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Wizard
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Wizard
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May 19th, 2011 at 7:30:58 AM permalink
Fecha: 19 de Mayo
Palabra del día: DEDO


Dedo = Finger or toe.

That's right, finger and toe have to share the same word in Spanish! If it isn't clear from the context, I think one would say dedo del pie to refer to a toe.

My suggestion to the Real Academia Española is to come up with a word specifically for toe.
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Nareed
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May 19th, 2011 at 7:40:59 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

That's right, finger and toe have to share the same word in Spanish! If it isn't clear from the context, I think one would say dedo de pie to refer to a toe.



It can be clear from context only rarely. Say you drop a bowling bowl on your foot. If you then say "me lastimé los dedos," it's clear you're talking about your toes.

BTW It's "dedo deL pie," or "dedo de EL pie." I'm sorry to be so critical, but these are the tiny details that drive language students crazy. "Dedo de pie" means something ike "standing finger" :P
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pacomartin
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May 19th, 2011 at 9:40:35 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

That's right, finger and toe have to share the same word in Spanish! If it isn't clear from the context, I think one would say dedo del pie to refer to a toe.



The word "toe" originally referred to either the appendage on the hand or on the foot. The use in the sense continued up until 350 years ago. The word finger developed from the same root word as five. The latin word, digitus referred to either, and so does the Spanish word.

We still have 10 digits in our numerical system, and sleight of hand is often called prestidigitation.

=====================
If I refer to the Latin origins of Spanish and of English Vocabulary, you should note that Spanish did not start becoming the dominant language derived from Latin in present day Spain until the 12th-14th century. Before that it was on par with several other languages. It's ascendancy came with the political and military power of The Kingdom of Castille. Even today several languages derived from Latin still exist in Spain (approx number of speaker):

Catalan: 11.5 million
Galician: 3-4 million
Leonese: 25K-50K
Asturian: 150K-400K
Aragonese: 30K
Aranese: (revived from near zero to thousands)

The language not derived from Latin is
Basque: 670K in 2006

The language Galician is derived from Latin, but much of the core culture is celtic. They have bagpipes and kilts like the Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and Brittany.
Wizard
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Wizard
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May 19th, 2011 at 9:51:51 PM permalink
Tengo una pregunta. Sabemos que:

Gato = cat
Gatear = to crawl

¿Es una casualidad?
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
pacomartin
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May 20th, 2011 at 1:36:33 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Tengo una pregunta. Sabemos que:

Gato = cat
Gatear = to crawl

¿Es una casualidad?



In this case it is a coincidence, since gato and cat both come from a different Latin word which translated in French as chat and became a "g" in Spanish.

I think arrastrarse! is more of the military command. Also reptar, which means to crawl very low to the ground. Gatear is more to crawl like a child does with their head up looking around. I believe the word is more related to "el lagarto" "the lizard" (with a similar root as alligator). Some kinds of lizards crawl with their head up looking for predators or prey.



Wizard
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May 20th, 2011 at 5:17:31 AM permalink
Thanks Paco! With that fine answer, I think we'll keep gatear as the word of the day for May 20.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
pacomartin
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May 20th, 2011 at 1:32:46 PM permalink
In the 1920's, Charles Kay Ogden decided the Esperanto was never going to work as a universal language. He set out to do some massive research to try and come up with a 1000 word vocabulary in English that would span almost the entire world of communication. There were only 18 verbs in his language and no conjugations. But the verbs were assumed into a group of 100 words he called "operators". The grammar was vastly simplified from English grammar.
In the 1930's people became very excited about the idea of world where everyone would learn this simplified English and for the first time since the Tower of Babel everyone in the world could talk to each other. HG Wells wrote a novel featuring world government where everyone could speak this language. Charles Ogden never envisioned this "scientific pidgin" replacing all other languages, but it would be a second language for general communication.

Naturally, any project of this nature faces huge criticism. TRIVIA: What novel features the most famous skewering of the work of Charles Kay Ogden as mind control? We all read it in school! One of the criticisms is that in order to keep the vocabulary list as short as possible, mostly words of Old English or Old Norse derivation were used. These words have the widest range of meanings.

