50% are pregnant and hence get a positive result
50% are not pregnant, but get an incorrect and hence positive result
So perhaps the example is bad and was intended for anglophones familiar with such, as is actually not an uncommon technique in 20th century English literature: because the lineage Husserl -> (Heidegger*) -> Derrida was *the* predominant stream of 20th century western philosophy, and 20th century English writers were aware of it. It is probably a pun on the idea: one acquired this "awareness" there, so the reader may or may not get the joke. The awareness being a nuanced slant in English but perhaps a more concrete distinction in German -- "German" being, metaphorically or mythologically, a language like "Japanese" in (common, later, 20th century) English parlance: something frightening -- technically superior but alien. I still believe this is *slightly* more than metaphorical (but I also believe English is the most modern, and probably most complex, language in the world; the "German" or "Japanese" person is really a mirror for the implication: who wants to be the dominant alien?).
It could, but most people would disagree about what that was. So since the source is *literary*, I guess the point is a distinction between the naive (English/literal) type person and the sophisticate (German/interpretive) type person that I just mentioned.Quote:
Does the sentence have a different meaning for English native speakers?
Going back to my comment about the OP being a near non-sequiter: it is. In this case the naive Englishman would cling to the paradigm of "probability calculus" despite the ridiculousness of the conclusion this forces upon him, whereas the sophisticate German would not be so bound, but unable to explain to the Englishman why he is a fool -- because the Englishman does not have the (linguistic) capacity to understand his naivete.
w/r/t German, Danish, et. al., my dad could communicate in Danish, German, Swedish, Norwegian to some extent because of the similarities (having witnessed this), but I cannot see such a possibility English -> German. If you watch Danish television (often German with Danish subtitles), it is almost funny how much the the spoken German "sounds like" the Danish subtitles. But I do not speak either language, so maybe that is my naivete ;) after all, the subtitles must have been there for a reason.
* KICKS ASS
We covered a similar problem like this at school. I believe the idea was to come across that the test needs to be run multiple times for best accuracy. Somehow this was related to mobile robotics, and how sensor inputs ideally will take multiple readings for the best accuracy.
I can easily comprehend that German must seem frightening, and it's probably very hard for non-native speakers to get used to the language. In my opinion, this is mostly due to German being a synthetic language (i.e. words reflect their grammatical role within a sentence by using morphemes). The correct sub-category is "flektierende Sprache", which is probably "flecting language" in English.Quote:
"German" being, metaphorically or mythologically, a language like "Japanese" in (common, later, 20th century) English parlance: something frightening -- technically superior but alien.
Here's an example:
Hans gibt seiner Schwester 10 Piepen für deren Eltern Geburtstagsgeschenk
(Hans pays his sister 10 bucks for their parents' birthday present)
Hans gibt seiner Schwester für deren Eltern Geburtstagsgeschenk 10 Piepen
(Hans pays his sister for their parents' birthday present 10 bucks)
Hans gibt für deren Eltern Geburtstagsgeschenk seiner Schwester 10 Piepen
(Hans pays for their parents' birthday present his sister 10 bucks)
Seiner Schwester gibt Hans 10 Piepen für deren Eltern Geburtstagsgeschenk
(His sister pays Hans 10 bucks for their parents' birthday present)
Seiner Schwester gibt Hans für deren Eltern Geburtstagsgeschenk 10 Piepen
(His sister pays Hans for their parents' birthday present 10 bucks)
10 Piepen gibt Hans seiner Schwester für deren Eltern Geburtstagsgeschenk
(10 bucks pays Hans his sister for their parents' birthday present)
10 Piepen gibt Hans für deren Eltern Geburtstagsgeschenk seiner Schwester
(10 bucks pays Hans for their parents' birthday present his sister)
10 Piepen für deren Eltern Geburtstagsgeschenk gibt Hans seiner Schwester
(10 bucks for their parents' birthday present pays Hans his sister)
Für deren Eltern Geburtstagsgeschenk gibt Hans seiner Schwester 10 Piepen
(For their parents' birthday present pays Hans his sister 10 bucks)
In German, all these sentences have the exact same meaning. In English, only the first one actually has a meaning at all. Hence, it doesn't suffice to recognize the meaning of a German word, one must also determine its gender, grammatical number and grammatical case (for nouns) and tense, person, gender, mood, grammatical aspect and lexical aspect (for verbs). A lot of these combinations lead to slightly different words (which is good, because otherwise one also has to consider the context). This must be a nightmare for English native speakers.
Of all the languages I know (German, English (which I can speak more or less fluently), and French, Latin (which I can read and understand with the help of a dictionary)), English is by far the easiest language, both to understand and to write. What makes you believe that it's "probably the most complex language in the world"? Most German native speakers would consider such a statement to be outright ridiculous.Quote:
but I also believe English is the most modern, and probably most complex, language in the world
Occasionally, I like to formulate my thoughts in English, especially when I'm thinking about algorithms or other topics related to CS. That's because in English, it's simply not possible to construct complicated sentences. In German, you can easily write a whole book consisting of only one sentence.
In Germany, it's a common belief that all North-Americans are fat and stupid, but this is probably not what you intended to say ;-)Quote:
because the Englishman does not have the (linguistic) capacity to understand his naivete.
Have you heard about the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis?
Yes, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian are all very similar, all danes understand all swedes and norwegians, and ofcourse the other way around.Quote:
w/r/t German, Danish, et. al., my dad could communicate in Danish, German, Swedish, Norwegian to some extent because of the similarities (having witnessed this)
95% of Danish TV is either in Danish, or in English with subtitles, i have a hard time remembering last time i watched German TV on a Danish TV station.Quote:
If you watch Danish television (often German with Danish subtitles),
I am not a linguist, (nor am i an expert in Danish TV, or well, not professionally atleast :P), but i have been taking German classes for the last 6 years of my life, and i still have trouble understanding it, so do many of my classmates.Quote:
it is almost funny how much the the spoken German "sounds like" the Danish subtitles. But I do not speak either language, so maybe that is my naivete after all, the subtitles must have been there for a reason.
German does not come naturally to Danes, unless they live very close to the border.
Funny, i do the exact same thing! And here i was thinking i was the only one, yay, i'm normal!Quote:
Originally Posted by snafuist
*I just read the wikipedia article and it sounds like the government changed and has now decided to ruin the place. Too bad...I had been looking forward to going back one day. Very bad, from the sounds of it, in fact.