Pity, damage: does pity cause damage? ;-)

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by ThomasK, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Have you noticed the following translations of 'What a pity! and 'to cause'?

    French: Dommage! vs. endommager
    German: Schade! vs. beschädigen

    Not in English, but is it the case in your language - or is there a link?

    Dutch - NO : Spijtig!/ Jammer! vs. beschadigen
    (spijt seems to refer to despising, LAT despicere...)
  2. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:

    Pity: «Οίκτος» ['iktos] (masc.) < Classical masc. noun «οἶκτος» oîktŏs --> pity, compassion, lamentation < An expressive word probably derived from the interjection «οἴ» oí --> woe. Derivatives: «οἰκτιρμός» oiktirmós (masc.) --> compassion, adj. «οἰκτρός,
    -τρὴ, -τρόν» oiktrós (masc.), oiktrḕ (fem.), oiktrón (neut.)
    --> pitiable, lamentable, piteous etc

    To pity: «οικτίρω» [i'ktiro] --> to pity, commiserate < Classical v. «οἰκτίρω» oiktírō
    Cause: «Αιτία» [e'ti.a] (fem.) < Classical fem. noun «αἰτίᾱ» aitíā --> cause, expostulation, charge, blame (PIE *h₂ei-, to give cf Hitt. pai-, to give). Derivatives: «αἰτίαμᾰ» aitíamă (neut.) --> accusation, charge, «αἰτιατόν» aitĭatón (neut.) --> effect as opposed to «αἴτιον» aítiŏn --> cause (principle of causality), adj. «αἰτιώδης, -δης, -δες» aitĭṓdĕs (masc. & fem.), aitiṓdēs (neut.) --> causal etc
    In Gr. the derived verbs from the noun «αἰτίᾱ» aitíā have different meanings:
    -Active voice: «Αἰτέω/αἰτῶ» aitéō (uncontracted)/ aitô (contracted) --> to ask for, demand (in modern Gr. only its mediopassive form has survived; «αιτούμαι» [e'tume] --> to apply to/for, request).
    -Medio-passive voice: «Αἰτιάζομαι» aitĭắzŏmai (found only in passive voice) --> to be accused (it has not survived in modern Gr.).

    To cause: «Προκαλώ» [proka'lo] < Classical v. «προκαλέω/προκαλῶ» prŏkăléō (uncontracted)/ prŏkalô (contracted) --> to call forth, call out to fight, challenge, summon, in modern Gr. to produce an effect, challenge, provoke. Compound, adverb, prefix and preposition «πρὸ» prò --> forth, forward, before (PIE *pro-, forward cf Skt. प्र (prA), forward; Hitt. parā, forward; Lat. pro-) + v. «καλέω/καλῶ» kăléō (uncontracted)/ kalô (contracted) --> to call (PIE *klh₁-, to call cf Hitt. kališš-, to call, summon; Lat. calāre; OHG hellan, to resound)

    1/ «Ζημιά» [zim'ɲa] (fem.) and learned «ζημία» [zi'mi.a] (fem.) < Classical fem. noun «ζημίᾱ» zēmíā --> damage, loss (with obscure etymology).
    2/ «Βλάβη» ['vlavi] (fem.) < Classical fem. noun «βλάβη» blábē --> damage (with obscure etymology).

    (To cause) damage: «Προκαλώ» [proka'lo] (see above) + 1 or 2

    ...but the expression 'What a pity' is not rendered with «οίκτος» in Greek: «Τι κρίμα!» [ti 'krima!]
    «Κρίμα» ['krima] (neut.) --> something unfair, sad fact, wrongdoing < Classical neut. noun «κρίμα» kríma and «κρεῖμα» kreîmă --> legal decision, judgement (PIE *kre(h₁-)i-, to distinguish, separate cf Lat. cernō)
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  3. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    Czech: (To je) škoda! vs. poškoditi, uškoditi;

    (škoda < OHG scado)
  4. arielipi Senior Member

    No such occurrence in hebrew.
  5. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    @ arielipi: could you still translate the words?

    Just by the way, Bibax: is there a difference between the car mark and the word for 'pity'? (I'd hope so, otherwise it would be ominous...)

    @ apmoy: so no link between any of those whatsoever, I guess...
  6. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    No difference. Emil Škoda was a founder of the Škoda Works in Pilsen (in 1869). Škoda is a common surname in Czech, similarly like Schade in German. There are many jokes about the "Schade-wagen".
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  7. itreius Senior Member


    šteta - pity, harm, damage, e.g. koja šteta - what a pity

    štetiti - to harm, to damage

    The same connection is true for the regional archaic noun škoda and the verb škoditi (the verb is still in active use unlike the noun).

    The latter is used in Slovene.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  8. arielipi Senior Member

    Pity doesnt even translate 1:1 in hebrew, pity as in i pity you would be רחמים rakhamim (=mercy(ies)),
    damage in damages is נזק nezeq.
  9. ahmedcowon Senior Member

    In Arabic,

    pity (noun), compassion = شفقة shafaqa
    damage, harm, loss = ضرر đarar , خسارة khassaara

    They are not interchangeable like in some other languages but yes, we use the word "damage" not "pity" in the expression "What a pity!"

