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Can you name the languages in which 'stop' is written on these signs?
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These images are NOT intended to represent the actual stop signs used in these countries. Rather, the stop signs are just the method of presenting the language.
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Stop! In the Name of Language Quiz
Created Nov 5, 2010 in
Featured Dec 6, 2010
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Nov 5th, 2010 at 21:53 GMT
I am, by no means, a linguist. I used an online translator for many of these and understand that I may have translated 'stop' to mean 'cease doing that' or something related, but not into the word that would mean 'halt' or 'stop moving' in that language. If that's the case for any of these signs, please let me know about the error and what the correction would be. Thanks!
Nov 5th, 2010 at 21:56 GMT
@Hejman: Really good quiz, especially for language lovers like me! One rather large problem though: you have Chinese on there twice.
Nov 5th, 2010 at 22:03 GMT
D'oh! Well, crud. One of those is supposed to be Russian! I've corrected the file and sent it to Sporcle. Only the admins can do the update in this format.
Nov 5th, 2010 at 22:28 GMT
Fixed! The Sporcle admins rock. Thanks, Super Sporcle Man, whose secret identity I will not here reveal!
Nov 5th, 2010 at 22:43 GMT
Hejman, the sign you have listed as "Japanese" is, in fact, Chinese; Japanese stop signs are triangular and read 「止まれ」 (tomare, "stop"), as can be seen here: http://www.pbase.com/image/83657091 -- I strongly suspect this is the case for many of the other stop signs, what with machine translation being so easily confused by the polysemy of the source English.
Nov 5th, 2010 at 22:44 GMT
Once again the day is saved by Super Sporcle Man! Now that is fixed, 5 sporcle orbs.
Nov 5th, 2010 at 22:58 GMT
@Ignis_Umbrae- It appears that the answer labels for Chinese and Japanese were simply switched. Based on your link, however, the actual Japanese characters for "tomare" are different than what the translator provided me. Can anyone tell me what the sign in image #1 actually says? (Whilst I cross my fingers and hope it's not anything rude.)
Nov 5th, 2010 at 23:05 GMT
I have absolutely no idea where you got the Portuguese one from... I'm Portuguese and it was one of the two I missed. The correct text to put in there would probably be "parar".
Nov 5th, 2010 at 23:32 GMT
Thanks, MorningBell411- that's exactly the kind of feedback I needed! I've submitted a corrected image file. I also double checked the meaning of 'Batente' and it means "Anvil" in Portuguese. Apparently, the online translator thought Anvil and Stop were closely related to one another!
Nov 5th, 2010 at 23:42 GMT
@Hejman: the sign now marked as Japanese reads 「中止」 (chuushi), meaning something like "suspension" or "stoppage", so while it's approximately the correct meaning, it isn't what is used on Japanese stop signs -- that would be 止まれ.
Nov 6th, 2010 at 00:54 GMT
Portuguese anvil fixed. Thanks again, Super Secret Sporcle Man. Thanks, also, Ignis_Umbrae for the clarification. I'm going to hold off for just a bit and make sure that no other issues are pointed out before I address the Japanese issue (since that one is close enough to convey the meaning and correct language).
Nov 6th, 2010 at 03:42 GMT
I did a Google search for Japanese stop sign, and the first three images all showed this: http://www.fanpop.com/spots/picks/images/2311106/title/japanese-stop-sign-photo
Nov 6th, 2010 at 04:02 GMT
Yes, rockgolf- that's exactly what Ignis_Umbrae linked to. And, as was already noted, it's the difference between saying "halt" (as in to cease movement) and "stoppage" (as in, having ceased movement). Ultimately, I will make that change, but it's the weekend and since the quiz will need to be updated by Sporcle, I'll give it 'till Monday to make sure there are no further issues. The sign, as is, is in Japanese and has a substantially similar, though perhaps grammatically incorrect, statement on it- so, as it indicates the correct language, it will be ok until the image can be updated. Thanks for the link.
Nov 6th, 2010 at 05:09 GMT
The Arabic is backwards and unconnected. It should look like this: موقف ... which BTW means "bus stop," not "Stop!" Same with the Greek.
Nov 6th, 2010 at 05:33 GMT
Should the Greek therefore be σταματώ (stamato)? As for the Arabic, part of the problem is the font style. I have to use Photoshop to format these images and whether I use Traditional or Standard Arabic when I copy the text you have in your comment, it is reproduced exactly as it is in the image on the quiz. I'll continue to try to find a work around for that.
Nov 6th, 2010 at 06:09 GMT
I thought 'alto' meant tall...
Nov 6th, 2010 at 08:01 GMT
The Finnish should probably be "Seis". A native speaker might want to correct me though.
Nov 6th, 2010 at 10:32 GMT
Dutch stopsigns simply read 'stop'. 'Einde' means ending. Another correct (though not used in signs) synonym would be 'halt'
Nov 6th, 2010 at 12:08 GMT
Please accept "Mandarin" or "Mandarin Chinese."
Nov 6th, 2010 at 12:40 GMT
You should accept Danish as an alternate answer for the English stop sign. Stop means stop in Danish as well.
Nov 6th, 2010 at 12:42 GMT
Can I start yet ;)
Nov 6th, 2010 at 12:48 GMT
The hebrew word means absolutely nothing. The Hebrew word is עצור
Nov 6th, 2010 at 13:17 GMT
I at first was puzzled by the Hebrew and even thought maybe it was supposed to be Yiddish (though it didn't sound like it would be Yiddish either), then I realized it is the word להפסיק (lehafsik) spelled backwards. That means "to stop" (doing something). As the commenter above says, the proper word should be עצור ('atzor), and preferably spelled in the right direction. But great idea for a quiz!
