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Calluna V. [userpic]

How do you cope with names that won't carry over?

I was just talking with arrowwhiskers about names to use in Spanish-speaking settings, since my name is impossible to spell or pronounce in Spanish (or most other non-English languages, sigh). I appear to have three choices:

1. Get as close to my actual name as possible, and explain how it can be written each time.

2. Pick an authentic Spanish name I happen to like and train myself on name-recognition as rigorously as possible before I get plunged into a situation where it's wholly necessary.

3. Pick a word (for instance, an internet pseudonym I've used) that I'll have some recognition on, that transliterates into Spanish reasonably well, even though it's not a name or a word in Spanish (and double-check for unfortunate possible interpretations).

I'm sort of inclined toward option 3. For instance, as far as I can tell from a dictionary/Google-Translate hunt, "Cáliuna" is gibberish in Spanish, but it would be pronounceable gibberish, and I've been using Calluna (which is pronounced pretty much like that) as a pseudonym for....god...over 25 years, so I think I'd have reasonable name recognition on it.

But this must be a fairly common problem, in any language. How have you seen it handled?

Г-н Фаршеклоакин [userpic]

Earlier this month I was in Riga, Latvia for a week, never having visited it before, and enjoying an unfamiliar but vaguely understandable language (a have a recollection that there used to be a Balto-Slavic branch of languages mentioned in popular literature; now it seems that Baltic and Slavic languages are not grouped anymore).

Naturally, the phrase most often heard while riding public transportation is "nākamā pietura" (next stop). In an e-mail to a linguaphile friend, who had visited Latvia when it was still a Soviet republic, I referred to the next city in my itinerary using "nākamā pietura".
He got confused, because he remembered the phrase as "nākoša pietura".

(nākoša/nākamā are feminine forms of nākošais/nākamāis)

An explanation of the difference I was given is that "nākošais" is active (~"approaching"), while "nākamāis" is passive (~"being approached"), and as bus stops don't move by themselves, "nākamāis" is formally more correct. I've heard people still saying "nākoša pietura". I wonder what prompted the change in pre-recorded messages and when.

Does anyone know?

Calluna V. [userpic]

Does anyone know how one can browse a site like half.com (or anything else with inexpensive used books) for books written in any given language? I need more books in Spanish, and my method for finding them so far has been very hit-or-miss.

Right now, what I'm looking for are YA books I already know in English that have been translated into Spanish, because I can follow them better. I'll move on to books originally written in Spanish when I'm no longer reaching for the dictionary at least once per sentence on the ones I'm familiar with. (The point isn't that they're translated, that's just an unfortunate side effect. The point is to start with something I'm already familiar with, and of course, at this point, any book I'm familiar with is one that started out in English.)

Advice would be welcome. Thank you!

Calluna V. [userpic]

Okay. So, there's been some interest, and hopefully once things are going, there will be a little more, and if it stays moderately small that will be fine.

The two best ideas seem to be trying to get aprende_espanol going again, or start a new community, and I think I'm leaning toward the latter, for two reasons. The first is, I don't know who was running aprende_espanol, and it seems rude to sort of barge in and try to stir it up again. Second and more important is, the name of that suggests that it's a community for people learning Spanish. But if I could, what I'd really like would be a community for both people learning Spanish and for Spanish-speakers studying English (or, heck, studying other languages). I really do want the arrow between Spanish and English to go both ways, and even if everyone who shows up to start with is learning Spanish, I'd like for the premise of the group to be welcoming to people doing things the other way around as well.

I'll look into how to start a community, and then I'll draft a bilingual profile page, and then I'll ask people here to fix it for me, possibly repeatedly, and I'll try to get it off the ground sometime soon. If someone was willing to be/interested in being a co-moderator with me, that would be extra-special awesome.

(The great/terrible thing about studying Spanish so intensively and seeking out communities where I'm in contact with Spanish-speakers learning English is that I start looking at _everything_ with an eye to, 'How on earth would I explain how I chose which words to use, there. How could I even start to explain the ironic violation of grammar in 'extra-special awesome', or how someone might use it, or why they probably don't want to? I love it, but it's meta enough to make my eyes cross.)

