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#9341 - 11/28/00 03:26 PM Re: French rudeness
Marty Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/20/00
Posts: 347
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Merci beaucoup, Bob. I followed the original easily enough until the "avez du" which was the key word! And to think I breezed through five years of French in secondary school. I SHOULD have known it!

And the "zwo Pfund Hackfleisch"? (My 0 years of school German are no use at all to me here).


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#9342 - 11/28/00 04:10 PM Re: French rudeness
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
okay Marty, I'll give the first word--zwo should be zwie (as in zweibach-- a nabisco cracker/biscuit for teething babies.) It means two- (zwie Two - bake --in english Twice baked-- )
You might know zwiebach as rusks. I don't know what a rusk is, but i am told it's the same as a zwiebach. It sort of look like a "biscotti" a slice of 1 inch high, 3 inch wide loaf, that has been toasted to make it very dry and crisp. In the US they are almost exclusively used for teething babies, but i understand in other part of the world, very similar type bread is eaten by adults.

the second word in english is obviously pound,(but i suspect like zwo/zwie is not quite right) and the third i am guessing is ground meat (Hack fleisch) and again is slightly off--but i have 0 foriegn language skills its been dogs ages since i took french in HS. i was able to get a BA in 3 years while working full time, and in the middle of it all got a divorce, and moved. did i mention i had two teenagers at the time? but i was allow to complete my degree- with out any language requirements.
but i know fleischman is translated at butcher. (meatman)

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#9343 - 11/28/00 05:10 PM Re: French rudeness
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
In reply to:

okay Marty, I'll give the first word--zwo should be zwie (as in zweibach-- a nabisco cracker/biscuit for teething babies.)


I wonder if anyone can confirm my suspicion that "zwo" is the Low German equivalent of "zwei"? I remember reading somewhere that English has more in common with Low German than with High, and the zwo/zwei comparison was cited as an example. Also, if my high school German has not totally abandoned me, doesn't "Zwieback" literally mean "twice baked"? If so, a zwieback biscuit would be a near perfect example of the Germanic/Norman redundant pairings that tsuwm and Father Steve were talking about. The one thing that interest me is how "zwei" became "zwie" in Zwieback. Any ideas?


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#9344 - 11/28/00 05:50 PM Re: French rudeness
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
The one thing that interest me is how "zwei" became "zwie" in Zwieback.

After consulting my German-English dictionary, I have found that "zwie" as a prefix, means double; thus, "double-baked".

By the way, the "zwo" was the only error. "Pfund" and "Hackfleisch" are perfectly normal.


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#9345 - 11/29/00 05:58 AM Zwieback
wsieber Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 1027
Loc: Switzerland
It is true that, etymologically, Zwieback and Biscuit are exact correspondants, yet here in Switzerland, they are well-distinct items on the bakery shelves. Zwieback is a sort of bread in slices that is made durable by dehydration, while Biscuits are (generally sweet, but otherwise plain) cookies.
"Zwo" is used in Swiss dialects besides "zwei". Genuine Bernese dialect uses "zwo" with feminine nouns, "zwee" (pronounced "zwey") with masculine ones.


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#9346 - 11/29/00 09:53 AM Re: French rudeness
Bobyoungbalt Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/22/00
Posts: 1289
If I knew how to include diacritical marks in postings, I would have spelled "du" with a circumflex, since it's the past participle of "devoir". That would probably have been a great help in deciphering that sentence. Also, to all those who have been cogitating on "zwo Pfund Hackfleisch", "zwo" is indeed the low German or slang equivalent of "two" and the phrase means "two pounds of ground beef."


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#9347 - 11/29/00 09:55 AM Re: Zwieback
Bobyoungbalt Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/22/00
Posts: 1289
To all those writing about German for "two", it's spelled ZWEI, not ZWIE.


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#9348 - 11/29/00 10:05 AM Re: Zwieback
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
thank you bob, all the german, or french or italian i know i have learned on the streets of ny, from shop signs, and imported food. the best are the packets of Japanese foods my sister sends me! I can usually work out directions from food imported from europe-- but figuring out how to cook something when all you have to work on is kanji is something else. it makes for interesting dinners!

i often frequent shops where the owners/managers speak no english, and i don't speak a word of (pick a language!)
my first introduction to foreign culture is always a first taste!

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#9349 - 11/29/00 10:28 AM Re: Zwieback
Bobyoungbalt Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/22/00
Posts: 1289
Well, I have to tell you another story. Back in the early 60's I was in the Army, stationed in Verona in northern Italy. My wife came over and we lived in an apartment in the city, not in military housing, and we did all our shopping in the local stores. Although I spoke Italian well, my wife couldn't get the hang of it. The local merchants, all of whom were, in typical Italian fashion, more than glad to help her out, would get her through a transaction most of the time, when she didn't know the Italian for anything. They used to start laughing as soon as they saw her coming, and by the time we left Italy, the grocer, the fishmonger, the costermonger etc. all had learned a good deal of English. The highlight of this association came one day when she went into the salumeria (grocery store) to get some mortadella (bologna) for our lunch. That morning, she had asked me how to say "a quarter kilo" and I told her "un quarto kilo". She went to the store and asked for quattro kilo mortadella (4 kilos = 9 lbs.). The clerks burst out laughing, as usual, and said, "no, Signora, no Signora" but she kept on insisting on quattro kilo. Finally, one of them picked up a whole mortadella (about 6 in. in diameter and 2 feet long) and held it up in front of her and said, "Quattro kili, Signora!" She finally figured out what she had said.

Then there was what she told the neighbors when our son was born. He weighed 7 lbs., but she told the neighbors he was 7 kilos! When I found this out and told her the neighbors would be looking for a 15-lb. baby, we decided we could only take him out after dark for the first 6 months.


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#9350 - 11/29/00 12:26 PM Re: Zwieback
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
It is true that, etymologically, Zwieback and Biscuit are exact correspondants, yet here in Switzerland, they are well-distinct items on the bakery shelves. "Zwo" is used in Swiss dialects besides "zwei".

Thanks, Werner. I was confident that you would be able to come to my rescue on this one, even though I think Schweizerdeutsch sounds as much as like Hochdeutsch as does Cantonese!


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