I'm neither a professional linguist nor a native English speaker, please excuse me if I use any term incorrectly. Feel free to make and suggest edits to make my question more clear.
I was teaching Polish to a Chinese girl and she was really confused by uczę and uczę się construct, which translate literally to I teach and I teach myself. That seemed interesting to me, because out of 3 European languages I know, each one of them has an analogous grammatical marker indicating the action is done both by and to a subject: sich in German, myself in English and się in Polish. Using Google Translate I found that mismo in Spanish and même in French fill the same role.
Thus here is my question:
- is myself, sich, się and it's analogues in different languages a feature specific to European/Indo-European languages or is it a peculiarity of Chinese language that it has no such construct?
- in Chinese, how would I modify a verb to indicate I'm doing something to myself as opposed to unspecified object? Using Gogle Translate again it seems that every pair of verb/verb myself I try uses a separate verb, similar to learn/teach in English.
It was brought to my attention that Chinese (at least Mandarin Chinese) does in fact have a reflexive pronoun and it was just a misunderstanding between me and my Chinese student. Nevertheless I still find this question interesting, so let me rephrase it
- are there any languages or language families that do not have a reflexive pronoun and if so, how do they work around this issue?