If anyone wants to be a moderator, or has thoughts about anything from name of group (I was thinking something kitchy like 'Juntos', but I am very open to suggestions) to things the profile page should or shouldn't say or do, to ways to spread the word to people who might be interested, please say.

Andrew [userpic]

So I've been binging on this guy's YouTube channel for awhile now and thought I'd share for any Spanish learners/speakers:


Some pretty good stuff. He seems like quite the prescriptivist, but I love his Puerto Rican perspective, and I'm a sucker for stuff like the difference between "eficiente" and "eficaz" or why "estoy media cansada" isn't correct.

Enjoy and please share if you know of anything similar for other languages!

sonhadora_18 [userpic]

Hello all German students and speakers :) As I'm trying to get back into the swing of German for my next class, I aim to review and understand the different negation patterns better in German.

Is it as simple as saying that 'kein' always comes before a noun, and 'nicht' always comes before a verb or adverb?

So: ' I don't have a sister ' = Ich habe keine Schwester?

( But to say I don't like something...could I say both ' Ich mag nicht Kaffee ' and ' Ich mag Kein Kaffee ' ?

but ' I don't feel good ' = Mir gehts nicht gut.

Danke schon, allen!

Hi again, a few days ago I wrote a long page that compared Esperanto with English and other languages, but it's mostly about what Esperanto has in common with other languages and what English doesn't have in common with other languages.

I still have to fix it up, and I don't know if the translations I put in it are all correct, but you guys might be interested anyway:

(EDIT Aug. 25th 23:05: I've fixed it a bit now! I edited out some of my useless rambling and hopefully cleared up some of the vague sentences)


Hi everyone! (Forgive my empty journal, I just made a new one yesterday.)

My languages are:
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sinij_stepler [userpic]

Hello everyone!

Could you please translate this for me?
UPD "Little Sasha". Thanks)))

The internet is full of sites that gleefully provide profanity in almost any language  one cares to search for.  Occasionally it's possible to get assements of the relative severity, but it's hard to be sure how accurate those are.

For my part, I'm usually looking for the substitute words that aren"t even real profanity.  That"s for three reasons.

1. I"d rather not plunge into profanity before I get my cultural bearrings, but it"s still good to know something to mutter when I knock over a water glass, realize I"ve scheduled two commitments at once, have a bus I"m trying to catch zoom past me, and so forth.

2. I realize that in many cultures - and I believe many Spanish-speaking areas are definitely included - swearing is a normal part of casual conversation.  But I don't feel at all confident that I"ll be able to participate appropriately until I"m actually there and can model myself on the people around me.  There are just too many subtle rules and conventions.

3. I work with kids.  In mainstream white US culture, there are some tabboos about swearing around kids, and I"m pretty used to adjusting my vocabulary accordingly.  Now, the rules and expectations are probably different in different settings, but that"s what I"m starting from. 

So, I"d love to know what the "I would say this in front of my grandmother or five-year-old" expressions are.

What I actually need are the not-quite-swears in Mexican Spanish, but honestly, I"d love to know them for anywhere, any language. 

Whatcha got?

Hello! I have been away from LJ for some years, now, and am inclining back toward it, but it means I've lost track of pretty much everything and everyone.

Right now, studying Spanish is a big part of my life, and I was wondering if there were any active LJ communities people would recommend for people interested in discussing the language in English and/or discussing the language learning process (or anything else, actually) with Spanish students or Spanish-speaking English students.

(I've been using DuoLingo to study, among other things, but that forum is wearing me down. I keep going back to it because it gives me the opportunity to write in Spanish to native speakers, to try to help them with English and to get their feedback on my Spanish. But it is full of trolling and also, because the forum is hard to search and has a high volume, the same topics get posted over and over again. So I'm looking for alternatives. I used to love LJ and this community - and I'm psyched to see it's still active - and if I could find one or more communities that are active and useful in these ways, it would be an enormous relief.)

Any recommendations?

EDIT: I figured out how to search communities, finally. It doesn't look as though there are any very active communities that would accomplish the kind of thing I had in mind. So, my questions are,

1. Am I missing one or more which would be good?

2. If there is one or more community that seems to fit but has been slow, what would you think were the odds of getting it active again?

