Translating Quantitels

Kodegadulo
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Kodegadulo
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Joined: Sep 10 2011, 11:27 PM

Feb 17 2018, 10:51 AM #1

On a number of occasions I've mentioned that my goals in coining Quantitels expressly did _not_ include any grandiose attempt to make them "universal" or "international" or "something that works in all languages." In the weeks leading up to their coining, I did make a half-hearted (perhaps more apt to say half-a$$ed) attempt to achieve that by basing them on Latin word forms, but for a number of reasons this fell completely flat. Instead, I opted for a much more modest goal of making them work in my native English, and left the question of other languages as something better tackled by native speakers of those languages, as a translation exercise. This allowed me to focus on the primary purpose of Quantitels: to provide generic names for coherent units of measure, that transparently advertise the type of quantity they measure.

This approach is base upon the following principles. The tl;dr summary of these principles is: Don't be arrogant. Be modest.

1. There ain't gonna be no revolution. We're not going to be ushering in any mass conversion of the world to dozenal or any other base. We're not going to be overturning SI or decimal metric. These dozenal societies have had more than 6 dozen years to try that. It was a ridiculous pipe dream from day one and it hasn't gotten one iota less pipe-dreamish. The idea that it could ever have been different, or that it's somehow different now, is arrogance. Modesty demands that we face facts. This is just a fun hobby.

2. Don't demand that your fellow hobbyists must be revolutionaries in order to prove that they support the dozenal "cause". See point 1. It's just a hobby. Modesty demands that you recognize that someone can be a great help to other base-hobbyists without necessarily appointing themself a commissar of the Rising Dozenal Proletariat. Appointing yourself as one, or demanding that others act as one before their contributions are deemed "worthy", is arrogance.

3. Do you have a system or nomenclature that you like a lot? You think it's pithy, intuitive, lyrical?
Does it trip over the tongue mellifluously in the language you happen to speak every day? Great. Put it out there and see if others agree. Until you do, modesty demands that the most you can say is that "it works for me". If you attract users then you can start saying "it works for us". But if you announce right out of the box that your system is "universal" or "international", that's arrogance.

4. If you cite SI as an example of a system that is perfectly "universal" and "international", simply because it says it is, (just ask it), you are being culturally arrogant. Naming a bunch of units after scientists who are (1) dead, (2) white, (3) male, (4) European, (5) elitists if not downright aristocrats is the exact opposite of inclusion. Modesty demands that you face the fact that the tropes and linguiistic features of SI are Eurocentric (if not downright Gallocentric). Don't believe me? Ask Double sharp sometime. He lives in ... Well, I'll respect his anonymity and not reveal the country, but it's in east Asia. He's well versed in Mandarin and Japanese at least, and likely a native speaker of one or the other. Ask him sometime how those languages translate SI units and just how "international" SI units and their symbols really are. It's worth a chuckle

5. If you demand that any nomenclature proposed by your fellow hobbyists must prove itself grandiosely "international" before it's deemed worthy of attention, you are being arrogant. If on top of that, you claim, on flimsy and contestible evidence, that your great and glorious system is better, that is doubly arrogant. Prove it. Test it out on real people.

So, given all that, let's open up this thread to discuss how to translate Quantitels into languages other than English. Not "adapt" or "transliterate". Translate. Make it "work" for your language, whatever it takes. Anyone can make suggestions, but if you are going to propose a solution for a particular language, please be a native speaker or at least fluent.
As of 1202/03/01[z]=2018/03/01[d] I use:
ten,eleven = ↊↋, ᘔƐ, ӾƐ, XE or AB.
Base-neutral base annotations
Systematic Dozenal Nomenclature
Primel Metrology
Western encoding (not by choice)
Greasemonkey + Mathjax + PrimelDozenator
(Links to these and other useful topics are in my index post;
click on my user name and go to my "Website" link)
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Kodegadulo
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Kodegadulo
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Joined: Sep 10 2011, 11:27 PM

