In Russian we have the word 'Mirozdanie', which means all that exists

post by kononov · 2011-01-02T20:28:43.307Z · score: 2 (9 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 24 comments

In Russian we have the word 'Mirozdanie', which means all that exists, no matter do we know anything about it or not. The sense of this word includes you and me and every man, and every star, and every planet and all universes and all space (super) civilizations, if exist, and this world and any other worlds, if exist, and so on. Is any English word with the same sense? Or in other words, how correctly and adequately translate the Russian word 'Mirozdanie' in English? I have my web project (in Russian) “Dossier on Mirozdanie” ( http://www.mirozdanie.narod.ru )   To tell about it in English sometimes I use the word, that Google and other dictionaries recomend - 'Creation' (Creation Dossier), sometimes, when I am afraid of being accused of creationism, I use the word «Multiverse» (Multiverse Dossier), but I think, every of this words has a great shortage in the context - both of them are based on hypothetical conceptions.

24 comments

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comment by Costanza · 2011-01-02T22:05:16.601Z · score: 12 (14 votes) · LW · GW

For a European intellectual writing for an English-speaking audience, I would suggest that you cultivate a simple, down-to-earth style; try to avoid abstractions where concrete words will do, and stay away from anything that might sound mystical.

For this reason, I'd suggest that you stick with something like "universe" or "everything" unless you really, really need to emphasize the expansiveness of your definition. Bertrand Russell is an excellent guide. He was able to write serious works in philosophy and mathematics while sticking with a very approachable style.

comment by endoself · 2011-01-02T21:05:09.432Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Technically, this is what universe was supposed to mean, before people started using the word multiverse. You could try using universe if the readership of the Mirozdanie Dossier isn't too familiar with the idea of the multiverse, or you could use something like 'cosmos' or 'totality'.

comment by Emile · 2011-01-03T09:18:44.570Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

'Creation' (Creation Dossier), sometimes, when I afraid to be accused in creationism, I use the word «Multiverses»

I don't think that's something you need to worry about at all.

(As an aside, you should probably work to improve your english grammar; you're understandable but there are a lot of mistakes. The sentence you wrote should be "when I am afraid of being accused of creationism". "I'm afraid to X" means "I fear the consequences of me doing X, so I don't want to do it", "I'm afraid of X" means "I fear X". This can't be immediatly deduced from the "of" and "to", and is the kind of rule native speakers don't even notice until a foreigner asks about it (and even then, they may give a wrong explanation - maybe I just did). It can be confusing for foreigners - in French both are "peur de".)

comment by kononov · 2011-01-03T12:53:20.113Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you very much for your recommendations. I have corrected my text according to them.

comment by JanetK · 2011-01-03T07:13:37.568Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I have used 'reality' but sometimes needed to call it 'undifferentiated reality' or to introduce the map-territory metaphor and then refer to the 'territory'. There is a problem with the right word for this in English. I suggest that you use the Russian word after a paragraph explaining its meaning - this would be interesting to your readers, allow you to define the concept you want to use very carefully and avoid any English language philosophical baggage.

comment by kononov · 2011-01-04T20:52:42.005Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you very much for your advice, I think I will try to follow it.

comment by steven0461 · 2011-01-02T22:03:39.982Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Why not "existence"?

comment by Emile · 2011-01-03T07:25:56.102Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Seems like the correct translation to me.

comment by Jack · 2011-01-03T10:08:57.612Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This is what I would use if I was trying to describe "Creation" without the creator part- I'll bet this is the right translation.

comment by Oscar_Cunningham · 2011-01-02T21:50:08.712Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe just "Everything"?

comment by Document · 2011-01-04T13:56:19.355Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GWThe Whole Sort of General Mish-Mash.
comment by Costanza · 2011-01-04T19:24:08.855Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

On further thought, I think any of the other suggestions in this thread might be best depending on the context. The context is everything. But the WSOGMM has a special place in my heart.

comment by Normal_Anomaly · 2011-01-02T21:12:21.887Z · score: 2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

"Cosmos" is probably the most common version. I have also seen "Reality." Both are frequently capitalized.

comment by kononov · 2011-01-04T21:03:58.045Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks a lot to everyone, who gave the comments. They are very helpful to me.

comment by Jack · 2011-01-03T10:07:19.295Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I love how we've managed to list like eight English words that would do the trick. What an amazing/preposterous number of synonyms.

