A Truly Useless Rant
OK…so at sushi places, you can get edamame. Edamame are cooked, salted soybean pods. This dish is called “edamame.” We didn’t have a word for it in English so we use the Japanese word. The beans, however, we have a word for…they are soybeans. We call them soybeans.
Something sinister happened a few years ago and now I can’t tell the guy at the salad place that I want soybeans on my salad without him looking at me like my face fell off.
"Oh, you mean edamame beans?"
"NO! I DON’T MEAN ‘EDAMAME BEANS’ BECAUSE THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS EDAMAME BEANS! AND I DON’T WANT EDAMAME EITHER BECAUSE WHY WOULD I WANT UNSHELLED SOYBEANS ON MY SALAD THAT I AM GOING TO EAT WITH A FORK! I MEAN SOYBEANS! THOSE THINGS THAT WE HAVE HAD A PERFECTLY GOOD ENGLISH WORD FOR FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS THAT HAS THREE FEWER SYLLABLES THAN EDAMAME BEANS!"
In a similar vein, (rambling language gripes to follow) loan words in Japanese are written in the katakana syllabary(used almost exclusively for loan words and non-Japanese names). These loan words are often longer or more difficult to say than the older/more easily understandable “true Japanese” equivalent. It highly resembles the state of English where words relating to science are of latin and greek roots rather than easier to understand germanic roots.
I actually, not ten minutes ago, looked up the word nihilism in anticipation of a conversation on the topic and it is more common (as common as you can get with a word like nihilism) to say the katakana-ized nihirizumu than it is to use japanese word 虚無主義 (Kyomushugi, one syllable less and more easily said with Japanese phonetics). Now, the Japanese version is a direct translation of the concept of nihilism, most likely made by an early translator of (most likely) Kierkegaard’s or Nietzsche’s works, while nihirizumu is taken from English where it was taken from German created from latin roots. You can probably see the problem here.
Basically I felt the need to rant about loan words vs translations. Sometimes loanwords fill in gaps in language and sometimes they contribute to the complication of discourse.
(and seriously who calls soybeans edamame beans (also redundant because “mame” means beans))
HEALTH TIP: when you’re about to sneeze be courteous and cover your mouth with the nearest anti-vaccination activist.
Omfg Troye I can’t even explain how much I am laughing rn
i wonder if ill ever go a day without completely embarrassing myself
- book one: professor mcgonnagal and the you put a WHAT in our WHERE albus
- book two: professor mcgonnagal and the we have a WHAT IN OUR WHERE ALBUS
- book three: professor mcgonnagal and the ministry is sending us WHAT because of WHO
- book four: professor mcgonnagal and the ARE YOU SHITTING ME ALBUS
- book five: professor mcgonnagal and the we have WHO telling us to do WHAT
- book six: professor mcgonnagal and the albus do something NO NOT THAT
- book seven: professor mcgonnagal and the I FINALLY GET TO BLOW SHIT UP THANK YOU WIZARD GOD
This is because Fahrenheit is based on a brine scale and the human body. The scale is basically how cold does it have to be to freeze saltwater (zero Fahrenheit) to what temperature is the human body (100-ish Fahrenheit, although now we know that’s not exactly accurate). Fahrenheit was designed around humans.
Celsius and Kelvin are designed around the natural world.
Celsius is a scale based on water. Zero is when water freezes, 100 is when water boils.
Kelvin uses the same scale as Celsius (one degree, as a unit, is the same between the two), but defines zero as absolute zero, which is basically the temperature at which atoms literally stop doing that spinning thing. Nothing can exist below zero Kelvin. It’s the bottom of the scale.
Fahrenheit: what temperatures affect humans
Celsius: what temperatures affect water
Kelvin: what temperatures affect atoms
I like how this very helpful explanation contained the phrase “stop doing that spinning thing”