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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).
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> `When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said,
<http://www.fe.msk.ru/~slobin/> `it means just what I choose it to mean'