see / understand

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Outsider, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Does your language have this idiom?

    Portuguese does. The progressive form of the verb is normally used, estou a ver or estou vendo (I'm seeing).

    English obviously has the idiom "I see". What about other languages?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    Not in Urdu, Hindi or Gujarati.
  3. modus.irrealis Senior Member

    English, Canada
    The "to know" word in some of the ancient Indo-European languages (Greek οἶδα, Sanskrit veda) as well as in the Germanic languages (German wissen), and probably many others I'm unaware of, are transparently related to the original word for "to see" and probably originally meant something like "I am in the state of seeing" or "I see".
  4. tigger_uhuhu

    tigger_uhuhu Senior Member

    mexico city
    spanish-mx ct
    In Mexican Spanish "ya veo".
  5. dn88 Senior Member

    I'm afraid it doesn't work in Polish - we usually say "rozumiem", which literally means "I understand".
  6. Trisia

    Trisia mod de viață

    Romanian: A bit more complicated :D
    We use "înţeleg" = I understand

    But, in some contexts, also I see ("văd")

    Încep să văd (I'm starting to see/understand)
    O, acum văd [ce vrei să spui]! (Oh, now I see [what you mean]!)
    Acum văd totul clar. (Now I fully comprehend it)
  7. Dr. Quizá

    Dr. Quizá Senior Member

    Esuri - Huelva York.
    Spain - Western Andalusian Spanish.
    I think the same goes for all dialects.

    "Ya veo" is "I already see", though.
  8. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Or "Now I understand", more idiomatically. But that's alright. It counts, too. ;)
  9. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    It is so in Russian.:)

    The phrase Я вижу / Ya vizhu, which means "I see", can be used in the meaning "I understand".
  10. ukuca

    ukuca Senior Member

    Istanbul - Turkey
    Turkish - Turkey
    Not In Turkish, I suppose we just use anlamak (v) > anladım (to understand > I understand ) except the slangs.
  11. MarX Banned

    Indonesian, Indonesia
    Not in Indonesian.
  12. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    Not in Finnish, except in some very special cases ("only now I see what was your idea...").

    Instead, "minä näen" (I see) is sometimes used as "in my opinion" but you can only hear it from politicians and similar speakers.
  13. irene.acler Senior Member

    Trento - Italy
    Not in Italian.

    I understand = I see --> "capisco" (the verb is "capire").
  14. jaxlarus

    jaxlarus Senior Member

    Limassol (Λέμε...SOS)
    Greek, Gibreiga (el-CY)
    Are you sure that βλέπω > είδα and οίδα are related to one another? They seem to be, but I always wondered about it.

    Concerning I see / I understand in modern Greek:

    They can't be used interchangeably.

    I see - βλέπω

    I understand - καταλαβαίνω
  15. Nanon

    Nanon Senior Member

    Entre Paris et Lisbonne
    français (France)
    French - "je vois".
  16. modus.irrealis Senior Member

    English, Canada
    Not βλέπω, but the other two are connected in every source I've read. εἶδον and οἶδα have the same relationship (in terms of ablaut) that ἔλιπον and λέλοιπα have. Basically εἶδον (stem ἰδ-) is the aorist and οἶδα is the perfect of the same root which was originally *weid-, and there's even a present tense εἴδομαι which matches the ablaut of λείπω. (The same root is seen in Latin video 'to see').
  17. Joannes Senior Member

    Belgian Dutch
    Not in Dutch, except maybe in some idiomatic expressions. We do have phrasal inzien 'see, understand' though.
  18. VivaReggaeton88

    VivaReggaeton88 Senior Member

    Santa Ana, Costa Rica / New York, NY
    US/EEUU; English/Inglés
    Spanish: Ya veo / Lo veo ya : Now I see (understand).
  19. Zahrah Senior Member


    Et "je comprends", c´est correcte aussi, non? Pour dire la même chose que I understand / (Eu) compreendo?


  20. noncasper

    noncasper Senior Member

    Chino - China - Hong Kong
    In Vietnamese:
    I see/understand : Tôi thấy/hiểu rồi
  21. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    It doesn't work in this case, and is not much used in this meaning, but there are some instances where you can use widzieć (to see) in the sense to understand:
    Ja widzę to tak (I see it this way).

