again / back

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by ThomasK, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Dutch: weer (again), opnieuw (anew), vs. terug (rug = back).

    e.g. Hij komt terug van de winkel (he comes back from the shop).
    Hij heeft opnieuw/ weer spruitjes mee (he has brought [Brussels] sprouts again) !

    One extra question: is there a problem for users from time to time ?

    I have been thinking about those words expressing repetition vs. returning
    because some Flemish people (Dutch-speaking, that is, but speaking a 'southern' version of it ;-) ) keep using terug in all cases, whereas they should not according to the rules. Some even use 'terug opnieuw', an incredible tautology. But it is true: it is not simple to distinguish between both sometimes..

    German: wieder (aufs neue ...) vs. zurück (Rücken, back). Correct ?

    French: de nouveau vs. de retour (though not as often used as 'back' in English, I think). Correct ?
  2. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    1. again
    a) снова /snova/ (from "новый" - new)
    b) опять /opyat'/ (probably from "пята", "пятка" - a heel, but of very old origin).
    2. back (adverb)
    a) назад /nazad/ (from "zad" - a back part of smth., a rear)
    b) обратно /obratno/ (from old Slavic "обратити" /obratiti/ - to turn; a loanword from the Old Church Slavonic; shares the same, very ancient root with Russian "вертеть" /vertet'/ - to rotate, поворачивать /povorachivat'/ - to turn).
    Totally different meaning and use.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  3. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    In Portuguese:

    again - de novo, novamente, mais uma vez
    back - de volta
  4. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    So I guess you are referring to
    - another time/ one more time - mais una vez (I could have mentioned that one as well, you're right) - nog een keer
    - returning - de volta ? (turning - volt- as in revolution ?)
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  5. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    By the way, in informal speech Russians sometimes use "обратно" (back) instead of "опять" (again), but vey rare. It is probably typical for some Russian dialect, but I'm not sure.
  6. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:
    Again is ξανά (ksana), a compound word formed by the joining of two prepositions; ἐκ- (ek-, which becomes ex- when the next word begins with a vowel->movement from inwards to outwards) and ἀνά (a'na->again, anew). The new preposition, ἐξανά (eksa'na) describes repetitive action. e.g the ancient verb ἐξαναγεννάομαι (eksanage'naomae), means to be born again. In medieval (Byzantine) times ἐξανα- (eksana-) lost its initial vowel (in colloquial Greek, this phenomenon is common. When the initial vowel of an ancient/classical word is not stressed, it is usually omitted) and became, ξανά (ksana); thus, the ancient ἐξαναγεννάομαι, becomes ξαναγεννάομαι in Byzantine Greek.
    With the joining of ξανά with any verb, we express repetitive action. e.g. φέρνω (ferno)->to bring. Ξαναφέρνω (ksanaferno)->to bring again. Δίνω (ðino)->to give. Ξαναδίνω (ksanaðino)->to give again etc.
    To express returning, one could say ξαναγυρνάω/ξαναγυρνώ (ksanaʝirnao [uncontracted]/ksanaʝirno [contracted]) lit. "to turn again", or επιστρέφω (epistrefo) lit. "to take one extra turn" (from the ancient preposition ἐπι-e'pi->in addition+στρέφω, 'strĕpʰō->to twist, to turn)

    [ð] is a voiced dental non-sibilant fricative
    [ʝ] is a voiced palatal fricative
  7. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Aha, so you are using the same, or about the same word, don't you? I am quite amazed. So you would be using ξανα in both of my examples?
  8. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Probably yes.
    I'd use "ξαναγυρνά" (ksanaʝirna) for "he comes back from the shop"
    "ξαναέφερε" (ksanaefere) for "he has brought [Brussels] sprouts again"
  9. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    That might show then that they are somehow close, can be mixed up, although in other languages they seem quite, quite distinct, and hardly anyone seems to have a problem with it... Thanks.
  10. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Also outra vez. These phrases and words are sometimes interchangeable, but I wouldn't call that a problem. They just happen to be idioms with very close meanings.
  11. enoo Senior Member

    French - France
    Correct, "de retour" isn't really often used except in sentence like "Je suis de retour" (I am back).
    (Actually, that "back" word confused me when I first started to learn English, because things are expressed in a different way in French.)
    Often, in sentence where "back" is used in English, "r(e)+verb" is used in French.
    I brought that - J'ai apporté ça.
    I brought that back to the store. - J'ai rapporté ça au magasin.
    Come here! - Viens ici !
    Come back here! - Reviens ici !
    He called her. - Il l'a appelée.
    He called her back. - Il l'a rappelée.

    (Note that a re+verb can also mean "again", like faire: do, refaire: redo/do again. What a mess =p)

    Encore (again/still) is more often used than de nouveau (again/anew)... maybe because "encore" can fit in all the cases (when again or still are used in English) whereas "de nouveau" can fit only in cases meaning that something is done another time. (And maybe because "encore" is shorter? :D)
    J'ai encore faim - I'm still hungry
    J'ai de nouveau faim - I'm hungry again
    J'ai encore fait une bêtise - I did a mistake again.
  12. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    That is quite interesting: that the back-element is integrated as a prefix into another verb (just wait until the Fins come home from work [I suppose they'll have a case for that], or even the Hungarians !)
    But encore: j'ai encore faim, to me only means that the action (...) is not repeated, whereas indeed in your third example it is pure repetition. Correct ?
  13. enoo Senior Member

    French - France
    Well, encore can mean either that an action is repeated (1), or that a "state" is still valid (2). To say that a "state" is repeated, "de nouveau" must be used (3).
    (1) Il a encore acheté du chocolat. - He bought chocolate again.
    (Il a de nouveau acheté du chocolat. - The same :) )
    (2) J'ai encore faim: I'm still hungry/in the "hunger-state".
    (3) J'ai de nouveau faim: I was hungry, then not hungry, and now I'm hungry again.