3. If not, do you think there would be enough interest to start a new one?

I'd especially like to have a bilingual community, because I worry that if everyone in the community is a native speaker of English learning Spanish, we will not be able to help each other learn with any real proficiency, and the more advanced members will end up having no role except to assist/correct the beginners. Whereas, if we have a community of Spanish speakers learning English and English speakers learning Spanish, there are a lot more opportunities for really effective mutual aid.

sonhadora_18 [userpic]

I just returned from a brief visit to Hungary which was inspiring indeed! One thing I love about travels ( I'm sure many of you agree )  is how many languages you can be exposed to just from the airport and flights.

I was talking to my friends that I'd visited and we were reflecting on this question - what is required in order to say confidently that you know a language? Is it really just as simple as knowing the basic phrases and communicating, without the literary components of reading and writing? Is it the literary that should be emphasized over listening and speaking?

 It was a question that made me reflect on my own personal language experiences. I objectively consider my progress thus far with the languages I have studied, and what I'd like to improve upon. For example, I'm comfortable saying that I'm proficient in French, Spanish, and Hindi. To me this means, speaking, reading, writing, and talking about practical things ( hobbies, family, buying something to eat or drink ) as well as more abstract concepts ( my emotions, how I feel about the environment, literature, religion. )

I'd like to improve upon and study more with Japanese, Korean, and Turkish so I can read and write fluently, as well as have more intricate conversations with native speakers. I think with time and diligent study, I can get there. One step at a time!

And though my experience was limited and I'd have to work the most extensively on these, I'd love to study more Hungarian and German! I may not  make much progress with these last two, since well, we only have so many hours in the day. And these languages are quite challenging with the grammar. I guess these two will be my very long-term goals.

I look forward to hearing you all share your thoughts on this and your personal language learning / progress as well =)

Tiny Tiny Court [userpic]

Have any of you read or ever used the phrase "to piece through [s.th.]"?

I've used it reasonably often in my writing, meaning to carefully examine something/carefully go through something (in a piece-by-piece manner, for example), and I have a clear understanding in my mind what it means, but I can find no record in any dictionary of this being a valid usage of piece as a verb, and now I have no clue where I came up with this phrase.

It feels archaic to me, or at least not 20th-century English, and I feel like I probably read it in a book set in the past? Googling it has proven difficult, but I've got a few examples supporting my meaning:

"...he returns to Sri Lanka, where he was born, to piece through the shards of his own family’s extravagant and wildly self-destructive history." (x)

"If it doesn't then you'll have to piece through the code or post the code so we can see what you are referring to." (x)

"Later, there will be plenty of time to piece through the "missing element," detail by detail." (x)

From what I've seen, it could have been a warping of 'pick through', but for me, 'piece through' has a much greater delicacy about it, being very careful. I would pick through a trash heap, but piece through a pile of old photos.

Is this a 'valid' usage? I've never questioned it before, but a friend noticed the phrase in my writing and asked what it meant (she's a non-native speaker and couldn't find it in her dictionaries, though she was able to divine its meaning from context).

avium concentus in agris [userpic]

When I was a little kid, my grandmother and my mum always warned me not to eat raw dough (which I loved) or else I would get frogs living in my stomach. Maybe this is a regional thing - I grew up in Carinthia, in the South of Austria - , because I only found this phrase referring to drinking too much water.

Are there any other kinds of frogs-in-the-tummy related warnings where you live?

sonhadora_18 [userpic]

I've been really interested lately in this idea or concept and I was wondering if someone could offer a simple and clear explanation of what vowel harmony is.

I've come across some dictionaries and articles online, such as wikipedia, that define it as a 'long-distance assimilatory phonological process.'

That's a bit complex for me, at least at the moment! I'm trying to break that down and understand it better. I think I understand assimilatory...meaning the idea that similar sounds maybe will be paired with others. Phonology is simply the organization of the phonemes or sounds....so what is meant by 'long-distance' with respect to language or linguistics?

