To read

ThomasK

Senior Member
Belgium, Dutch
In the thread regarding count/account I noticed one language 'associates' reading wih counting, whereas Dutch associates it - well, etymologically - with collecting. So: is your word for reading also some kind of metaphor, etymologically speaking?

German/ Dutch: lesen/ lezen < lezen, collect (aren lezen, gleaning in E, i.e., collecting spikes, I believe)

Czech : čísti (reading and counting, I believe) [taken from the count/account thread]
 
  • francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Hungarian

    olvasni - to read

    In the past it had also the meaning of to count, but today it's used only in the sense of to read.

    (There is also an old term for the rosary: olvasó. One has to "count" the Paternosters and Avemarias)
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Due to my Dutch/Flemish mother tongue, I tend to associate counting (('tellen') with telling ('vertellen'), but it is interesting to hear that you also associate reading with counting.
     
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    hui

    Senior Member
    Finnish
    Finnish:

    to read = lukea (original meaning: to count)

    number = luku
    [the act of] reading = luku, lukeminen
    reading [= value of a meter, e.g.] = lukema

     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks. I just checked in my mini-minidictionary, and found out that you also associate reading with studying (luvut), with scanning, with keeping/ collecting, even with a roster. And I suppose you are a real lukutoukka, a reading caterpillar, more commonly known as a bookworm... Or am I mistaken?
     
    In Modern Greek the verb is «διαβάζω» (ðia'vazo), the Byzantine "edition" of the Classical verb «διαβιβάζω» (dĭăbĭ'bāzō)--> lit. pass through (compound; prefix and preposition «διὰ» (dī'ă)--> through, throughout + rare verb -mostly used in compounds- «βιβάζω» (bĭ'bāzō)--> cause to go, PIE base *gʷem-/*gʷeh₂-, to go, come).
    «Διαβάζω» has the meaning of silently passing through the written passage I have before me.
    In the Ancient language, the verb for reading was «ἀναγιγνώσκω» (ănăgĭ'gnōskō)--> to perceive, recognise, acknowledge (compound; prefix and preposition «ἀνὰ» (ā'nă)--> up, on, upon, throughout, again + verb «γιγνώσκω» (gĭ'gnōskō)--> to come to know, perceive, know by observation, PIE base *gno-, to know).
    In the Modern language with «αναγιγνώσκω» (anaji'ɣnosko) or the colloquiallism «αναγνώνω» (ana'ɣnono), one reads aloud before an audience.
     

    jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    In Portuguese: ler, from Latin legere, which also meant to collect, to harvest, to select, to choose, to steal, to look at. Ler in Portuguese only means to read.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks, both of you !

    Greek reminds me of our diagonaal lezen, overlopen/ overzien, sometimes doorlopen, maybe look up/ opzoeken.
    The associations or extra (but former, I understand ?) meanings I read are quite intriguing: even to choose and to steal !
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    The Latin verb legere (lego, lectum) is a base verb for verbs like to collect and to elect. I should say that the basic meaning of this verb is to take.

    The meaning to steal is rather special, mostly in a religious context - sacrilegium, sacrilege.

    Another metaphorical meaning of this verb: oram legere = lit. to collect (places of) the coast = to sail along the coast.

    Finally, legere = to read, i.e. to take/collect the letters/information from a book.
    Quite a new meaning (2,500 years or so).
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    That's great information, and new to me. I did know the word sacrilegium but I did not know it referred to legere. And I should have known there is a link with election and collection. Thanks a lot!

    By the way: do you think taking is the basic meaning? Of course collecting and taking resemble one another, that is true...
     
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    itreius

    Senior Member
    Assembly
    BCS

    čitati imperfective < PIE *kweyt (Sanskrit cetati to perceive)
    pročitati perfective
    očitati ~make a reading of something
    učitati ~to load data
    and some other forms such as iščitati (imperf. iščitavati)

    It's not related with the word for account, which is račun (comes from Latin ratio), or with the word for collecting - sakupiti (sa + kupiti - to buy; < Gothic kaupjan).
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    BCS ... It's not related with the word for account ...

    Slovak

    čítať - to read (imperfective)
    prečítať - to read (perfective)

    But:
    počítať - to count
    pričítať - to add to (in mathematics)
    odčítať - to substract (in mathematics)
    sčítať - to summarize
    počítač - calculator, computer

    And:
    číslo - number (I'm not sure about the etymology)

    (in Slovak, the connection between read and count is evident)
     

    Rallino

    Moderatoúrkos
    Turkish
    In Turkish

    To read = okumak. It doesn't have anything to do with 'to count'. However, this verb is also used to mean 'to study at school/university'.

    So, if someone asks: "Ne okuyorsun?" (lit. What are you reading?), it can be (a) What book are you reading these days? or (b) What do you study at university? / What's your major at university?
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    In Portuguese: ler, from Latin legere, which also meant to collect, to harvest, to select, to choose, to steal, to look at. Ler in Portuguese only means to read.

