Have you ever thought about language? You may not want to think too much about the English language, because at times it doesn’t make any sense.
Take the sentence: Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. This sentence actually makes grammatical sense and means that bison from New York who other bison from New York bamboozle, bamboozle bison from New York.
This is because ‘Buffalo’ can have three meanings, which can perform a variety of syntactical roles.
- buffalo: a hooved animal (noun); also commonly used to refer to bison, although bison are not really buffalo–colonists mislabeled them, just like they did ‘Indians’
- Buffalo: a city in New York (noun; or modifier, describing something from Buffalo, as in Buffalo wings)
- buffalo: to bamboozle (verb)
Find out more about this strange word combination and others at daytranslations.com
Other languages can also be a bit odd. Take German, whose nouns, verbs, prepositions and adjectives are like Lego bricks that can be stuck together in almost any way to create new words according to language learning website Babbel.com.
Now this interesting connective language rules can make for some really long nouns; and interesting animal names.
The German word for a Sloth, Faultier, translates to Lazy Animal; makes sense, right?
Raccoon, Waschbär, translates as Wash Bear. A Nacktschnecke, or Naked Snail is a Slug, and Fledermaus, or flutter mouse, is a bat.
But things can also get a little weird, for example: A Murmeltier, mumbling animal, is a groundhog, and a squirrel is Eichhörnchen, which translates as Oak Croissant! Although it can also translate as little oak horn, though I’m not sure that’s any better.
Apparently there are some alternate names; Eichkätzchen (regional name) and Eichkatzerl (Austria) that both translate to Oak Kitten, which in English makes much more sense.
But that’s the thing about language, things don’t always make sense when they are translated, or their meaning can change entirely. Which is why we must have a care when we try to interpret the Bible – it’s been translated, sometimes through more than one language, and the meaning might not be exactly what we believe it is. Use your heart and God’s voice inside you as your guide. And never forget that it must begin with Love.
Find out more about the interesting nature of the German language when it comes to animal names here.