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Re: Rafsi Repair Proposal: 1


> Well, Harlow has shown wide variance in length of various translations into
> and out of Esperanto.  I don't know about utterance length, but Finnish WORDS
> are generally longer than English or Lojban ones.  Zipf may not even hold in
> some languages.  The Russian word for "use" is roughly ispolzovat' which in
> some declensions can be 5 syllables long.  They CAN shorten words, but they
> DON'T.  Oh, and I don't know about utterance length, but in written text,
> Russian sentences sure SEEM longer in both word count and average word length
> than similar English of comparable topic and register.

I haven't real secure statistics, but I just took pencil and count
(of course it may be minor errors - it is not an accurate research).

Matthew 7:1-5
                        Greek       English     Russian

Letters                   353           405         337
Words                      82           114          74
Average word length         4.30          3.55        4.55

Strange, but russian become shorter in translation. Of course I do not
claim it is typical case, but I haven't search especially for anomalies

Really word lengths distribution chart is much more flat for russian than
for english. I have a table (of unknown sourse) of english distribution -
7.33% of words in english text are "the", and first 100 most frequent
words cover more then 50% of the text. I haven't table for russian, but
I belive that no word cover more than 1% of text.

>From "russian point of view" there are a dozen very short common verbs
in english (use, set, get, put, come, go, have etc - see Basic english
verbs list :-) with very overloaded semantic and usage. Of course
"ispol'zovat'" is russian for "use", but in most cases where english
speaker uses "use", russkij ispol'zuet some other word - in this case
"skazhet" (says) instead of "ispol'zuet" (uses) or something else...

On the other hand, russian hackers jargon accepts many english words
(not only tech terms) - in particular "use" often used among hackers
with russian endings "ia usaiu, ty usaesh..." - more often as a joke
but not always.

> >But English speakers like them for their etymology and register,
> >not for their length. Germans and Russians have ways of shortening
> >long words (e.g. gestapo, komsomol, etc).
> Yes, but they don't do so except for very common words. And these are
> a bit like the acronyms I just mentioned anyway.

Really these are very close to lojban lujvo in concept.

> xudozhestvennoi sameldeitlnosti (5+7 syllables) - it means roughly
> "amateur art show"

It is matter of style. I can imagine myself _writing_ these words in
some official paper, but it's hard to belive I will really _say_ them.
The gape between official and conversational languages seems to be wider
in russian than in english...

If you want _really_ breaking word, try "vykarabkivaiuschiisia" - adverb
with meaning "clumsy climbing out" or something like... :-)

co'o mi'e. kir.
Cyril Slobin <slobin@fe.msk.ru> `When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said,
<http://www.fe.msk.ru/~slobin/> `it means just what I choose it to mean'