Author Topic: Funny quiz for native English speakers  (Read 1651 times)

Offline Rock100

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Funny quiz for native English speakers
« on: January 14, 2020, 06:06:01 PM »
Hello. I would like to check an idea I had learnt from the Internet not so long time ago.
As you probably know, English is the very widespread language and many other languages have borrowed from it a lot of words. To my enormous surprise, some Russian words that look like English ones and that I have always thought of as of borrowed ones are the Russian words indeed and native English speakers have no idea of what they really may mean in Russian. As far as I already know this idea is 100% true if the words are given without any context so I have decided to give some hints about the context (and change the audience, of course). So, please, if you are the native English speaker and do not know Russian, and, even better, have never been there (I have been told some of the words are used in the tourist guides) guess what the following words may mean in Russian (they have exactly one meaning in Russian, are absolutely unambiguous and many of them do not have native Russian synonyms).
Face-control (process)
Autostop (process)
Clip-maker (profession)
Smoking (garment)
Strings (garment) – it is plural only in Russian and we produce the plural form for the word the Russian way and pronounce it as [strEEngee]. But let it be the “strings” for your convenience.
Killer (profession)
Corporative (process) – it is noun in Russian and we pronounce it as [korporahtEEv] if you care.

Please, give as many guesses as you want. It would be nice if you did not peep at the others’ answers. I will give the right answers on the next page (if it is) or in several days.
Thank you.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Funny quiz for native English speakers
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 10:09:25 PM »
The only phrase there that I'm familiar with is Smoking, which is not American English (nor typical British English, I don't think), but I'm actually familiar with from studying other languages that have also borrowed the term, for what I'd call a tuxedo. Wiktionary identifies this as originally a French pseudo-anglicism, from 'smoking jacket' meaning 'tuxedo, dinner jacket'. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/smoking#French

So I'm not sure that one belongs with the rest, but I will be curious to see what they mean. For a couple others I could make up some guesses but I really don't have any idea. (I have very basic experience studying introductory Russian, which I now use to sometimes read Russian linguistics research, with a dictionary or Google Translate. But I didn't come across any of those phrases while studying it in my class.)

As one random guess, does "autostop" have something to do with parking?
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Offline Rock100

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Re: Funny quiz for native English speakers
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2020, 05:20:12 PM »
Well, it looks like the quiz was not a fun. Or there are not so many native English speakers here. But anyway, as I promised here go the correct answers for the quiz. Please, note that these are my one points of view only, I do not use dictionaries or the Internet.
Face-control (process). It is the process when a bouncer at the entrance of a bar decides whether you may be allowed to enter the venue or not. I do not think you may just think of it as of a dress-code check. The emphasis is on your face indeed, whether you look dangerous or not. We do not have a native Russian synonym for the word.
Autostop (process). Hitchhiking. We do not have a native Russian synonym for the word.
Clip-maker (profession). Clip-maker is the producer of the short musical one-song films for a singer or a musical band. We do not have a native Russian synonym for the word. We do have special words for the big movies – director (administrator, responsible for materials, toilet paper and things like that) and what may sound like French rejissor – the main person responsible for the artistic part. But we never use these words regarding to the short musical films/clips production.
Smoking (garment). Tuxedo. We do not have a native Russian synonym for the word. I would rather agree that it might come from French and mean a smoking jacket but… If there were elder native English speakers here who were fond of the English history and culture they would probably argue about this assumption. A smoking jacket had probably more to do with a soft fabric, like velveteen rather than a penguin like hard tuxedo.
Strings (garment). Thong. We do not have a native Russian synonym for the word.
Killer (profession). Hitman, contracted assassin. If you kill someone occasionally or on purpose, you will not be a killer. But if you pay someone or make a person somehow to kill another one that person will be the killer. We do have the contracted assassin notion in Russian but it is too much official, formal and inconvenient to pronounce so in 99% of occasions you will hear the “killer” even from the news anchors on the national television.
Corporative (process). It is noun in Russian and it means a party or event when co-workers meet together to celebrate something. It is NOT a team-building party. So, it is co-workers only (though you are usually allowed to bring your spouse to the event), it is usually a working day (so you are a kind of required to be present but no one threats it seriously and you may consider it as additional day-off if you do not want to visit), company/employer pays (always), there is a lot of alcohol. The scale of the event may be absolutely different. From a very modest, what Americans call barbecue (though we use a different technique to fry meat on the open fire) up to a no-limit full featured concert in a palace with multimillion US dollars honorariums for the real stars.

