|From:||Terrence Donnelly <teresh_2000@...>|
|Date:||Monday, January 6, 2003, 19:30|
I was at the regional FIRST robotics kick off last
weekend, and I was sitting next to some kids in my
son's group, and they were talking about the math
portion of the SATs in Vietnamese. I don't speak
Vietnamese, so how did I know what they were talking
about? They kept lapsing into English. After a long
string of Vietnamese, I'd suddenly hear "65th
or "n factorial" in English. Obviously, they learned
Vietnamese at home as their first language, but
they've learned all their higher math terms in school,
so they only know English words, not the Vietnamese
Then I got to wondering if Vietnamese even has higher
math terms. After all, a phrase like "n factorial",
although composed of English words, doesn't mean
anything to a native speaker either until it's
explained to them. It doesn't seem like there'd be
any inherent advantage in translating into your native
language a term whose meaning isn't obvious in
anybody's native language.
So then I wondered about conlangs. How many of you
have included technical vocabulary in your conlangs?
Vogu has some native terms for basic mathematical
operations, and a fully-developed system of chemical
nomenclature (which I have unfortunately lost my notes
to, and I no longer remember the details of the system
- so I guess really it _had_ a system of chemical
nomenclature), but for most technical or scientific
vocabulary, they borrow from the Ranamemi, who share
their world and are the leaders in science and tech.
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