Log in

Page Summary

July 2016
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Back Viewing 50 - 89 Forward
Da [userpic]

When did you first become aware that there were other languages in this world besides your native language? Or did you even have this experience (as opposed to always knowing as far back as you can remember)?

I don't necessarily mean the first time you were exposed to other languages, I mean the first time you gained a conscious awareness of the distinction. For instance, for those raised multilingual from birth on, there may have been a moment where you met a new person and realised for the first time there were people who understood one of your native languages but not the other(s).

Do you remember it? What was it like?

Andrew [userpic]


In this video of a witness testimony at the George Zimmerman trial, the interpreter uses usted (as to be expected) until about 23:30, at which point he has a brief moment of clarification with the witness regarding pronouns in her testimony, and switches to addressing her with . He uses for the rest of the testimony.

What motivated him to do this? I am student interpreter and non-native speaker of Spanish, and am interested in the intricacies of formal and informal second person pronouns. Can any native Spanish speakers/interpreters shed some light on this situation?

topum [userpic]

Hi I saw this graffiti in Athens and I want to know what it says. Is it Arabic? Can anyone here translate it?

Many thanks.

Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

I've always thought that the plural of "foot" is "feet", no matter in what sense the word is used. However, today I've came across a site that states: "The wandering albatross has the largest wingspan (up to 12 foot) of any bird." Is there anything to this particular use that requires singular form?

Current Music: Morphine "Top Floor, Bottom Buzzer"
Tabouli the animate salad [userpic]

I have to write a phonetic spelling for the name "Chana", which I'm deducing is from Hebrew.

1. Is the initial CH actually as in 'loch'? If so, I usually substitute H. However, some sources say it should be a "SH" or "K" sound instead. Thoughts from someone who's familiar with this name? (note that I'm probably writing this phonetic spelling for a native speaker of Australian English)

2. Also, I've found all manner of contradictory suggestions for the pronunciation of the first A. Some say a long 'a' as in 'father', others say 'aw' as in 'dawn', still others say it's "SHAY-na", which would make that A as "ay" as in "day".

Help! I assume the issue here is that different people may have anglicised the original pronunciation differently. I'll put in a note to tell them to contact the person and ask what she prefers, but I always like to put down a suggestion in case they can't get hold of her.


petrusplancius [userpic]

I have a 17th Century text in which bats are compared in certain respects to human beings: "Les males ont la nature faite (san comparaison) comme un homme, ayant une verge et deux testicules qui leur sortent dehors." Les femelles...allaitent leurs petits comme ferait (sans comparaison) une creature raisonnable". Am I right in thinking that 'sans comparaison' here means something like 'forgive the comparison' rather than 'indubitably'?    (Forgive the missing accents).

mavisol [userpic]

"In the village the same situation was repeated many times: we would have a lunch with one or another local couple in the pub, and after the lunch they would maneuver us into invitating them to our cottage, where they would be treated with our sturgeon and red wine."

Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

What is the difference between angoisse primale and angoisse primaire, if any? I am looking for a word to describe this kind of fear that is common for most of the people, like fear of darkness, of the unknown, of strangers, of a forest, of being alone, etc. that supposedly originated when the human race was very young.

And what are the equivalents of the French terms peur (fear?) and angoisse (anguish? dread?) in English?

Current Mood: busy
Current Music: The Pogues "Rake at the Gates of Hell"
ringlat [userpic]

Hi everyone, I've made a new comm specifically for posting fanfiction and normal fiction that you've written in any language that's not your native one: langfic

Really any language, as in even a language you've made up yourself, or a language used only in some novel you read. You can ask for corrections but you don't have to. Likewise, you can post a translation but you don't have to. You can be any skill level (though ideally not fluent) and the fics can be any length — if you don't know how to use adjectives or adverbs then simply don't use them, it's that kind of place. If you're too low-level to be able to "really" write anything, then try to piece together some kind of story using stolen sentences that you edit a bit — "she nodded her head, he said" turns into "he nodded his head, he whispered" etc.

I think writing is good practise but posting fanfic on real sites (such as FFN and AO3) can quickly breed mean comments so I thought a community where we all share the "I'm still learning" feeling was better. There's probably a lot of people here who write fiction as practise already so I thought I would come advertise! If the mods could add this to the list of comms related to linguaphiles I'd be appreciative.

