"You are women."
Translation:Ni är kvinnor.
Ni and du are different. Du refers to just one person, ni refers to more people. Since there is plural "women", only "ni" can be used
So Ni is basically Y'all. That makes sense now. I was extremely confused
Ni is 2nd person plural, Du is 2nd person singular! It has to be plural because otherwise the sentence "you are womEn" would not make sense (would be "you are A womAn" if it was singular).
I don't know why people ignore how annoying it is that English doesn't have a second person plural. "Y'all" is what I use. Sure, it's just a contraction. Still, at least it somewhat addresses the issue. The problem with most language majors is that they tend to be "conservatives" on a given language, and prevent further evolution of said language.
I think we should instead refer to the suggestions of linguists, which may allow language to evolve in a logical and efficient manner.
Spelling in English is abysmal. Why not make it phonetic? Why not make the grammar rules more streamlined, instead of regular irregularities? Maybe one day, these issues will be addressed. Unlikely in my lifetime, though. :/
I've not heard of this, it's very interesting. :] However, it's not the availability of a phonetic scrip, (because I know how to read and write IPA), it's convincing people that it would actually be easier to use said script. :P The problem is language majors (not linguists) that do their best to control and 'conserve' a language as-is, without letting it evolve in a logical fashion.
Why do you think it would be easier - or indeed better? English's idiosyncrasies hold its history: for centuries after the Norman invasion it was the language of serfs and the pre-invasion literary tradition was lost whilst French and Latin were the languages of the educated oppressors. So grammar rules and spelling were lost to a degree (standardised spelling was the aim of Samuel Johnson dictionary some 600 years later).
Equally, many of the spellings in English are faithful to the language of the words' origin...English is basically a mixture of Old German and Old French, with some Scandinavian, remnants of Brythionic and Celtic languages, and a bunch of borrowed words - like bungalow, shampoo and pyjamas, to name but three.
How would a phonetic script deal with homophones? here, hear! there their they're.
Investigating why the language is the way it is leads to fascinating discoveries out our past - why would anyone want to destroy a treasure trove of history?
If you want a constructed regular language, use Esperanto.
And if you want singular and plural "you" in English, let's return to using thee and thou.....
Language evolves with subtlety over time, including the English language. If you went back in time two-hundred years ago you would likely have a hard time understanding, not because linguists allowed language to change, simply because language flows like a river.
Some languages have changed little over time; I may be wrong but I believe Arabic to be an example.
Can 'Ni' be used as a plural you and formal you, like the German 'Ihr'?
'Ni' can in theory also be used like the german 'Sie'; formal singular you. However, you only use that if you would talk to the king or such. You would sound very archaic in other situations.
As a side note, I actually have been referred to as 'Ni' in a couple of visits to some stores recently, always by younger staff. They probably think they are being very polite, but to me it sounds very strange, and this usage sounds like a relic from a hundred years ago..
(Also, I lied. If you would meet the king you should actually say "Ers Majestät", referring to him in third person.)
So ni is like vous in french? Is it also used to be more formal/polite, or can one use du for that too? Just trying to wrap my head around it, english only having one 'you' word makes other languages confusing!
Im not quite sure of the differences of used with Du and Ni. Same with är, could someone help a little or direct me to something that explains. Thanks Jesse