May 20, 2012, 10:32 AM
Post #19 of 22
Highland Maya do not have an absolute "No". How ironic!
Re: [Vichil] Pena Ajena - no translation
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The Yucatec Maya do not have a word for a firm "Yes" . They have words that mean affirmative ( "bey" ) but not exactly "yes" . Too funny! " Are you coming tomorrow at 8:00 AM to start work? " "Bey."
The "bey" shows an intent to come, but it really is not definitive. The two poles of not having a "yes" for one group, and missing a "no" for a neighboring group may speak volumes about how they experience the world.
Off in a different direction, consider the roots of languages and how they affect us. (Brythonic peoples, Angles & Germanic Saxons, conquered by Romans, then conquered by Danes/Norwegians, then conquered by French intruders, etc) => English's French, Latin, and Germanic/Teutonic/Scandanavian roots give English a rich variety of words to describe subtleties of meanings, which makes it one of the best languages on the planet for writing precise contracts. In contrast, Spanish words often describe some general concept, where the precision has to be inferred from the context: e.g. Crudely, consider arriba vs over, on top of, above, upwards, high, up high, overhead, up, upstairs, more than . . . etc (One common word in Spanish for 10 English variants?)
Turkish, Spanish, and other languages however seem to capture emotive qualities better.
Yiddish anyone? Feh! Nu?
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(This post was edited by YucaLandia on May 20, 2012, 10:41 AM)