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How to Use the Prefixes Semi-, Hemi-, and Demi- in English 

How to Use the Prefixes Semi-, Hemi-, and Demi- in English 

English has numerous prefixes that signify "half. "Why do we need so many? And what's the difference?

How to Use the Prefixes Semi-, Hemi-, and Demi- in English 

English has numerous prefixes that signify “half. “Why do we need so many? And what’s the difference? 

1. Prefix Semi- in English

The earliest and most common prefix in English is semi-, which comes from Latin and means “half”. Semi- was first employed in the direct sense of “half” in the word ‘semicircular’, but it quickly became connected with notions that are harder to measure.  

A semi-circle is easy to recognize, but what does it have to look like to be considered ‘semi-abstract’? And what exactly is meant by ‘semi-permanent’? Through more abstract usage that grew prevalent in the 1800s, the prefix semi- also developed to imply “almost” or “somewhat,” as in “semiamusing” or “semi- semi-angry” (slightly displeased).  

Writing Pictographs, onomatopoeia

2. Prefix Hemi- in English

In Greek, hemi- means “half. ” It is less common than semi- and is more associated with technical language in fields such as chemistry, biology, and anatomy. The “half” meaning implies symmetry along the vertical axis.  

For example, a hemicylinder is not a half cylinder in the sense of upper half, lower half; rather, it is a half sliced lengthwise. Similarly, hemiplegic refers to paralysis of the left or right side, whereas paraplegic refers to paralysis of the lower half. The term “hemisphere” is a specific instance because a sphere is symmetrical on all sides.  

3. Prefix Demi- in English

Demi means “half” in French. It was initially used in English to discuss heraldry, where terms such as demi-angels (half-man, half-angel), demi-lions (half-man, half-lion), and demi-horses (half-man, half-horse) emerge. It also appears frequently in various sectors, such as military (demi-brigade: semi-brigade) and fashion (demi-cap, demi-lustre, demi-worsted). It also implies “virtual” or “less than”. For example, a demigod is not a legitimate deity, and a demicannon is a medium-sized cannon.  

It appears ludicrous that English should borrow the prefix “half” from three different languages, but otherwise we wouldn’t have a word like ‘hemidemisemiquaver’ for ’64th note’, instead of having to say ‘the 2nd-2nd-2nd-2nd-8th note’.  

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Translation Instructions and Efficient Ways to Build Them

7 steps of the basic translation process 

Each LSP has its own translation method, which can be tailored to the needs of the customer. However, in general, LSPs must assure adherence to a defined procedure. In this post, AM Vietnam will outline seven fundamental stages that all professional translation efforts must follow.

blank

Translation Quality Assurance with Xbench in 09 Steps

Quality assurance with Xbench is an essential stage in ensuring translation quality in professional translation today. Join AM Vietnam to learn how to utilize Xbench, one of the most successful translation QA tools available today.