- Note: the below discussion was moved from the Wiktionary:Tea room.
Fortnight has a number of slightly inaccurate translations. For now I've contented myself with pointing out that the Catalan and Portuguese quinzena; the French quinzaine, the Italian quindicina, the Spanish quincena, and the Greek δεκαπενθήμερο are all actually 15 days long, not fourteen. Should these close but no cylinder of rolled tobacco leaves entries be kept? In the case of the five Romantic entries, there likely should be a good entry to link them together at given their common origin, but I'm thinking that halfmonth would likely do the job as well. Carolina wren 03:43, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
- It's not as simple as observing that the root of the word is the number 15 rather than the number 14. Current usage, of which examples abound, is that these, however inaccurate they may be from a strict non-idiomatic point of view, are the translations that are actually in use in the world at large. One could generate a list of examples as long as one's arm, but I'll start with just one: The Quinzaine des réalisateurs at the Cannes Film Festival is, in English, the "Directors' Fortnight". And that translation has been around for 40 years, now.
Note, by the way, that there's no inherent logical disagreement between a period of 14 nights and one of 15 days — the other "but these aren't the same thing!" argument that is often proposed.
Also note that the translation for week into Welsh is wythnos, which is eight (wyth#Welsh) night(s) (nos#Welsh). One can cry that the numbers are inconsistent until one is blue in the face. That doesn't change the fact that these are the translations that the world uses. Uncle G 01:54, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
- It all makes perfect sense if one thinks that the first and last nights are not complete - i.e. only 'half nights' - and the whole period is bounded from midnight to midnight. Pingku 16:57, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
I'll throw in another way to look at it: 15 days have 14 nights between them... --BigBadBen 22:04, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
is it really synonym to half-month
According to other sources, a fortnight is 14 * 24h, and a half-month is a bit more, half of 30-31 days.