    This is valid also for other Romance languages, e.g. Spanish leer, Italian leggere, French lire .... etc.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Would you know more about the origin of your word okumak, Rallino? It reminds me of the English use of read in something, like, he is reading law at university, or some similar expression. I find this:


    Reading law is the method by which persons in common law countries, particularly the United States, entered the legal profession before the advent of law schools. This usage specifically refers to a means of entering the profession (although in England it is still customary to say that a university undergraduate is "reading" a course, which may be law or any other).

    I am amazed at the different meanings legere can have, but I am not aware of that variation in French, I must say.
     
    It's not related with the word for account, which is račun (comes from Latin ratio), or with the word for collecting - sakupiti (sa + kupiti - to buy; < Gothic kaupjan).


    Erm, I see that HJP does indeed link to that etymology, but as far as I can see kúpiti "to buy" is from Gothic kaupjan. On the other hand, kȕpiti "to gather", from which sakupiti should be derived, is from PIE *kowp- according to HJP.
     

    sakvaka

    Senior Member
    Thanks. I just checked in my mini-minidictionary, and found out that you also associate reading with studying (luvut), with scanning, with keeping/ collecting, even with a roster. And I suppose you are a real lukutoukka, a reading caterpillar, more commonly known as a bookworm... Or am I mistaken?

    Could you possibly copy here the words that helped you form this idea? I am somewhat unsure what studying, what roster etc. you are referring to. :)
     

    Rallino

    Moderatoúrkos
    Turkish
    Would you know more about the origin of your word okumak, Rallino? It reminds me of the English use of read in something, like, he is reading law at university, or some similar expression. I find this:

    [...]

    I've checked Nişanyan Etym. Dict. for 'okumak'. It says, it's old Turkic for 'to call / to invite'. And it also mentions an expression that we still use, albeit without noticing that the meaning of this verb is really different. The expression is: Meydan okumak.

    Meydan is a square in a city. ('Square' as in the Italian word Piazza [... di Navona], etc.)

    So, "Meydan okumak" litterally means: To call someone to the square. Its meaning is "to fight with someone". Probably in those times, a person would call his enemy to the square of the city, so that everyone could see them duel.
     
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    إسكندراني

    Senior Member
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    In Arabic it's قرأ qara2a - usage is very similar to English. You can read a book, read (=recite) scripture, read (=study) at university. The first word of the Qur'aan to the illiterate Muhammad PBUH was an imperative 'read' إقرأ.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Well, Turkish does look very exotic, all of a sudden ! ;-)

    As for Finnish (I am beginning to harbour doubt about my small Finnish 'woordenboek' [dictionary] because of the weird results I seem to get): I had found
    lukujärjestys, lukukausi, lukulaite (but had not mentioned that one), lukumäära (not either), and maybe lukuun ottamatta (not counted in, I guess). I am looking forward to your comment, Sakvaka !

    Arabic: how interesting to hear that the Qur'aan was 'read'! I am not so sure why: is wisdom in Islam bound to the Holy Book? (One can hear people refer to the 'religions of the Book', but some people say that the oral tradition was very important for long)
     

    sakvaka

    Senior Member
    As for Finnish (I am beginning to harbour doubt about my small Finnish 'woordenboek' [dictionary] because of the weird results I seem to get): I had found
    lukujärjestys, lukukausi, lukulaite (but had not mentioned that one), lukumäära (not either), and maybe lukuun ottamatta (not counted in, I guess). I am looking forward to your comment, Sakvaka !

    In these examples, luku means 'reading' (from lukea; there are two common noun derivation types: -minen and -U, but here lukeminen hasn't been used). For example, lukujärjestys (student's timetable) literally means 'reading order'. That is, the order in which different subjects are 'read', studied.

    NB in Finnish, the verbs 'lukea' (read) and 'opiskella' (study) are sometimes synonymous. Eg. Olen lukenut (= opiskellut) fysiikkaa koko iltapäivän. Olen opiskelija ja luen (= opiskelen) englantia Kuopion yliopistossa. Älä häiritse, luen kokeisiin!

    Given all this, lukukausi (term) shouldn't be too big a surprise: reading period/season.

    Lukulaite
    (reader; eg. e-kirjojen lukulaite) is a 'reading device'.

    Lukumäärä (number of sth; aantal; NB mind the vowel harmony!) consists of luku 'number in the word's broadest sense' and määrä 'amount'. It's a strange word when interpreted literally, but often määrä is already enough. However, määrä can refer to both U and C words whereas lukumäärä can only be counted for C words.

    Korissasi on suuri (luku)määrä omenoita.
    Opiskelijoiden lukumäärä on 30.
    (more commonly: Opiskelijoita on 30.)
    Maitoa on vain 200 litraa; määrä on täysin riittämätön meille.

    Lukuun ottamatta
    ('without counting in') is based on an idiomatic expression, ottaa lukuun* ('take into number', ie. include/count in), BUT it's getting rarer and rarer. Lukea mukaan (lit. "meelezen"?) more common - and equally interesting.

