Maya/Mayan - irregular cultural/language terms.

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by milos_mommy, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Little known fact: "Mayan" isn't a term that is used to describe a people, culture, calendar, etc. It is the name of a language, not the name of a people, civilization, etc. Saying "The Mayan calendar, I have Mayan ancestors, the Mayan ruins", is not correct use of the term, it should be Maya. Maya calendar, Maya people, Maya civilization, Maya doomsday theory.

    My question: Does anyone else have other examples of cultures/countries/ethnic groups where the language name is irregular compared to the term for the culture? Of course there are situations like speaking Hindu or Bengali in India or Khmer in Cambodia, but I'm looking for something more similar to the Maya/Mayan fiasco where you wouldn't add -ese, -ish, -ian onto a culture to describe a people or place, but might for language?
     
  2. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Err I know a lot of people refer to England when actually they mean Britain.
     
  3. Keechak

    Keechak Aussie Obssessed

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    I may very well be ignorant but I always thought England and Britain were the same thing? I have heard British people use them interchangeably as well.

    more specific I thought England was the name of the country while Britain (Great Britain) was the name of the island? SO essentially the same thing, except for Scotland and Wales which are part of Great Britain but not part of England.

    It may also be a perspective thing, I'm from the United States and over here whenever someone uses the term "England" they always mean the country of England. They never use it to refer to the England, Scot, Wales "area" of Great Britain.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  4. MinPinOwner

    MinPinOwner Member

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    It can be confusing. United Kingdom refers to England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and a bunch of islands all over the world. Great Britain refers to England, Scotland, and Wales (the main island). England is on the southern edge of Great Britain.
     
  5. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I know the geographical and political difference between Britain and England, but what about culturally? Would it be just as correct to say someone who is from/lives in London is both British and English?
     
  6. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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  7. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Well, I'm british, from England. My other half is British but from Wales. He is predominantly welsh, where as I'm either British or English. Just as a person from Scotland would be Scottish over British. English don't care so much, but we don't have much reason to.

    :D
     
  8. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    But Dizzy, I could say "Dizzy is English" and that would be a proper statement, correct? Just as "Dizzy is British" could be correct?
    I could say "Dizzy's SO is British" or "Dizzy's SO is Welsh", but wouldn't say "Dizzy's SO is English" because...he's not. Right?
     
  9. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Uhm.. Yes. Sort of. All are correct, but when it comes to cultural identity there's huge scope there. Welsh/Scottish/Irish tend to be very patriotic. English much less so.
     
  10. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Well, there's Scots and Scottish . . . and Scotch ;)

    I don't think even the Scots can agree on how it goes.
     
  11. Keechak

    Keechak Aussie Obssessed

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    So it may be correct to say "Mayan Calendar" if you are referring to the language that the calendar is written in?
     
  12. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I imagine so, but I've never heard anyone who's educated on Maya culture use that phrase.
     

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