I'm also curious to know if there's a finite list of languages that do embed or involve this aspect of vowel harmony? So far I have come across Turkish and Hungarian in my studies. I am guessing that similar languages ( like in the same language family as Turkish and Hungarian ) may also have vowel harmony.

I have also heard that of the languages in India, Telugu has vowel harmony, but I don't think any others do...at least so far I have not come across any that 'seem' to have this. I could be wrong though!

sonhadora_18 [userpic]

Hello all!

Thank you as always for the help, this community is a treasure chest =)

There is an independent coffee shop that I recently visited with a friend, and it was owned by a Japanese family. I heard someone order

私はいつも砂糖なしのコーヒーを飲みます. I think that this is what he said....I thought that, to express ' without ' as in, I want something without sugar, I would say the noun first, and THEN the item specifically that I don't want contained....

so I had thought, I'd say コーヒー砂糖なし お願いします.

Thank you alll! Sorry if my hiragana and katakana as well as kanji are not correctly used. Still learning, of course - Japanese is a beautiful but intricate language!

Тануръ [userpic]

Hi everybody,
I heard today a language that I could not recognize at all. Recorded it a bit.
I am curious what is it? Farsi? Albanian? Starting from 9th second.


aduial_eternal [userpic]

Image under cut...Collapse )
This little note is on the back of an old photo. I purchased an entire album of vintage photos, and this is one of the few with anything written on them. I think it's German, but I could be wrong. I'd be really grateful if someone could tell me what it says.
Thanks in advance!

Current Location: Alaska
Current Mood: blahblah
Current Music: Washing machine
lamperouge_0 [userpic]

Hello, I am a little confused about using the phrase 気になる

I know that Xが気になる means "bothered by X" or "concerned about X." However, what does it mean when you say [verb]気になる (for example やる気になる)? Could you explain it to me (preferably with some example sentences) or point me to a website that does? Thank you.

John Kelly [userpic]

I'm studying Indonesian and have finally managed to recognize this pun in an improvised conversation between a pair of clowns and a traditional Javanese singer (pesinden) who happens to be from Los Angeles (her name is Megan C.D. O'Donoghue and her career is remarkable in itself).
Early in the conversation one clown tells the other the singer is from "Amerika Seringat."
She politely corrects him: "Amerika Serikat."

Serikat: union, united
Seringat: sweat
Oops--on further investigation, the language is Javanese, not Indonesian. (They're very close--I'm not the first to mistake one for the other.) The pun would almost work in Indonesian: it would be serikat/keringat. Both languages seem a bit casual about initial [t]/[s]/[k].

sonhadora_18 [userpic]

Hi all, Thank you for the Japanese help re: my last post!

I am using the Genki textbook right now with a Japanese class. We are doing chapter 8 and 9 (review of the last, studying and doing homework for both chapters) and focusing on the short form of verbs, nouns and adjectives.

Is this something that is considered informal? How and when would I use these short forms, in the adequate or appropriate manner?

I'm not sure if I am forming these sentences correctly, please correct me if I'm wrong.

' I ate ' for the regular form is 食べました

And for the short form is 食べた.

To say ' I came ' for the regular form
And for the short form,

Thank you all! Just trying to understand...that the short forms can be used for verbs, nouns AND adjectives, but the basic meaning I think is not changed...so therefore I wondered if this had something to do with formality and situation specific context.

sonhadora_18 [userpic]

Hello all,

I'm going to be seeing some Hungarian friends in about 3 weeks and I'd like to learn a little bit of the language before then.

Could anyone please explain how or why words change their endings in Hungarian? I'm trying to figure out the basic principle. For example,

if I say ' The pillow is beautiful ' I would say

 A párna szép.

But then if I want to say ' I want a pillow ' why does the word have to change?

Szeretnék egy párnát.

Also, I wasn't sure if Hungarian had definite or indefinite articles for nouns, so I didn't quite understand the ' A ' part, before 'pillow.'

Thank you all! It is indeed a hard language but very poetic!

whswhs [userpic]

One of the books I'm currently reading is a translation of Shui Hu Zhuan, one of the four classical Chinese novels. It seems to have an amazing number of titles in English translation: Water Margin may be the commonest, but I've also seen Outlaws of the Marsh, All Men Are Brothers, The Marshes of Mount Liang (the title of the version I'm reading), and others.

