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Old 10-24-2010, 04:24 AM   #14
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Join Date: 01-09-2002
Age: 55
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Default Re: Hello my name is Ben , ניתוחים פלסטיים

Originally Posted by rewboss View Post
Language, my favourite subject.

Hebrew and Arabic, which are related, are fascinating languages. Words consist of a number of consonants, usually three, with vowel sounds inserted between them which alter the meaning. The vowels don't have their own letters, but may be represented as Loki describes.

For example, the consonants sh-b-t represent "rest". But it doesn't have real meaning until you put the vowels in: "shobet" means "he rests", while "shabat" means "he rested" (hence "Sabbath"). Prefixes and suffixes are also used: "nashbit" means "we will cause to rest", i.e. "we will bring to a standstill", or: "we are on strike".

Arabic is the same. "s-l-m" is the root for "peace". "salima" means "he was at peace". "Salaam" is "the state of being at peace".

That's why the words for the religion and the people who practice that religion look so radically different to us. "Islam" means "the action of causing peace", i.e. submission (meaning submission to Allah), while a "muslim" is a person who causes peace, i.e. a person who submits (to Allah). Both words have the same root "s-l-m".

It's a beautiful system, but fiendishly difficult to learn. If you're interested in how such a system could possibly have evolved, I can recommend The Unfolding of Language by Guy Deutscher.

Incidentally, this system is also responsible for the word "Jehovah". What happened was this: in parts of the Old Testament, God is referred to as "YHWH" (sometimes written "JHVH"), which, if you add vowels, becomes "Yahweh", probably meaning "the one who is" or "the one who causes to be". But later on, "Yahweh" was considered too sacred to pronounce, so when the system of vowel points was developed, the word "YHWH" (or "JHVH") was written in the Torah with the vowel points from the word "adonai", which means "lord". The idea was to alert a reader to the fact that although he sees "Yahweh", he should say "Adonai". What do you get if you take the vowels from "Adonai" and the consonants from "Yahweh"? You get "Jehovah", that's what.

(You also have to know that J and Y were both originally variants of I, and V and W are also closely related.)

PS. If you're still reading, you get a gold star.
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