It works, it doesn't work...

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by ThomasK, May 1, 2013.

  1. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Of course we don't work on May 1, but can you literally say 'it works/ it doesn't work' (a machine, an attempt perhaps) in your language? Or what verb do you use?

    Please mention the equivalent of 'to work' in your answer...

    - het werkt, het functioneert (a machine mainly)
    - het lukt (refers to the word luck in English, but I cannot find a real equivalent now: we are lucky that it works ??? )
  2. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    The present day Filipino uses "Gumana" (it works) but the older word used in rural areas is "Kumilos" (it moves/works). So it doesnt work is "Di gumana" or "Di kumilos".
  3. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    And is gumana the word that you still use to refer to working (with hands and mind ;-)?
  4. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    For machines and electronic devices only. Working with hands in Tagalog uses the word "Igawa" from word Gawa(work). Using mind the term gumana can be used as in "Gumana ang isip" (mind operates).
  5. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I see. But would you in some way associate the two with one another? Could you combine both with 'hard' for example? Do you consider them synonyms somehow?

    I came across words based on the Latin and Greek equivalent:
    - Greek ergon: in energy, liturgy, also related with Dutch werken
    Latin operare: in opera, operation, oeuvre, ...
  6. arielipi Senior Member

    עובד\ת oved/et (m/f) for its working
    לא עובד\ת lo oved/et (m/f) for not working.

    פועל\ת po'el/et can replace oved/et
  7. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    But then: is oved in Hebrew the common word for working with hands and/or mind?

    BTW: can you derive other words from your equivalent of work by adding prefixes, etc., or in some other way?
  8. arielipi Senior Member

    1) what does it mean to work with mind?
    2) oved is the common word for work.
    3) avoda is 'work'/'job'. and there are other derivatives.
  9. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    They can be of the same meaning but with different usage. The term "Gumana"/Paganahin" came from Spanish "Ganar" and i think most Filipinos can understand this word.The other Tagalog words are clear to native Tagalog speakers. Combining both with 'hard' is possible but in each case use only one term. a.) hard work= mahirap na gawain (hands/machines) b.) Difficult problem to solve= Suliraning mahirap lutasin sorry i cannot use the word "gumana" and "kumilos" with these case.
  10. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Ok, these are the answers, and some more questions ;-):
    (1) to think - and to make money using that!
    (3) What kind of derivations were you thinking of?
  11. arielipi Senior Member

    1) oved is for the statement 'working', but is referred to physical working; say active.
    theres no special word for working with mind as in working with hands. instead we say khoshev for thinking and one is making money with his brain הוא עושה כסף עם המוח שלו hu ose kesef im hamo'akh shelo.

    3) עיבוד ibud compilation/processing. עבד eved slave. עבדות avdut slavery.
  12. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Avdut reminds me of robot, which is based on the Slavic word rabota (or ...), so I read... Working has never been a pleasure, has it?
  13. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:

    To work/function (for a machine): «Λειτουργώ» [litur'ɣo] < Classical verb «λειτουργέω/λειτουργῶ» leitourgéō (uncontracted) / leitourgô (contracted) (alt. spelling «λῃτουργῶ» lētourgô) < compound, neut. noun «λῄιτον» lḗitŏn --> town-hall (ultimately from masc. noun «λᾱός» lāós & «λῃός» lēós --> people, with obscure etymology) + neut. noun «ἔργον» érgŏn --> work < archaic «ϝέργον» wérgŏn, Aetolian Elean «ϝάργον» wárgŏn, whence Athena's epithet «ϝαργάνα» wărgánă (PIE *werǵ-, work).
    Colloquially the v. associated with the functionality of a machine, is «δουλεύω» [ðu'levo] < Classical v. «δουλεύω» douleúō --> to be a slave, serve < masc. noun «δοῦλος» doûlŏs --> slave, servant < Mycenaean *do-e-ro (with obscure etymology, possibly an Anatolian -Lydian, Carian, loan). So:
    The question "does the machine work/function?" in Greek is «λειτουργεί;» [litur'ʝi?] (3rd p. sing. present ind.), and colloquially, «δουλεύει;» [ðu'levi?] (3rd p. sing. present ind.).
    Edit: It doesn't work/function: «Δεν λειτουργεί» [ðen litur'ʝi] or «δεν δουλεύει» [ðen ðu'levi]. The structure is: proclitic negation particle «δεν» [ðen] (used in clauses with indicative mood) + verb
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  14. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    [#12 extra] Is this a coincidence : Hebrew avdut, Greek δουλεύω, Slavic /rabota/ (but I am not so sure about the latter...): working seems bad for one's health. ;-)
  15. arielipi Senior Member

    My guess is that since those who worked in old times were slaves, work was related to them (the higher class people didnt work, only hired).
  16. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    In Portuguese the basic word is "funcionar", to function.

