March 11th, 2011 
the language we use affects the thoughts we think! or, in french: the female language we use affects the female thoughts we think!




The haps: I'm drawing heavily on Lera Boroditsky's paper here (PDF), which I recommend you give a read if you're at all interested in this! It's a fascinating summary of experiments done to determine if and to what degree language affects thought, and it's written at a very accessible level.

Basically what I'm saying is if you came here for a comic about talking dinosaurs and now, with that itch scratched, you'd like to read a research paper: I've got your back.

So as this comic follows Wednesday's and Thursday's (where I posted versions in German, French, and Sanskrit) it seems only appropriate to post some more translations I've gotten from you, who are now, demonstrably, the best readers in the world. Benito Cereno translated the comic into, oh, I don't know... LATIN:

His notes: Obviously you refer to several more modern ideas, such as sexual orientation. While it is not the case that these words don't exist as neologisms, it is the case that it is difficult to cross-reference these ideas with my Lewis and Short dictionary. So if any prominent neo-Latinists out there would like to correct such speculative phrasing as "praeferenta sexualis," I would be willing to accept notes. That said, I had an easier time translating "heteroflexible" than I did "there's a 50% chance."

A note on vocabulary: while there exist in Classical Latin words for homosexual people and activities, they are almost entirely derogatory. Amongst my circle of neo-Latinist friends, the preferred terminology for a gay man is "festivulus," with the feminine form being "festivula," which is an almost literal rendering of the word gay: "someone who is a little bit festive." I used that word accordingly, rather than the fairly offensive "cinaedus" or "tribas."

Ironically, the subject of the strip itself led to a small difficulty, which is to say gendered nouns. The Latin word for moon is "luna," which is feminine, and as such requires the feminine form of the adjective to modify it. But since I was trying to express the moon as a gay MAN, I had to use the masculine when I said "PRORSUS FESTIVULISSIMUS," my totally made up phrase meaning "100% super gay." I hope subsequently no one will call me out for noun/adjective agreement.

Also I rendered "neurons" as "brain-meat." I hope that's okay.

I also slipped a grammatical tidbit in there that wasn't in the original English. I hope some studious Latinist will find it.

Sweet! Enjoy, readers of comics who are also readers of Latin!

And what's this? HEBREW?? Becky sent me a Hebrew translation of the comic, that I couldn't lay out properly because I couldn't get Photoshop to stop treating it like English text. But here's the translation!

Becky's notes:

I translated it into Hebrew, another one of the oldest languages-- incidentally, in Hebrew, there are two words for moon: one is masculine and one is feminine (though the masculine one is used more commonly), so I used them both, partly so I could say "[masculine noun] is masculine in Polish and [feminine noun] is feminine in French" and partly... because I can.

Also, the entire translated text uses genuine Hebrew words (that is, words derived from ancient Hebrew, as opposed to borrowed words from English or other places), with the exception of 'gay', 'homosexual', and 'lesbian', concepts which, sadly, didn't exist so much in the time and region of Biblical Hebrew. (Also I replaced 'woo hoo' with an approximately equivalent phrase in modern Hebrew slang, which is borrowed from Arabic.)

I italicised where you had T-Rex speaking in all-caps, because Hebrew doesn't have capital/lowercase letters. (Also, for reasons unknown to me, the word processor, which is unused to Hebrew text, insists on putting the punctuation on the wrong end of each line. I apologize for this.)

Finally finally, you may notice a new "buy this print" button beneath most of my comics! I guess you should click it and see what it does!

– Ryan

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