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I need soms translation help!
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Goldfinger
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Sep 20, 2007, 05:31 PM
 
I need to have the word "letter" (written message, not characters) in as many languages as possible. It's for some design class, I'm not sure if I'm going to use it but I just want to be able to visualize the idea so I can decide to keep it or ditch it.

Can you guys help me out here? Italian, chinese, japanese, korean, spanish etc. Every language you can think of is welcome.

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turtle777
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Sep 20, 2007, 05:44 PM
 
German: Brief
     
Chuckit
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Sep 20, 2007, 05:52 PM
 
Japanese: 手紙
I think I recall it being 信 in Chinese.
Chuck
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Faust
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Sep 20, 2007, 05:56 PM
 
Lettre (French)
Lettera (Italian)
Carta (Spanish)
Grama (Greek)
Brief (German)
     
cjrivera
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Sep 20, 2007, 06:02 PM
 
Etter-le (Pig Latin)
"It's weird the way 'finger puppets' sounds ok as a noun..."
     
Cold Warrior
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Sep 20, 2007, 06:06 PM
 
письмо is the Russian.
     
cjrivera
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Sep 20, 2007, 06:08 PM
 
Sulat (Tagalog)
"It's weird the way 'finger puppets' sounds ok as a noun..."
     
mindwaves
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Sep 20, 2007, 07:09 PM
 
     
osiris
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Sep 20, 2007, 07:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Japanese: 手紙
I think I recall it being 信 in Chinese.
Tegami = 手紙 to omoimasu.
"Faster, faster! 'Till the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death." - HST
     
Chuckit
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Sep 20, 2007, 07:46 PM
 
Isn't that the same thing I wrote?
Chuck
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- - e r i k - -
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Sep 20, 2007, 07:51 PM
 
Norwegian/Danish/Swedish: Brev
Dutch: Brief

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TETENAL
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Sep 20, 2007, 07:54 PM
 
German: Brief
     
- - e r i k - -
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Sep 20, 2007, 07:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
German: Brief
Third time listed?

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Chuckit
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Sep 20, 2007, 08:02 PM
 
German: Brief
Chuck
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osiris
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Sep 20, 2007, 08:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Isn't that the same thing I wrote?
well yeah, but it's hard for people to read kanji.
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Chuckit
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Sep 20, 2007, 08:48 PM
 
Oh, I just assumed since it was a design class, he'd want the original script.
Chuck
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osiris
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Sep 20, 2007, 08:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Oh, I just assumed since it was a design class, he'd want the original script.
My bad.
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KeriVit
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Sep 20, 2007, 09:05 PM
 
I speak sign language.
     
osiris
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Sep 20, 2007, 09:07 PM
 
I speak jive.
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KeriVit
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Sep 20, 2007, 09:08 PM
 
stop it.
     
Person Man
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Sep 20, 2007, 09:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Faust View Post
Grama (Greek)
Γράμμα
     
C.A.T.S. CEO
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Sep 20, 2007, 09:44 PM
 
Letra = Portuguese
Lettera = Italian
Signature depreciated.
     
turtle777
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Sep 20, 2007, 11:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
Yeah, FTW.

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Sealobo
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Sep 21, 2007, 06:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
I think I recall it being 信 in Chinese.
信件 is more like it.

信 alone has multiple meaning, such as Believe.
     
Goldfinger  (op)
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Sep 22, 2007, 04:07 AM
 
Thanks for all the help!

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angelmb
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Sep 22, 2007, 11:22 AM
 
Kind of related… One language is lost about every two weeks.

Languages Die, but Not Their Last Words - New York Times
     
Oisín
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Sep 22, 2007, 12:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sealobo View Post
信件 is more like it.

信 alone has multiple meaning, such as Believe.
Would you actually say 信件 in regular conversation, though? I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone call a letter anything but just 信. Of course, usually, in conversation, you’ll include the measure word, so the meaning will be unambiguous, but even when there’s no measure word, I’d still say just 信, as in, “我收到了你的信”.

Originally Posted by Chuckit
Japanese: 手紙
This made me burst out laughing violently. 手纸 means ‘toilet paper’ in Chinese
     
Oisín
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Sep 22, 2007, 12:18 PM
 
Oh, almost forgot: ‘letter’ in other languages (singular/plural, in case you need it):

Latin litterae/litterae [already plural]
Finnish kirje/kirjeet
Irish litir/litreacha
Scottish litir/litrichean
Welsh llythyr/llythyron or llythyrau


Letra = Portuguese
I’m not sure exactly how this works for Spanish and Italian, but in Portuguese at least (and, I think, in Spanish, too), letra means a letter of the alphabet. The normal word for a letter you send is carta, or you can use letra in the plural: letras. I’d venture a guess that this is the same in Italian, since the Latin word for a letter, litterae, is simply the plural of littera, which is a letter of the alphabet.
     
