modem (non-international terms)

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Gavril, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    The term modem is defined by one dictionary (Am. Heritage) as

    modem is based on a compounding of modulator + demodulator, and I think it originated in English. Most languages seem to use the untranslated word modem for this concept, sometimes phonetically adapted to the language's normal pattern (e.g., French stresses modem on the final syllable like most other French words).

    The only non-international words I've found for modem so far are

    Icelandic mótald, based on mót "joining" or móta "to form" + the instrument suffix -ald

    Chinese 調制解調器 (pronounced tiáozhìjiětiáoqì in Mandarin) -- according to the dictionaries I looked at, this means something like "transfer-produce-solution-transfer-instrument", but fluent Chinese speakers are welcome to correct this translation if it's wrong :)

    Greek διαποδιαμορφωτής (pronounced [ðiapoðiamorfo'tis], I think), possibly from δι- "two" + απο- "from" + διαμορφω- "to form" + the (agent/instrument?) suffix -τής (again, corrections are welcome)

    Frisian oerset, related to oersette "translate"

    Do you know of any other unique translations of "modem"?
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  2. OneStroke Senior Member

    Hong Kong, China
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    @OP: 調制解調器 is made of three words:
    調制 调制 tiáozhì to modulate
    解調 解调jiětiáo to demodulate, lit. to remove modulation (jiě means 'remove', tiáo is shortened from tiáozhì to comply with Chinese word-building conventions)
    qì 'machine' - it's only put at the ends of words to make machine names, in a suffix-like manner.

    I think this word illustrates the joys of Chinese morphology really well. :D

    Edited to add that 11 out of 10 people here say 'modem'. :p
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  3. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    We tend to simplify things and call it «διαμορφωτής» [ði.amorfo'tis] (masc.) or (a bit rarer no pun intended) «αποδιαμορφωτής» [apoði.amorfo'tis] (masc.).
    Technically speaking, «διαποδιαμορφωτής» [ði.apoði.amorfo'tis] (masc.) is its correct name.
    PS: Your Greek is impressive
  4. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Thanks, but it's the dictionary you should be complementing. :)
  5. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    I'm not referring to the vocabulary, you have acquired a greater grasp of the technicalities of Greek, its structure :thumbsup:
  6. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Yes. 调制解调器 is the "official" way for Chinese translating an English term word-by-word.
    The PRC government and scholars support that to translate every foreign term by meanings, not by pronunciations, and remove direct English abbreviations.
    In this way, Chinese language would remain its "purity" and be influenced less by Western culture.

    But since the "official translation" is too difficult sometimes, also the youngsters do worship foreign culture, very few people say 调制解调器 in their real lives.
    Most people just call it "modem" with their Chinese accent. Sometimes, they nickname it 猫 ("cat", pronounced mao1, referring to a "MO-dem".)
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  7. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    The Arabised term is مضمان (miDma:n) since the verb 'to modulate' is تضمين (taDmi:n). It seems to be a standard form for 'a modulator'.

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