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Thread: two words for "to live"?

  1. #1
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    two words for "to live"?

    Many languages have two distinct words to convey the meaning of "to live" in English, "жить" in Russian, or żyć in Polish.
    One, like the German "wohnen", the French "habiter", the Italian "abitare", the Dutch "wonen", the Hungarian "lakikni", refers to residence.
    The other like "leben", "vivre", "vivere", "leven", "elni" refers to existence.
    However, the tendency as it appears to me is to increasingly use the latter even when talikng of living at some place.
    What is the situation in your language? Are there two distinct words for "to live" and to what extent are they mutually replaceable?


    Thanks.
    It takes great courage to speak out loud about things which on the quiet are known to everybody.

  2. #2
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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    Portuguese is one of those languages.

    Morar = Habitar = "to live somewhere, to reside"

    Viver = "to live" in general, or also "to live somewhere, to reside"
    Deuparth gwaith yw ei ddechrau.

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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    Finnish also makes this distinction:

    asua
    = to live (residence)
    elää = to live (existence)

    My experience tells me there's a strict difference between these two, i.e. in Finnish they're not interchangeable, at least in the sense when discussing your place of residence. There may be some individual cases where the existence verb deals with location, but not often.


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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    Indonesian makes a distinction:

    tinggal = to live (residence)
    hidup = to live (existence)

    Just like in Finnish, there is no confusion between the two, and they are not interchangeable.

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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    In Turkish, we say yaşamak to express the existence and oturmak (or in some cases kalmak) to express the residence. "oturmak" also means to "sit/sit down" and "kalmak" also means "to stay".

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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    The most common words in Chinese and Japanese distinguish the 2 notions (note that the main characters are the same too):

    Chinese:
    (zhù) - to live (in a place)
    shēnghuó - to live, to exist; also "life"

    Japanese:
    (すむ - sumu) - to live (in a place)
    きる (いきる - ikiru) - to live, to exist

    In Japanese 生活 (せいかつ - seikatsu), which is the same as the Chinese 生活 (shēnghuó) is only used as a noun, not a verb.
    Last edited by Anatoli; 20th September 2007 at 3:42 AM.
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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    Persian:
    Zendeh-gi Kardan زندگی کردن = to live (residence)
    Zendeh Boodan زنده بودن = to live (existence)

    zendeh = live (n)
    zendeh-gi = life

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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    Serbian/Bosnian/Croatian

    živeti/živjeti - its primary meaning is: to live, to be alive, to exist

    živeti/živjeti - its secondary meaning is: to abide (somewhere), but often it's replaced with:

    - stanovati (to live at a specified place, e.g. on which address or in which appartment, like German "wohnen")
    - obitavati (to use to live somewhere, to inherit some area)
    - boraviti (to live at some place, but only temporarily)
    - sedeti (archaic and almost not used anymore; verbatim: to sit - like Turkish "oturmak")

    A note: the verb "živ(j)eti" may have a nuance of way of living as well: "Kako živiš?" ("How do you live?") means "How do you do?" or "How are you?" - or "Wie gehts?" in German.

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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    Well, this is my perception too: that the "residence" verb is occasionally (and as it seems to me, increasingly) substituted by the "existence" verb but not vice versa.
    It takes great courage to speak out loud about things which on the quiet are known to everybody.

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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    Dutch has wonen and leven. The latter is only marginally used for residence in certain contexts.

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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    Quote Originally Posted by Setwale_Charm View Post
    Well, this is my perception too: that the "residence" verb is occasionally (and as it seems to me, increasingly) substituted by the "existence" verb but not vice versa.
    Make that "often" for Portuguese. Not sure about "increasingly", though. Compared to what?
    Deuparth gwaith yw ei ddechrau.

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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    I do not know. It is just my own inner feeling. I seem to stumble more and more frequently over: Ich lebe in Stuttgart, Je vis dans cette ville depuis le deluge, Ik zou graag in Gent leven. Il tuo italiano e tanto bello, hai vissuto in Italia? etc etc....
    It takes great courage to speak out loud about things which on the quiet are known to everybody.

