'we' don't understand is chinese, the Chinese should understand everything and have no phrase like that! :cheers:

:cheers:

#16 was_jaclaz

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 08:26 AM

As far as I know, German does work "backwards", at least in written text.

I mean, when speaking normally, apart from "speed" I can get at least some words and the general sense of the sentence as sentences are usually short enough and parts are ordered in the "normal" left-to right order; when I read German, at least technical documents, I need to read the entire sentence and work my way backwards.

This is due to the fact that in German often the subject is the first word (like in other languages) but the verb (and optionally the negative adverb) is the last one.
http://german.about....y/aa032700a.htm

Our German members will correct my very poor attempt below, but the following should be more or less a correct German sentence:
Ich habe, mit meinen Freund, im Dorfplatz, einem gut italienischen Nationalitätenrestaurant nicht gefunden.

In English (or in Latin languages) the verb goes usually together with the subject:
With my friends, I haven't found a good Italian restaurant in the village square.

In Italian, strangely enough, when you tell someone that a matter is difficult you would say:
"Per me è arabo" (It looks Arabic to me) (but you can also use "Chinese"), but when you are angry because the person in front of you is not understanding what you are saying, you would invariably say:
"E che parlo, turco?" (What am I speaking, Turkish?)

Maybe this is derived by the long period of commerce (and wars) between Italy, Venice particularly, and the near East.

jaclaz

#17 MedEvil

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 05:50 PM

Our German members will correct my very poor attempt below, but the following should be more or less a correct German sentence:
Ich habe, mit meinen Freund, im Dorfplatz, einem gut italienischen Nationalitätenrestaurant nicht gefunden.

In English (or in Latin languages) the verb goes usually together with the subject:
With my friends, I haven't found a good Italian restaurant in the village square.

Let's see. :cheers:
I would say:
german: Zusammen mit meinem Freunden, habe ich kein gutes italienisches Restaurant am Dorfplatz gefunden.
english: Together with my friends, i havn't found a good italian restaurant in the village square.

But i can do the same in english.
I will go home. - Home, i will go.

On the other hand :cheers: :

english: Together with my friends, i found no good italian restaurant in the village square.
german: Zusammen mit meinem Freunden, fand ich kein gutes italienisches Restaurant am Dorfplatz.

Perfect one to one translation! :cheers:

Of course are there lots of ways to change sentences around, just like in all languages imo.
You always have the simple straight forward sentences, mostly used by the less educated or foreigners and the more complicated sentences prefered by people with a higher education.
And then you have the sentences only poets come up with! :cheers:

But the general rule of thumb for a germen sentence is: subject - predicate - object

:cheers:

#18 Oleg_II

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 06:46 PM

Seems to me I've just found how it may sound in Chinese: "It is a book from Heaven for me" (对我来说这是个天书). I may be wrong - just heard it on TV :cheers:

#19 Nuno Brito

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 01:29 PM

Well.. Not sure if history applies here but it's fun to see how all these cultures took very relevant roles in specific timelines.

I see gunpowder as an example of why technic documentation "sounds" to be made in another language.. http://en.wikipedia....npowder#History


...
If everything 'we' don't understand is chinese, the Chinese should understand everything and have no phrase like that!

I wouldn't be surprised with their scale of knowledge given the time it took gunpowder to reach europe.. :cheers:


Seems to me I've just found how it may sound in Chinese: "It is a book from Heaven for me" (对我来说这是个天书). I may be wrong - just heard it on TV :cheers:

Hmm.. too bad we don't seem to have any registered deities here on the forum to give us their opinion.. :cheers:

#20 was_jaclaz

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 01:59 PM

Hmm.. too bad we don't seem to have any registered deities here on the forum to give us their opinion.. :cheers:


There are 10 types of deities , those that understand binary and those who don't!

:cheers:

jaclaz

#21 thunn

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 05:15 AM

Here in Greece people say: "Μαυ φαίνονται Κινέζικα"
which means : "It sounds Chinese to me"


Here in the US, it's common to say..
It's all Greek to me! :cheers:

#22 darren rose

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 02:58 PM

For me in the UK it would be "double-dutch"

#23 Areyu_Moritii

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 01:38 AM

Well, considering that I've personally studied German, Spanish, Gaelic, and Chinese, not to many things sound exactly "foreign" anymore. Though, as other American English speaking posters have listed, "That sounds Greek to me" is probably the most commonly used phrase. IIRC, I have yet to hear anyone say, "That sounds Arabic to me". Not saying that it is impossible, of course.

#24 Alexei

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 07:45 AM

Just a note.
This discussion (luckily) went OK, though I think such issues better be avoided in future.
Sensitive people may feel offended by the discussion in which their native language is used to refer to something unclear, hard to understand, etc. (i.e. having negative meaning).
Please be sure, I don't think anybody wanted to be offensive here. It's "just a note" :cheers:
:cheers:
Alexei

#25 MedEvil

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 12:05 PM

Stop with that PC #*§@ or i :cheers: you and :cheers: some sense into your head.

Do not censor your own mind!
God gave people mouths to speak out, so no reason for guessing what others may like or not like!!!

:cheers:

Edited by jaclaz, 05 November 2007 - 01:20 PM.
Obfuscated 4 letter word





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