Offline panini

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Re: Funny quiz for native English speakers
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2020, 10:05:33 AM »
It was a struggle for me to figure out what you wanted (and why you wanted it), so I just moved on. This is not all that different from harvesting words from Urban Dictionary and asking people (native speakers of English) what the word means. It is more amusing to sprinkle in slang from the 50's, which the under-30's don't usually know. FYI, "thong" is a kind of shoe, at least traditionally.

"Face control" strikes me a good candidate for absorption into English: it already has an Urban Dictionary entry.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Funny quiz for native English speakers
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2020, 02:06:08 AM »
"Thong" I happen to know from talking to Australians (in a context like "I'm going to wear thongs to the beach", which at first sounded strange to me!), but it's not familiar from American usage (not with that meaning).
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Offline Rock100

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Re: Funny quiz for native English speakers
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2020, 02:12:36 AM »
> It was a struggle for me to figure out what you wanted (and why you wanted it)
I wanted to check the idea as described myself. Not more nor less.
> FYI, "thong" is a kind of shoe, at least traditionally.
Thanks. I have never heard about it. I knew the word as a kind of female underwear only. Probably, we used to visit different sites.
I am not sure I understand the rest right. The words above are not a slang. I did my best to point it out with the absence of native synonyms remarks.
I have had a look at the Urban Dictionary entry for the “face control”. I was the active Moscow clubs visitor at the time the term appeared and I have to say the UD explanation is completely wrong (IMO). Moreover, I had never heard about the regulations the UD describes. I do not claim it never happened and if it did, it would never be called the face control. Face control is much more about the risk you may present for the venue or other visitors. My previous audience of the quiz was much more vivid and I was told that such a eugenics is absolutely inappropriate in the western society and that even the idea of the face control is absolutely alien for it so nobody would ever guess the Russian meaning of the face control right.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Funny quiz for native English speakers
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2020, 01:34:25 PM »
Regarding the list above, most of those are indeed unfamiliar from an American perspective, but a few are not so different:

Clip-maker (profession).
Given that context, this meaning is relatively transparent. "Clip" refers to a short section of video, "clipped" (edited, trimmed, spliced) from the recorded footage. (The term "clip" may also refer to cutting various other things, for example cloth/clothing, but once established as video-editing, the meaning here is clear.) So "clip-maker" is quite clear in a literal sense (not as an established phrase), although for an English speaker this probably would most intuitively refer to for example someone who makes short clips for Youtube, some sort of informal video editing. The application to music videos seems uniquely Russian to me, although the etymological connection to music videos mainly being distributed on the internet now seems to be a likely explanation.

Smoking & Thong
See above. These aren't uniquely Russian, though also not familiar to all English speakers.

Killer (profession).
This specific usage does not seem foreign to American English, although it is not common or default. The term "hitman" would be more specific, but a hitman might also be called a "killer" – as could anyone who kills, in general, but my intuition is that in certain contexts this would particularly apply to a killer-for-hire (also another phrased that is used), but that it would be used as "killer" probably only in an established context where the rest of the meaning is implied. So it's not hard to imagine how it ended up in Russian that way, in context. Someone in a movie might introduce themselves as, for example, "I'm a killer by profession", etc. (Note that in general English -er nouns from verbs are ambiguous between professions and typical activities, and that line might be blurred, so in the context of profession, "killer" is quite clear, just not the most common context for that word. And there are other words for other professions that wouldn't mean the same thing, like "solider" (government-sanctioned killer during war), "butcher" (killer/slaughterer of animals), "executioner" (someone who carries out official executions), etc.)

Corporative (process).
This is unfamiliar but it seems similar to the phrase "corporate retreat", which generally does have a team-building sense, but may also be required, may be a 'working vacation' sort of thing, etc. So the etymology here is fairly transparent, once you know the meaning.

Face-control
Unfamiliar. But your description reminds me of an interview I read with an Israeli airport security officer who claimed and explained that despite having relatively high levels of terrorist threats, Israeli airports are also relatively safe due to their security approach, which involves especially their security officers looking at people's faces and body language to try to identify threats, rather than the sort of impersonal approach used by American airports where it is based on technology, canines, etc. So just responding to your post above, from an American perspective there would be an important difference between "face-control" as you described it based on whether it was focused on how people look (appearance), such as whether they are considered attractive (or especially something like light-skinned, etc.),  or on how people behave (body language, etc.), such as whether they look angry and like they might be a threat. A secondary question is whether implicit bias could make this distinction unreliable so that the second option, though well-intended, might actually result in the first, especially for untrained people, so from an American perspective the culture might reject that sort of approach if it was perceived as unfair or discriminatory.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2020, 01:40:56 PM by Daniel »
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Offline Rock100

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Re: Funny quiz for native English speakers
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2020, 03:04:20 PM »
Ok. You might want to qualify the Russian notion of face-control yourself if you will. The notorious club “Barracuda”, Russian face-control in action (graphic content) www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkSg_9j3FY0 . You need to log in to be able to watch it. The things usually do not happen like this – only if you insist to enter the venue, you are not welcomed in.

