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Ape and monkey Options
hACKme
Posted: Friday, August 31, 2018 10:09:27 AM

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Hi there,

I was wondering what was the difference between an ape and a monkey (I think it's a story of tail...?)

Also, I would like to know if you see a relevant translation for ape AND monkey in french language because the only one I see is "singe" (for both) or "grand singe" (which means big ape or big monkey...)

So I'm blurred right now !

Thanks a lot !
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Friday, August 31, 2018 10:50:37 AM

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Apes and monkeys are both types of primates, and broadly speaking the major difference between them is apes do not have tails but most monkeys do, although to confuse the issue slightly there are a few species of monkey that are tailless. (Similarly most cats have tails but the Manx cat does not).

I am afraid I don't speak French I cannot help with the second part.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
hACKme
Posted: Friday, August 31, 2018 11:01:26 AM

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Thanks for your answer !

It's helpful :)
thar
Posted: Friday, August 31, 2018 1:01:13 PM

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I agree, basic distinction is a tail. No apes have tails - they are the ones that look most like humans. But there are not many apes - and they are all native to Africa or Asia - gorrillas, chimps, bonobos, orangutans, gibbons and siamangs.
Everything else is a monkey!

It does seem that the French word is singe, and then you may have to say grand sange or singe supérieur to distinguish apes. (Though how you then distinguish great apes from lesser apes... Whistle )

Quote:

singe
A. − ZOOL., gén. au plur.
1. [N. générique désignant l'ensemble des mammifères primates anthropoïdes, quadrupèdes ou bipèdes.


a) Singes (de l'Ancien Monde). Singes catar(r)hiniens cynocéphales quadrupèdes possédant pour la plupart de longues canines et comprenant, parmi les espèces les plus connues: les babouins, les colobes, les macaques, les singes Rhésus et plus généralement les singes à longue queue.

b) Singes du Nouveau Monde. Groupe de Singes platyr(r)hiniens de l'ordre des Primates, sauteurs ou grimpeurs, généralement à longue queue préhensile, comprenant les ouistitis, tamarins et sagouins et les Cébidés (Alouate, Atèle, Sajou, Saki...).


Singes supérieurs ou grands singes. Grands singes généralement sans queue, de la famille du Pongo, présentant de grandes ressemblances avec l'homme, se déplaçant selon la locomotion brachiale (gibbon, orang-outang) ou verticale en s'appuyant sur l'articulation des phalanges (gorille, chimpanzé).


So singe = Anything simian
Old World monkeys (Africa/Asia) - teeth! . baboons, colobus, macaques, Rhesus monkeys and long-tailed monkeys

New World monkeys (Americas) - prehensile tails - leapers and climbers - marmosets, tamarins, others.

Apes - no tails. Look like humans; swing by their arms - gibbon, orangutan - or upright on knuckles - gorilla chimpanzee


But I am not a French speaker. You will get the right answer from them. Maybe try the French language subforum if you don't get an answer here.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, September 1, 2018 4:05:45 AM

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It's interesting that, though most English dictionaries have distinctly different definitions for "ape" and "monkey", the English/French Kernerman gives the definition for "ape" as "a large monkey with little or no tail".

It is also the same in various other European languages (according to the Kernerman)

Monkey
Danish - abe
German - affe
Italian - scimmia
Spanish - mono

Ape
Danish - abe
German - affe
Italian - scimmia
Spanish - mono

"Monkey" appears to be a diminutive of 'mono'.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
thar
Posted: Saturday, September 1, 2018 5:28:37 AM

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Icelandic is api.
eg a baboon is hundapi - dog ape (they do look quite a lot like wolves and are vicious attackers.).
But then it is a foreign concept to north Europeans, and the word has clearly been imported from somewhere because there is rarely consensus between Celtic and Germanic. (Maybe it means 'what?' - I didn't see anything. Or 'idiot' - haven't you ever seen a macaque before? Whistle )

Quote:
Old Norse
Etymology
From Proto-Germanic *apô, whence also Old English apa, Old High German affo.

Noun
api m

ape, monkey
fool
margr verðr af aurum api
money makes many people a monkey

Descendants
Icelandic: api m
Faroese: apa f
Norwegian: ape f, ape m
Old Swedish: apa f
Swedish: apa c
Danish: abe c
Gutnish: ape, apå


Quote:
ape (n.)
Old English apa (fem. ape) "an ape, a monkey," from Proto-Germanic *apan (source also of Old Saxon apo, Old Norse api, Dutch aap, German affe), probably a borrowed word, perhaps from Celtic (compare Old Irish apa, Welsh epa) or Slavic (compare Old Bohemian op, Slovak opitza), and the whole group probably is ultimately from an Eastern or non-Indo-European language.

The common word until the emergence of monkey in 16c. More technically, in zoology, "a simian; tail-less, man-like monkey" 1690s. The only native apes in Europe are the Barbary apes of Gibraltar, intelligent and docile, and these were the showman's apes of the Middle Ages. Apes were noted in medieval times for mimicry of human action, hence, perhaps, the other figurative use of the word, to mean "a fool" (c. 1300).


But Barbary apes are macaques - monkeys.
So 'monkey' is a recent addition to English.

The etymonline positions seems to be 'your guess is as good as mine' when it comes to monkey!