Kake [userpic]

Could someone give me a translation of the Turkish phrase “Croydon-Sosyal Yardimlasma Ve Dayanisma Dernegi”, please? It’s a sign above a social club/community centre in Croydon, as seen here. Google Translate has “Croydon-Social Charity And Solidarity Association” which is roughly appropriate but sounds a bit odd to me. Thank you!

Макс пишет, Оксана комментирует [userpic]

Is there an expression "bears a promise"?
Like in "the new technology bears a promise".
I see there are typical expressions "holds a promise", "brings a promise" "shows a promise", but "bears"?
I couldn't find any good online dictionary to look it up. I used a google search "technology * a promise", with the quotes and the star - that helped a bit.
I don't know why I became obsessed with this expression, I guess, there is a positive meaning which I am trying to convey - elegantly in academic style - that a new technology is giving a hope, and the above expressions don't seem adequate.

onyagudin [userpic]

What a nice community!

I'd be very grateful, if native speakers could say something about this:
(I will be grateful to anyone, but... please, tell, if you are a native speaker or not)

... Tomorrow the world will be better, than it was.
Awake and sing! Awake and sing!
Try to forget weary sighs -
Let people see a glow in your wide-open eyes!
Who knows a path to success?
But fortune favours, we guess,
Those who are brave enough to do a funny thing.
Sing all day long, sing in your dreams, awake and sing!

"to forget about sighs"?..

And... you may enjoy this marvelous song, of course!
They sing these words all together. (VIDEO)

In the original we have...Collapse )

But fickle fortune (should ? may) bless
Be happy. Life is so nice.
Don't let a glow leave (ever ? now) your wide-open eyes!

Don't let a glow escape from your wide-open eyes?
Ease up! Though fortune is chequered,
It often greets with respect
Those, who are funny, - and who have no evil grin.
Sing all the day, sing in your dream, wake up and sing!

Cheer up! A (changeful ? flighty ? wavy) success
Should (see ? like) and be sure to bless


mks135 [userpic]

Hello, everyone!

Perhaps I've chosen a wrong community for that post, but this question is related to the cultural aspects of the English-speaking countries.
I would like to ask some questions about superstitions in English-speaking countries.
If you are from the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc, give me some information about the superstitions in your countries:
1) What are the most remarkable superstitions in your country?
2) How do people find them? How seriously do they follow them?
3) What do you think about them? Do you believe in them? Do you follow them?
Thank you!

For example:
I am from Russia.
1) Many people think it's a bad luck to go along the road crossed by a black cat or to look at the broken mirror, or clean the table with a hand without a duster. Some people think that if a fork or a knife falls, someone will come to see you this day. Some people take a seat at home for a while before going to a long trip. If you kill a spider your following 7 years will be full of bad luck.
2) I think most of people in our country treat all that seriously and follow them.
3) I don't follow them, but I used to believe in all that in my childhood.

If there's a more convenient community for this post, please, tell me.

Marcus L. Rowland [userpic]

This is possibly a common idea, but in case it isn't I thought I'd pass it on. I hope someone will find it useful.

I recently managed to spill coffee into the keyboard of my laptop. Because replacing it was horribly expensive I've started using a cheap silicone keyboard skin, a protective cover that fits over the keys. It gives the keys a slightly dead feel, but I can still type well on it. It can be put on or peeled off in seconds.

The one I got was clear, but you can also buy them coloured and pre-printed for various keyboard layouts including American and European layouts, Russian, Hebrew, Japanese, Taiwanese Chinese, etc. They're very light and thin, and it would be easy for a translator or other linguist to carry several around in plastic wallets in a laptop case, and put on whichever one is needed. It's a lot easier than using individual labels for each key, especially if you are working with several alphabets, and a lot lighter than carrying a plug-in keyboard.

As an example of what is available, here are some I found for various Apple laptops in the UK. Availability in other countries may be very different, of course.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271265787839 - Clear, UK and US layouts in various colours - £2.69 (UK supplier)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/381407621720 - Russian/UK & EU - £0.99 (ships from Hong Kong)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/221889442597 - Japanese - £1.29 (ships from Hong Kong)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/181796801300 - Taiwanese - £4.99 (Ships from China)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/181965879813 - Arabic / Russian / French / Portuguese / Spanish / Hebrew / Italian / English versions - £5.99 (Ships from China)

I don't think the range is so extensive for other laptops - Apple have the advantage of keeping the same standardised layout on a lot of laptops over a decade or more.