  22. jana.bo99

    jana.bo99 Senior Member

    Cro, Slo

    A bit complicated:

    I see - Vidim

    I understand - Razumijem.

    Vidim i razumijem: could be good, but we don't use it.
  23. tie-break Senior Member

    Absolument ! :thumbsup:
    C'est correct aussi ;)
  24. Tjahzi

    Tjahzi Senior Member

    Umeå, Sweden
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    It does not work in Swedish.

    However, the Swedish verb "to understand" has gotten a shorter, more colloquial form. (Which might be considered an alternative sollution to adopting "to see" as way to describe "understand.)
  25. timesofmist New Member

    As in Scandinavian languages, are ''I see'' and ''I see'' in Estonian (of Finnish-Ugric origin) also two different phrases. One of them - ''ma näen'' applies only as an psychical activity - ''I look, therefore I see.'' For ''I understand'' there's a different form, ''ma mõistan.''
    That's pretty much it.
  26. Lugubert Senior Member

    Dutch := Swedish, inzien := inse.
    In case you aren't familiar with Algol, := means 'substitute the latter for the former'.
  27. Nizo Senior Member

    In Esperanto, the correct way to say "I understand" is mi komprenas. One may use the phrase mi vidas, which means "to see," in some circumstances, such as the phrase mi ne vidas la signifon de tio, "I don't see (understand) the meaning of that."
  28. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Ditto for Panjabi.
  29. Juri Senior Member

    Koper, near Trieste
    When somebody explains something in Italy,
    it's normal to replay capisco (I understand);
    but also vedo,vedo ( I see ) is quite colloquial.
  30. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    Wissen might be etymologically related to videre but sehen (to see) is not. And the German word for understand is not wissen but verstehen. At any rate the etymological relation between wissen and videre is not transparent to modern speakers.
  31. yannalan Senior Member

    france, french, breton
    Ce n'est pas tout à fait pareil. On peut comprendre quelque chose, mais "je vois" dasn ce sens est une réponse à une explication, pour dire qu'on a compris. Dans ce sens on peut dire aussi "je comprends"
    Mias dans "je comprends le portugais", on ne peut pas remplacer par "je vois"
    J'espère avori été clair, autrement dis-le moi
    A plus.
  32. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    In Arabic, I see can not be used for I understand, but it can be used for "it's my opinion" as it metaphorically means "I see with my mind".
  33. bb3ca201 Senior Member

    Toronto sa Chanada
    English/Scottish Gaelic, Canada
    in Gaelic / anns a’ Ghàidhlig
    If we use the verb “to see” - a’ faicinn - we are talking about something that we actually see. If we want to say “I understand”, we have to say exactly that – tha mi a’ tuigsinn.
  34. chriskardos Member

    Budapest, Hungary
    Hungary, Hungarian
    in Hungarian:
    I Understand - Értem.
  35. Consimmer Member

    New Jersey, USA
    Malaysia, English and Malay Language
    In Malay (Bahasa Indonesia's cousin), we would use the idiom "Macam tu, ya?". That phrase could be translated as "It's like that [now that you've shown it], yes?"
  36. Quelle

    Quelle Senior Member

    Deutschland Deutsch
    Look here:
    Old High German: wizzan*
    Language: ahd.
    Grammar: Pr„t.-Pr„s.
    Translation (German): wissen, kennen, verstehen, erfahren (V.), erkennen, begreifen, jemanden als jemanden erkennen, wissen von
    Translation (English): know, understand, recognize
    Etymology: germ. *weitan (1), *w–tan, Pr„t.-Pr„s., sehen, wissen

    And here:

    Das Wort “Wissen” ist etymologisch eng verwandt mit “Sehen, Wahrnehmen” (ind. veda = Wissen, aber auch Geschautes, Offenbartes; lat. videre = sehen, wahrnehmen).
    I try to translate:
    Etymologically the word „Wissen (=to know)” is closely allied with “Sehen (=to see), Wahrnehmen (=to perceive, to be aware of)” [Indian: veda= Wissen (=to know), but also “Geschautes, Offenbartes (looked, revealed); Latin: videre= to see, to be aware of/perceive)
  37. Proudly New Member

    Toronto, Canada
    English (Canada) and Russian (Moscow)
    Ouais c'est pareil en anglais (et en russe mais on s'en fout), je crois que c'est exactement de ça qu'on parle ici.
  38. Bienvenidos

    Bienvenidos Senior Member

    Nope, they're not the same in Persian. But there are other expressions that mean "to understand."

