Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2007 January 27

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Language desk
< January 26 << Dec | Jan | Feb >> January 28 >
Welcome to the Wikipedia Language Reference Desk Archives
The page you are currently viewing is an archive page. While you can leave answers for any questions shown below, please ask new questions on one of the current reference desk pages.


January 27[edit]

Slang of the C.I.A., F.B.I., and underworld[edit]

What "category" would I look under for definitions of slang words used by intelligence agencies of the world - such as "janitor", etc. (I suppose someone to clean up an operation.......or "wipe" a person)

Thanks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lealynn10 (talkcontribs) 01:34, 27 January 2007 (UTC).

According to Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not, lists of slang are generally discouraged. I couldn't find what you're looking for here. Try [1] or [2] instead, although I couldn't find "janitor" listed in either one. (Love the Canadian term for its secret training facility: Camp X. God, we're so fiendishly devious.) Besides, if we did have such a thing (and I'm not saying we do), we'd have to black-flag you after you read it. Clarityfiend 16:45, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

wikipedia symbols[edit]

what type of symbols are on the wikipedia puzzle logo? I have tried planetary, alchemy, and astrologic symbols but cannot find a complete list of all the symbolsDapiek01 04:17, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Looks like a representation of various languages. --Wirbelwindヴィルヴェルヴィント (talk) 04:31, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Right, there's W, Cyrillic Й, Greek Ώ, what looks like Hebrew resh (ר), what looks like Arabic yāʼ (), some...Southeast Asian language of some sort. You could ask User:Nohat, who I believe designed the logo. There's a much larger, clearer verstion here. --Miskwito 05:04, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Confirming the Hebrew letter, above. -- Deborahjay 14:23, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
I could give a rough guess of the writing systems, from up to down, left to right left to right, top to bottom.
1 - (Unknown) Rune? Ogham? Cirth?
2 - Thai (or Lao), (*), Japanese katakana, Klingon
3 - Some Indian abugida, Greek, Latin, Arabic
4 - Some Indian abugida, Chinese, Cyrillic, Korean
5 - Unknown, Some Indian abugida, Hebrew, Thai (or Lao)
惑乱 分からん 13:05, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Although if I look at Nohat's user discussion, it seems some of these glyphs are incorrect... 惑乱 分からん 15:41, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
It took me a minute to realize that you were going left-to-right first, then top-to-bottom. The leftmost glyph on row 3 looks like Tibetan to me, rather than an Indian abugida. I already mentioned above what the Greek, Latin, Arabic, Cyrillic, and Hebrew characters were, and it probably shouldn't be hard to figure out the Korean and Klingon ones. Maybe? --Miskwito 23:46, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
The Korean one is 위, the first syllable of 위키백과 (Wikipedia). --Kjoonlee 00:25, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
The Chinese letter is 袓. --Kjoonlee 00:33, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
The first, uppermost, letter looks similar to Armenian "ini", although I'm not certain on it. 惑乱 分からん 08:20, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I think the first, uppermost letter is probably Ւ, the capital Armenian letter "hiwn." The Classical pronunciation is /w/, but it's now prononced /v/, as is Վ, "viw," the first letter in the Armenian transliteration of Wikipedia (Վիքիփեդիա). --Limetom 09:00, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Okay, some more I've figured out:

  • The Thai character (rightmost character of the bottom row) is cho ching: ฉ
  • The Khmer character in the upper right (row 2) (which Wakuran, you thought was Thai or Lao) is : ល
  • The character below that appears to be the Tibetan wa character (ཝ) with the vowel diacritic for i (ི).
  • The Klingon character (upper-rightmost character) looks like the Klingon letter for r (on the Omniglot chart anyway)

