Re: CHAT: German help
|From:||Julia "Schnecki" Simon <helicula@...>|
|Date:||Friday, June 30, 2006, 4:45|
On 6/30/06, Ph.D. <phil@...> wrote:
> I'm looking at a German used books website.
> Can somebody (preferably a German-speaker) tell
> me what "aussen gebrauchsspurig" means?
> Babelfish doesn't know the second word.
I wouldn't have recognized the word either if you hadn't given the
context (used books). ;-)
_Außen_, of course, means "outside", but you probably already knew
The word _gebrauchsspurig_ is an adjective derived from
_Gebrauchsspur_ "trace (or evidence) of use". So, the book in question
doesn't look new but... well... used, but apparently only on the
And I'm not surprised that Babelfish doesn't know the word... I am
surprised, though, that Babelfish didn't attempt to translate its
components (or, knowing Babelfish, any substrings it could find in its
lexicon) to come up with something that doesn't make any sense in
*any* language. ;-)
To my delight, GERTWOL (http://www2.lingsoft.fi/cgi-bin/gertwol) does
recognize the word. It doesn't seem to be in the GERTWOL lexicon,
because in that case the clearly wrong analysis with _geb-_ as first
element shouldn't appear, but at least it also gives the correct
This type of adjective formation (N+ig meaning "having N", e.g.
_löchrig_ "holey" or _rothaarig_ "red-haired") isn't uncommon, but
it's not productive anymore, so an unknown word ending in -ig is much
more likely to confuse you than an unknown word ending in, say, -ung.
(When I was 14 or so, we had a lot of fun "reviving" some obsolescent
and obsolete forms for our own "group language". One of the things we
liked to do was attach -ig to just about anything; we would say things
like "er ist zuspätkommig" for "he is (running) late". Needless to say
that in "proper" German, this suffix only attaches to very few verb
stems, and certainly not productively...)
Julia Simon (Schnecki) -- Sprachen-Freak vom Dienst
_@" schnecki AT iki DOT fi / helicula AT gmail DOT com "@_
si hortum in bybliotheca habes, deerit nihil
(M. Tullius Cicero)