I feel that my guess that they're on the Med and the basin is refilling still has a leg to stand on.
SBN wrote:They'll probably get the idea, but it isn't always that simple. My daughter is studying Korean, and apparently it has different number words depending on what is being counted. English has one, two, three and first, second, third, but if I remember right, in Korean you might have sqrgl dogs, and each has its own dish, so you have lgrsq dishes, or something like that. (Sorry, she's not available for me to get more clarification at the moment.)
I don't speak Japanese, but I understand it's the same, and perhaps more so. There was once even a TV game show where the contestants had to count various items using the correct counting words, and even native speakers would get confused frequently enough to make a game of it. The "counting words" are the base word for the number fused with a word tied to the shape or kind of thing being counted (e.g., long thin things different from heavy round things).
We actually do this in English to, but only in corner cases. The correct syntax is "twenty head of cattle": "twenty cattle" is wrong. I think there are three such cases in English, but I can't remember the other two.
Any linguists out there?
Mikeski wrote:On number systems:
We use different bases and counting systems in our world, right now. Western languages break large numbers into 1000s (in English: ten, hundred, thousand; ten-thousand, hundred-thousand, million; ...), while Eastern languages often use 10000s (in Japanese: juu, hyaku, sen, man; juu-man, hyaku-man ...).
I personally find the system in India particularly confusing, as there are words for one hundred thousand (lakh) and ten million (crore), and you sometimes see numbers written 1,23,456 or 2,34,56,789. I find it difficult to mentally translate a house price of "78.53 Lakh" or "1.46 Crore" into millions, and have to write them down to get it. Funny that I still think in words, even for numbers. The latter number stubbornly refuses to look like "about twice" the former to me.