Why English often change the spelling of Alphabeth inside words?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by orangpelupa, Oct 29, 2015.

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  1. homerdog

    homerdog donator of the year
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    What do those suffixes mean anyway? I've always wondered.
     
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  2. I.S.T.

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    I'll put to you this way

    When the work takes place in Japan, I don't care usually. I do take exception when you have characters from 1000 years ago using the exact same suffixes as modern Japanese, but that's because I'm a pedantic twat.

    When it's outside of Japan? That's when I go "WTF guys, translate it right." Trigun being a particularly good example, or anything that takes place outside of Japan, but on our world.
     
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  3. Alexko

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    Very roughly:

    -san = more or less the equivalent of Mr/Mrs, i.e., something you'd use in a generic, formal situation;
    -chan = a mark of affection, something you might use with your girlfriend or a child;
    -kun = comparable to -san, but more appropriate for a child/teenager, including coming from another child/teenager;
    -sempai = used for someone who's of a comparable rank, but your senior in an organization (company, club, whatever);
    -sama = a mark of great respect, you'd use it for a feudal lord, the Emperor, or today someone in a much, much higher position; I think it's also used for customers;
    -dono = same as -sama, but if you are yourself of a comparable social status;
    -sensei = used for teachers or other authority figures.

    There are others but these are probably the most common ones.
     
  4. I.S.T.

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    Sama can also be used in the case of showing respect towards someone who is considered highly skilled/knowledgeable/a master in their field/craft/etc.
     
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  5. tongue_of_colicab

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    Chan and kun mean the same thing and are not gender specific though I've never heard a girls name + kun. Chan is frequently used for boys/men though. The women at work all "chan" me, mainly because I'm so damn cute :p ;)

    Chan/kun is used among friends or by an older person talking to a younger person.
     
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  6. tongue_of_colicab

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    Oh and if we have the senpai we can't forget the kohai as they cannot exist without each other. A kohai is a senpai's junior.
     
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  7. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    i prefer localization with moderation. If there is too much information got lost or changed, then stick to translation. If it can be brought to other language while retaining the original meaning using more "humane" words and sentence, then localize.

    but one thing that keep bothering me, in japan theres "ano hito" for "that person" (english) and "orang itu/dia" (indonesian). But why most english version use "he/she" instead of "that person"?

    the use of "he/she" can be very problematic when the author want to hide the gender.
     
  8. BRiT

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    In that regards, an author typically replaces he/she with "they", even though the subject is not plural.
    He did that.
    She did that.
    They did that.
     
  9. Alexko

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    "That person" sounds very weird in English, and a bit derogatory. So either you use a weird/derogatory construct, or you use a gendered pronoun. There's only so much you can do about these things. Traduttore, traditore.
     
  10. Silent_Buddha

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    I prefer to use "it." :yep2:

    Instead of "Do you see him?" or "She is coming over" just replace them with "Do you see it?" or "It is coming over." People love that stuff. ;)

    But on a more serious note. I believe at many institutions they teach that if the gender isn't known that you use the female pronoun regardless of whether the person can or can't be a male. Informally, as Brit mentioned you use a genderless plural pronoun. That's what I generally do.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  11. London-boy

    London-boy Shifty's daddy
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    Can I just say that I love this thread and that I'm mightily impressed by @Alexko's knowledge?
     
  12. Alexko

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    "That thing" also works. :p

    I don't think the generic "she" is anywhere near as common as the generic "he". I for one find the former slightly jarring, and generally use plural pronouns as well.

    I'm flattered, but don't be fooled: while I like linguistics, my knowledge of languages that aren't French or English is superficial at best. I wouldn't be surprised to find a number of people fluent in three or more languages on these forums.
     
  13. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    I only speak Swedish and English, with a small smattering of Norwegian and German. Wouldn't call myself fluent in the latter two (although Norwegian is rather close to my mother tongue; maybe something similar to Portugese/Spanish...? *shrug*

    As for personal pronouns, there's been a movement in parts of Swedish society (primarily that which is often ridiculed as the femnazi PC cultural elite by certain elements) to introduce a gender-neutral pronoun in Swedish. This has met a ridiculous amount of resistance by some, you'd think we're witnessing the collapse of all civilization the way they're going on; we'd all (meaning, all men) be forcibly turned into gay, dickless transsexuals... :roll: What makes this sillier still is the fact that Finnish has ONLY a gender-neutral pronoun from what I understand; there is apparently no him/her at all... :p

    If they can manage, why can not the rest of us?
     