I'd like to know what the Chinese title actually "means": that is, stipulating that there are philosophical problems about translation, (a) what is the closest we can come to a literal English translation of the words of the title in the sense in which a Chinese reader would take them, (b) what English phrase or sentence with those words would be syntactically equivalent, and (c) what, if anything, do the words connote or allude to that's important to getting what the phrase means?

I have tried to figure this out by the crude expedient of pasting either the hanzi or the pinyin transliterations into online dictionaries—but of course that gives me long lists of possibilities. My best guess would be that the words are the ones that mean "river lake biography," because that would fit in with a phrase that keeps turning up in the novel, "the fraternity of the rivers and lakes," meaning the outlaws the novel is about, rather as if someone wrote a novel set in medieval England called "Greenwood Tales." But I could be all wet; it isn't as if I had actually studied Chinese, let alone older forms of Chinese!

Can anyone enlighten me?

sonhadora_18 [userpic]

I'm a little confused when I use だと思います, and just と思います when trying to say ' I think ' something in Japanese.

It seems that this verb phrase always comes at the end of a statement. So is this correct, to say

' I think he is a Japanese student '

私は彼が日本の学生だ と思います

To use adjectives, would the 'DA' go away, so you would have:

I think cats are cute.

私は猫がかわいい と思います.

This is of course with an ' i ' adjective. (cute)

With a 'na' adjective, does the 'DA' still go away? So to say:

I think I like this coffee. (To me, this coffee is liked)

私はこのコーヒーが好き と思います

Thank you all! I enjoy learning more about the Japanese language so much, but sometimes these grammar aspects can get tricky.

The Tick [userpic]

I was looking through Starbucks's Taiwanese site and came across a really confusing page. The heading, for people who don't want to click, is 糕點新品 (which Google Translate said meant "new pastry," and underneath it are three items: a Mediterranean shrimp salad, a cherry and tomato cup, and a mango chiffon cake. I'll admit I'm coming at this from an American perspective, where we usually group food based on similar ingredients or courses (like appetizers, fish, desserts, pasta, etc.), but can anyone explain why these things are grouped together? Is Google Translate's "new pastry" accurate?

Khlela [userpic]

I'm working on something and wanted some feedback. I'm needing to do some translations that simply state "I speak..." Like "I speak French" - "Je parle français".. But I wanted to double check my translation on the following. If you are fluent in any of the following can you let me know your thoughts on accuracy?

Thank you in advance!

I speak Vietnamese
Tôi nói tiếng Việt

I speak Cantonese (Traditional Chinese)

I speak Japanese

I speak Tagalog
Ginagamit ko tagalog

I speak Arabic
 أنا أتكلم العربية

sonhadora_18 [userpic]

I wasn't sure if these are sometimes considered the same grammatical / verb tense.

In Turkish next week we're going to learn about the present tense, not the present continuous which oddly enough they teach before all other verb forms ( the V - ing form, like I am studying, I am going to school, I am eating. )

I thought aorist signified something to do with the past, according to the Greek language - but maybe the aorist tense has a different meaning depending on the language?
Thanks guys! Just wanted to be prepared for the grammar lessons that await me. =)

mavisol [userpic]

"Savings from thermal insulation, thousand rubles" - does it sound OK?

The meaning: savings are presented in thousands of rubles (3,000; 15,000, etc.)

"Average construction costs (as percentage of total project costs)" - OK? Is "as" needed here?

Many thanks to all who care to reply!

Ei tea kust ilmunud nagu poleks midagi juhtunud [userpic]

Hope this is appropriate. I'd like to meet someone who can help me with my Norwegian in exchange for my help with Russian, Ukrainan, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian etc. From time to time I need assistance in translating rare words which cannot be found in a dictiontary or hard-to-crack passages. If you are game, please kindly PM me. Many thanks in advance.

