Common phrases in different languages/Talk

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Re: Japanese

?à?µ?à?µ (moshi moshi) should only be used on the telephone; it's not a general "hello," and the article should reflect this in some way. ?¡?ú?Í (konnichiwa) is probably better here.


For some reason the top left cell of this table (A1 which should be blank or say "Language") isn't coming out right (it shifts the entire row to the left); or when it does someone edits back out. Or maybe my browser is the only one that notices this? - Justfred

"esta" is not a good translation for "this one" because it assumes the object to be feminine, which isn't necessarily the case. The tradition in Spanish textbooks is to use the masculine form of an adjective as the generic, indicating that the adjective must agree with the noun: that is, one would say "sensitivo" for sensitive and the understanding would be e.g. "este tipo sensitivo, esta tipa sensitiva, estos tipos sensitivos, estas tipas sensitivas." If the adjective is listed in the generic as ending in -a, that means the adjective will always be feminine, regardless of the object or person it's referring to; and that is not the case here. Furthermore, if you mean "this one" by itself, as in "Which one?" "This one." You need an accent on the E and the masculine is "éste" while the feminine is "ésta." But what you have is that one, which is ése and ésa. For that reason I'm changing it. --Koyaanis Qatsi

So if you are in a store and you are pointing at something behind the counter that you want to buy (and you have no idea what it is called or what gender it is) would it be correct (or at least understandable) to say "ése, por favor"? --Eob

Yes. But if you're saying "That car," it would be "ese coche," without the accent. "Ese" and "este" and their variants only carry accents when they're used without the noun.

We need to conform to some other, established way of transcription: the way "gracias" is mangled currently, it seems in any Spanish-speaking country all you have to do is say "grassy Ass" in response to a kindness. That doesn't capture the sound correctly; we also need a way of indicating where the stress falls in a word, since it does sometimes make a difference.

I agree that a proper phonetic transctiption would be more accurate. The problem with some phonetic notations is that most people cannot read them, or at least not without continuous checking back-and-forth to some key. As for emphasis how about we just capitalize an emphasized syllable: hola /OH-la/, por favor /pour fav-OAR/, gracias /GRASS-ee-ass/, ése /AY-say/, cuánto /KWAN-toe/, Inglés /in-GLAZE/, /see/, no /no/.
grAHseeus or grAHs-yus would be closer to correct; and it's only barely three syllables; more like two. Otherwise it sounds like "Grassy ass for the tay-koes and tuh-males." Which may be correct in Texas...

Two points:

1) this seems to be, as written, a very English-centric page. This web is world-wide, yes? Perhaps we should move the "English" column out of the "phrases" table and put a whole "words for languages in other languages" table. How do you say "japanese" in Dutch? kind of a thing.

This is deliberately written in an English-centric way because it is part of the English-language version of wikipedia. I suggest that other versions of this table be put in the Non-English Wikipedias. --Eob

2) How do we get proper characters on the screen. I mean cyrillic, Japenese, etc. Specifically, how do you write a web page that changes character codepages (iso-8859-? or windows-12??) in mid-stream? That way we could see many more languages, correctly spelled in the native tongue, up on the page.

As far as I know we can can in general only use latin letters, that is mostly English letters plus the various accented versions of them. See Wiki special characters. I think we will just have to use some standard transliteration: someone mentioned Romaji for Japanese; we could use pinyin for Chinese; I assume there are standard transliterations for other languages like Greek, Russian, Hindi, ... --Eob
Well, the fact is that the iso-8859-1 special characters are not enough for all the acents even for all European languages, even excluding those that use cyrillic. Specifically, Lithuanian uses characters like a-ogonek, u-makron and s-caron that are in iso-8859-4, but not iso-8859-1. I _think_ that iso-8859-1, iso-8859-2 and iso-8859-4 suffice for all European non-cyrillic languages, and I am certain that they are all necessary. So even without the "more difficult" problems surrounding Russian and Japanese, we need more characters. Does anyone know how to do this? Perhaps it exists in Unicode? Tamulis
All these things are in Unicode. The ISO 8859 character sets are not relevant. The N-th Unicode character can be encoded as &#N;. For example, &#265; comes out as ĉ (c with a circumflex -- although it's possible it may not work on your browser). There are some problems if the language isn't written left to right, however (see The name of God in Judaism/Talk). --Zundark, 2001 Oct 10

Cuánto does carry an accent, but only when used by itself, as a question: "How much?" Otherwise, without the accent, it means "as much as" or "as many as": cuanto como quieras: "as much as you want."

Ése and ésa do carry accents when used by themselves, as do ésos and ésas. They don't when used with a noun, as in "ese árbol." The same goes for éste and their variants. --KQ

You're right; it's been a few years. I do remember, though, that it's "cuanto cómo quieras" :-)

(Humor) Too ridiculous to add to the main page (and not necessarily correct) but:

Dutch-"De enige manier om Godzilla nu nog te doden is met een atoombom."
English-"The only way to kill Godzilla now is with a nuclear weapon."
French-"Maintenant, le seul method pour tuer Godzilla c'est utilizet une arme atomique."
German-"Das einzige weg Godzilla jetst zu to:ten is mit einem atomwaffe."
Japanese-"Ima Gojira o koroshu hoho wa genshi buki shika nai."
Spanish-"El solo posibilidad para matar Godzilla es con una bomba atomico."
Russian-"Ubeet Godzilla tolka obraz yadernee oruzhee."

I know there are a bunch of other polytranslated bizarre phrases on the 'net; maybe links would be appropriate? - justfred

Maybe we should stop using this "pseudo-English" pronunciation system and agree on some more coherent one? This problem applies to all Wikipedia pages involving pronunciation, not only "common phrases" --Taw

Dutch nee is said to be pronounced /neh/, but how do you pronounce /neh/? As "nay", or "knee", or something else? -- SJK

The a in the Danish word "ja" is pronounced somewhat similarly to the English short a, rather than an "ah" sound. I represented the pronunciation in the table as "ya", but I am not really sure how to represent it so that it is clear that it is more like the a in "cat" than the a in "father".

Is that "cat" when pronounced with a Southern English, or a Northern English accent ? The "a" will have quite different sounds in each case. Likewise an American speaker will pronounce "marry" in much the same way that I, with my Scottish accent, will pronounce "merry". In short this type of "phonetic" spelling can lead to widely different pronunciations depending on what accent the English speaker has. It's vital that the particular accent used to pronounce the English "phonetic" spelling is specified. -- Derek Ross

Strange; someone (apparently Guido) deleted beer and Toilet ("for asthetic reasons"?). I can see leaving out beer (tho I personally think it's useful to know) but toilet (or "where's the toilet") seems like it should be included.--justfred

What is this "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn." for ? --Taw

Deleted. H.P. Lovecraft nonsense.