By Iohannes Aurum, in 'English to Latin Translation', Oct 1, 2010.
That was what I meant, yes. Probably a Gallicism.
Is there a standard French phrase that is similar?
Yes, avoir des notions de... means having some basic knowledge of.../knowing some basics of...
Ahhh. Well, it definitely isn't standard in English, but it's easily understandable and sounds sort of cute.
This reminds me of a question I wanted to post a thread about a few days ago but didn't. The question was whether you guys thought the influence of English on other languages was greater or vice versa. Loads of English words are being borrowed into other languages, but on the other hand many native English speakers communicate daily with non-native ones, on the Internet or otherwise, and natives may well adopt novel expressions introduced by non-natives, if they find them "cute", for example.
This is a very interesting question, but I unfortunately am not familiar enough with any other modern language to even make a stab at answering it.
I don't expect there to be an established answer. There could just be opinions, impressions and a possibly interesting discussion.
I think I can answer this as a native Chinese speaker also fluent in English and Spanish now. My answer is that English is influencing other languages much more than the other way around.
Chinese has changed dramatically after the interaction with Western, not necessarily English languages. The 3rd person pronoun has developed its gender since then (wasn’t a thing until ~150 years ago). The Romanization of Chinese allows Sinitic words to be stitched almost perfectly with English words to the extend that we almost feel natural:
Example: “No ZUO no die.” Common but facetious translation of “不作死就不会死 (those who commit do deadly actions don’t die)” with ”做” rendered directly into “ZUO” but the rest retained Chinglish. Very common internet slang.
The present progressive ending -ing being attached directly after a Chinese verb（Ex. 恋爱ing(恋爱means to have a romantic relationship)->dating） was often seen but has recently seen decline after heavy criticism of its usage being “spurious” and “neither Chinese nor English.”
But the Sinitized versions of Latin/Greek ending -anti, -ante, -pre, -re, -ability, -zation, -fication, etc. are now heavily used. These are: 反-(anti-)， 预-(ante-, pre-)，再-(re-)，性-(-ability)，化-(-fication, -zation)。Scholars are bombarding on the excessive usage of these prefixed and suffixes, but compared to the -ing ending, these add-ons have seemed to survive and become part of the language.
I will talk about -性 serving as the translation of -ability for a while. Construction of ADJ+性 to form its noun form has become more and more common now. There are many ways you can avoid such construction since in Chinese you don’t need to (actually MUST NOT according to the grammar) use the verbs of “being” when you are using an adjective, not to mention those idiomatic way to avoid using adjectives entirely. But some people seem to prefer to say
“这本书的可读性很高(This book has a high readability. AWKWARD)”
“这本书很可读(This book is read-worthy. STILL AWKWARD)”
or even the idiomatic
”这本书值得一读(This book is worth a read)”
And as more and more neologisms originating from English enter Chinese, these endings are often preserved and gradually become part of the everyday speech.
What have I forgotten, ah, passive voice. In English we prevent the passive voice and in Spanish the “ser + participle” form is avoided. When English education is introduced, passive voice appears much more frequently despite the dislike of the native speakers. I guess Chinese people found it to be “cool”?? But Chinese has no such ideology about passive voice being “weak,” and now the once-rare-seen passive voice(I’ve almost never seen it ONCE in Ancient or Archaic Chinese although it exists) is omnipresent, extending itself beyond English:
“我的手臂被我摔断了(my arm is broken by me.)”
I still remember that I got into trouble for writing this in my 2nd Grade for it sounding “ludicrous.” But guess what? People now use it 10 years later by cherishing the hated passive voice in English
The passive participle used as en adjective is now also seen.
While “被(auxiliary word here)” is needed to trigger the passive voice in Chinese, ”了(used to denote COMPLETED ACTIONS)” was NOT a required part of the passive construction in Chinese before. But now its presence is preferred since it takes the place of the -ed (just like completed actions) ending in English.
Outside of Chinese, let’s look at Romance languages. Spanish insists in re-spell the loadwords (bluyín -> blue jean) until I heard the word “pijama” being pronounced like “pi-ya-ma” rathe than “pi-ha-ma.” Alright, their principle is no more. As for Portuguese, the phenomenon is even more ubiquitous. To download is “Fazer(from Latin facere) download (Spanish as least has descargar (Lt. des + carricare)).” How about to upload? Of course “fazer upload.”
That is very interesting, especially the stuff about Chinese.
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