Taaldrab 15: Otteoghalvtreds

Of: waarom makkelijke getalsystemen gebruiken als ze ook moeilijk kunnen.

Nu wilt u natuurlijk brandend weten hoe je ‘eenentachtig’ in het Deens zegt. Enogfirs natuurlijk!*

Meer over maffe manieren om te tellen hier.

* Herstel: dit is hoe je ‘eenentachtig’ in het Deens schrijft. De uitspraak is, zoals altijd, hûe’l.

7 gedachtes over “Taaldrab 15: Otteoghalvtreds

    1. Het Japans heeft overal ingewikkelde systemen voor. ;) Het ging zelfs Richard Feynman te ver:

      While in Kyoto I tried to learn Japanese with a vengeance. I worked much harder at it, and got to a point where I could go around in taxis and do things. I took lessons from a Japanese man every day for an hour.

      One day he was teaching me the word for “see.” “All right, he said. “You want to say, ‘May I see your garden?’ What do you say?”

      I made up a sentence with the word that I had just learned.

      “No, no!” he said. “When you say to someone, ‘Would you like to see my garden?’ you use the first ‘see.’ But when you want to see someone else’s garden, you must use another ‘see,’ which is more polite.”

      “Would you like to glance at my lousy garden?” is essentially what you’re saying in the first case, but when you want to look at the other fella’s garden, you have to say something like, “may I observe your gorgeous garden?” So there’s two different words you have to use.

      Then he gave me another one: “You go to a temple, and you want to look at the gardens…”

      I made up a sentence, this time with the polite “see.”

      “No, no!” he said. “In the temple, the gardens are much more elegant. So you have to say something that would be equivalent to ‘May I hang my eyes on your most exquisite gardens?’”

      Three or four different words for one idea, because when I’m doing it, it’s miserable; when you’re doing it, it’s elegant.

      I was learning Japanese mainly for technical things, so I decided to check if this same problem existed among the scientists.

      At the institute the next day, I said to the guys in the office, “How would I say in Japanese, ‘I solve the Dirac Equation’?”

      They said such-and-so.

      “OK. Now I want to say, ‘Would you solve the Dirac Equation?’ –how do I say that?”

      “Well, you have to use a different word for ‘solve,’” they say.

      “Why?” I protested. “When I solve it, I do the same damn thing as when you solve it!”

      “Well, yes, but it’s a different word–it’s more polite.”

      I gave up. I decided that wasn’t the language for me, and stopped learning Japanese.


      1. Volgens mij maakt Feynman het wel een beetje ingewikkelder dan het is.
        De werkwoorden blijven wel het zelfde, maar het achtervoegsel verandert.
        Als je bijv. “Begrijp je het?” wilt zeggen tegen een gelijke dan is dat “Wakatta?”, maar de beleefdere vorm is “Wakarimashitaka?”
        Het werkwoord blijft gewoon wakaru.


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