I know our irregulars suck but you've got to give us credit for depth of vocabulary.

comment by Emile · 2011-01-03T10:57:43.755Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I know our irregulars suck but you've got to give us credit for depth of vocabulary.

You should see French - we have even more exceptions to our rules. German manages a much more sane exception/rule ratio, but that's mostly by having much more rules.

I think the biggest problem for foreign learners isn't irregulars, but the preposition in phrasal verbs - the way say "give up", "give in", "give out" or "get up", "get away", "get about" etc. all mean different things that can't just be deduced by what you know about the verb or the preposition alone.

comment by wedrifid · 2011-01-03T12:54:21.711Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

German manages a much more sane exception/rule ratio, but that's mostly by having much more rules.

Of course an exception is just another rule that happens to have a small scope...

comment by Sniffnoy · 2011-01-03T23:56:34.966Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Although general rules and specific rules may be implemented differently in the human brain.

comment by Vladimir_M · 2011-01-06T09:03:18.308Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Emile:

I think the biggest problem for foreign learners isn't irregulars, but the preposition in phrasal verbs - the way say "give up", "give in", "give out" or "get up", "get away", "get about" etc. all mean different things that can't just be deduced by what you know about the verb or the preposition alone.

These are indeed very difficult, but in my experience (and also from my observations of other fluent non-native English speakers), by far the hardest problem is the definite article. With a lot of practice and experience, you learn to use it with perhaps 90% or 95% accuracy, but then your improvement stagnates and it's impossible to ever get it 100% right like a native speaker.

comment by Emile · 2011-01-06T10:13:11.953Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Possible; most non-native spakers I know in "real life" are French, Chinese or German, and articles in French and German are close enough to English. If, as your name suggests, you know more people speaking Slavic languages, you might get a different impression. From Wikipedia (featuring a nice map!):

Linguists believe the common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, Proto Indo-European, did not have articles. Most of the languages in this family do not have definite or indefinite articles; there is no article in Latin, Sanskrit, Persian, nor in some modern Indo-European languages, such as the Baltic languages and most Slavic languages.

That fits with my impression that the most tell-tale sign of a Russian writing English is the lack of articles.

(I agree with your "100% is nearly impossible" bit; the equivalent in French would be the use of grammatical gender; my wife's been living in France since she was 11 (she's 30 now), and still makes mistakes a French eight-year-old wouldn't make).

comment by Costanza · 2011-01-05T18:47:46.113Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

English is the result of Norman men-at-arms attempting to pick up Saxon barmaids and is no more legitimate than any of the other results.
H. Beam Piper (Little Fuzzy or Fuzzy Sapiens)

For "Norman" read "French-speaking" and for "Saxon" read "Germanic-language-speaking." I'm told that English is now a Germanic language with a more-than-half Latinate (mostly French) vocabulary. Here's a quote which evokes a time in which the two languages had not fully mixed, at least not in every context -- it is a record from a court of criminal law:

[A judge] fuit assault per Prisoner la condemne pur Felony; que puis son condemnation ject un Brickbat a le dit Justice que narrowly mist, & pur ceo immediately fuit Indictment drawn per Noy envers le prisoner, & son dexter manus ampute et fix al Gibbet, sur que luy mesme immédiatement hangé in presence de Court.

P.S. Originally copied and pasted this quote from the web. Later, looked it up in a dead trees copy of "The Language of the Law" by Mellinkoff. The book cited a passage with spelling that was further from standard French...updated to reflect.

comment by Vladimir_M · 2011-01-06T08:55:28.289Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Costanza:

I'm told that English is now a Germanic language with a more-than-half Latinate (mostly French) vocabulary.

That's true only for highbrow written English (and even then, I'm not sure if French words would outnumber those coming directly from Latin). Everyday spoken English still overwhelmingly consists of Germanic words.

Also, that sample you cite is Law French, a very peculiar historical sort of formal legal language. Nobody ever used anything like that as everyday spoken language.

comment by wedrifid · 2011-01-03T04:53:01.667Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Is the meaning temporally limited? Does it constrain itself to the specific point in the time dimension at which the word is used?

comment by Dreaded_Anomaly · 2011-01-03T04:38:40.988Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Eliezer seems to like the term thingspace (see also).