Author Topic: Euro Linguistics  (Read 6127 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Euro Linguistics
« 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
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 11:55:55 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline chrisild

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Linguistics and nicknames
« Reply #1 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

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Linguistics and nicknames
« Reply #2 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.

Offline a3v1

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Linguistics and nicknames
« Reply #3 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
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
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Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.

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« Reply #4 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.

Offline chrisild

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« Reply #5 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

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« Reply #6 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.

Offline Figleaf

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« Reply #7 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
« Last Edit: October 01, 2007, 02:30:19 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

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« Reply #8 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.

Offline a3v1

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Re: Linguistics and nicknames
« Reply #9 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
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
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Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.

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« Reply #10 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.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Linguistics and nicknames
« Reply #11 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
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

translateltd

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Re: Linguistics and nicknames
« Reply #12 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
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« Reply #13 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.

Offline zarazek

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Re: Linguistics and nicknames.
« Reply #14 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).