  14. Alexko

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    I'm not Swedish, but frankly it seems rather silly to try to forcibly change a language for the sake of political correctness. It also seems very artificial, unless they were trying to revive neuter pronouns from Old Norse, which would be kind of cool. Gender is a prominent feature of Indo-European languages, thus very familiar to most of us, but it's not surprising to see it missing from Finnish, an Uralic language (you'd see the same thing in Estonian and Hungarian). What is natural to one language can be rather alien to another, although in this case, neuter pronouns are simply "forgotten" in Swedish (or in English for that matter).
     
    #34 Alexko, Nov 4, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
  15. milk

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    For all I know, Brazil is relatively acceptant of spelling and grammar reforms. It's portuguese has gone through many, I've seen at least two large ones throughout my life. Even though they never erradicate all inconsistencies, and many un-elegant systems remain, they manage to keep most of the language reasonambly logical. What's sad though, is some of the changes introduced in the last reform actually introduced NEW inconcistencies between pronunciation and spelling by dropping ü. It was rarely used, sure, but whenever it was, it represented a distinct sound ALL parts of Brazil pronounced that way. Thats a false simplification. Linguists are usually too "creative" and not very logical. They shape these reforms for them, who invest a lot of time into studying language, instead of for the bulk of population, for which language is a mere tool, and who would benefit from it being the most exact and predictable possible. Languages should prioritize ellegance and coherance, like programing languages do. Linguists should think like engineers more than like historians.
     
  16. tongue_of_colicab

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    Except linguists don't make language, you and I do. Language evolves together with the people speaking it based on how they use language. Spelling is relatively easy to change as kids are thought the new rules in school so they kinda pick it up naturally but that's about it. Words, grammar, that is all based on how people use their language.
     
  17. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    You miss the point, it's not for the sake of political correctness. That is the talk of hyperbolic people being hyperbolic. No, the real purpose is simply to add diversity and flexibility to the language. If you're talking about someone whose name or gender is unknown for example, having no neutral personal pronoun makes things unnecessarily difficult. Often people default to using "him", which makes the discussion male-centric when you don't know if you're actually talking about a man. Also, there's people these days with non-conformal gender identities, and stuff of that sort.

    In short, having options is never bad.
     
  18. Alexko

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    Sure, but using masculine pronouns is a solution that's been used for centuries (at least) in many languages, and I don't know about Swedish specifically, but in general that sort of thing works pretty well. It seems to me that this is not a real issue and that trying to find a solution to it is a politically charged act, especially since deliberate attempts to change a living language are known to usually fail. There are millions of ways you could change a language to make it more flexible, why pick this one? But perhaps this discussion would be best continued in RPSC.
     
  19. Grall

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    Yes, and billions of flies live and thrive off of shit - so what's your point, really? That male-centrism has been the pattern up until now isn't a valid reason to keep it that way forever. If anything, this being the case should in fact inspire an urge for active change in everyone! :D

    Well, this isn't about you, so your assessment of the need for change isn't relevant. :) Obviously, many people disagree and do see a need; not least the MORE than half of our population who maybe don't want to be defaulted as male as soon as their gender isn't known.

    Also, like I said, nothing wrong with having options.

    That's a silly claim. Language has been deliberately, forcifully changed many times - sometimes by what some consider 'politically charged' acts. Just consider the transformation regarding the word "nigger" from a word in common parlance to what is essentially a taboo in most circumstances. I don't see what the big deal here is, seriously, unless you're knee-jerking in some bizarre 'anti-SJW' manner in defense of your perceived bruised male ego or somesuch.
     
  20. Alexko

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    You see "male-centrism", I just see grammar. Having options is one thing, but very soon you'd see people complaining and pestering you because you're using masculine pronouns instead of the one they made up. Obviously, I don't speak Swedish so I'm not affected by this, but in my own language it would affect me. I'm not going to change the way I speak every time someone doesn't like a particular aspect of grammar.

    I don't regard that as a forcible change at all, quite the opposite. It's just the natural evolution of language as a consequence of social changes, particularly attitudes about race. Don't worry about my ego, it's fine.
     
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