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> I'd read an interesting discussion some time ago about
> how new learners of a language tend to assume that the
> words they learn have a fairly narrow scope.  For
> example, a Dutch student learning English who knows
> the word "eye" will hesitate how to use the word to
> describe the dimple on a potato from which potato
> plants sprout, even if the same word is used in Dutch
> to describe both kinds of eyes.
>
> I remember in first or second semester German wanting
> to describe some blood flowing down a street gutter,
> so I used the word "gehen" (go).  My teacher pointed
> out that you can't use that word because it means to
> walk, and blood doesn't have legs.  You have to say
> "laufen", whicn means "to run"... and then he realised
> that although you can't walk without legs, you can
> run without them.
>
> The point is that a student may have to learn which
> "metaphors" are allowed, since the tendency is to
> avoid them.  I think I understood your point, and I
> disagree with it.  Again, the metaphors which are
> truly universal are so engrained that they're already
> part of the way we talk.
>
> Head/chief is a decent pair, but it's also fairly
> obvious (as is head chef).  I doubt that we'll
> be able to turn up anything new with this line
> of thinking.  For example, it's interesting to look
> up the word "grasp" in an English-Esperanto
> dictionary to see how many words you'd save by
> eliminating this duplicity.  :-)
>
> Amike salutas,
> Thomas/Tomaso ALEXANDER.
> www.NightinGael.Net

I've been looking at Turkish a lot recently and it's interesting how
it has a sentence structure almost the same as Korean and Japanese,
but still uses a lot of expressions that are more related to English
and European languages, like kendisine gelmek (to come to oneself) for
to come to (as in to come to after being knocked out) where Japanese
and Korean don't use a phrase like jibun ni kuru, which wouldn't make
sense. Also words like hücre that mean cell in both senses (room +
biological cell), where J and K use separate words for them.
Sometimes I've seen phrases like "quo esas kun vi Europani" for "what
is with you Europeans" in Ido but wonder if that would be
understandable for a Japanese learner of the language. Antatachi to
isshoni nani ga aru...? I suspect it wouldn't.
Now I'm really starting to wonder what languages further to the east
are like - languages like Uygur, Mongolian and that language I can't
remember that's really similar to Manchu but not yet in danger of
dying out.

Korean does use 'head' to mean leader though.
http://ko.wiktionary.org/wiki/%EC%9A%B0%EB%91%90%EB%A8%B8%EB%A6%AC

http://images.google.com/images?q=%EC%9A%B0%EB%91%90%EB%A8%B8%EB%A6%AC&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&sa=N&tab=wi

You can see in those images a picture of a dude with a sword who
clearly is the leader, plus a pyramid with its top (head) being
emphasized, a newspaper with the front (head) page being shown, that
sort of thing. Sometimes the hanja for neck is used instead though.
-- 
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