Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Sibling (was: Re: The pitfall of Chinese/Mandarin)

From:James Campbell <james@...>
Date:Wednesday, December 12, 2001, 9:13
Andreas eskrë »
> Imperative wrote: > >Andreas Johansson wrote: > ><< > >That's another weirdity of learning English in school - they tell you > >that > >there simply is no direct translation of the Swedish word _syskon_ > >"sibling", and that if you desperately need to translate ie you have > >to use > >"brother or sister" > > >> > > > >Wait a moment...? Isn't "sibling" an adequate translation of "brother > >and sister"? Or is your point that that's how they teach English in > >schools over there? > > They deny the existence of an English word meaning "sibling". > > Andreas
This has interested me for ages. _Syskon_ and Norwegian _søsken_ are commonly-used words, if I understand correctly. (Although _søsken_ is plural: "brothers and sisters".) However, the English word "sibling" is not really that common; it has a literary feel, and most British English speakers would say "brothers and sisters" in conversation rather than the rather bookish "siblings". When I was learning German at school, we were taught that _Geschwister_ means "brothers and sisters", and we thought it was cool to have a word for that. The word "sibling[s]" was never mentioned. ObConlang: Unsurprisingly, Jameld has no equivalent for syskon/søsken/sibling[s] -- it just slipped through the net, and _brothar_ and _setstar_ would be used. However, the word _siba_ exists, meaning "relation, kin" as a noun, and "related, kin" as an adjective. [Source: Old Frisian sibbe; cf. arch. English sib, High German Sippe "clan, kin". OE sibling meant "relative".] Thought: is English "kin" related to _syskon_/_søsken_? James ========================================================================= James Campbell Zeugma--Our Life Is Design Sponsored by -- for all your household blithery requirements =========================================================================


H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Rune Haugseng <haugrune@...>