Give examples of words that English is missing

Kazoo   Mon Aug 08, 2005 2:14 pm GMT
We call it a 'day'.
Sander   Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:01 pm GMT
I know what you mean Swede, we use 'etmaal'. for 24 hours.
The Swede   Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:03 pm GMT
But you know, a day + a night= a dygn
Travis   Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:35 pm GMT
The main thing is that "day" is both used to describe the period when it is light outside *and* to refer to a full 24 hours (but not any *arbitrary* 24 hours, as such refers to a calendar day).
Sander   Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:40 pm GMT
In Dutch a day is a day ,and a day has 24 hours.

But 24 hours is an 'etmaal'.
Tuba Player   Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:41 pm GMT
Quote-''Tuba Player, yes it does have one (I assume you mean a singular gender neutral third person pronoun), which is simply "they",''

I mean one distinct from the plural ''they''. English lacks a distinctive singular gender neutral third person pronoun from the plural pronoun.
Tuba Player   Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:24 pm GMT
In other words, English has no way to distinct singular and plural gender neutral third person pronouns. Both are ''they''.
Sander   Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:26 pm GMT
Do you actually play the tuba?
Tuba Player   Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:26 pm GMT
''way to'' was a typo. It doesn't belong in that sentence.
Tuba Player   Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:27 pm GMT
<<Do you actually play the tuba?>>

Sander   Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:32 pm GMT
What kind of Tuba?
Frances   Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:05 am GMT
"There is no word to differentiate between a male or female cousin."

You should be happy that there is no differentiation. Try this


bratuced/rodzak - male cousin
bratucetka/rodzaka - female cousin

striko/stric - uncle - father's brother
strina/strina - aunty - wife of father's brother

vujko/ujak - uncle - mother's brother
vujna/ujna - aunty- wife of mother's brother

tetka/tetka - aunty - mother's or mothers sister
tetin/teco or tetak - uncle - husband of mother's sister

AND Americans are not the only ones to use "you guys", I think everyone who speaks English.

Also another word that I find hard to translate is "mangup". It's kind of like a trouble maker, cheeky guy. The dictionary translates it as "good-for-nothing", but quite doesn't translate...
Frances   Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:08 am GMT
Oh and English doesn't have the basic you(sing)/you(pl) distinction, nor the they(f)/they(m)/they(n)
Damian in Edinburgh   Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:43 am GMT
**You can communicate well with your English, but not perfectly well. **

THE SWEDE: it's a matter of perspective. As you say, every Language contains words for which there is no absolute, exact and precise equivalent in any other Language.* English is no exception......I know of people who have learned English and have said that we have words in our Language for which there is no equivalent in their own native tongues.

Sorry, but I can't agree with your statement as above though....maybe you meant to express it another way, but rest assured that we who speak English are able to communicate truly perfectly well, thanks! We really can ...believe you me.

The English Language is blessed with a mega huge vocabulary with a wide variety of synonyms.....words that on the face of it mean the same thing but actually contain very slight shades of difference and the skill involved is using the right word to express the right contextual meaning.

*My cool Welsh friend has told me about the Welsh word "Hiraeth" (pronounced ['HEE-rithe] (the "TH" sound as in the word "thin). There is apparently no exact equivalent in English and it means a feeling of nostalgic longing for something you love and hold dear, something close to your your own country when you have been away from it for a long time. To be honest I don't know if there is an equivalent word in Gallic but I will try and find out if there is. There certainly should be, that's for sure!
The Swede   Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:42 am GMT
Damian, look at this sentence: "I was outside the hole day yesterday." How do you know if the case was that, I was outside the light period of the day, when the sun was up so to speak. Or, if I was outside the hole 24 hours period?
This is a proof of how uneffective the English language can be. Therefore I still have my opinion that English, and other languages also, are just good but not perfect.
I think you have to agree we me sooner or later becouse take the word "fish". It´s a very old word, the word is so old that you can see the similarities between Latin "pisce", something like that, and English fish, Swedish fisk etc etc. That means that people have known what a fish is for a long time. Take a step forward and take the word "salmon". What do you think, have people used the word salmon before they used the word fish? No, the word salmon has become a word after the word fish. Salmon is a word which explains that it´s about a special fish which has uniqe characteristic features. Thats why you have and use the word salmon, and thats way it´s better to distinguish those words now and then and it´s the same with "dag and dygn". It´s better if you have a choise between if you want to precise your idea, or if you want to generalize idea.