Offline Rock100

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Re: Funny quiz for native English speakers
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2020, 04:18:03 PM »
And the word clip-maker came from the television many years before the YouTube or Russian Internet if you will. The short musical movies are called video-clips in Russian. It looks like the video-clip shall be in my list too but it is too easy and evident. We do not have a native Russian synonym for the video-clip too. But we do have one for the word cartoon – it is … multfilm in Russian. And mult in this word stands for … multiplication. And the person who makes multfilms is the multiplicator. I believe I need an etymological dictionary to explain this.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Funny quiz for native English speakers
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2020, 04:44:27 PM »
I really can't comment from a youtube video about 'face-control'. I was just giving an American perspective if you're interested in that. The question really would hinge upon the specific implementation, and whether it was discriminatory or actually about security. There are bouncers at clubs in America too, and they would stop some people from entering, as they believe appropriate.

"Video clip" is a common term here too. I guess I'm just thinking of it as especially common now on the internet. The etymology is literally cutting film and splicing it together. (These terms are still used in digital editing.) But "video clip" refers to any short video, not specifically music videos. Maybe that's the relevant origin here in Russian, that it was originally "video clip" that became a specialized (narrowed) term, and then "clip-maker" is secondary, assuming that already specific meaning.

"multiplicator" is also not a familiar English term. The shorter variant "multiplier" would refer to someone or something that multiplies, like a calculator, although I can't think of a context where we would commonly distinguish specific types of mathematics like that. (Maybe a child in school who just learned to multiply but doesn't know how to divide: "He's a good multiplier but not a divider yet." But that example feels unnatural.) The term could also refer to anything that replicates, such as cells splitting, I guess. Regardless, this isn't about animation. My guess is that the term referred to the need to create multiple copies of essentially the same image, with only small changes? In English the term would be "animator" (as in animation, ultimately from Latin animus 'soul', bringing life to things, also the root of animal). Interestingly "cartoonist" also refers to a type of artist, but I think more to someone who actually draws funny or unrealistic pictures (including some comics), not to someone who makes cartoons like an animator. So in Engish, animators are considered artists (creative, etc.), while the etymology for Russian suggests they're doing more routine 'busy work' type activities. It reminds me of a much more specialized term in English, rotoscope (verb, or rotoscoper for the person, or rotoscoping for the activity), which specifically refers to a certain type of special effects in which someone manually draws on each frame of a (live action) video in order to change or add something. Originally this was a technique used to trace over live action footage to create realistic animations, using a machine called a rotoscope. Now it's done digitally to add additional special effects that can't be done automatically. For example, with a blue or green screen approach, if the background cannot be automatically removed in some cases (maybe around hair, or someone wearing a blue or green shirt), a rotoscoper will manually fix that. It's a last resort technique, and usually rotoscopers are considered lower level or less important effects artists, but their work is certainly challenging (and important). Anyway, that's not directly connected to what you said, but thinking about the etymology of these terms would suggest a different perspective on animation. (I've done some filmmaking and animating as a hobby, and it's fun but a lot of work, so however we phrase it, professional animators/multiplicators are talented and hard-working!)
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Offline Rock100

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Re: Funny quiz for native English speakers
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2020, 05:56:31 PM »
> The question really would hinge upon the specific implementation,
> and whether it was discriminatory or actually about security.
Ooops, sorry, I have not gotten it. It is all about security exclusively. We are racists and nationalists indeed but we do not have and never had a special treatment of a minority in everyday life. We could kill or relocate them, we could expel the luckiest ones from the country (and envy them) but we never had special (separate) places for minorities or discriminating rules. Though we do like to abuse them verbally indeed (that is what ordinary people do) but it is strictly forbidden on the government level.
And oops again. I have just remembered that in the times of the Soviet Union there were the special rules for Jews who were not allowed to join a university to study some key specialties, especially technical ones. On the other hand, the total majority of the Russian scientists in military and rocketry were Jews. I cannot explain this. We also had a special treatment for the disabled veterans of the WW2 – we expelled them behind the 101th kilometer from Moscow not to allow them to disgust the look of the beautiful streets of the capital. But I hope we do not do it any longer (at least I have never seen this only heard about it).