Quote:
monkey (n.)
1520s, likely from an unrecorded Middle Low German *moneke or Middle Dutch *monnekijn, a colloquial word for "monkey," originally a diminutive of some Romanic word, compare French monne (16c.); Middle Italian monnicchio, from Old Italian monna; Spanish mona "ape, monkey." In a 1498 Low German version of the popular medieval beast story Roman de Renart ("Reynard the Fox"), Moneke is the name given to the son of Martin the Ape; transmission of the word to English might have been via itinerant entertainers from the German states.

The Old French form of the name is Monequin (recorded as Monnekin in a 14c. version from Hainault), which could be a diminutive of some personal name, or it could be from the general Romanic word, which may be ultimately from Arabic maimun "monkey," literally "auspicious," a euphemistic usage because the sight of apes was held by the Arabs to be unlucky [Klein]. The word would have been influenced in Italian by folk etymology from monna "woman," a contraction of ma donna "my lady."


d'oh! Think

But the Spanish should know -after all, they are the ones with the Barbary apes!

Quote:
Haplographically from maimón (“monkey”), from Arabic ميمون‎ (“baboon, mandrill”).


Quote:
Arabic
Noun
مَيْمُون • (maymūn) m (plural مَيَامِن‎ (mayāmin) or مَيَامِين‎ (mayāmīn))

baboon, mandrill

Descendants
Azerbaijani: meymun
English: monkey
Middle Dutch: monnekijn
Middle Low German: Moneke
Ottoman Turkish: میمون‎ (meymûn)
Modern Turkish: maymun
Old Spanish maimón
→ mamona
→ mona
Persian: میمون‎ (maymūn)


So I guess the really bizarre thing there is - if it was in Old French, why didn't it find its way into modern French for the animal?
Or has it?


My pet origin theory for 'ape?
On seeing monkey
Persian traveller - What's that?
Monkey has disappeared into jungle
Malayan local - what's what?

Quote:
Balinese
Etymology
From Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *apa (compare Indonesian apa).
Pronoun
apa

what (interrogative pronoun)
Apa orta? - What's new?
Apa ento? - What's that?


Whistle Whistle
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, September 1, 2018 6:59:09 AM

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Ah! That's only for a particular pro-simian.

". . . there is in Madagascar a kind of lemur known to science as the indri. Indri, in the native tongue, means 'Look at that!'

The reason, as you have no doubt already guessed (aren't you clever?), is that a naturalist called Pierre Sonnerat was wandering happily through the jungle naming things (like Adam) when his guide shouted 'Look at that!'
"
Inkyfool - Bunking and Debunking

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
thar
Posted: Saturday, September 1, 2018 11:00:11 AM

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Ha, that is a good one.
Everything should be indri!
hACKme
Posted: Sunday, September 2, 2018 5:05:22 AM

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Location: Brussels, Brussels Capital Region, Belgium
Thanks for all your answers fellas. I went further in my investigations too and it seems that the origin of the term monkey find its root in... old french ! What a come back :D

So the term Monkey is from the middle french "Monnekin"

ucb38
Posted: Monday, September 3, 2018 6:10:12 AM
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Interesting thread! I've never stopped to think about this before. Greetings!
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, September 17, 2018 5:04:17 AM

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From Wikipedia:

ORDER PRIMATES

Suborder Strepsirrhini: lemurs, lorises, and galagos

Suborder Haplorhini: tarsiers, monkeys, and apes

Infraorder Tarsiiformes
Family Tarsiidae: tarsiers

Infraorder Simiiformes: simians
Parvorder Platyrrhini: New World monkeys
Family Callitrichidae: marmosets and tamarins (42 species)
Family Cebidae: capuchins and squirrel monkeys (14 species)
Family Aotidae: night monkeys (11 species)
Family Pitheciidae: titis, sakis, and uakaris (41 species)
Family Atelidae: howler, spider, and woolly monkeys (24 species)

Parvorder Catarrhini
Superfamily Cercopithecoidea
Family Cercopithecidae: Old World monkeys (135 species)

Superfamily Hominoidea: apes
Family Hylobatidae: gibbons ("lesser apes") (17 species)
Family Hominidae: great apes (including humans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans) (7 species)


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
leonAzul
Posted: Monday, September 17, 2018 5:32:26 AM

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There is a distinction between «macaque» (monkey) and «singe» (ape) in the French language.

"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
thar
Posted: Monday, September 17, 2018 5:40:59 AM

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Then how come this dictionary entry?

Quote:
a) Singes (de l'Ancien Monde). Singes catar(r)hiniens cynocéphales quadrupèdes possédant pour la plupart de longues canines et comprenant, parmi les espèces les plus connues: les babouins, les colobes, les macaques, les singes Rhésus et plus généralement les singes à longue queue.


Is this a case where the language in practice differs from the official version? Or is this outdated?

Think
leonAzul
Posted: Monday, September 17, 2018 5:52:56 AM

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thar wrote:
Then how come this dictionary entry?

Quote:
a) Singes (de l'Ancien Monde). Singes catar(r)hiniens cynocéphales quadrupèdes possédant pour la plupart de longues canines et comprenant, parmi les espèces les plus connues: les babouins, les colobes, les macaques, les singes Rhésus et plus généralement les singes à longue queue.


Is this a case where the language in practice differs from the official version? Or is this outdated?

Think


It's different.

In English, an ape is a separate clade from a monkey, yet in French an ape (singe) is the more inclusive category.

This is yet another example of how words do not correspond exactly to each other across different languages.



"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
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