Sushidog [userpic]

Hi all,

I'm new here, and I did check the community rules to see if this is outlawed and I couldn't see anything about it; my apologies if this is inappropriate!
I work in psychology, and am putting together a set of studies looking at the perception of particular types of speech; specifically, the way we speak to children and babies as opposed to adults. I want to collect some preliminary data (which will be used more to guide the actual research than as anything publishable), and I specifically need some English-speaking participants from, and living in, the US and/or Canada, because one of the things I'm looking at is cross-cultural differences. If that's you, and you wouldn't mind spending 20-30 minutes completing a speech rating task, I would be enormously grateful! You'll need a computer (not a phone or tablet) with speakers, and which can handle Quicktime and .wavs. If you have all that, using IE or possibly Firefox (but not Chrome, which doesn't seem to play well with Qualtrix), you can follow this link to the task itself. You don't need to give a real name, a nickname is fine; it just means I can check for duplicate data, and that you can withdraw your data later if you choose to do so.
Once I have some data, if anyone is interested in hearing a bit more about the research, I'd be happy to tell you about it!
Many thanks!

sonhadora_18 [userpic]

Hi all,

My Korean language class is coming to an end this semester ( basically the equivalent of Intermediate or level 200 ) and I've got my final exam next week.

I'm trying to get some of the rules straight for verb conjugation. I feel it's a little slippery with my understanding of Korean verbs, because there are the dictionary forms, the formal and informal, and plain forms.

I'd like to know if anyone has found a good and simple breakdown of these verb forms and how to keep them straight. For the most part I think ( and am very thankful of course! ) that Korean is quite regular and when the rules are learnt, they usually stay that way!

mavisol [userpic]

I realize that this question is slightly off the community's subject, but still...

Please recommend sites where one can listen to radio productions of plays, adaptations of literary works, etc. Any English speaking country of European heritage.

Many thanks in advance!

lamperouge_0 [userpic]

I am having a little trouble with this phrase: 意思表示

The situation is that the character turns down his friends request, and then thinks 「

I looked up 意思 and 表示, and the dictionary says they mean 'intention' and 'display' respectively, so I guess the phrase means 'display of intentions,' or something. I translated the sentence to mean 'I want you to forgive this display of intentions at least' but I feel like 'display of intentions' sounds weird in English. Would there be a better way to translate this?

a man of wealth and taste [userpic]


As an intermediate learner of Russian, I'd like to be able to watch some of my favorite TV shows (or movies) in Russian. However, I have absolutely no idea as to how to get my hands on the Russian dubs for e.g. Lost, Six Feet Under, Desperate Housewives, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, House, Grey's Anatomy, Friends, etc.

Ideally, I'd like to be able to just buy region-free DVDs with the Russian dubs and/or subtitles for these shows, but eBay isn't helping. Any other places you guys can think of? I would also be fine watching or downloading them online, if (a) I could be sure it was legal and (b) I knew where and how.

This may seem dead simple to many of you, but keep in mind the following limitations:

1) I live in a Western European country and do not have a credit card or PayPal account (and considering some of the things I've read about the service, I'd prefer to keep it that way, if at all possible). I usually pay for things by bank transfer. I believe this means Amazon is off the table?

2) I am majorly technologically challenged. As in, I know what a discman is but I stopped following new technology shortly before the rise of MP3. I've heard of things like "Torrent" or "Apps" or "Netflix," but I have only the vaguest idea of what they mean. If anybody could explain to me how to legally access shows in Russian, step-by-step, the way you'd teach your 87-year-old grandmother, I'd be thrilled!

Any help at all would be much, much appreciated. :-)

sonhadora_18 [userpic]

I am reading a very good book about language and the mind - it is not too technical which I like!

I just wanted to make sure I am understanding some of these theories correctly.

- What is linguistic relativity and determinism - are they essentially the same thing?

Is the main premise to the S-W hypothesis that, our language is responsible for our thoughts and/or the WAY we think?

So...if my native language is English, and another's native language is French, our very cognitive abilities will be different and there is no way to reconcile this because of the language difference?

Does every language have its own accompanying thought process then?

