Dog's Dinner

"You're not loved because you're lovable, you're lovable 'cause you're loved."

Friday, February 25, 2005

Danger Zone

Because the word for "dangerous" in Polish is more like "not undangerous," the word for safe being something along the lines of "undangerous," I often get confused by the double negation and end up advising something because it's "more dangerous."

Another interesting Polish twist is the translation of the title of the film National Treasure as "Skarb narodów," or Treasure of Nations, one letter divorced from a more accurate translation ("Skarb narodowy"); if you've seen the film, however, there's a certain cleverness to that.

Once again, this time thanks to the fiendish incompetence of the psychotic termagant who runs this school, I've been typing against a background of loud conversation, jokes, etc. as the graduating class of the economics department were forced to take refuge here while waiting for something, heaven knows what or why not in some other room besides the library. They and I must now vacate the premises, as the library is closing.


At 8:29 AM, Blogger Small Man said...

The Japanese word for dangerous is "abunai" which sounds like it should be the negative of some other word because "nai" is the negative ending.

At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Word for "dangerous" in Polish is more like "not safe" or "unsafe". This is not example of the double negation. "Bezpieczny" means "safe" and "niebezpieczny" - "not safe" or "unsafe". Example of the double negation in Polish is: "Nikt nie śpi" or "„a: Nie poszedłeś dzisiaj nad rzekę? b: Nie, nie poszedłem". Sorry for my English, it's probably as good as your Polish ;-)

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Robert Goulet said...

Thank you, Anonymous, and sorry it took me so long to post your comment (it was sent to me back in February). You are correct that "niebezpieczny" is not an example of grammatical double negation; I should have clarified that I meant it was an example of SEMANTIC double negation, which it clearly is as both "nie" ("not") and "bez" ("without") are negative in meaning. So thank you for your correct, if not particularly helpful, comment.


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