HOW THE VASE BROKE ITSELF

July 30, 2010 at 1:32 pm (LANGUAGE)

And how language shapes the way we think and behave.

PS: More here. An endlessly fascinating subject.

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6 Comments

  1. Old Fat Sailor said,

    Jack Vance use this in a SF novel, The Languages of Pao.

  2. Alisa said,

    Haven’t read it…

  3. Alisa said,

    BTW, to any Russian speakers who may be reading: doesn’t the vase “break itself” in Russian as well?

  4. Old Fat Sailor said,

    Speaking of Russian speakers the tale is posted R

  5. NickM said,

    Alisa,
    You are under no circumstances whatsoever to meet my wife – a translator from Russian. Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure the two of you would get on like a house that set fire to itself. It would just be a bit dull for me. I guess me and your son could talk computers!

    And yes, I do get the point about the “overuse” of reflexive verbs in Russian. As to Japanese. Apparently, according to my brother, Japanese doesn’t have a non-pejorative term for fear. He learned this when his Japanese girlfriend (an experienced skier) took him (a complete novice) up the slopes on Hokkaido. She just didn’t get that he was rationally terrified. .

  6. אליסה said,

    ‘Rationally terrified’ – I’ll borrow that one, heh.

    Incidentally, my son is even less of a computer geek than I am.

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