Ben Oostdam story # 525

TEENS and TEENAGERS

I have always been intrigued with the relation between the words :
"teens", i.e. the numbers from 10 through 19,
and "teenagers", young adults between the ages of 12 and 20.

Let's just look at the numerals 10-20 in the six languages tabulated below:
In English, Dutch and German, the endings of ...teen, tien and zehn, respectively,
leave little doubt about what "teenagers" are.

# ENGLISH DUTCH GERMAN FRENCH SPANISH INDONESIAN
10 ten tien zehn dix diez sepulu
11 eleven elf elf onze once sebelas
12 twelve twaalf zwölf douze doce duabelas
13 thirteen dertien dreizehn treize trece tigabelas
14 fourteen veertien Vierzehn quatorze catorce empatbelas
15 fifteen vijftien fünfzehn quinze quince limabelas
16 sixteen zestien Sechzehn seize diez y seis enambelas
17 seventeen zeventien siebzehn dix-sept diecisiete tudjuhbelas
18 eighteen achttien achtzehn dix-huit dieciocho delapanbelas
19 nineteen negentien neunzehn dix-neuf diecinueve sembilanbelas
20 twenty twintig zwanzig vingt veinte duapulu


Using similar criteria for French and Spanish,
this time beginnings rather than endings of
dix and dies, respectively,
would result in Spanish teenagers starting at sixteen,
and French as late as seventeen ... so sorry

By contrast, in Indonesia, teenagers would have an early start at eleven
- and a full nine years of teenagery - if we look at the common ending of belas ....

Some translations of the word "teenager":
DUTCH - tiener
GERMAN - Teenager, Teen, Jugendliche
FRENCH - jeune, ado, adolescent
SPANISH - adolescente
INDONESIAN - pemuda, pemudi,
anak tanggung, remaja
ALBANIAN - ri (now that is eaaasy!>
CROATIAN - tinejdžer (and so is this!!!)
ESTONIAN - Teismeline
FILIPINO - bagets
FINNISH - nuoren ("ren" is "man" in Chinese)
HUNGARIAN - Tinédzserként
LATVIAN - pusaudzis
LITHUANIAN - paauglys
NORWEGIAN - tenĺring
POLISH - nastolatek
PORTUGUESEA - adolescente
ROMANIAN - adolescenta
SLOVENIAN - najstnik
SWEDISH - tonĺring
Note for CZECH, DANISH, ITALIAN, MALTESE and SLOVAK :
Some of the words you entered could not be translated.
Changing capitalization and punctuation may solve this problem.

LINKS:
modern West Germanic Languages
Word Monkey Translator iGoogle

BLO fecit 20091028b - stories