March 29, 2014
In August, 2012, I blogged that "第几" has no English equivalent. (If you haven't already read it, you may want to take a quick look first, but ignore my explanation based on presence or absence of measure words (量词) in a language.) Now I'd like to expand this topic to include other languages and so posted a discussion at how-to-learn-any-language.com. Based on the responses, I place languages into three groups according to their capability to ask about the ordinal number of an item in a series. (Words in parentheses are the words or phrases equivalent to the Chinese "第几". Hyperlinks point to other people's discussions. Words in brackets are my comments.)
Group 1: a single word serves as the question word
French (combientième, quantième) [The poster says quantième is very formal and rarely used.]
Marathi (kitva) [The poster specifically says Hindi probably does not have this word.]
Group2: a phrase is needed
Russian (какой по счету)
Swedish (vilken ... i ordningen)
Group 3: some logic is needed to deduce the ordinal number, or you ask in a different way, or there's not a general interrogative construct
Spanish [? debated]
Joop Kiefte at May 17, 2014 at 3:26 PM said...
Yong Huang at May 17, 2014 at 8:12 PM said...
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