On the fly verb creation

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Jacobtm, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. Jacobtm Senior Member

    English - New York
    English is very flexible with verb creation. Nouns like google, facebook, phone, xerox, and bike all effortlessly become verbs.

    I just saw an ad for a Hanes shirt with a collar that they say ''stays flat, won't bacon''. Yep, bacon as a verb, meaning to wrinkle like bacon does when cooked.

    Are other languages as flexible with inventing new verbs on the fly? Is the tendency of English to make a noun into a verb casually shared in other tongues?

    When speaking Spanish, I playfully invent verbs all the time. This amuses some Spanish speakers, but though they understand what I'm saying, they don't accept it as casually as English speakers do. ''La voy a facebookear'' gets a giggle out of some people, but often they ''correct'' my ''mistake'', telling me ''No, la vas a buscar por facebook''. To them it sounds as unusual as ''La voy a telefonear'' or ''Hoy voy a bicicletar''
  2. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    I think every language in this world can create verbs from noun whenever they want. In Spanish it's certainly possible to make everything a verb, but unfortunately not as used as English. By the way, telefonear is correct and used in some countries as a common verb. And I would say bicicletear :) the same for forumear, librear ''comerse un libro leyéndolo''.

    I will talk on behalf of Japanese.

    In Japanese you can do everything a verb, in fact Japanese has an absurd amount of verbs, impossible to count. In Japanese to make a verb from a noun, you usually add ni + suru. Which is something like ''do to'' . (There are other ways to do this, special cases with onomatopoeias)

    For instance the word fuku (clothes) if you say fuku ni suru= to do to clothes it would mean to wear. Nevertheless, things that are not commonly used as a verb are not usually used as verbs like in English :( because in Japanese you have sooo many verbs for soo many contexts that you don't need to create new ones. But of course you can create new ones and they will understand you :)
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  3. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    In Finnish, this is often done with the suffixes -oida or -(a)ta:

    ohjelma "computer program" > ohjelmoida "to program"
    salama "lightning (bolt)" > salamoida "to flash (like lightning)"
    markkinat "market" > markkinoida "to market (a product)"

    salpa "bolt, lock" > salvata "to bolt (a door, etc.)"
    blogi "blog" > blogata "to blog"

    In Tagalog, the prefix mag- can often be used to create a new verb, sometimes combining with words from foreign languages: e.g., maglunch (mag- + the English word lunch) means "to have lunch".
  4. itreius Senior Member


    program - programirati (to program)
    blog - blogati (to blog)
    save (in the sense of "saving" a file) - sejvati (only used coloquially, standard forms are spremiti and pohraniti)

    The following example is something most people hate:
    lajk (in the sense of liking something on FB) - lajkati

    As you can see, the suffixes are ati and irati and they can easily turn words (in this case mostly loanwords, some of them not fully accepted in the language) into verbs.
  5. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    I must agree. In Hungarian you can make even verbs from city names, names of people, anything you want.

    - Sanyikám! [my dear little Alex]
    - Ne sanyikázz engem! [don't little-alex me > don't call me little Alex]
  6. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Which part of that word is "Alex"? :confused:
  7. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    In Russian one can make a verb out of any word, by using endingd like -ить [it'], -ать [at'], -овать [ovat'], etc...

    For example, the word бык [byk] is 'bull'; the verb быковать [bykovat'], literally "to bull", means "to threaten, to be aggressive in an obtuse, unintelligent way".
  8. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Sanyi = Alex [< Aleksandros]

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