Moraic Languages vs. The English Number System

This is about the cutest thing I've ever seen!
I wonder what a million would be?

A buddy of mine once mentioned how much more fun CS lectures on comparative languages would be if car and cdr  in Lisp  were replaced by hee and ha.  (wait for laughter)  Kind of the same idea as here, no?

This is comparable to this one time when a gaggle, not quite a bevy, of cuto-chans scampered up to see my son on the beach in Hachi-jo-Jima one time and didn't know the name of the game Peek-a-Boo  in English.


Hora, Eengreeshu Baybee da!  Kyaaaaa, kawaiiii!  Hafu no ko wa cho kawaii da mon neeeeee?
So dayo ne.
Ara, inai inai baaaa tte eigo de nan dakke?
(me wo kakushi-nagara)
no, no, no, iesu!

Hey! It's an "English Baby" (English-speaking baby...?)  Oh....my...God...Soooo Cuuuute!  Half (breed) babies are soooo cute, aren't they?
Oh, they totally are, oh my God.
Oh, you are so totally right, they are totally cute, I mean, like, totally.
Wait, how does "not there, not there, THERE!" (Peek-a-Boo in Japanese) go in English?
(covering eyes)
No, no, no, YES!!

Actually, it's a lot to ask a person, even a "well-educated" person to count -- at all -- in any other foreign language.  I guess I can count up to about a gazillion (well, technically about a hundred trillion, but being able to make my point after that) in Japanese, well into the trillions in French, Spanish, and possibly German (I can switch to scientific notation, unlimited, in French), I used to be able to count to 99 in Chinese, but now I'm lucky if I can get to four, and I can half-assed read some of the numbers in Arabic (certainly one through three -- with no idea how to say them).

So yeah, it's actually kind of a big deal to learn some of  that stuff.  So if you wind up on  a game show and they ask you  to count as high as you can in Swahili, don't feel bad if you flub it (unless you're from Kenya or something...).

1 comment:

  1. Oh, and I can get up to about 4 or 5 in Russian...yippie! ochen horasho