Scandinavia and the World
 

Community made Fact Card:

Welsh has several words for 'yes', but doesn't really have a word for 'no'; they basically say 'not yes
      made by Anthraxia


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6 years ago #9489840        
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They say the same about Japanese, but that's wrong.

In fact, I've heard that most languages originally didn't have words for "yes" ar "no", but have also heard that the usul way was to get a "no" first, before developing a "yes", to the point that one typical division during Middle Ages Western Romance vernacular addressed which word they had developed to say "yes": the northern langues d'oïl (modern French and closely related languages; in French it has evolved to "oui"), the central langues d'oc (languages from the Occitan branch, even though Catalan has ended up changing the word they use for Spanish "si") and southern langues de si (Iberian Romance languages other than Catalan, even if Catalan currently uses this word).

I've heard that the proper way to answer before was to repeat the verb of the question in affirmative or negative form, depending on the answer.


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4 years ago #9686113        
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Welsh, the closest language we have to pre-roman britons. Must of been a mess before the romans and later germanic settlers drove them to ground in wales when they didn't have a ready way to tell them no, I'm not giving up my land :P

5 years ago #9542887        
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Also classic Latin doesn't have words for yes and no. It hadn't been invented yet at the time ;)


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6 years ago #9495439        
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@Kemm
Yeah. Saying "no" in Japanese always feels awkward but that might be because "no" in English can be used to mean many different things such as "that's not true", "don't do that", "I will not...", etc. Where as in Japanese "iie" (no) can't fulfill all of those meanings like "no" can in English.

Mae


3 years ago #9786263        
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In Finnish, no is a verb and it conjugates.


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3 years ago #9776092        
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In German, there is a colloquial saying which is sometimes heard: "ja nee...." , which means, "yes, no, but...." It's more a "no" than a "yes", "but...."

6 years ago #9496587        
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The Welsh don't want to be "disagreeable".


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6 years ago #9487256        
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// Dim is the common term for No


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3 years ago #9815685        
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In Scotland there’s a yes . . . and a no :P
(Also I love Wales’ dragon on the t-shirt XD )

3 years ago #9815552        
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The same thing in the Irish language. There really is no exact word for “Yes” or “No”. Thus, modern Irish speakers mostly decide to use “Tá” as yes but it really means “to be” and “Níl” for no but again, it actually is the most frequently used negation of verb.

3 years ago #9815550        
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The same thing in the Irish language. There really is no exact word for “Yes” or “No”. Thus, modern Irish speakers mostly decide to use “Tá” as yes but it really means “to be” and “Níl” for no but again, it actually is the most frequently used negation of verb.

Sisu

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3 years ago #9784987        
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Wouldn´t they still have to use the word "No" if they said "Not yes?" ?


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3 years ago #9776552        
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Wonder whether in other languages there is a word which really equals German "jein", a synthesis of "ja" = yes and "nein" = no.

"jein" is used fairly commonly, when neither "yes" nor "no" fully apply....

4 years ago #9764470        
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Finnish has these expressions: "Joo ei" (Yes no), "No ei kyllä" (Well no yes) and "Ei mutta joo" (No but yes). It is rather funny how those words get mixed up... dictionaries don't work here, do they?

5 years ago #9629215        
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That's not something I would have expected. Why's that? Are welsh just generally pacific/prone to compromise that they don't need to be assertive when they don't want something?


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5 years ago #9577794        
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Wait is Welsh an actual different language because I'm pretty sure everyone speaks in English...


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