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Re: Names of chess pieces in (con)langs

From:Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>
Date:Saturday, March 25, 2006, 0:37
On 3/24/06, Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...> wrote:
> In the original game which eventually became Chess, only the king had > a name which literally translates as the modern English name (raja). > The "queen" was the "mantri" (counsellor); a "knight" was called > simply a "horse" ("asva"), the "rook" was called a "ratha" > ("chariot"), and a "pawn" was called a "pedati" ("soldier"). The > piece we call the "bishop" was a "gaja" ("elephant").
Neat! OK, the chess bishop is now "pxeq'hxu" (Indian elephant) in gzb. "vxax-cxa" (vehicle) might work better for the rook/chariot than "rix'max-nxul". It's more logical than a mobile castle, I guess. Or maybe I could call it a "siege engine" based on its modern appearance and its mobility -- first need a term for "besiege" though.
> In the Chinese descendant (Xiangqi), the horse and elephant still have > literal translations of their original names.
Some English speakers use the word "horse" for the chess piece more standardly called "knight". I'm not sure if this is dialectical or an idiosyncratic; my Dad uses "knight" and my uncle (his brother) uses "horse". -- Jim Henry


Sapthan <sapthan@...>