    Ministerien kokous vilisi ristiriitaisia mielipiteitä, Suomen kanta mukaan lukien (t. mukaan luettuna). (= including)

    One more: pitää lukua jst (keep a number of/about sth) means roughly 'to act as a bookkeeper concerning sth'.

    Minun tehtäväni on pitää lukua henkilöistä, jotka saapuvat maaliin. Päivän päätteeksi vertaamme listoja, ettei kukaan vain ole jäänyt metsään.
     

    ancalimon

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Rallino: "oku" is also used a lot with the meaning of "to bless someone, something". It is probably related to old Turkic religion. I would think of the possibility that it may be related to a figurative meaning of "ok : oq : arrow" (maybe someone skillful, brave, intelligent, upright) and ultimately Proto-Turkic *ök- , *ȫg, *ȫ(j)-.. (meaning to think, idea, to have a mind:become like a human) (which is also the root of "öğren:learn", "öğret:teach", "öğrenci:student", tamga (Turkic version of coat of arms which are not credibly deciphered yet): complete idea ...

    The name Oghuz probably was related to this "bless" together with Uyghur<Oghur and Hungar<On Ogur (uğur: augury: luck-blessing) as well. And even Öküz (ox) their horns (boğnuz) symbolyzing blessing from the creator. The ancestor of Turks (Oğuzhan who might have been a prophet) was said to have two horns as well. (I guess probably some kind of rank something similar to feathers used by Native Americans)

    So, Oku shouldn't be related with taming-herding- a group (*ögür). It should be"eğit: to teach, tame an animal" which is related with *ögür. Not "oku"
     
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    jana.bo99

    Senior Member
    Cro, Slo
    To read is one thing and to study is other thing.

    Slovenian

    To read: brati

    It means, I read now lots of crime novels. I don't study them, I just enjoy reading them.

    If I read some book about history, in that case I read and study.
     

    AquisM

    Senior Member
    English - mostly BrE, HK Cantonese
    Chinese makes no connections between reading and collecting whatsoever (unless there is any word that skips me currently, which other natives will have to correct me). The words for to read are 读/讀 (Mandarin: du/Cantonese: duk) and 唸/諗 (Mandarin: nian/Cantonese: nim) (among other meanings, such as to study/pronounce/recite/chant), while words for to collect (amongst others, and don't forget most Chinese words are have mulitple characters that are usually similar in meaning) are 收 (Mandarin: shou/Cantonese: sau - to collect/receive/gather - most commonly in the form of 收集 to gather/collect) and 採/采 (Mandarin: cai/Cantonese: tsoi - to select/collect - most commonly in the form of 采集) and 集 (Mandarin: ji/Cantonese: zaap - to collect/group/assemble).
     

    OneStroke

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    Chinese makes no connections between reading and collecting whatsoever (unless there is any word that skips me currently, which other natives will have to correct me). The words for to read are 读/讀 (Mandarin: du/Cantonese: duk) and 唸/諗 (Mandarin: nian/Cantonese: nim) (among other meanings, such as to study/pronounce/recite/chant), while words for to collect (amongst others, and don't forget most Chinese words are have mulitple characters that are usually similar in meaning) are 收 (Mandarin: shou/Cantonese: sau - to collect/receive/gather - most commonly in the form of 收集 to gather/collect) and 採/采 (Mandarin: cai/Cantonese: tsoi - to select/collect - most commonly in the form of 采集) and 集 (Mandarin: ji/Cantonese: zaap - to collect/group/assemble).

    However, we do associate it with reading (hence the 'I see a book' mistakes): PTH 看書 (kan shu)/Cantonese 睇書 (tai syu)
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Dravidian/Tamil: seems quite challenging o interpret reading that way as it is generally considered extremely receptive. Yours would be a definition of speaking rather.

    However, we do associate it with reading (hence the 'I see a book' mistakes): PTH 看書 (kan shu)/Cantonese 睇書 (tai syu)

    Are you suggesting that in Chinese a (close) link is perceived between seeing and reading? Is that the right interpretation?
     
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    AquisM

    Senior Member
    English - mostly BrE, HK Cantonese
    As OneStroke has pointed out, we do say 'to see/look at a book' rather than 'to read a book'. The literal translation for reading a book would be 读书/念书, 'which has the meaning of 'to study' normally. I would say that Chinese links reading with studying more than any other concept.
     

    aruniyan

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Dravidian/Tamil: seems quite challenging o interpret reading that way as it is generally considered extremely receptive. Yours would be a definition of speaking rather.

    In Tamil counting="eN" and to Read a book or something = "Othu" both have no connection, but the words for counting, thinking, considering etc are the same "eN"
     

    aruniyan

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Its a word,

    En=Count,To account. also En=Short form for the number Eight.
    Ennam/Enni = Think.
    Enru = considering
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Very interesting, food for thought. We only use tellen (count) metaphorically in vertellen (telling stories), which is also the case in German and in French, despite a different spelling (compter/ raconter).
     
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