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Russian uses aspect prefixes often to distinguish these. However, учить is
the verb for "teach", and with the reflexive suffix -ся it becomes "learn"
(i.e. teach yourself).

On 21 March 2013 12:34, H. S. Teoh <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 09:02:29AM -0700, Roger Mills wrote:
> > --- On Wed, 3/20/13, H. S. Teoh <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > (re "borrow me a pencil")
> > > Really? Where is this, North America?
> >
> > RM Mostly, I suspect, but I think we've heard from people in GB
> > too........
>
> Interesting.
>
>
> > > T ... because I heard this *all* the time in Malaysia where I grew
> > > up. I thought this was due to the Chinese influence (Chinese only
> > > has one word for borrow/lend), but I'm quite surprised to hear that
> > > it's happening spontaneously in a purely English-speaking
> > > environment.
> >
> > RM That could be Malay influence as well-- "pinjam" means 'borrow',
> > derivs. pinjam/i and pinjam/kan mean 'to lend'-- both are sort of
> > causatives. With pinjami, a person is the DO., pinjamkan the object
> > borrowed is the DO--
>
> True. Or maybe both. :)
>
>
> > (Indonesian)
> > Pak Harto me/minjam $5 dari saya "Mr. Harto borrowed $5 from me"
> > Saya me/minjami Pak Harto $5 "I lent Mr. Harto $5"
> > Saya me/minjamkan $5 kepada Pak Harto "I lent $5 to Mr. Harto"
> >
> > As I recall, the cognate form is polysemous in other AN languages as
> > well.
> >
> > Same with _bawa_ 'carry; bring; take' ==  I grew up with kids who
> > confused Bring and Take as well as learn/study vs. /teach (also the
> > same base in Ml/Indo _ajar_) and borrow/lend...and of course can vs.
> > may, the bane of our teachers.......
>
> Not to mention that in Russian, go and come are expressed by the same
> verb (in fact, many verbs of motion don't indicate direction), so you
> often hear Russian speakers confuse go/come. I've also heard Spanish
> speakers mix them up.
>
> Teach/learn in Russian is also another example that uses the same verb
> (учиться). The meaning depends on which noun cases are used.  I have to
> admit, embarrassingly enough, that after all these years of learning
> Russian I still can't get the distinction straight without looking it
> up. Context usually makes it clear, though.
>
>
> >  I love these little distinctions that depend on the speaker's or
> > narrative's focus.....
>
> They are cool from a linguistic (and conlangy) POV, but really
> frustrating when you're trying to *learn* the language. :)
>
>
> T
>
> --
> People say I'm indecisive, but I'm not sure about that. -- YHL, CONLANG
>