This is my little brother, reading my Hawkeye issue #19. He is hearing impaired and is currently using/learning sign language as his primary means of communication. He spent his entire lunchtime pouring over this comic, so excited about his language being in one of my books! And a superhero book!
mattfractionblog, thank you for this.
(We have the entire Signing Time series too, and our lives would be poorer without it! Such a blessing.)
Hawkeye #19 was well worth the wait. I thought nothing would ever top Pizza Dog.
#19 is mostly in sign language with very little subtitles showing just how awesome the medium of comics can be.
I can freshen up your german for you, süsse Sebchen…
i’m so upset
I just realized that the reason ghosts say Boo! is because it’s a latin verb
they’re literally saying ‘I alarm/I am alarming/I do alarm!!
if it comes from the latin word, they’re actually saying “I’M YELLING!” which is even cuter
do they speak latin because it’s a dead language
so that’s cool.
this is my imperfect not-a-fluent-signer understanding but:
(based on a presentation by a deaf trans guy i was at in 2005 where he was promoting that sign)
it seems like that sign was invented and implemented by trans people over the last 10-ish years. before that the predominant vocabulary was “sex change” and then some deaf trans people were like “yo fuck that” and came up with the current sign, which starts off with the sign for “myself,” then motion that indicates both change and coming together, and ends with the closed hand held against the sternum.
and in the process it also mimics the sign for “beautiful”
and because of spatial grammar, things closer to the front of your body in ASL are generally more vital, more emphatic, more immediate, more present.
so it’s actually a case where the word coherently indicates “beauty” and “self transformation” and contains hints of the complete thought of “my self transforming, through a coming together of disparate factors, into something more real, immediate, and vital than I was before.”
so yeah. that’s just fuckin’ awesome.
and that’s just the way to express that concept now.
the Irish language has no word for ‘have’.
We do, however, have these.
I’m guessing ‘frequented by swans’ is a bad thing. It seems like it should be.
(via Valerija S. Vlasov)
dsfklsajflsjfdlk that’s the german word for kittens?
literally: “cat children”
ISN’T GERMAN A CUTE LANGUAGE
DO YOU KNOW THE GERMAN WORD FOR BAT
HOW IS THAT NOT JUST KAWAII AS HECK
My favorite is their word for bagpipes.
But then their word for skull is Totenkopf, as in Death’s Head.
So German basically has two settings, kawaii and metal, and there is no in between.
I love German.
and don’t forget mannschaft
stargazer93 said: mahi means fish in Farsi lol
oh my gosh that is the best thing. so mahi-mahi was named from freaking hawaiian using a word that also describes it in a totally unrelated language.
this is awesome.
it’s a fucking fish-fish.
Funny and bizarre German animal namesThe German language is famous for some really long nouns (Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän comes to mind). This is because German nouns, verbs, prepositions and adjectives are like lego bricks; you can stick them together in almost any way to create new words that encapsulate new concepts. This gives the language a special ability to name just about anything. You could call it the German language’s lego brick-like quality, or Legosteineigenschaft (see what I just did there?).
But why does German rely on such an elaborate process to name things as simple as squirrels? When broken down into their separate components, the names of familiar animals mutate into bizarre new creatures.
The Uncanny X-Tiere
Comics are full of heroes with names like super, wonder, iron, ultra, bat or cat followed by -man, -woman, -girl or -boy. A lot of German animal names work the same way, where Tier – the word for animal – is preceded by a word describing that animal’s “super power”.
Stinktier – stink animal (skunk)
Faultier – lazy animal (sloth)
Gürteltier – belt animal (armadillo)
Murmeltier – mumbling animal (groundhog)
Schnabeltier – beak animal (platypus)
Maultier – mouth animal (mule)
Trampeltier – trampling animal (bactrian camel). The verb trampeln means to trample or tread upon, whereas the noun Trampel is a clumsy oaf.
Sometimes suffixes get more specific than -tier, but still tend to describe the wrong animal:
Schildkröte – shield toad (tortoise)
Waschbär – wash bear (raccoon)
Nacktschnecke – naked snail (slug)
Fledermaus – flutter mouse (bat)
Seehund – sea dog (seal)
Tintenfisch – ink fish (squid)
Truthahn – threatening chicken (turkey). Trut is onomatopoeic for the trut-trut-trut cluck of a turkey, but it’s also been hypothesized that the name comes from the Middle German droten which means “to threaten”.
No, I’m Pretty Sure That’s A Pig
Swine seem to be a popular yardstick in German animal taxonomy.
Schweinswal – pig whale (porpoise)
Seeschwein – sea pig (dugong). Not to be confused with the Seekuh, or sea cow, known in English as a manatee.
Stachelschwein – spike pig (porcupine). The English word is actually just as literal; porcupine sounds a lot like “pork spine”.
Wasserschwein – water pig (capybara)
Meerschweinchen – ocean piglet (guinea pig). The ending -chen denotes something small. Add it to the end of Schwein and you get a little pig, or piglet. Since the stems Meer and Wasser are often interchangeable, it’s most likely that Meerschweinchen actually means little capybara.
Just Plain Weird
I’d like to end this list by giving one animal a category all to itself: the humble squirrel.
- little oak horn: Eiche (oak tree) + Horn (horn) + -chen (little)
- oak croissant: Eiche (oak tree) + Hörnchen (croissant)
- Eichkätzchen (regional name) and Eichkatzerl (Austria) – oak kitten
Calling a squirrel a “tree kitten” is reasonably literal, but where does “little oak horn” come from? It seems that the answer comes down to a misplaced h: Eichhörnchen comes from the Old and Middle German eichorn, which has nothing to do with oak trees or horns. In this case, the eich comes from the ancient Indo-Germanic word aig, which means agitated movement, combined with the now obsolete suffix -orn. Somewhere in history a superfluous h was added (along with the diminutive -chen ending) but the original meaning remained. Today, Hörnchen is a category of rodents that includes all squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, prairie dogs and flying squirrels.
Keep an eye on this spot for an upcoming post where we’ll delve deeper into the animal kingdom: branching out to birds, insects, reptiles, fishes and any other mammals we find crawling around.
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