--Miskwito 19:36, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Aaahh, good done! 惑乱 分からん 23:19, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
The Japanese letters are "ワィ", which look similar to "ウィ", first two letters of ウィキペディア (Wikipedia). --Kusunose 06:04, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Apparently a combination non-existent in modern Japanese, which has led to a few complaints. 惑乱 分からん 11:05, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Hmph! I still maintain it's a ク and not a ワ (the extension of the far left stroke over the top isn't important, so it can be ignored. The key difference between the two is the left overhang: There's basically no overhang on a ク [my font shows the left stroke a bit longer than usual], but there's a large overhang on the ワ. Since there is no overhang on the character used in the logo, Occam's razor suggests a gothic-style ク as opposed to a slanted/warped ワ. Doesn't matter though, as クィ is just as nonsensical as ワィ).  freshofftheufoΓΛĿЌ  03:36, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
I think it is italicized ワィ and not クィ. Italicized ワィ in the MS Gothic font looks similar to the logo. --Kusunose 09:00, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
But the ィ clearly isn't italicized, so it would have to be ィ, which now makes the ワ look like a to me. こういうフォントならピッタリではないかと思いますが。  freshofftheufoΓΛĿЌ  06:43, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Generally, the first stroke of ク is slightly curved while that of ワ is straight. As the first stroke of the character in the logo looks straight, I still think it's ワ. There once was a request to modify the logo because it looks like ワィ. --Kusunose 08:33, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
OK, I know this is silly, but you're not the first person who has disagreed with me and I'd like to be able to convince at least one person that I'm not crazy. For the record, I was one of the people that complained to nohat about the logo (more than a year ago), and you can find my extremely long complaint somewhere back in his talk archives.
Waikui.jpg
Take a look at the わぃ・くぃ of this font (丸ゴシック type), and imagine that they are rotated to match the 3D perspective. The font that Nohat used is probably the one I show here (blue back) which has ウィキペディア written out, and it's clearly a very blocky / straight-line font. The first stroke of ク probably isn't curved (though it would be if it was a higher quality font). It's not like I can't read Japanese or anything, so tell me I'm not crazy! I understand what you mean about it looking more similar to a distorted/stretched ワ, but it doesn't make sense that he would have stretched a ワ in exactly the correct way to make it look like a gothic ク, so I am much more willing to blame a blocky font than a coincidence.
And again, either way, he's never going to change it for us.  freshofftheufoΓΛĿЌ  06:14, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Not to drift even further off-topic, but why not? (I can't really comment on the Japanese thing, since I can't read it. Your explanation sounds reasonable to me, though, not crazy :) ) --Miskwito 06:19, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
To note on the Thai character, it is pronounced "chah ching," and the first part is said in a mid tone, while the second in a rising tone (see Thai language if you don't know what I mean). [Mαc Δαvιs] X (How's my driving?) ❖ 18:36, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Matchmaker, matchmaker[edit]

Is there an Arabic word for "matchmaker" (someone who introduces people in the hopes they'll find each other compatible and eventually marry)? If so, what would the word be, and how would it be transliterated into the Roman alphabet? Thank you! --Charlene 05:18, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

According to the dictionaries I'm using, the closest single-word expression would probably be خاطبة khātiba, which most literally means basically "woman who makes a proposal of marriage". Since in the original cultural context, this generally couldn't refer to the woman who was actually going to be married, it was therefore interpreted to refer to a woman who proposes a marriage to the two parties (i.e. a matchmaker). However, you should probably discard most "Fiddler on the Roof" influenced romantic nostalgia, because I would bet that traditionally such a khātiba often proposed a marriage to the families (not directly to the couple themselves), and often the couple to be married had little to say in the matter (especially not the future bride).
The masculine would be خاطب khātib (without feminine ending), but this word actually most often refers to a suitor or fiancé (i.e. someone who proposes marriage for himself, not a matchmaker). AnonMoos 18:48, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Well FWIW the matchmaking in Fiddler on the Roof wasn't very romantic either; that was one of the main plot points. She didn't 'propose' to the lucky couple either. Anchoress 18:52, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, Anonmoos! It seems that the word doesn't describe exactly what I mean, so I'll use the English so there's no confusion. --Charlene 14:52, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Nun- 14th letter of Hewbew Alphabet[edit]

Please help if you can. When I try to do a word search for Nun I come up with a Nun as in a woman. I'm looking for the Hebrew defination and explanations for the Hebrew 14th letter with the numeric value of 50. Can anyone help? Thank you. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 209.247.21.197 (talk) 23:09, 27 January 2007 (UTC).

Here it is: Nun (letter). (The top of the "Nun" page you hit, links to Nun (disambiguation) which lists the various possible meanings and articles on "Nun"). ---Sluzzelin 23:18, 27 January 2007 (UTC)