While the core concept has largely been lost in time and replaced with ideas such "Voice of America English", "Airplane Mechanics English" and "Oxford 3000" (the core vocabulary list of 3000 words developed by Oxford dictionary), the original vocabulary list is still helpful. Since these operators are capable of describing the full range of concepts (admittedly in a crude way), it gives you a core vocabulary list to learn in another language.

Since only 5 words are from old French (and ultimately from Latin), you concentrate on the words that you use all the time, but have no direct Spanish equivalent.

The most commonly used verb in English that comes from Latin is use which has the Spanish equivalent usar. That verb is not on the list of 100 operators because Charles Ogden used it as a noun only.

One problem with this language, is that I may be able to understand someone speaking it to me, but he wouldn't understand me unless I had special training. I would end up using a larger vocabulary, or using words in non-specified manner. But that problem is also present if you are running a factory and the workers only speak pidgin english.

# English Spanish Root Orig English Spanish Root Orig
1 come venir cuman Old English between  entre betweonum OE
2 get hacer geta Old Norse by por bi OE
3 give dar giefan OE down abajo ofdune OE
4 go ir gan OE from desde fram OE
5 keep mantener cepan OE in en inne OE
6 let que lætan OE off fuera æf OE
7 make hacer macian OE on en an OE
8 put poner putung OE over sobre ofer OE
9 seem parecer soema ON through através þurh OE
10 take tener tacan OE to de to OE
11 be ser beon OE under debajo under OE
12 do hacer don OE up arriba uppe OE
13 have haber habban OE with con wið OE
14 say dicer secgan OE as como alswa OE
15 see ver seon OE for por for OE
16 send enviar sendan OE of de of OE
17 may poder mæg OE till hasta til ON
18 will estar (futuro) willan OE than que þan OE
19 about aproximadamente abutan OE a una an OE
20 across a través de cros OE the el þe OE
21 after después æfter OE all todo eall OE
22 against en contra de agan OE any todo ænig OE
23 among entre onmang OE every todos los æfre OE
24 at en æt OE no demás na OE
25 before antes beforan OE other otros oþer OE
26 some algunos sum OE now ahora nu OE
27 such tales swylc OE out acabo ut OE
28 that que þæt OE still todavía stille OE
29 this este þis OE then a continuación þanne OE
30 I yo ic OE there hay þær OE
31 he él he OE together juntos togædere OE
32 you eow OE well bueno wel OE
33 who que hwa OE almost casi eallmæst OE
34 and y ond OE enough lo suficiente genog OE
35 because porque par cause French even incluso efen OE
36 but sino butan OE little poco lytel OE
37 or o oþþe OE much mucho micel OE
38 if si gif OE not no nawiht OE
39 though si þo ON only sólo ænlic OE
40 while mientras que hwile OE quite bastante quite Fr
41 how cómo hu OE so lo swæ OE
42 when cuándo hwænne OE very muy verai Fr
43 where dónde hwær OE tomorrow mañana to morgenne OE
44 why porqué hwi OE yesterday ayer geostran dæg OE
45 again una vez más agan OE north al norte norð OE
46 ever cada vez æfre OE south sur suð OE
47 far lejos feorr OE east este east OE
48 forward hacia adelante forewearde OE west oeste west OE
49 here aquí her OE please por favor plaisir Fr
50 near cerca near OE yes gise OE
Nareed
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May 20th, 2011 at 1:41:18 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Naturally, any project of this nature faces huge criticism. TRIVIA: What novel features the most famous skewering of the work of Charles Kay Ogden as mind control? We all read it in school!



1984?
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pacomartin
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May 20th, 2011 at 2:09:09 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

1984?


Correct. Good good response. No thoughtcrime for you.
Nareed
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May 20th, 2011 at 2:12:47 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Correct. Good good response.



I was going to pass it over, then I recalled Newspeak.

Anyway, back to today's word:

"Gatear" is used for describing what babies do while they figure how to walk, and also crawling on all fours.

In Mexico, at least, crawling while nearly flat to the ground is called "pecho tierra." At least that was the custom during mock military play at summer camp back in the late 70s...

The other words Paco used are correct, but seldom used.
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