Thank you all!

sonhadora_18 [userpic]

My mom loves Sanskrit and I wanted to make her a birthday card with messages in this language. But I'm unsure if Sanskrit has such colloquial phrases
( the daily ' hello, how are you ' / ' where are you from '  and 'Happy Birthday, best wishes!' among other things. )

I used to think it was only used for religious purposes, but I Have heard that there are some villages in India that are trying to revive this as a spoken language.

If anyone has ideas on how I can find some Sanskrit phrases, I'd greatly appreciate it! I am told ts a  tough language with a very challenging grammar. Hindi is apparently a breeze in comparison! The similarity because of the shared script is deceiving. ;-)

Also, is there a specific word to describe this phenomenon, of a language becoming more like...'in style' to speak and communicate? I can only think of the word 'Renaissance' but I was wondering if there was a better word and one specific to language revival.

Kake [userpic]

Hello! I'm a local historian working on a series of articles about London Road, Croydon, and I could do with some help interpreting an archived shopfront image from Google Street View.

The shopfront in question is the yellow one on the left in this Street View image. Could someone give me a transcription and translation of the non-English words on the frontage, please?

This restaurant is no longer open, but I suspect from its name and the dishes it used to serve (I've seen an old takeaway menu at the local archives) that the chef was Kurdish. The restaurant that replaced it and is still there today is definitely Kurdish.

Thank you for reading!

JR [userpic]

I'm currently teaching English as an Additional language to kids and it bothers me how uniform the examples/pictures are. The most diversity that every shows up in books is people of different countries/ethnicities. That's to say, everybody is straight, able bodied, etc.

Anybody have recommendations of either books or material that don't erase everybody else?  The only thing I have found so far that at least doesn't refuse to accept diversity is duolingo, which accepts alternative pronouns for translated sentences, and that is quite little, really.

Thanks in advance,

artKouros [userpic]

Hi - On my way to work I drive past a Dairy Queen (it's a old fast food chain in Texas) and I see this odd sign:

Can anyone read the swirly bits (Arabic maybe???) in the oval above "monkey ism"? Is anyone familiar with the symbol of the scale with 16 directions?


The Tick [userpic]

I was tutoring someone recently for the SAT writing section, and we came across a sentence that went, "Such-and-such happened during the World War II." It was not underlined (one of those "Which part of this sentence is incorrect?" questions) and so was clearly correct, as far as the boook was concerned. I mentioned it because I'd seen a couple other grammar mistakes in the book, and but my student said she'd heard that phase before. I can't imagine that this is correct, though. I could see "during the Second World War," but "during the World War II" seems really wrong to me. Has anyone heard this before? Thoughts on its grammatical correctness/incorrectness?

впс [userpic]

There's a sentence in this book: Even now, the quick countryside, the odor of smoke in the bright air, the thin early moon, were beginning the change.

what would quick countryside mean here?

Same expression I see in this discussion: I just liked Knebworth for its quick countryside and loving Letchworths community

thanks in advance

upd: for the second example there's an answer form the author of that sentence:

Andrews-d 7 hours ago
I meant it ad a mix of quick access to countryside and quickly changing countryside- it's fields, then hills, then trees

nothing to do with the hedges. Now I don't think first example is related to the hedges either, but I'm still a bit confused by "live" explanation. This usage looks somewhat out of place in the text.

nats333 [userpic]

Please, help to translate into Russian "Public Quoted Company ".  Or, explain what "quoted" means in this context.

Thank you!

Julie [userpic]

Been reading a book that quotes extensively from Julian of Norwich...in the original Middle English. Usually I can understand it, but sometimes I can't figure out a word. What do "anemptys" and "behovyd" mean? The latter I thought was "behooved" but didn't make sense in the context. I tried Wiktionary, which worked for another Middle English word I couldn't figure out myself, but these two were not in there.

Hello everybody!

What's your best tips and tricks for learning grammar when studying a foreign language? Reading grammar books is fine, but in my experience the knowledge doesn't really stick.

