[Haskell-cafe] German names for kinds and sorts

Jerzy Karczmarczuk jerzy.karczmarczuk at unicaen.fr
Sun Nov 13 23:01:32 CET 2011

First of all, my German is Worse than Cakes of my Grandmother...

But I spent a big part of my life in France, and I witness a similar 
bedlam for years, especially because of the fact that English is a 
particular version of Norman French spoiled by the consumption of hot 
potatoes, and the modern, scientific French is English distorted by the 
abuse of the low quality wine, unable to dissolve the cholesterol  of 
the local cheese.

Seriously, the French queue is tail in English (or vice-versa), and the 
English queue is file in French which in English means fichier in 
French. And you want to propagate the disease with terms like "Art", 
etc.?? If "kind" is "espèce", then "species" is what? (And avoid to 
translate "payer en espèces"...)

Russians are good because of their linguistical désinvolture (no good 
English translation), they just adapted foreign words with the utmost 
cavalière attitude (as the English say, French don't). But Polish 
invented their own terminology, which means that when you publish a 
scientific book in Poland, you quarrel with the reviewers for weeks, 
believe me!

So, even more seriously, I propose to use more often Latin and Greek.

Genus, genera, for  ... ehm... je n'en sais rien, perhaps kind? 
("Genesis" comes from it).
Oh, no... This exists already in English, and is "genre" in French. 
Gattung in German pour varier.

There have been attempts to use the word "phylum", phyla. Anybody knows 
what happened to it?
(Help! In French it is "embranchement", which is horrible).

Well, in biology we have "règne" (kingdom) (oder Reich, warum nicht?). 

Sort?? Wonderful! This is a sort of word, whose semantic family cannot 
be really sorted. Especially with "sortir" in French. BTW, "to sort" in 
English is "trier" in French; "tri", "trie", "tree". Try everything...


When some years ago we asked our students to write some reports in 
English, I thought I would spend some months in the Arkham Asylum, with 
Mr. E. Nygma, and others...

Best regards.

Jerzy Karczmarczuk
Caen, Normandy, France
(William the Conqueror started this mess here...).

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