language tells a story about the way people think….

new words come into languages by many means. some new words are ‘borrowed’ words, some new words are formed with reference to the mother languages ( e.g. for English, latin, germanic, etc ) and some words are  onomatopoeic…

some new words in Chinese are borrowed from English, and allocated Chinese characters and Chinese sounds… but the word “computer” in Chinese is made up of two existing characters.

电脑  diànnăo  is the Chinese word for computer.

电  diàn  means electric

脑  năo   means brain

so there you have it – electric brain! makes a lot of sense when you think about it!

Just out of interest, i looked at the origins of the english word computer – it stems ( obviously) from a latin word meaning to compute. apparently, the word ‘computer’ has been used since the 18th century to refer to a person who ‘computes’ – i.e. does maths, adds up figures.

which term do you prefer for these machines which have become so essential to our lives? .. something that computes, or an electric brain? which term do you think is more descriptive, more in keeping with the function of a computer?….–