セルフ塾は閉めましたが、そのままの名前でブログを続けます。独学,独習。教わるより,学ぶを重視。 セルフラーニングの方法,英語,数学などの情報を発信するつもりです。

understand(下に立つ)は なぜ「理解する」になるのか。
 英語の単語 understand は「 理解する」 という意味ですね。 語源的に考えてみます。

 under は「下に」standは「立つ」です。 それで「下に立つ」

  小学館の政村秀實著「 イメージ活用英和辞典」を調べてみました。

understand under(下に)stand(立つ)⇒ある状況下に立たせる⇒情報の 下に置く


 understand 古英語understandanから、「(何かの)下に立つ」意から「理解する」 意 への変化は不明。「近くに立つ」と「よく分かる」から か。



 インターネット上で探していると、 次のページを見つけました。英文のページで 難しいので きちんと訳すことはできません。英文は一番下に転載します。

 underは、"beneath(下に)"という意味ではなく、 "between, among(間に)"という意味。だから、「間に立つ」
それが"be close to(近くにいる)"になり"I know how, I know(私はどのようか知っている)"になった。


 「近くに来てよく見てごらん、そしたら分かるから」というような感じで、understand が「理解する」になったのでしょうね。

understand (v.) Look up understand at Dictionary.com
Old English understandan "comprehend, grasp the idea of," probably literally "stand in the midst of," from under + standan "to stand" (see stand (v.)). If this is the meaning, the under is not the usual word meaning "beneath," but from Old English under, from PIE *nter- "between, among" (cognates: Sanskrit antar "among, between," Latin inter "between, among," Greek entera "intestines;" see inter-). Related: Understood; understanding.

That is the suggestion in Barnhart, but other sources regard the "among, between, before, in the presence of" sense of Old English prefix and preposition under as other meanings of the same word. "Among" seems to be the sense in many Old English compounds that resemble understand, such as underniman "to receive," undersecan "examine, investigate, scrutinize" (literally "underseek"), underðencan "consider, change one's mind," underginnan "to begin." It also seems to be the sense still in expressions such as under such circumstances.

Perhaps the ultimate sense is "be close to;" compare Greek epistamai "I know how, I know," literally "I stand upon." Similar formations are found in Old Frisian (understonda), Middle Danish (understande), while other Germanic languages use compounds meaning "stand before" (German verstehen, represented in Old English by forstanden "understand," also "oppose, withstand"). For this concept, most Indo-European languages use figurative extensions of compounds that literally mean "put together," or "separate," or "take, grasp" (see comprehend). Old English oferstandan, Middle English overstonden, literally "over-stand" seem to have been used only in literal senses. For "to stand under" in a physical sense, Old English had undergestandan.


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