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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    In Greek the verb to live (ζω) covers both contexts, but other verbs can be used as well:

    To live: ζω [There's another verb, βιώνω (< βίος = life), which means to fully experience something, to go through something, to live in full awareness]
    To reside: ζω, μένω (to stay), κατοικώ, κάθομαι (to sit), διαμένω.
    Last edited by jaxlarus; 20th September 2007 at 6:52 PM.
    ~ Не жалею, не желаю, не зову, не плачу ~

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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    In Romanian , ''to live'' and ''to residence'' have the same use.-''a trăi''
    Eu trăiesc (I live/i exist)
    Eu trăiesc în Franţa (I live in France)
    However,there is another word people use for the meaning of residence ,''a locui''(from the Hungarian ''lakni'',but it's not that popular)
    Please correct my mistakes.Vă rog să-mi corectaţi greşelile

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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    Quote Originally Posted by Woland View Post
    In Romanian , ''to live'' and ''to residence'' have the same use.-''a trăi''
    Eu trăiesc (I live/i exist)
    Eu trăiesc în Franţa (I live in France)
    However,there is another word people use for the meaning of residence ,''a locui''(from the Hungarian ''lakni'',but it's not that popular)
    Even if you're right concerning a trăi, I have to contradict you about a locui. There's a huge difference between these two verbs and the second one is used daily in contemporary Romanian (where did you get the "unpopular" notion?).

    Eu locuiesc în Franţa (I reside/live in France)
    Eu locuiesc în apartamentul ăsta (I reside/live in this apartement)
    Eu locuiesc în Paris (I reside/live in Paris)

    These two verbs are the Romanian equivalents of the French vivre (a trăi) & habiter (a locui) and the Italian vivere (a trăi) & abitare (a locui).

    But it doesn't stop there! In Romanian there is a myriad of words expressing "to live" and "to reside":

    a vieţui (to live)
    a fiinţa (to live, to exist)
    a domicilia (to reside, to have a residence)
    a şedea (to reside, to stay somewhere)'

    There are many more regional words, but that's another thread! Hope this helped Setwale_Charm with your initial question!

    All the best,

    robbie

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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    ITALIAN:

    Abitare
    = to live (residence)
    Vivere = to live (existence)
    We have to dream awake, we had to dream awake. So take us under now; take us under now... [The Frames]

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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    Quote Originally Posted by Setwale_Charm View Post
    Many languages have two distinct words to convey the meaning of "to live" in English, "жить" in Russian, or żyć in Polish.
    One, like the German "wohnen", the French "habiter", the Italian "abitare", the Dutch "wonen", the Hungarian "lakikni", refers to residence.
    The other like "leben", "vivre", "vivere", "leven", "elni" refers to existence.
    However, the tendency as it appears to me is to increasingly use the latter even when talikng of living at some place.
    What is the situation in your language? Are there two distinct words for "to live" and to what extent are they mutually replaceable?


    Thanks.
    Actually, in Polish, "mieszkać" is used as the German "wohnen", the French "habiter", the Italian "abitare", etc in the meaning of "to reside", проживать (Russian).
    Last edited by Anatoli; 21st September 2007 at 12:17 AM. Reason: Spelling of "mieszkać"
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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    Quote Originally Posted by Anatoli View Post
    Actually, in Polish, "mieshkać" is used as the German "wohnen", the French "habiter", the Italian "abitare", etc in the meaning of "to reside", проживать (Russian).
    проживать seems to sound rather official to me, not generally used in conversations.
    It takes great courage to speak out loud about things which on the quiet are known to everybody.

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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    I agree, I only explained that "mieszkać" is used in the meaning of "to reside" - also more official than "to live" but unambiguous In my opinion, Polish falls into the same category as German, French, Italian, etc., not English and Russian as per this topic, because this distinction between "exist" and "reside" is common in Polish. Ukrainian also uses a similar "мешкати" (to live, to reside) but it's not as common as "жити" (which is used fro both "to exist" and "to reside" as in Russian), IMHO. Correct me if I am wrong. The trend is perhaps to use more "мешкати", as Ukrainian is becoming increasingly de-russified.

    Ukrainian:
    мешкати:
    meaning and synonyms: жити, проживати, (у певному приміщенні); домувати, квартирувати
    --
    I misspelled "mieszkać" in my previous post, have corrected now.
    Last edited by Anatoli; 21st September 2007 at 12:27 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Re: All languages: two words for "to live"

    In Spanish we use vivir as in English for both existence and residence.
    There are some other verbs ,used in formal situations for the idea of residence, like habitar or residir .

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