    In certain contexts one also says "servir", to serve. For example, to say "that will do", or "that's good enough".

    Of machines one can sometimes also say "trabalhar", to work.
  17. arielipi Senior Member

    Thanks for reminding me.
    servant in hebrew is משרת mesharet. שירות sherut is service. משרה misra is job, position.
    משרת mesharet can also be serving (as in army service).
    [1] also applies in hebrew, that will do.
    לשרת lesharet is to serve.
    שירותים sherutim is bathroom (but not the bath part of it, the other use).
  18. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    I apologize for quoting myself but I forgot to add that the formal v. for work is «εργάζομαι» [er'ɣazome] < Classical deponent v. «ἐργάζομαι» ĕrgắzŏmæ --> to work manual labour, work at a trade/business < «ἔργον» érgŏn --> work (see above) + suffix for medio-passive verbs.
    «Εργάζομαι» [er'ɣazome] can't be applied to a machine it'd sound awkward.
  19. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    It is interesting to see how different languages distinguish between different kinds of meanings of work (or whatever is related with that), whereas others seem to keep it simple. We always tend to think that all those meanings (it works, we work with our hands, we work with our mind and are paid for that, ...) all belong together, belong to one hypernym, but that does not seem so self-evident.
  20. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod (AL mod)

    French (lower Normandy)
    In French,
    for a machine, or even an attempt, we say:
    "fonctionner" (more formal)
    but more commonly: "marcher" (literally: to walk)
    Ex : "Mon ordinateur ne marche plus.
    "Ton exemple ne marche pas vraiment ici."

    So when I heard my mother say:
    "Papy ne marche plus" ("Granddad is no longer walking") it sounding strange as it sounded like "Granddad is no longer working (we'll have to change him)
  21. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I just read something very interesting, as far as I am concerned: avud used to be (is still ?) ambiguous in the Bible in the sense that it can be used with regard to working/ cultivating the land and to the sacred cult (liturgy), if I understood well. Can you confirm that, Arielipi?
  22. arielipi Senior Member

    It still is, but today לשרת lesharet is used more for religious things; ע-ב-ד is more of physical work nowadays.
  23. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Last question then: what kind of objects does lesharet get, and which does avud get? [Thanks]
  24. ancalimon Senior Member

    There are many ways to say these in Turkish.

    The more common ones are:

    (for a machine) çalışıyor (it is running, it is working)
    (an attempt) işe yarıyor (it is good for the thing that is being tried)
    (an attempt) oluyor (it is happening, )

    The opposites are çalışmıyor, işe yaramıyor, olmuyor.
  25. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Could you explain that a little by referring to an example?

    What is your standard verb for working?
  26. arielipi Senior Member

    lesharet get strictly for religious things, and can also get for black-ties work[=hard work with hands/legs], or for slavery.
    la'avod get for (mostly) work or for slavery (less common now).
  27. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Last question: do you consider (religious) cult and agriculture linked? I see the link with manual work, but does that include farm work, or at least the work on the land?
  28. ancalimon Senior Member

    çalışmak: to work, to run
    iş: work, job
    ol: to happen, to be

    Bilgisayar çalışıyor. (The computer works - The computer is working)

    İlaç işe yarıyor; iyileşiyorum. (The medicine is working; I am getting better)

    Person A: Telefon sinyal almıyor (The phone is not getting signal)
    Person B: Şu tepeye çıkıp denesene (Go to that hill and try it)
    Person A (after going to hill and receving a signal): Şimdi oldu! (It happened now) ; it is working now.
  29. arielipi Senior Member

    Answer is no, they are not linked by default.
  30. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    In Chinese:
    1. work (job/do the job): 工作
    2. work (to try, to solve problem, as in "work on/work out"): Just use other verbs like "solve" 解决, "try" 试试 etc.
    (Sorry I just checked the dictionary. This understanding was not comprehensive. "work on/out" have multiple meanings, not necessarily to mean "try and solve". )
    3. A machine works/doesn't work: Use 是好的/坏的 (is "good"/"bad".)
    4. A method works/doesn't work: Use 行/可以/不行/不可以. ("able"/"can"/"unable"/"cannot")
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  31. Sempervirens Senior Member

    In riferimento a macchine e simili nei tempi recenti si usa il verbo funzionare o l'espressione essere in funzione.
    Il motore è in funzione/ Il motore funziona.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  32. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    @Sempervirens: so no lavora in these cases?

    @SuperXW: not sure whether 2 is what I meant. I did not mean: how do you solve the problem, but something like: does the solution work ? Is it easy to distinguish between the different verbs in 3 and 4?. I would have thought that both are interchangeable, could be translated using the same verb... For example: a training has worked well = 4? A game ... = 4 ?
  33. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    You've just reminded me of two more words in Portuguese:

    Resultar, to result.

