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Supperman Mar 9th, 2011 04:43 am

long hair/mane
 
Hi.

I can't tell the gender of a tiger, or a panther when I just look their face, because I'm not a zoologist. Yet I can tell which gender a lion is, because a male lion has XXX, while a female lion doesn't.

I think XXX is "mane", right?

BTW, how about "hair" or "long hair" instead of "mane"?
Is it OK for adults' communication?

I think it is OK for non-natives' communication.
How about native-English speaking adults' conversation?

Thank you.

susan53 Mar 9th, 2011 07:53 am

Re: long hair/mane
 
"a mane" is the specific name for longer hairs growing along the neck and on the head of an animal. You can talk, as you say, about a lion's mane, or eg a horse's mane.

"hair" is generally used for people - regardless whether it is on the head or other parts of the body - on your legs for example.

Most animals have "fur" all over their bodies, but in some cases "hair" is used - either as an alternative to "fur" (as with cats and dogs) or as the more usual term (as with horses). "Hair" is often used particularly to talk about individual hairs rather than the mane or the coat as a whole, and often when they are no longer attached to the animal :
There were dog hairs all over the sofa
Did you ever notice how much hair can collect on your comb after you have brushed your horse's mane and/or tail?

But notice how, in the last example, "hair" is not a synonym of "a mane" - it's the thing which the mane is made up of. Some more examples :
1."Pulling" means shortening the mane by removing the longest, straggling hairs to create a mane which is of one uniform length
2.Do not shampoo the mane and tail beforehand - it will make the hair too slippery and flyaway
3. A lion has a mass of longer hair on his head or neck which is called a mane


"mane" can also be used for people to indicate a very thick mass of hair : He had a shaggy mane of red hair.

So : a mane is not a synonym for hair, and the expression mane and longer hair(s) are therefore not interchangeable. A mane is seen as a single "thing", in the same way as a tail is seen as a single thing. Both a mane and a tail are made up of hair(s), but we would only use the word if we wanted to specify the individual hairs or the substance that the main/tail is composed of.

I hope that answers your questions...

Supperman Mar 9th, 2011 06:27 pm

Re: long hair/mane
 
OK. I got it.
Thank you very much for the detailed explanation.
I've learned the difference.

It is the completely same thing as in Japanese-language, you know?
In Japanese language, we just use the different two words which are equivalent to "hair" and "mane". In our cases, kids under 5 year old usually use "long hair" to describe the lion's mane. Kids learn "mane" equivalent words during their elementary school. I don't think junior high school students don't say "long hair" any more. If a person of 18 years old said "lion's long hair", it would become weird or uneducated.

BTW, when I speak English-As-the-Second-Language, I have to choose this kind of "alternatives" which is not interchangeable in a true sense. Because I don't know the word like "mane", which seems very advanced vocabulary to me.

If a foreigner who are learning basic or intermediate Japanese language says "long hair"-equivalent-Japanese word, I can well understand. I don't expect him to speak "mane"-equivalent word.

So I wonder, for example, in TOEIC (test of English as international communication), the description like "a male lion has a long hair" would be correct answer or not ?????

eaturcheese Mar 10th, 2011 12:24 am

Re: long hair/mane
 
When it comes to describing and defining things effectively in English, a good reference is always a learner's dictionary using only English.

susan53's definition is a good example. Male lions have long hair makes me think that their fur is longer, or that female lions could have a mane, but it would be shorter. You need to include information about where that hair is. A male lion has long hair on its neck would be an acceptable description for me.

susan53 Mar 10th, 2011 03:37 am

Re: long hair/mane
 
Yes, one of the most important strategies for any language learner is to be able to "talk around" words they don't know in order to communicate effectively without them. So for example, in a speaking test, if the learner said "mane" s/he would be marked high on the "range and accuracy of vocabulary" scale. If s/he didn't know the word but said "they have long hair on their necks" then s/he would be marked high for fluency/ability to use communication strategies.

A good way of practising this (technically it's called circumlocution) is to give learners pictures of things you know they won't know the names of. Student A has 10 pictures and is a shop assistant. Student B is given one of the pictures and has to go into the shop to buy it. So eg if St. B's picture was of some goggles, s/he says Do you have the things you wear over your eyes when you go swimming? Student A has to listen to the description and choose the right object to "sell" to B. Then they swap roles.

Supperman Mar 10th, 2011 05:23 am

Re: long hair/mane
 
Quote:

Quote eaturcheese (Post 37701)
When it comes to describing and defining things effectively in English, a good reference is always a learner's dictionary using only English.

susan53's definition is a good example. Male lions have long hair makes me think that their fur is longer, or that female lions could have a mane, but it would be shorter. You need to include information about where that hair is. A male lion has long hair on its neck would be an acceptable description for me.

OK. I got your point, and I agree with you. :)
Thank you for your kind suggestion.

BTW, I'm not so clever enough to correct learner's dictionaries, and it is not the matter of language, but I wonder "mane" grows from a male lion's neck or not.

I think "mane" grows not only from neck but also from head, chin, all around his(its) face. Don't you think so? ;)

Supperman Mar 10th, 2011 06:56 am

Re: long hair/mane
 
Quote:

Quote susan53 (Post 37732)
Yes, one of the most important strategies for any language learner is to be able to "talk around" words they don't know in order to communicate effectively without them. So for example, in a speaking test, if the learner said "mane" s/he would be marked high on the "range and accuracy of vocabulary" scale. If s/he didn't know the word but said "they have long hair on their necks" then s/he would be marked high for fluency/ability to use communication strategies.

A good way of practising this (technically it's called circumlocution) is to give learners pictures of things you know they won't know the names of. Student A has 10 pictures and is a shop assistant. Student B is given one of the pictures and has to go into the shop to buy it. So eg if St. B's picture was of some goggles, s/he says Do you have the things you wear over your eyes when you go swimming? Student A has to listen to the description and choose the right object to "sell" to B. Then they swap roles.

Thank you for the information about circumlocution.

susan53 Mar 10th, 2011 08:01 am

Re: long hair/mane
 
Yes - I said in my first answer "head and neck. But the bit's you mention are the bits that join the neck - it's hard to see with a lion where one bit ends and the next starts. I suppose you could if you got up close - but I'll leave that to someone else to investigate :)


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