Chuckit
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Sep 22, 2007, 12:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
This made me burst out laughing violently. 手纸 means ‘toilet paper’ in Chinese
Heh, you just know the Chinese did that intentionally.
Chuck
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angelmb
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Sep 22, 2007, 02:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
I’m not sure exactly how this works for Spanish and Italian, but in Portuguese at least (and, I think, in Spanish, too), letra means a letter of the alphabet. The normal word for a letter you send is carta, or you can use letra in the plural: letras. I’d venture a guess that this is the same in Italian, since the Latin word for a letter, litterae, is simply the plural of littera, which is a letter of the alphabet.
Yes, carta is also Spanish for letter as written message. You get the plural form by adding a -s character… cartas.

Besides its meaning for character, Letra is also used in spanish as sort of bill of exchange document… e.g. 'Letras del Tesoro', would be kinda like shares where you are the holder and the company which capital is divided is related to the government itself… take it with a grain of salt since I am not into economics and can't provide you with the proper terms. Maybe that's related to its use in Portuguese… afaik Portuguese common terms for letter (document you send) are also carta - cartas.
     
Sealobo
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Sep 22, 2007, 02:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
Would you actually say 信件 in regular conversation, though? I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone call a letter anything but just 信. Of course, usually, in conversation, you’ll include the measure word, so the meaning will be unambiguous, but even when there’s no measure word, I’d still say just 信, as in, “我收到了你的信”.
You're right... nobody would say 信件 in the context of a conversation. But if it's not a full sentence then it's open to interpretation. 信件 has to be letter, while 信 alone could be trust, or honor (as in 言而無信).
     
Oisín
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Sep 22, 2007, 05:05 PM
 
^ True—but if you see just the character 信 on its own, wouldn’t ‘letter’ or ‘message’ be the first thing you’d think of, at least if you see other words for ‘letter’ around it?

Yes, carta is also Spanish for letter as written message. You get the plural form by adding a -s character… cartas.
I think you misunderstood me—I do know the plural is created by adding -s. I was just saying that in Portuguese (and Spanish, it seems I was right), you wouldn’t use letra in the singular to mean a (postal) letter, but merely a letter of the alphabet. The normal word for a (postal) letter would be carta/cartas (singular/plural).

But letras, in the plural, also means a (postal) letter (as in the Letras del Tesoro or Letras do Tesouro you mentioned above), as well as referring to several letters of the alphabet (as in “¿Cuántas letras hay en la palabra ‘adiós’?” or Quantas letras tem a palavra ‘adeus’?), though this latter usage is more formal and stilted (Does “Ya he recibido tus letras” or “Já recibi as tuas letras” sound natural to you? I shouldn’t think so).

This latter meaning is a direct send-down from Latin, though, where the completely common way of saying, “I got your letter” would indeed be “Recepi litteras tuas”, as one of the Plinian letters even begins.
     
angelmb
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Sep 22, 2007, 05:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
I think you misunderstood me—I do know the plural is created by adding -s. I was just saying that in Portuguese (and Spanish, it seems I was right), you wouldn’t use letra in the singular to mean a (postal) letter, but merely a letter of the alphabet. The normal word for a (postal) letter would be carta/cartas (singular/plural).

But letras, in the plural, also means a (postal) letter (as in the Letras del Tesoro or Letras do Tesouro you mentioned above), as well as referring to several letters of the alphabet (as in “¿Cuántas letras hay en la palabra ‘adiós’?” or Quantas letras tem a palavra ‘adeus’?), though this latter usage is more formal and stilted (Does “Ya he recibido tus letras” or “Já recibi as tuas letras” sound natural to you? I shouldn’t think so).

This latter meaning is a direct send-down from Latin, though, where the completely common way of saying, “I got your letter” would indeed be “Recepi litteras tuas”, as one of the Plinian letters even begins.
Ah sorry Oisín, I got it now… You're right, there is no way than 'ya he recibido tus letras' would sound any good… if most you would get a what? plus a weird look for using such a sentence.
     
   
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