A multiplicator is the artist in Russian. I believe Russians do not know multiplXXX words as mathematical ones and think of them as of cartoons related only. Though we do use [mool’teepleekahtEEvnoe] in “multiplicative transformation” in higher math.
We do have animators too. But the words are not complete synonyms. Animator makes a character alive. It is different from the multiplicators that are engaged in phases of the movement of the character, provide background, do the framing, etc. All of them are multiplicators but have their one more narrow definition.
And we have multfilms all characters of which are made out of plasticine. Their creators are multiplicators too. www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBVkyyT1u_A

Offline panini

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Re: Funny quiz for native English speakers
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2020, 08:53:47 AM »
My point is simple. You seemed surprised that you didn't get a substantial response from English speakers. I'm trying to help you by explaining why your initial questionnaire is sub-optimal from a consumer's POV. That's in case you had in mind taking the quiz on the road. But if this is just an FYI type post, then whatever, you don't need consumers to understand / participate, they can just experience it. It just depends on what your purpose it.

Offline Rock100

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Re: Funny quiz for native English speakers
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2020, 09:49:18 AM »
> You seemed surprised that you didn't get a substantial response from English speakers.
Ah, Ok, thank you for elaborations I understand you now. I was a kind of frustrated but not very much. There was an idea that stuck me indeed and the Internet allowed me to check it myself. In former times it would require me to go to the libraries and dig into a lot of materials, probably or more likely, in vain. I am not a professional linguist I am just a random stranger who has decided to fulfill his curiosity at someone’s expense. I am ready to answer the questions if there are any though in return. Whether the audience was active or not I think I have gotten the answers I needed (thank you all). The quiz itself was not a purpose.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Funny quiz for native English speakers
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2020, 01:14:33 PM »
Quote
Ooops, sorry, I have not gotten it. It is all about security exclusively. We are racists and nationalists indeed but we do not have and never had a special treatment of a minority in everyday life. We could kill or relocate them, we could expel the luckiest ones from the country (and envy them) but we never had special (separate) places for minorities or discriminating rules. Though we do like to abuse them verbally indeed (that is what ordinary people do) but it is strictly forbidden on the government level.
From an American perspective, it's more nuanced than that. A question of whether the ends justify the means. And generally speaking, random bouncers at bars are not going to be well-trained enough to expertly and unbiasedly apply security protocols that do not potentially result in some kinds of discrimination. For example, are darker skinned people more likely to be seen as a threat? How can you prove that is not a problem? Or similarly just for males: people probably assume males are more likely to be a threat, so is it acceptable to discriminate in that way, because it's backed up by statistics and experience? Anyway, we're getting far off topic from anything linguistic. If you're interested in that, look into for example various current news stories about what it means to have fair hiring practices at American companies: many companies now use computer algorithms to sort through applicants, and those algorithms are trained on existing data about current employees, thus maintaining any earlier biases (for example, hiring more men than women for senior roles in the company). Is that discrimination? Is that just statistics? How do we know? How do we fix it? Complicated and interesting issue, but unrelated to linguistics.
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Offline Rock100

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Re: Funny quiz for native English speakers
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2020, 12:40:42 PM »
The questions you arise are not very interesting or actual in Russian society. We do discuss them on our kitchens from time to time but it is not of much interest, at least so far. Nationalism and discrimination are inevitable – an owner of a business for example if he wants to build a team of his dream must choose the people he likes personally. The level of the Russian nationalism and discrimination is approximately on the same level it was 60-70 years ago – much less than they were in Germany or US respectively. We change extremely slowly; we have just stopped the criminal prosecution of homosexualists and do not prevent Jews to study whatever they want. But we do continue to hate the firsts and like telling anecdotes about the seconds. By the way, the Russian translation of the Young Sheldon series where he decided to become a Jew is much more fun and authentic than original soundtrack. I do not understand how Germany (I believe they are at risk of losing their identity) and the US managed to change that much but today the Russian level of nationalism and discrimination from the western point of view is much higher and probably unacceptable.
But I do believe that bounces discriminate the visitors on their threat to the venue only in the total majority of cases. There are exceptions of course.
People and the visitors of Russia know that they will be somehow discriminated – we do give way to women in public transportation and help them to carry heavy things. In return, we probably require them to be more qualified when applying for senior roles (for example, our tsarinas were really outstanding people). They just have to give it in.
I hope we are still having a casual conversation and do not violate the rules of the forum.