Feb 17 2018, 11:06 AM #2

So, as an example: Hey, Einmaleins, you're German. I'm not. But how does "Teil" or "Teile" work as a translation for "-el"? It means "part" or "portion" right? So if "Zeit", "Laeng", "Mass" are quantities, would ZeitTeil, LaengeTeil, MasseTeil "work" as "German Quantitels"? ("Quantiteilen"?) Would "Primel" be "Ersteilische"? Or does that just sound stupid? How would you work it differently, to make it sound less stupid to German ears?
As of 1202/03/01[z]=2018/03/01[d] I use:
ten,eleven = ↊↋, ᘔƐ, ӾƐ, XE or AB.
Base-neutral base annotations
Systematic Dozenal Nomenclature
Primel Metrology
Western encoding (not by choice)
Greasemonkey + Mathjax + PrimelDozenator
(Links to these and other useful topics are in my index post;
click on my user name and go to my "Website" link)
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Einmaleins
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Einmaleins
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Joined: Feb 12 2018, 06:58 AM

Feb 17 2018, 12:10 PM #3

"Teil" appears in German words for fractions: "viertel" for "quarter" for example.
You could try "Einheit" (unit) I suppose to achieve the same effect - "Zeiteinheit" etc.
You wish us to translate your system into our langauges? Why? You say "There ain't gonna be no revolution. We're not going to be ushering in any mass conversion of the world to dozenal or any other base." So why shall we spend so much effort on converting a syetem that will never achieve anything. You seem remarkably pessimistick!
But anyway, I will think about your idea. Who else do we have who is French, or Spanish who might be interested in the same? What evidence of how many people here use this primel idea of yours?
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Kodegadulo
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Kodegadulo
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Feb 17 2018, 12:42 PM #4

Einmaleins @ Feb 17 2018, 12:10 PM wrote:So why shall we spend so much effort on converting a syetem that will never achieve anything.
Um, because despite everything, it's fun to speculate? What have we got to lose? :) I'm not saying that it's impossible to change the world. It's just highly unlikely. Just don't tell me I don't have a right to have fun with this topic, unless I'm actively planning the revolution. ;)
What evidence of how many people here use this primel idea of yours?
There are several different questions there. Don was so impressed with Systematic Nomenclature prefixes, despite his initial skepticism, that he converted his whole book on Pendlebury's TGM to use them. Oschkar and Double sharp, and possibly others like Sunny are using quantitels as a handy way to name units in numerous metrologies in various bases. They are also using variants of Systematic Nomenclature to provide scaling prefixes for those metrologies, in various bases.

Primel is just one example of a metrology that uses quantitels and Systematic Nomenclature. It's one that I happen to like a lot, but others seem to like it too. You see someone like Paul Rapoport building apps using Primel units (he has a watch app that gives him time and weather info in Primel (as well as TGM)).

My idea for this thread is that I am not arrogant enough to claim that English quantitels are perfectly suitable for all languages. But the underlying idea can be translated. But it would be arrogant of me to think I could do a better job of translating them to another language than someone already fluent in it. So I want to encourage native speakers to try.
As of 1202/03/01[z]=2018/03/01[d] I use:
ten,eleven = ↊↋, ᘔƐ, ӾƐ, XE or AB.
Base-neutral base annotations
Systematic Dozenal Nomenclature
Primel Metrology
Western encoding (not by choice)
Greasemonkey + Mathjax + PrimelDozenator
(Links to these and other useful topics are in my index post;
click on my user name and go to my "Website" link)
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Kodegadulo
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Kodegadulo
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Feb 17 2018, 04:37 PM #5

Einmaleins @ Feb 17 2018, 12:10 PM wrote: "Teil" appears in German words for fractions: "viertel" for "quarter" for example.
You could try "Einheit" (unit) I suppose to achieve the same effect - "Zeiteinheit" etc.
I'm not sure that is the same effect. First, in terms of style, a "-unit" ("-einheit") suffix would add two extra syllables. "-el" only adds one. It would be nice if any translation could add only one extra syllable. Second, in terms of semantics, to say something is a "-unit" isn't saying much. Whether it's a coherent base unit, like the "prime-lengthel", or an auxiliary length unit with a colloquial name, like the "prime-hand-length" (=prime-unqua•lengthel), these are both just "units". You can say that of every unit. Whatever you can say of any unit, you can leave unsaid and just take as a given. I did toy with the idea of being completely minimalist, and simply call all the coherent base units e.g. "prime-time", "prime-length", "prime-mass", etc., i.e. just the brand+quantity type. But I still think there is some value in specially marking the coherent base unit somehow.