    (A 16th case for the Finns? =D )
  14. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    So I was right, wasn't I. But the Finns or Hungarians have not got back yet, so it seems... Let's have a look...
  15. farscape mod-errare humanum est

    Ottawa, Canada
    - iar
    - din nou: I'd say it's almost the same as "anew" (nou - new, din - from/of)
    - înapoi from în (in) + apoi adv. (after, from Lat. ad-post)

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  16. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    Finnish: The words are different, but they seem to share the root taka-. It always means something related to "the backside".

    Hän tulee takaisin kaupasta. He comes back from shop.
    Hän on taas (= jälleen) ostanut ruusukaalia. He has bought Brussel sprouts, again.

    Wiktionary tells this about the etymology:
    taas = The lative (indicates movement to somewhere) singular of taka-.
    jälleen = Originally a suffixed (possessive) allative of jälki (= trace, footprint) – i.e. "jäljelleen" ("for/[on]to his footprint[s]").

    And I tell this:
    takaisin = The temporal distributive (indicates origin or repeating point in time) of taka-.

    Lative and temporal distributive are adverb cases (don't ask :D) because they make their root words adverbs, but hardly anyone studies them. They aren't very productive.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2009
  17. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Really ??? Very interesting. Great information! (Are you a linguist ?)

    I think I will ask for ostanut ruusukaalia somewhere, but where on earth shall they understand what I want ?
  18. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    Unfortunately I'm not, but I found an interesting website where the cases were explained (in Finnish).

    You should try that in some Dutch/Belgian grocery store! Onko teillä tuoretta ruusukaalia? Valmistelen yllätystä anopilleni. Do you have fresh Brussel sprouts (lit. rose-cabbage)? I'm preparing a surpise for my mother-in-law. Ok, a bit off-topic. :)
  19. Kanes Senior Member

    In Bulgarian

    1. again
    a) пак (pak)
    b) отново (otnovo) - 'from new'

    2. back (adverb)
    a) назад (nazad) - from zad, behind
    b) обратно (obratno) - from obrat, a turning point
  20. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    What a rich language ! Can you use 2a and 2b in quite the same contexts ?
  21. Kanes Senior Member

    Haha I think I also missed the point of the thread, again and back are not interchangeable. For your question, yes. In some situation 2a and 2b can both be used but in many they cant. назад is more like to step back while обратно is to turn back. The second is more complete.
  22. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Could you put them in the two same sentences and point out the difference ? Thanks !
  23. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    I just noticed something interesting: Maroseika pointed out that the most common word for again in Russian is опять (literally "backwards").

    That reminds me: do you use something like 'back' (the back, or backwards) as a synonym of again ? Of course in English it does not mean 'again' really...

    Dutch/ Nederlands: de rug vs. terug (the back vs. back) - but with us it should not be used as a synonym of again in standard language. But it is...
    German : der Rücken vs. zurück (not meaning 'again', only 'back')
  24. Maroseika Moderator

    As for the Russain опять, it means "backward" only etymologically. Nowadays no native can recognize this ancient sense.
    However there is colloquial (actually just illiterate though rather widely spread) word обратно (back, backward) used in the sense of 'again'.

    Besides, looks like it is used in some Turkic (don't know which is used figuratively - again or backwards):

    Kazakh - қайтадан (backward) and қайтадан, қайта (again)
    Kyrgyz - кайтадан (backward) and кайтадан (again)
    Tatar - кайтару (to return) and кайтадан (again)
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  25. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek we use the adverb «πάλι» ('pali) which comes form the Classical one «πάλιν» ('pālīn) with initial meaning back, backwards. Nowadays its primary meaning is "again" but in compounds it retains its initial meaning e.g. «παλίνδρομο» (pa'linðromo n.)-->palindrome (lit. "recurrence way"),«παλίμψηστο» (pa'limpsisto n.)-->palimpsest (lit. "scraped backwards")
  26. Maroseika Moderator

  27. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    No relationship in Portuguese: back (noun, on your body): costas, back (adverb, movement): para trás. There is a relationship, though, between trás and traseiro or traseira (butt, the first usually for people and the second for cars, houses, etc.). Traseiro can also be an adjective, like back, as in the back part (a parte traseira).
  28. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    One way to say "again" in Portuguese is outra vez ("another time"). Perhaps it could be argued that vez literally means "turn" (compare with Italian un'altra volta)... But I'm not sure about this.
  29. Tjahzi

    Tjahzi Senior Member

    Umeå, Sweden
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    Swedish doesn't exhibit any such usage.
  30. francisgranada Senior Member


    hát (noun: the back of the body)
    hátra (adverb: back, backwards)
  31. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks, all of you, but as for Swedish, T: what is the word for '(the) back' and is it not a starting-point for any derivations?
  32. Mephistofeles

    Mephistofeles Senior Member

    Mexican Spanish
    In Spanish:
    "De vuelta" meaning "back" (retourned)
    "De reversa" meaning "backwards"
    "Ota vez" means "Again"
    And "Espalda" is, the back part of our body.
  33. Red Arrow

    Red Arrow Senior Member

    Dutch - Belgium
    I think it does.

    only back:
    -tillbaks (informal)

    both back and again:

    Vill du se filmen igen? = Do you want to watch the film again?
    Han fick aldrig igen pengarna. = He never got the money back.

    And then there is the Swedish word återigen = åter + igen...

    Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    igen is related with the English word "again", tillbaka with "till" and "back".

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