World of Coins

Research and reference => Numismatics => Topic started by: Figleaf on September 24, 2007, 09:15:53 AM

Title: Euro Linguistics
Post by: Figleaf on September 24, 2007, 09:15:53 AM
Aidan, I have plucked a 20 cent 2005 from (Irish) circulation last year. Let me know by PM if you want it. BTW, look at your coins: the pural of cent and euro is unchanged. :o

Peter
Title: Linguistics and nicknames
Post by: chrisild on September 26, 2007, 12:47:55 PM
BTW, look at your coins: the pural of cent and euro is unchanged. :o
Well, the unofficial local use may well vary from what is used on the coins. Within Euroland, and even more so in non-euro countries. In France, for example, it is fairly common to refer to "euros" and "cents" (or even "centimes"). In Finland the plural for the small unit is senttii, I think, and so on. In the Netherlands you may hear "eurocent" (sg and pl) even though the unit name is just "cent"; that is because they had (gulden-)cent pieces before.

I have always found it a little strange that many English speakers add the "s" even though the plural is euro and cent. Have not heard many say "yens", for example, so it obviously is not a general thing. Ah well, in German we use the plural "Dollar", not "dollars", when it comes to amounts. Who care$ ... ;D

Christian
Title: Linguistics and nicknames
Post by: BC Numismatics on September 26, 2007, 01:01:00 PM
Christian,the denomination on the coins below 1 Euro are denominated as 'Euro Cent',but I always write it as 'Euro-Cent' & 'Euro-Cents'.

Aidan.
Title: Linguistics and nicknames
Post by: a3v1 on September 26, 2007, 01:19:13 PM
Aidan, The plural of eurocent is eurocent, and that's official. European legislation says so. The term eurocents (with s) is applicable only when talking of a number of 1 eurocent pieces.
For example: 20 eurocents means 20 1 eurocent pieces and nothing else. 20 eurocent (without s) has to be used in any other case.
Regards,
a3v1
Title: Linguistics and nicknames
Post by: BC Numismatics on September 26, 2007, 01:28:48 PM
Here's a link that will be of interest; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_issues_concerning_the_euro .

Aidan.
Title: Linguistics and nicknames
Post by: chrisild on September 26, 2007, 01:46:50 PM
The plural of eurocent is eurocent, and that's official. European legislation says so.
The officially used unit names have been euro (since Dec-1995, sg+pl) and cent (since Apr-1996, sg+pl). Calling a cent a "eurocent" may make sense whenever the official term "cent" may cause confusion. But basically there is a reason why on the cent coins the word "euro" is so much smaller than the word "cent". ;)

Also see http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/euro/documents/spelling_en.pdf

Christian
Title: Linguistics and nicknames
Post by: BC Numismatics on October 01, 2007, 02:14:52 PM
Christian,here in New Zealand,we use Cents.In the case of the Euro coins,we say 'Eurocents' to distinguish them from our cents.

Although the E.U. rules state that the denomination is indicated in the singular,the practice of pluralising it is very common,as that is the rule in the English language.

Aidan.
Title: Linguistics and nicknames
Post by: Figleaf on October 01, 2007, 02:28:25 PM
English does know unchanged plurals. Sheep and police are two examples. Also, rules differ in different languages and English is not a dominating language in the EU. It is a dominating second language, though.

I share your approval of Bin Laden, Christian ;D. Coin nicknames are a fun subject that deserve their own thread. so I'll split this off.

Peter
Title: Linguistics and nicknames
Post by: BC Numismatics on October 01, 2007, 02:37:50 PM
Peter,English is actually a linking language as far as the E.U. institutions goes,considering that it is a native or official language in Cyprus,the Channel Islands,the Isle of Man,Malta,Ireland,& the U.K..

Aidan.
Title: Re: Linguistics and nicknames
Post by: a3v1 on October 01, 2007, 03:14:15 PM
Peter,English is actually a linking language as far as the E.U. institutions goes,considering that it is a native or official language in Cyprus,the Channel Islands,the Isle of Man,Malta,Ireland,& the U.K..
As far as the EU institutions are concerned, there are 23 different official languages all being equally important, see: www.eu.int  When it comes to how many people have one of these languages as their native tongue or official language, English comes third after German and French.
Regards,
a3v1
Title: Linguistics and nicknames.
Post by: BC Numismatics on October 01, 2007, 03:21:02 PM
It must be a real hassle to translate all those rules & regulations into all 23 languages.It would be interesting to see what the Euro currency regulations are like translated into both Cypriot Greek & Maltese.

Aidan.
Title: Re: Linguistics and nicknames
Post by: Figleaf on October 01, 2007, 03:33:38 PM
The Channel islands and the Isle of Man are not EU members, English is not a first language on Cyprus and Malta and an alternative language in Ireland (Irish eurocrats speak about Irish and "the way Irish people pronounce English"). That leaves the UK as the only member-country where English is the first and only language, so German, French and maybe Italian are more important languages. If Turkey accedes, Turkish would also become more important than English in population terms.

In practice, since many of the institutions of the EU are in Brussels and Luxembourg, where French is spoken, you will find that you can communicate in French with the large majority of the people who work there. Many Walloons and French will even have trouble communicating in English. In addition, since Britain has often proved to be a disloyal, even obstructionist member-state, there is a tendency to avoid English as a way to express disapproval.