    "What a pity!" = !يا خسارة "ya khassaara!"
  10. arielipi Senior Member

    In hebrew חוסר khoser is lack.
  11. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Interesting link, interesting information...
  12. luitzen Senior Member

    Frisian, Dutch and Low Saxon
    West Frisian:

    - Skande!/Dat is skande! - That's a pity. Equivalent in Dutch is schande and German Schande. The origin, however is skamje (nl. schamen), not skea (nl. schade). Maybe the two words are related, but I couldn't find anything about that.
    - skea - damage
    - besk(e)adigje - to damage, Dutch beschadigen.
    - besk(e)adiging - damage, verbal noun
    - skânsearje/skansearje/skânseare/skanseare - to damage, from French scandaliser
    - skânsearre - damaged, past participle of skânsearje
    - skânsearring - damage, verbal noun

    skea is used as an uncountable noun and does not have a plural (Hast jit skea riden? - Lit. Did you drive damage yet? or Have you been involved in a car accident yet?). beskeadiging and skânsearring are countable nouns and both can have the plurals -s/-en. It works more or less the same in Dutch.
  13. luitzen Senior Member

    Frisian, Dutch and Low Saxon
    The interesting thing is that, at least according to Wiktionary, French scandale, which is where scandaliser is derived from, has the same origin as skande/schande/Schande. Apparently English has a similar form: shand (shame, scandal, disgrace). Now that I come to think of it, in English we can also say That's a shame! instead of That's a pity! and since shand also means shame, I wonder whether shand can also be used in that way.

  14. luitzen Senior Member

    Frisian, Dutch and Low Saxon
    Now that I think about it a little longer, I wonder whether German Schade! is really derived from a word having to do with damage, or whether Schade (damage) and Schande maybe share the same origin.

    I also just realize that in Dutch and Frisian there's such an expression as Door schade en schande wordt men langzaam wijs. (Through damage and shame, one becomes slowly wise).
  15. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Interesting consideration! Now I checked at etymologiebank.nl, and there no common origin is suggested. But I quite understand that it would be a very attractive idea, when thinking of the English shame indeed...
  16. luitzen Senior Member

    Frisian, Dutch and Low Saxon
    double entry
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  17. luitzen Senior Member

    Frisian, Dutch and Low Saxon
    Than you need to read better, because when I look at etymologiebank.nl, I discover yet another pattern.

    Schade: http://www.etymologiebank.nl/trefwoord/schade
    Schande: http://www.etymologiebank.nl/trefwoord/schande Zie ook de afleiding met umlaut → schenden.
    Schenden (to cause damage): http://www.etymologiebank.nl/trefwoord/schenden

    So what do we have:
    - Du. schande and Fr. scandaliser/scandale and equivalents in other languages from a form of schamen or the equivalent in the respective language, originally from something like Proto Germanic *skamo (I'm not saying French scandale is from Proto Germanic *skamo, I think it's more likely to be from a common I.E. root). The meaning of all these words is something like damage, however in a more figurative way instead of a literal way.
    - Du. schade from Proto Germanic *skaþa(n)-, *skaþi-. Contrary to schande, schade means literally damage.
    - They both combine in the meaning of "a pity". Schande already possesses the figurative meaning and if schade takes on the figurative meaning, it starts to mean more or less the same.
    - According to etymologiebank, Old Dutch has a form *skamitha (Du. schaamte, Eng. shame, noun). Apparently in Old Dutch a new noun could be created by adding -tha, which became -te in modern Dutch (wennen - gewoonte, denken - gedachte, zien - gezicht [M.Du. gesichte, O.Du. gisiht, Flexie:datief singularis gesifte (1), gesihte (1)]). Did Dutch inherit this system from Proto Germanic? My guess is yes and I think it should be easy to check by comparing Old English, Old Saxon and Old Frisian versions. Now if this is true, then it would absolutely be possible that Proto Germanic possessed a form which looked something like *skamtha and which meant damage in either a figurative or literal way or, maybe somewhere in between. If Proto Germanic did indeed possess such a word, we only would need to demonstrate that the -m- in the middle could easily be dropped (which I suspect is the case). If we can do that, than I think we've demonstrated that both words, schade and schande, share the same origin.
  18. luitzen Senior Member

    Frisian, Dutch and Low Saxon
    Looking around a little more on ONW:

    If I understand it correctly, the word was found in the Wachtendonkse Psalmen, a set of Old Dutch manuscripts which do no longer exist. Some texts of the original manuscript were copied in 1591 by Lipsius and the original manuscript as well as his copies were all lost. What remains are some of his notes. These notes were again studied in the 20th and 21st centuries and L. de Grauwe and A. Quak have written something of the particular text where this word is from. Apparently there was a word written down which looked something like scāthon (note that we're not talking about the original texts, but about notes made during copying, that means that the words might have been written down in a way that they were easy for Lipsius to read and that we can never really know what was actually written down). The line on the a, indicating a nasalized vowel, was missed by de Grauwe which caused him to interpret the word as scachton. Quak, who realized that the line indicated a nasalized vowel, realized the word as scamithon. Realizing that it was a dative form and taking the rules of O.Du. inflexion into account, the nominative form *skamitha was constructed.

    If we take into account that the a was a nasalized vowel, rather than an a followed by an m, then I think the word is very similar to O.Du. scatho and I suspect that in other languages the nasalization of a might have been considered insignificant and therefore would not have been written down at all. Or a might have been less nasalized, which only proves how easy an m might be lost.

    I think something like the following happened:
    *skamdō > *skandō > scande > schande
    *skamdō > *skamōn > skamon > scamen > schamen
    *skamdō > *skamōn > *skamitha > scaemte > schaemte > schaamte
    *skamdō > *skamtō > *skamthō > *skãtho > skatho > scade > schade
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  19. luitzen Senior Member

    Frisian, Dutch and Low Saxon
    Alternative for the last one might also be:
    *skamdō > *skamthō > *skãtho > skatho > scade > schade

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