    Correr, to run. O jogo correu bem, literally "the game ran well".
  34. ahmedcowon Senior Member

    In Arabic:

    The root 3-m-l عمل is used to form words related to "work"

    يعمل ya3mal [f. تعمل ta3mal] = it works
    لا يعمل la ya3mal [f. لا تعمل la ta3mal] = it doesn't work
  35. Sempervirens Senior Member

    Mah, oggigiorno la frequenza d'uso del verbo funzionare, neologismo a suo tempo, surclassa quella di altri verbi come operare, lavorare e simili. Con tutto ciò, non è detto che per ragioni diverse non possano essere usati altri verbi che ruotano attorno allo stesso concetto.
    L'uso di quest'ultimi potrebbe essere preferito per ragioni personali, per abitudine, per variare il lessico o per attenersi ad uno specifico vocabolario.
    Il discorso sopra detto rimane valido se parliamo di macchine, motori, ma anche - ora che mi ci fai pensare- di lampadine, manufatti che come è noto generalmente non hanno parti in movimento.
    Infatti in italiano non è astruso dire La lampadina funziona, dove il verbo funzionare è usato in senso assoluto. Al contrario, La lampadina non funziona= La lampadina è bruciata.

    Secondo me il verbo lavorare si adatta bene a descrivere tutto quanto è in relazione al lavoro che compie un essere vivente.
    Posso dire che alcuni operai lavorano tanto e bene, dunque posso dire che sono dei lavoratori.

    Non direi mai che un motore endotermico o elettrico è un lavoratore:)
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  36. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Sorry. For "work on" "work out", I just checked the dictionary. My understanding was not comprehensive.
    Apparently these phrases have several possible meanings. Bottom line, we separate those meanings in Chinese. We won't use the word for "work (job)" in these cases.
    Bear in mind that "I'll work on it." "Let's work it out." have different subjects comparing to "It works." I'd say the usage of "work" is very diverse in English.

    For 3 and 4, I think it's very easy to distinguish if the subject is "an object" or "an action". A machine is an object. An object can be functional or broken. An action cannot be broken.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  37. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    So funzionare has become more popular/ common than lavorare/operare. But other verbs can be used, so I gather, depending on tastes, habits, .... And I think I also understand that only human beings lavoranno in Italian. But that a light bulb is considered a machine explains that it funziona.

    But this reminds me of operate: opus is also work, and to operate is often used in a figurative sense, I believe.
  38. Sempervirens Senior Member

    Opera e lavoro, come credo che tu sappia, non sono esattamente equivalenti. Che poi siano usati ora in senso figurato ora meno, beh questo mi riuscirebbe difficile di metterlo in dubbio.
    Per capire le sottili differenze dei due distinti verbi in italiano, operare e lavorare, ti consiglio di vederne tutte le derivazioni possibili al fine di tracciarne i tratti semantici.
    Così, tanto per cominciare, bisogna chiedersi se opera e operaio sono esattamente la stessa cosa di lavoro e lavoratore.

    Credo che il punto della situazione sia appunto questa coppia di verbi che apparentemente sembrerebbero significare la stessa cosa.
  39. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Of course it is true that opera/ lavora, operare/ lavorare, are not the same, but they do have a common root, don't they: (kind-of) work. I am mainly exploring where the difference is, and where other languages use a work verb in other contexts than ours. And I am interested in those subtle differences too, though the ultimate details need not be discussed here. I mainly want to have some idea.

    (I happen to be able to read [decipher] Italian, but it would be better if you tried to write in English. We could afterwards quote and correct where necessary, but in this case lots of people will not be able to understand what you mean... You see? But grazie!)
  40. Sempervirens Senior Member

    Ho capito.
  41. arielipi Senior Member

    The same root is also work in hebrew.
  42. bazq Senior Member

    The root has taken slightly different meanings in both languages.
    In Arabic if I'm not mistaken, it simply means "to work", whereas in Hebrew it means "to labor, to work very hard".

    The same thing with the root 3-b(or v)-d which means "to do" in Aramaic, while meaning "to work" in Hebrew (which uses the root 3-s-h for "to do").
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  43. ahmedcowon Senior Member

    Yes, The root for "to labor, to work very hard" in Arabic is شغل sh-gh-l (GH is pronounced like R in French and Hebrew)

    In Egyptian Arabic, the root 3-m-l means "to do", while the root sh-gh-l means "to work, to labor, to work very hard", so this is how we say "it's working" in Egyptian Arabic:

    شغال /shagh'ghāl/ = It's working
    مش شغال /mesh shagh'ghāl/ = It's not working
  44. Euganeo New Member

    In Italian you can say "funziona / non funziona", but informally are very used "Va / non va" (at least in my region, Veneto), that is it goes/ it doesn't go ( I don't know where! :p )

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