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Aug
6
comment Is there a reason why Germany (Deutschland) is called so many different things in other European languages?
@z7sg, the meaning of mute has to be compared to "one of the the more prominent theories regarding the origin of the term "Slav" suggests that it comes from the Slavic root slovo (hence "Slovenia," "Slovakia"), meaning "word" or "speech." In this context, the Slavs describing Germanic people as "mutes" — in contrast to themselves, "the speaking ones"." excerpt cited from wikipedia.
Aug
5
comment Is there a reason why Germany (Deutschland) is called so many different things in other European languages?
This is an absolutely fascinating topic. Needless to say that it has already attracted the attention of many scholars. To refer to Wikipedia again, there is a dedicated article which summarises the most widely accepted theories. Time permitting I'll add my 2 cents.
Aug
5
comment Is there a reason why Germany (Deutschland) is called so many different things in other European languages?
The most ironic thing is that in contrast, the Germans themselves add a tendency to name all foreign countries and people with very similar names... To quote wikipedia :"The Germanic invaders of the Roman Empire applied the word "Walha" to foreigners they encountered and this evolved in West Germanic languages as a generic name for all non-Germanic speakers; thence, the names Wallachia, Vlachs, Wallonia, Walloons, Wales, Wallasey, and even the Polish name for Italy, Włochy."
Jun
19
comment Are German words starting with the letter 'p' really of foreign origin?
@Pekka, No prob. After WWII, Germany was partitioned in 2 separate independent countries as you probably know: the DDR under Soviet influence and the BRD. As none of these countries were allowed to have an army, "protecting" powers were occupying various portions of the German territory. The BDR was occupied by US, Canadian, English and French forces. So I ended up in Villingen-Schwenningen (a beautiful place) in 1986.
Jun
18
comment Are German words starting with the letter 'p' really of foreign origin?
+1. makes sense: the change of 'p' in 'b' is also observed in other languages (Latin sapere => Spanish saber). Most words initiating with a 'p' would have migrated to a 'b'.
Jun
17
comment Are German words starting with the letter 'p' really of foreign origin?
@Tim N. No simply 'p'. In the mean time I'm having a look at this list (P letter) and there seem to be some truth behind this assertion. But I have just sampled a few words. I'd like to know whether this is a well established and well known fact.
Jun
17
comment Do the noun 'Reich' and the adjective 'reich' have a common origin?
+1 Thank you for this learned and precise answer. I had the idea that wealthy came as a second meaning to mighty also because money is a more recent phenomenon than sheer might. I'd probably argue that the actual introduction of money could be the cause of the specialisation of reich in wealthy. But since this is a phenomenon common to many languages German, Dutch, English, Spanish, Italian and French to name just a few, it is probably an early phenomenon. Please note that all these languages have a Celtic substrate but only Dutch and German still use Reich as "kingdom".
Jun
14
comment Origin of Separable Verbs
@user12889, the of thumb rule in English is that intransitive phrasal verbs are inseparable (as per the very definition of intransitivness: for instance "I get out") and that transitive phrasal verbs have a good chance of being separable. For instance, consider 'I look up a word in the dictionary' (the object is not inserted between the verb and the preposition), and 'I look it up in the dictionary' (when the object is a pronoun it is always inserted between the verb and the preposition).
Jun
10
comment Origin of Separable Verbs
I've addressed this question partially in this answer in the English Language and Usage forum.
Jun
8
comment Meaning of Mann as a tribe rather than a male individual
Thanks. I'm still interested in this subject. As for Normannen being a loanword from French, please see the note [1] which I've just added to the initial question.
Jun
7
comment Meaning of Mann as a tribe rather than a male individual
+1 - Sorry if this sounds ironic, but whilst you're saying that "I'm looking for something that does not exist", you actually seem to be giving the solution on the next line. Putting aside, as you suggest, the tribal sense. The Mannen (a weird weak plural for a strong noun btw) sense of group of men in arms is close to what I'm looking for especially in the compound name "Ala-mannen". A possible conclusion so far is that Mann itself is not a collective noun for a tribe but "Mannen" has a military meaning compatible with "Alemannen" and possibly "Markomannen" or "Normannen".
Jun
7
comment Meaning of Mann as a tribe rather than a male individual
@Stovner. Absolutely. In the sense of "Menschheit" you have will find for instance the landmark documentary "The Ascent of Man". The sense of "Mann" I'm looking for is closer to "Mannschaft" - "Menscheit" is a relatively new word in German. The noun Mann-shaft is actually possibly another indication ("Soldaten einer militärischen Einheit").