While a3v1 is right that all languages are considered official and equal, it might have been otherwise. At the time of the accession of Malta, the precedent was on the table. The Maltese wanted some concessions for giving up Maltese as an official language. They got the concessions, but the EU side forgot to take the Maltese concession. This was a major and expensive blunder, because some Eastern and Central European countries were reportedly willing to give up in the language question also, but maintained it after Maltee got official status.


All of which reminds me that the nickname for a quarter in the US is 2 bits, which is 2 reales or 1/4 of a peso of 8 reales, the father of the USD. The nick lives on in a number of Caribbean Islands. I also wonder whether quarter and dime are nicknames or names of coins not adressed by their denomination.

Also, there must have been more nicks for British coins than I remember: Joey (4d.), Bob (1/-), florin (2/-) and guinea (?1.1).

Peter
Title: Re: Linguistics and nicknames
Post by: translateltd on October 03, 2007, 07:54:02 AM
If BCN is now quoting Wikipedia to support his own arguments (despite the b.s. that anyone can post there, in his words), I guess it's safe for me to return ...

I agree with Aidan on this matter.  Yes, the *official* rule is that Euro and Cent are unchanging, but also yes, the public in the respective countries have their own local usages, hence cents, centimes, c?ntimos, etc. - even lepta on the Greek eurocents!

Yes, sheep and yen don't change their form when used as English plurals, but Cent is well established with an English plural in -s, and it will be impossible to convince English speakers to do otherwise, regardless of what someone in Brussels has dictated.  We also talk about German "marks", whereas Mark is unchanging in German. 

Although I tend toward being a prescriptivist when it comes to language, there are times when allowance has to be made for actual usage at street level, and I'm happy to accept this as being one of them :-)

Martin
NZ
Title: Linguistics and nicknames.
Post by: BC Numismatics on October 03, 2007, 08:17:06 AM
Martin,you will be pleased to know that the Maltese for 'Euro' is Ewro' & for the Euro-Cent,it is 'Centezmu'.

You can find some information at www.euro.gov.mt .

Aidan.
Title: Re: Linguistics and nicknames.
Post by: zarazek on March 09, 2008, 12:43:12 AM
Martin,you will be pleased to know that the Maltese for 'Euro' is Ewro' & for the Euro-Cent,it is 'Centezmu'.

You can find some information at www.euro.gov.mt .

Aidan.
Yes, people in every day situations are encouraged to use "ewro", however in official documents the form 'euro' applies.
It makes me wonder how it really works and if the Maltese actually pronounce it as [euro] and not [jurou] combined with English numerals (the Maltese numerals are rarely used, so when the salesperson tells you the price it's almost always in English).
Title: Euro Linguistics.
Post by: BC Numismatics on March 09, 2008, 01:18:41 AM
Farfett il-Lejl,the Bulgarians have got their way in insisting that the 'Euro' is 'Evro' & the Euro-Cent is 'Evro-Cent' in Bulgarian,thus necessitating the addition of Cyrillic on to the next issue of Euro banknotes.

I am not sure what 'Euro' & 'Euro-Cent' translates to in Polish,as Poland isn't likely to change over to the Euro before 2012.

Aidan.
Title: Re: Euro Linguistics
Post by: zarazek on March 09, 2008, 02:02:35 AM
Well, the fact that the Cyrillic alphabet became the 3rd officially used alphabet in the EU required that the name 'euro' appear on the banknotes. The discussion was about which language's pronunciation it would reflect. Hence the problem evro - as pronounced in Bulgarian and euro - which is pronounced in other countries using the Cyrillic. I was convienced, however, that they agreed on the 'euro' version , which will appear on the banknotes, and that Bulgarians would be allowed to use evro in documents.
Regarding Polish names for euro and cent, the spelling remains the same as we say Europa and Unia Europejska, and cent.
The pronunciation is as follows: euro [ewro] - just as Italians say it and cent [tsent], which in German could be spelled as zent.
Title: Re: Euro Linguistics
Post by: chrisild on March 09, 2008, 04:59:44 AM
I was convienced, however, that they agreed on the 'euro' version , which will appear on the banknotes, and that Bulgarians would be allowed to use evro in documents.

Don't know - at the Lisbon summit last year the EU decided that the spelling in official documents can be EBPO. So I expect that, and not EYPO, to appear on future euro notes too. We'll see.

In Germany most people pronounce cent like "ssent", pretty much the English way. (Saying "Euro-Cent" would be odd anyway.) It's the same sound that you use in words like "City" or "Center" which have been used in German for quite a while. Some may say "tsent" though. We do not have a pronunciation police. ;D

Christian
Title: Re: Euro Linguistics
Post by: a3v1 on March 09, 2008, 09:37:40 AM
Just a side thought:
Could it be that the British are rejecting their transition to the euro just because of the way they pronounce the word; sounding very much like urology and urine? ;D ;D
Regards,
a3v1
Title: Re: Euro Linguistics
Post by: translateltd on March 09, 2008, 07:05:22 PM
Ho ho :-)

No, it's probably because the bulk of the Brits would rather not be part of the EU and feel their political "servants" have surrendered too much to Brussels already (I presume that's what you mean by disloyalty in an earlier post, Peter).  It's probably also the reason why Gordon Brown has backed down from holding a referendum on the revamped Constitution, because he can guess the result ...

Title: Re: Euro Linguistics
Post by: chrisild on March 10, 2008, 04:28:44 AM
Don't believe either that the pronunciation is an issue here. It works in Ireland and Malta after all. And of course I would not have any objections if the UK finally left the EU. Problem is, the British need to do that themselves, as no member state can simply be "thrown out" of the European Union. Oh well, up to them.

Christian