    I understand is usually used in the past tense: "Fâmidam"
    You don't say "Mifâmam," that means something along the lines of "I know"
  39. Maewa New Member

    In bulgarian "I see" can't be used as "I understand."
    разбирам (razbiram) = I understand
    виждам (vijdam) = I see
    But I don't know, maybe in some situations people may use it. I think the meaning is closer to "I know."
    You can use "I see" to tell that an example:
    I see / know you don't trust me. - Виждам , че не ми вярваш.
  40. knight_2004 Member

    In Arabic:
    In MSA (Written Arabic), I see = Ara (أرى)
    "Ara" literally means "I see [with my eyes]," but it is commonly used to say "My opinion is ..."

    In spoken (Levantine) Arabic, "Shayef" (شايف)= "I see [with my eyes]," and it is commonly used to say 'I understand.'
    "Shayef?" also means "Do you understand?"

    Levantine is an Arabic dialect (Eastern Arabic) spoken in Jordan, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.
  41. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Spoken Arabic varies from a country to another, so please don't forget to say which country you have in mind when speaking about colloquial Arabic. :)

    This meaning of "shayef" is not true in Egypt, it only has the meanings of "I see" and "my opinion is".
  42. knight_2004 Member

    Thank you for your note cherine.
    I went back and edited my previous comment.
  43. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    I have to disagree about this as well even in Levantine Arabic; although sometimes an experession like "shayef keef?" شايف كيف؟ may mean something like "do you see/understand how?" (even this is not exactly understand; it's much closer to see than understand), shayef does not mean I understand, rather it is more widely accepted as I see and/or my opinion is. An example would be "ana shayef ino ni3mil kaza" أنا شايف انو نعمل كذا means: I see/It's my opinion/I think that we do so and so. Or, inta shoo shayef? إنت شو شايف؟ (what do you think?/what is your opinion?)
  44. knight_2004 Member

    Well.. the Levantine Arabic is full of expressions:

    شايف عليّ ؟
    شايف شلون ؟
    Both examples do not mean "What's your opinion?" because the answer is usually "yes," "no," "shayef," or a head movement, etc. So, the speaker would continue talking; as if he says, "do you see so far?"
    If it were an opinion rather than understand, then it would be a complete quetion.
  45. knight_2004 Member


    There is a song for Abdel-Halim Hafez. He says:
    إنت شايف الحب كلة عيون وهمس ....
    إلى أن يصل ليقول لكن أنا شايف أحلى كلام عشاق ....

    I could be mistaken, and the words of the song may not be Egyptian originally, and the words may not be commonly used in Egypt (you can elaborate on that.)

    My understanding of the words "Shayef" above (especially the 2nd one) is not "my opinion is" it is more like "my understanding" or that how I see love.

    If the words of the song are not from Egyptian dialect, please disregard this post.
  46. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    It doesn't work in Czech nor in Hungarian.
  47. pitty_pittu New Member

    Mexican Spanish
    En español se usan como sinónimos
    ya veo o
  48. mcibor Senior Member

    I would say, that in Polish, as in Finnish we can say:

    Ach, teraz widzę o co ci chodzi - now I see what you mean.

    But it's used only in special cases.
  49. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I think 'Ik zie wat je bedoelt' implies that, but we do not simply use 'zien'in that meaning in general, although indeed inzien, overzien, etc. refer to seeing as part of understanding (as a matter of fact, see the thread I once started about that: light is one of the typical metaphors). See :
  50. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    Actually, I don't undestand the word shayif here as either my opinion is nor my understanding is; I understanding as simply "I see" - the translation would be: "I see the most beautiful lovers' speech/talk".

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