Nov 6th, 2010 at 13:27 GMT
The Dutch sign meand something like "the end". The correct sign has "STOP" written on it, just like the English signs.
Nov 6th, 2010 at 13:32 GMT
Amazingly helpful comments, everyone! @magic1- Alto has several meanings including tall, high, loud and 'to make a stop'. (See here: http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/alto) I've seen Spanish stop signs that say Alto or Pare. @Chromatos- 'Estaa' is Finnish for 'to stop (from doing something)', so it's a direct translation for stop, but perhaps not the correct form. I too would love to hear more from native Finnish speakers. @Terentius_Varro- This source: http://lookwayup.com/lwu.exe/lwu/d?s=f&w=stop#Nld gives me afslaan, stoppen, keren and several others for 'the car stopped'. Halt shows up only in German. Any more help there would be great. @donuthead247- added! @Flick- Yes. Yes you can. @Maaian and superball- It appears that, as with Arabic, I'm having font issues with the Hebrew. Working on a fix for that, but your comments are immensely helpful.
Nov 6th, 2010 at 14:06 GMT
Quick update- I'm going solve the Dutch issue by replacing it with Latin. (Which makes me chuckle, frankly, because I have this mental image of a bunch of Roman chariots backed up in traffic). The Hebrew image is corrected but, as with Arabic, Photoshop is automatically reversing the order of the letters- I've manually fixed the Hebrew and will work on the Arabic. The Greek is switched out as well. Again, these changes probably won't be reflected in the image until Monday. I don't like getting things wrong, but this has been both educational and fun- keep the comments/suggestions/corrections coming!
Nov 6th, 2010 at 14:08 GMT
@Hejman: as a Dutchman, I can say our stopsigns say 'stop'. However, 'halt' means the same thing, only is more official. Bur if you're going to replace it with Latin, that's even better! The best translation according to the Lewis and Short dictionary would be 'resisto': http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0059%3Aentry%3Dre3&highlight=stop
Nov 6th, 2010 at 14:17 GMT
good quiz - except the german one... it doesn't mean hält, it's halt.
Nov 6th, 2010 at 14:34 GMT
@Terentius_Varro- 'Resisto' is 'to resist' or 'make a stand'. I think the correct Latin is 'desino'. @sayo- the German verb to stop is 'anhalten' and the interjection form is halt! Considering Terentius_Varro's comments, I'll add Dutch as an alternate answer for that one.
Nov 6th, 2010 at 16:20 GMT
Estää is more like to stop someone else from doing something, if it's the person themselves doing the stopping then it's lopettaa, or pysähtyä if you mean the stopping of movement.
Nov 6th, 2010 at 18:34 GMT
@kittenkat- Thanks! I'll make that change. I've solved the Arabic order problem by pasting the image into MS Word and then back into Photoshop, though the language is the same (and still, therefore, presumably says 'bus stop'). I'd love to hear any feeback on the Korean and Russian, since I am not familiar with those alphabets. Again, I'll wade through all these issues and then send a corrected picture file to Sporcle tomorrow night or Monday to fix everything at once.
Nov 6th, 2010 at 19:35 GMT
French stop signs say "STOP" ; Québécois signs say "ARRE^T", like you have ; Néo-Brunswickais signs say both, since they are the bilingual Canadian province.
Nov 6th, 2010 at 19:51 GMT
The Finnish stop signs say "STOP" only. The Finnish equivalent would be "SEIS" as shown here at the border of a military area: http://www.vastavalo.fi/talvi-winter-tie-stop-rajoitus-132710.html
Nov 6th, 2010 at 20:51 GMT
As the note at the top says, I am not trying to reproduce stop signs from around the world, simply using the medium of the stop sign to present the word in other languages. If I just put up a whole bunch of signs that say "STOP", that wouldn't be a very fun quiz. Which is to say, I think what I'm hearing is that the French is good as is. Because seis has other meanings in other languages, I think it best to switch out the Finnish for another language- how about an easy one, the Swedish 'STOPP!'?
Nov 6th, 2010 at 21:38 GMT
@Hejman: 'Desine' is 'stop what you're doing'. 'Resiste' is 'stand still'. If you don't believe me, believe the Lewis and Short dictionary: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0059%3Aentry%3Dre3&highlight=stop
Nov 6th, 2010 at 22:32 GMT
Yes, but stopping at a stop sign is to "stop what you're doing."
Nov 6th, 2010 at 22:35 GMT
@donuthead Technically Mandarin would not be correct because it is a spoken dialect of Chinese, and there is only one Chinese written language.
Nov 6th, 2010 at 23:58 GMT
Our German Stop signs simply say "Stop" just like your American ones. Our word for stop is Halt, not Hält. (No Umlaut)
Nov 7th, 2010 at 00:33 GMT
Thanks, Hamburger- that umlout was a pain in the neck, anyway. I'll be happy to be rid of it.
Nov 7th, 2010 at 09:44 GMT
I agree, for the Finnish one,'seis' would be the best for this meaning. If you don't want to use seis, I'd say 'pysähdy' would be ok as well, but 'estää' is quite weird. Nice idea for a quiz anyway!
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