Background: I learnt German in school, and I still have no problem with reading and my listening skills are okay, but I always make grammar mistakes. I can hardly write a sentence without some grammar mistakes. I studied a lot of grammar in school, but apparently it didn't stick. Now I mostly self-study through reading magazines, writing a diary, watching tv programmes and occasionally speaking.

petrusplancius [userpic]

I have an 18th Century text in which the author describes how new masts and yards are constructed on a VOC ship after a severe storm, using surviving material on the ship. Among other things, 'de Wang werd gehakt tot een Fokkeraa'. Can anyone tell me what is meant by 'wang' here? I cannot find anything anywhere I've looked, any suggestion would be appreciated.

tortipede [userpic]

We're having a Brazilian Portuguese teacher come round to do some little lessons/play sessions with our daughter, and the other week she taught her some actions to go with a song about the phases of the moon. This vocabulary was new to me, too, and led me to a couple of questions:

1) The word minguante sounded kind of familiar to me from Catalan (a language I'm more familiar with), and so I looked up minvar in a big Catalan dictionary and found that it meant to diminish, get smaller, etc., and came from vulgar Latin minuere, related to 'diminish' , and so on and so forth. Looking up minguar in a Portuguese etymological dictionary gave me the same ultimate origin, but what it didn't help with was the ending of the word.

Specifically, in Catalan the present participle of crèixer is creixent, and the present participle of minvar is minvant, and these are the words you use for the moon, as well; but in Portuguese you don't say crescendo and minguando, and so I was wondering where the -nte on the end of minguante (and Castilian, I now discover in writing this post) comes from.

My best guess was that maybe crescente owed its ending to some Latin influence, as an astronomical term, and that minguante was modelled on crescente, but I don't know if that holds water or where I would look to verify it. Can anyone help?

2) What would you call the shape of the moon when it's more than half but less than full ('gibbous' in English)?
Moon on Blue
Would it be gibosa, or just crescente/minguante?

Translator who loves her work [userpic]

There is an application for a theatre festival, which representatives of companies wishing to participate must fill out.

It has the usual items such as Title of the show, Date of its debut, Genre, Age range, etc. All items but one are clear. This one item I do not understand is Cachet. What does it mean in this context?

Many thanks in advance!

Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

I have a question about a certain sentence in the passive voice. My lecturer, who is not a native speaker, said that my sentence is incorrect. I would appreciate if the native speakers could comment.

The exercise goes like this:

Visite du château de Versailles : vous êtes l'un des guides. Présentez le châteaux à partir des indications suivantes. Employez la forme passive.

Construction du château sur l'ordre de Louis XIV à partir de 1661. Le château ...

My sentence was: (1) Le château été construit sur l'ordre de Louis XIV à partir de 1661.

My teacher said that it should have been: (2) Le château a été construit sur l'ordre de Louis XIV à partir de 1661.

I found this construction on the internet (3) Le château avait été construit sur l'ordre de Louis XIV à partir de 1661.

What's the difference between the three of them? I thought that (1) expresses the process. The works started in 1661, and we don't say anything about whether they have been finished (and when) or not.

Current Music: Screaming Trees "Polly Pereguin"
avium concentus in agris [userpic]

In Vienna there's the expression: "Den Unterschied möcht ich klavierspielen können" ("I'd like to be able to play the difference on the piano"), meaning: "You pretend to be talking about two different things, but they're really the same to all practical uses." Maybe I'm over-interpreting, but I guess the origin of the phrase has something to do with enharmonic equivalents.

I think in English "I'd hate to have to live on the difference" means something similar. Am I right?

And are there other colourful expressions? All languages welcome, but please give a literal translation.

Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

I am translating p 390-391 from Aries "L'Homme devant la mort" for my class and I'm really not sure about these two expressions:

1. Les miracles des cadavres - does he mean the miracles done by the dead/the corpses OR the miracles that happened to the dead bodies? Is it even possible to tell? I thought the latter, but then I checked in the official translation, and it's the former there.

2. Les cadavres dévoreurs - the dead bodies that eat (something/somebody) OR (something/somebody) who eats the dead bodies?

Forgive me for the macabre images.

Context: "Une abondante littérature spécialisée reprit alors les anciennes données, les miracles des cadavres, les cris entendus dans les tombeaux, les cadavres dévoreurs, pour les réinterpréter à la lumière de ce qu'on savait de la mort apparente."

Current Music: Mark Knopfler "The Ceildh and the Northern Lights"
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