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> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jens Wilkinson

> Yeah, I would go further and say that things like this
> are probably impossible to avoid. If you're going to
> choose relatively short and simple words, it seems
> impossible to avoid that problem at times. In a real
> language like Japanese that has a simple phonological
> system, there are multiple synonyms. So if you take a
> simple sound like say "ka", there are probably seven
> words in Japanese that it will conflict with. And the
> same thing would go for anything like wa, no, te,
> sa... I think we have to start from the premise that
> people must understand that they are speaking a
> "foreign" language, not an extension of their own
> language.

I too will say that false friends can't be avoided, but there are some
that are just so obvious because of the effect on large numbers that
someone should steer away from them.  E-o's "mal" I think makes a good
example.  It doesn't present any problem in using E-o, but E-o has a
lot of Latino-Romance vocabulary so "mal" still brings "bad" to mind
when it's seen.

> I would, though, try to draw the line at things will
> find funny. Like "how do you fartas". But even there,
> it is not really possible to make sure that you never
> use a slang word from some minor language. I think we
> could start a database of "words to avoid because
> they'll sound stupid to people of certain languages,"
> but I suspect it might end up making any word
> impossible. In Neo Patwa, I am using the word "dudu"
> from an African language for "bug". It sounds silly in
> English, but my feeling is that this is OK for
> insects. I wouldn't want to use that word to mean
> "love".

"dudu" does sound too much like "doodoo" (=polite babytalk for "shit")
so I would be somewhat careful.


> And on that note, and referring back to Toki Pona,
> it's always bothered me a bit (maybe I'm too prudish)
> that she has a word for "sex", which people create
> euphemisms for *anyway*, and doesn't have words for
> "river" or "cloud" or "star" or "book", for example.

A lot of those can be derived though.  For example, In Sasxsek "riv"
means "to flow", so I use a derivative "riv(is)o" to mean "river".
"cloud" could be something like "sky water".  TP does have a word for
"Sun" which could be applied to other stars.  "book" could be derived
from "write" just as Arabic "kitab" comes from "kataba".  The idea of
compounding can be a great root-saver, but unfortunatly it makes the
language very verbose.