The "-el" suffix can be interpreted as short for "element of", i.e., an "elementary piece of" some quantity. So we take that to mean a coherent base unit. Given your description of "teil" in German, that may actually fit the sense I'm after, more or less. The question is, would the resulting names sound completely ridiculous to a German-speaker, or would they be something that takes a little getting used to, or would they be instantly acceptable?
As of 1202/03/01[z]=2018/03/01[d] I use:
ten,eleven = ↊↋, ᘔƐ, ӾƐ, XE or AB.
Base-neutral base annotations
Systematic Dozenal Nomenclature
Primel Metrology
Western encoding (not by choice)
Greasemonkey + Mathjax + PrimelDozenator
(Links to these and other useful topics are in my index post;
click on my user name and go to my "Website" link)
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Einmaleins
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Einmaleins
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Joined: Feb 12 2018, 06:58 AM

Feb 17 2018, 08:13 PM #6

Kodegadulo @ Feb 17 2018, 04:37 PM wrote:Given your description of "teil" in German, that may actually fit the sense I'm after, more or less. The question is, would the resulting names sound completely ridiculous to a German-speaker, or would they be something that takes a little getting used to, or would they be instantly acceptable?
-teil would imply a fraction; so timel, which is the time unit you describe, would appear as 'Zeitteil' or 'fraction of time'. Not so much ridiculous as incorrect. But we have to be careful here, as you do not speak German and my Englsh is far from perfect. We risk misinterpretation. Leave it with me. I will think about this idea and maybe find some expresson that will serv.
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Kodegadulo
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Kodegadulo
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Feb 17 2018, 10:35 PM #7

Meanwhile, we can score an easy win translating quantitels into Esperanto. Esperanto already has a standard suffix in its repertoire: -er-, which means "single, individual, unit". So if tempo, longo, maso are quantities (kvantoj), then tempero, longero, masero could be their quantitels (kvanteroj).
As of 1202/03/01[z]=2018/03/01[d] I use:
ten,eleven = ↊↋, ᘔƐ, ӾƐ, XE or AB.
Base-neutral base annotations
Systematic Dozenal Nomenclature
Primel Metrology
Western encoding (not by choice)
Greasemonkey + Mathjax + PrimelDozenator
(Links to these and other useful topics are in my index post;
click on my user name and go to my "Website" link)
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Double sharp
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Double sharp
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Joined: Sep 19 2015, 11:02 AM

Feb 18 2018, 12:09 PM #8

I'm a Mandarin native speaker (and certainly one currently living in the Sinosphere, I'll say that much at least ;)), but I wonder if you could simply port "-el" directly to Japanese as エル eru and stick it at the end of native Japanese words for these quantities. But we'd need an actual Japanese native speaker to run this by (and unfortunately Takashi hasn't been active for over a year).

For Mandarin, since calques are more common than loans, I wonder if we could just use 元 yuán "basic, fundamental" as an equivalent for "-el". After all, it also happens to mean a unit of currency, and likewise suggests 元素 yuánsù "chemical element". So "lengthel" would be 长度元 chángdùyuán, "massel" would be 质量元 zhìliàngyuán, "timel" would be 时间元 shíjiānyuán, "velocitel" would be 速度元 sùdùyuán, and "accelerel" would be 加速度元 jiāsùdùyuán. These don't sound too bad to my ears, at least, though other native speakers may disagree.
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Einmaleins
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Einmaleins
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Joined: Feb 12 2018, 06:58 AM

Feb 24 2018, 11:51 AM #9

I also consider - el (from Element) and -l but it implies a diminutive in some dialects.

"In Bavarian and Austrian German, -l or -erl can replace almost any usual German diminutive. For example, the standard word for 'girl' in German is Mädchen and, while Mädchen is still used frequently in Austrian German, a more colloquial
usage would be Mädl, Mädel or Mäderl. It is regular for Austrian to replace the normal Bisschen ('a little' as in "Can I have a little more?") with Bissl (sounds like Bissel). Very distinctive feature of Austrian German." (Google translation)
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