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Re: "Usefull languages"

From:Clint Jackson Baker <litrex1@...>
Date:Thursday, February 28, 2002, 20:16
Okay, okay, my language prejudices come out--read: I
know French better!

Thanks for the etymological info, though.  You simply
don't get that kind of stuff in schools over here.

Amesika meha hi dana,

--- Christophe Grandsire
<christophe.grandsire@...> wrote:
> En réponse à Clint Jackson Baker > <litrex1@...>: > > > But Spanish is definitely worse: el problema, el > agua, > > el drama.... > > > > Absolutely not! It's on the contrary very > systematic. You just have to have a > bit of knowledge of etymology. And that only for the > first and the third, since > the second is something completely different. > > As for "problema" and "drama", the explanation is > simple: those two words are > of Greek origin, and were masculine in Greek. Thus > they are masculine in > Spanish. other examples are "el poeta", "el poema", > etc... Except > for "problema", all the others are restricted to the > vocabulary of art, and a > schooled English-speaking person can recognise their > Greek origin. So they are > no problem. Note that the problem is identical in > French, where those words end > by -e ("problème", "drame", "poète", "poème") and > still are masculine ("le > problème"). So if you don't have a problem in > French, you can't have it in > Spanish :)) . > > As for "agua", the problem is different, since it's > definitely a feminine word. > What happens then? Well, that's called liaison, and > every one who knows French > knows about that. In French, when the article is put > in front of a word > beginning with a vowel, it's elided as l', whatever > the gender. In Spanish the > thing is a little more restricted. When the feminine > article (the masculine is > el, so cannot be elided) preceeds a word beginning > with the vowel a- (or ha-, > since h is silent in Spanish) and this vowel is > *stressed*, it is elided too > ("la agua" is quite ackward to pronounce). but since > Spanish people love to add > little e- in front of their words (the station, la > estación for instance :)) ), > the elided la becomes el, which happens to be > identical to the masculine > article, but in fact has the same origin as la (both > come from illa, but one > had the beginning elided, while the other had the > end elided, through the > influence of the following stressed a). Apart from > that, the word stays > feminine (in plural, you have "las aguas", not *"los > aguas"). > > So you see, what you call "definitely worse" is in > fact identical to what > happens in French, except that it's easier :)) . > > Christophe. > > > > Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else > play the leading role.
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Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>