User talk:Stephen G. Brown/zelkova

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Hi Stephen. I just noticed that you enhanced the ж article. I've also noticed that you seem to know a bit of Russian and I've heard that "ж" is some kind of emphatic particle in Russian and Babelfish translates it just to "zh"! I wonder if you would be able to add an entry for that sense? — Hippietrail 01:19, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

Thanks again - great job! I think I really understand it now. — Hippietrail 13:11, 1 May 2005 (UTC)


Two questions on one day! I've become interested in the word zelkova which is common in translations from Japanese but rare enough to not be in any of my print dictionaries. I've found that the word comes from Georgian via Russian and I wonder if you'd have any resources to discover the Russian or Georgian spellings. I've taken a stab at the Russian bases on Google searches but haven't been able to verify it. Thanks in advance for any help. — Hippietrail 01:19, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

I don't know the etymology of the word, but in Russian, the Zelkova serrata is called дзельква пильчатая (or серый вяз, which means "gray elm"). The Zelkova carpinfolia is дзельква граболистная (where граб = hornbeam, Carpinus). —Stephen 07:33, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
Thanks very much! The Merriam-Webster's other Russian spelling seems to be дзелькова which gets a few Google hits, namely this one: - would you also be able to verify this one by any chance?
The Korean word also seems interesting. The spelling makes it look a bit like a borrowing but it's not like any word I can think of. I wonder where it came from. — Hippietrail 08:29, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
We did an article on these plants back around 1990 or so, and дзельква is the term we used. I remember checking it carefully back then just to be sure it wasn't a typo. The дзельква is also mentioned in my Smirnitsky Russian-English Dictionary, as well as in my Russian-English Chemical and Polytechnical Dictionary (Ludmilla I. Callaham, 1962), both very good dictionaries.
I have never encountered the spelling дзелькова before. I believe it’s a classic case of interference...the writer sees the English name "Zelkova" and gets the notion that the the Russian term дзельква must be a mistake, so he inserts an unwarranted "o" to bring it in line with the English.
In the Korean word neutinamu, namu means "tree." —Stephen 09:39, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

I'm impressed with the rarity of this word. I looked in every Russian monolingual and bilingual dictionary in a university library and most of the ones in a specialty foreign language bookshop. Not one contained "дзельква" and very few had any words beginning with "дз" at all!

Persian zelkova[edit]

I did find an entry in a Persian dictionary but didn't jot it down because it was early in my search when I thought the word would be more common. Since then I haven't found it in any other Persian dictionary. I wonder if you would have access to a good Persian dictionary? Apparently some variety of the tree is found where Persian is the local language (I looked in many botanical books too). I also wonder if there's an Armenian word but Armenian dictionaries are very hard to come by.

I think the Persian is درخت آزاد (deræxt âzad). Deræxt means "tree." I have a Persian dictionary, but it’s small and doesn’t have anything like this. —Stephen 13:20, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Korean zelkova[edit]

Another thing I haven't been able to find is which variant of the CJKV character was used in Korea.

I didn’t see this message until just now. The Korean character would be 槻. —Stephen 13:20, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

I'm guessing the Chinese one but none of the sources I've checked even says that any of the characters are related at all except the traditional vs simplified Chinese. Until today, no Chinese dictionary I checked gave "zelkova" for 櫸 / 榉. Smaller modern dictionaries leave it out, older dictionaries say "a type of elm" or even willow, or just describe the tree and/or its wood. Do you know of any way to confirm that the Japanese 槻 and 欟 are variants of each other or that the Japanese 欅 and the Chinese 櫸 are variants of each other?

No, I only know the Japanese for zelkova is 欅, and that 櫸 is not used. The 4-stroke part at the bottom right of the Japanese kanji is 手 (shu, te) and represents a hand. The 3-stroke Chinese counterpart is not used in Japanese, but it seems likely to me that it is a Chinese variant of the radical for 手 (shǒu). As for 槻 and 欟, the right part of 槻 is 規, which is ki (compass, rule, law); it’s a phonetic component and it means that the whole character 槻 is pronounced "ki." The right part of 欟 is actually just a variant of 観, which is kan (appearance, view). So, no, I don't think that 槻 and 欟 are variants of one another. —Stephen 13:20, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Thanks again! — Hippietrail 11:31, 5 May 2005 (UTC)