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  5. "I wear a shirt."

"I wear a shirt."

Translation:Mi portas ĉemizon.

June 2, 2015



Vesti is the action of putting clothes on somebody, maybe oneself, or a bodypart. So the sentence would follow a totally different pattern. Something like "Mi vestis min per ĉemizo." would have a similar meaning.


Interesting... portas reminds me of "port" like the root of transport, which gives me indications of carrying something. If I'm correct, it actually can mean that as well.

It's interesting because in German, the verb tragen also means both to carry and to wear.

  • 2533

In French, where I suspect this word came from, "porter" can mean either "to carry" or "to wear". And it absolutely comes from the "port" root you mentioned.

As for how it means both, it has to do with semantic expansion. If you think about it, wearing something is a way of carrying it around, and if you carry something around, you're trans(across)port(carry)ing it.


I wonder if this has anything to do with the use of the English word "sporting" used like "wearing".


That might work as a justification, but it's not accurate. Wear and carry are very different things. Wearing is not merely carrying something, it is making use of it, using it for it's designed purpose. Carrying is merely transporting it. The difference becomes even more obvious in examples like from an earlier question concerning coats. When you wear a coat it is cold and you make use of the coat. When you carry a coat, it is warm, and you have no use for the coat, you are simply transporting it instead of abandoning it. Conceptually they are unrelated.

  • 2533

And yet in French, they are the same word. Just because two concepts have diverged does not make them unrelated. You can't argue the workings of language A from language B. It just doesn't work that way.


Both verbs have multiple meanings, even your beloved verb "carry", and yes, you are thinking only with your English mind, because in French, there is just one word to say "to wear" and "to carry". However, the original question was the semantic expansion and you can clearly see it with the definitions i gave you before but i will sum it up:

-Avoir quelque chose sur soi : to have something on you => -Prendre quelque chose et le soutenir dans ses bras, le soutenir sur le dos, la tête, en particulier pour le transporter : to take something and carrying it in your arms, carrying it on your back, on your head, particularly to carry/ move it => - Avoir sur soi un vêtement, un accessoire : To have on you an item of clothing, an accessory

So, this is how it works in the French language, and because you do not understand it from your English perspective doesn't mean the 2 concepts are totally unrelated for everyone. Plus, Jackbond also mentions the german example, i'm pretty sure it would work the same way.

<pre> =&gt; the English meaning of "to hold" is the link between the English meanings "to carry" and "to wear" in the verb "porter": </pre>

-to hold: you stay static with the object you hold -to carry: you hold an object towards a specific place -to wear: you hold clothes on you

Also, the concepts are part the result of the way you formulate them through the language you use, so stop telling "Now other languages are out of the way you can focus on the concepts involved, instead of trying to justify the way some languages do things." because you take the whole thing completely upside down. Sure, "to wear" is a very accurate word, that French doesn't have but, hey, you do not have the pronoun "tu" which is the singular "you" in French, used in very specific circumstances, and i do not say: "Erk, this man is using the "tu" and the "vous" (plural you + courtesy you) in one singular word and however, for me, those terms have nothing in common, they are inherently different ! Oh my !"


I've read as "I wear a ❤❤❤❤" xD


Mi portas fekon


Could you also say "mi surhavas cxemizon"?

  • 2533

I think so, yes.


…which begs the question: what's the difference between porti ĉemizon and surhavi ĉemizon? Wouldn't porti be to carry and surhavi to wear (see the discussion above) in this context?

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