Definition of Mastery LO28309

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 04/25/02

Replying to LO28267 --

Dear Organlearners,

Andrew Campbell < > writes:

>Do people using various dictionaries in America
>and/or South Africa recognise the distinctions
>between an 'artisan' an 'artiste' and an 'artist'?

Greetings dear Andrew,

I do not know the answer to that one because I have never asked them and
neither have they told me.

We have a far greater problem here in South Africa. Few people actually
consult dictionaries. Furthermore, the majority of those who do consult
dictionaries, use an English-Afrikaans "translation dictionary" rather
than also consulting an English "explanation dictionary" to find which of
several possible English words express best what they want to say. Most
people rely on the use of English by others to rub the meaning of words
off onto them. Many also mix Afrikaans and English, indicating that they
see no use in using a dictionary.

The Afrikaans for your words are
(art = "kuns")
(arts = "kunste")
artist = "kunstenaar"
artiste = "arties"
artisan = "handwerker"

The suffix "-naar" makes a doer out of something (noun or verb). For
example "skulde"=debts so that "skuldenaar"=debtor means "doer of debts".
Compare it with "reken"=calculate so that "rekenaar"=calculator means
"doer of calculate".

The "handwerker" is a composition of "hand"=hand and "werker"=worker. This
happens according to a powerful rule in Afrikaans. Any word (noun, verb,
adjective, adverb) can be connected to any other word (noun, verb,
adjective, adverb) so long as the result still makes sense. For example,
"geel"=yellow and "wortel"=root so that "geelwortel"=carrot while "geel
wortel" means "yellow root". (In the old days carrots were yellow rather
than the orange of today.)

But, there is more to it. Should I use the word "kunswerker" in
sentences like:
Listen to the singing of the "kunswerker" Ray, or
Look at the "kunswerker" Andrew busy painting,
it gets the meaning "kunswerker"="arties"=artiste. The word
"kunswerker" is not listed in the dictionary, but suddenly it got
that meaning. Other wise we may say:
He is a "kunstige werker"
In this last example the "kunstige"=artistic.

It is possible in Afrikaans to create a name for anything which has
emerged from parts by using the names of its parts. I wonder if there is a
langauge with more creative possibilities than Afrikaans?

With care and best wishes,


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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