Part of NaCreSoMo, because this is what interested me today.
Today at lunch my coworkers and I were talking about languages, a topic that will always interest me. One coworker passed along a particular example of a language quirk that I hadn’t really thought about before:
You can say “big red ball”, but you can’t say “red big ball”.
Say what? In American English, at least, the “big” really can’t go after any other adjective.
I’ve posted before about gendered language, and how I’m generally in favor of moving towards gender-neutral occupations and supporting a gender-neutral third-person pronoun in English. In Khmer for the most part this is already reality…but there are a few funny quirks in the language which still don’t make sense to me.
Sua sdei jo chhnam chin, 新年快乐, and happy lunar new year!
In Cambodia, the big new year’s celebration is not on January 1st (“international new year” in Khmer), nor is it the same as the Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese lunar calendar (“Chinese new year”). Rather, it’s in April…which means I’m going to miss it! And it’s also a lunar calendar (shared with Thailand and I think Laos as well), so saying “lunar new year” is no longer specific enough.