I think you could also start with one of these skins and add labels to it for other languages - again, a lot less messy than labelling the keys directly - but I don't know how well labels will stick to them.

Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

Still struggling.

I am trying to write a sentence that means more or less "The evening was humid, which made him shiver." 'Him' being the protagonist.

I think this one is the most accurate/correct grammatically:

1. La soireé était humide, ce que l’a fait frissonner.

But I also thought about these:

2. La soireé était humide, que l’a fait frissonner. [but I think that the correct phrase would go something like this: La soiree humide, que l’a fait frissonner, did sth else to someone else. Different meaning, but maybe grammatically correct, it seems that you have to have a personal pronoun and a verb after 'que']


3. La soireé était humide, qui l’a fait frissonner. [I have a feeling that this one is incorrect. And I can't fathom the difference between "La soiree humide, que l’a fait frissonner, did sth else to someone else." and "La soiree humide, qui l’a fait frissonner, did sth else to someone else."

Also, the alternative came to my mind:

4. L'humidité de la soirée l’a fait frissonner. [Does 'L'humidité de la soirée' sound contrived?]

I'd appreciate your comments.

Макс пишет, Оксана комментирует [userpic]

My new friend's name is Semyon. He lives in Ukraine. He is about to obtain an international passport and eventually move abroad. It is likely that Ukrainian officials will spell his name "Semen". What do you think: how bad would this be for his life say in US? Requesting a different spelling in Ukraine would be a hassle. Would it be alright to have the name in US spelled "Semen" or is it better to go into extra trouble and have it spelled "Semyon"?

Andrew [userpic]

I'm preparing for certification as a medical interpreter in my state and am hunting down useful materials. Most books out there on medical Spanish seem to be aimed at health care professionals who do not speak Spanish already.

Any thoughts on how best to prepare or material recommendations? I've pulled the limited study material off my state's website, but am looking for juicier material to get myself ready. Any advice appreciated.

lamperouge_0 [userpic]

What does 「突けこむ」mean? I tried looking it up in the dictionary but I couldn't find anything. Is it different than 「付け込む」?

This is what the person says: いやーお前、ほんといいやつだなーって。そういうとこにどんどん突けこんじゃうよ、俺。

iddewes [userpic]

Hello all! I have a question about the word 'trolling'!
I listen to BBC Radio 4 in the mornings and I've noticed a few times that RP speakers on that station seem to pronounce the word with the o pronounced like in 'trolley'. To me that sounds like an affectation since the word comes from 'troll' and I would personally find it more natural to pronounce it to rhyme with 'rolling'. But a friend of mine who is not particularly posh seemed surprised that I thought that pronunciation was affected! I have kind of a mixed Canadian and British accent myself. Just wondering how the native English speakers here pronounce that word, and if I perhaps have a North American pronunciation... (sorry, I studied some linguistics but 20 odd years ago so I can't remember the IPA for the different English 'o's).

Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

I have a question concerning the relative pronouns in French, more specifically the difference between "auquel" and "à quoi". They both can refer to things (the second one only to things), the second one with things more abstract or wider categories, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Is there some clear rule what to apply when? Are they interchangeable?

Current Music: Bauhaus "She's In Parties"
whswhs [userpic]

My girlfriend was looking at a Lovecraftian Website, and asked me about their motto, Ludo fore putavimus. They claim that it means "We thought it would be fun."

I can't construe the Latin as meaning that, but my knowledge of Latin is limited. What would be a literal translation, and could it mean what they say it does?

If not, what Latin phrase would better convey the English?

Gratias tibi ago!

Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

Does anyone know what it means? I found these explanations, which are of no help, since I don't know what "côgne" is. I suspect it might be something like 'hunch'.

côgne (un). Cou de travers ; on dit : cet homme est côgne ; c'est-à-dire, il a le cou de travers,
Côgner, verb., pour avoir le cou de travers ; on dit : tiens donc ta tête droite , tu côgnes, ne donc côgne pas.

Context: Robert le diable. Il [the king] fit apporter foin, fourrage et paille, fit installer un lit sous la voût, près des chiens, au malheureux qui tenait son cou de travers.

ETA: okay, I think I should look at it as "il tenait son cou" = "he held his neck" + "de travers" = "awry, crookedly" as Wiktionary says. *sighs*

Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Current Music: Hooverphonic "Mad about you"
anyolite [userpic]

If someone could translate these two for me, I would be very grateful.  Thank you!

Sylvia [userpic]

Dear Linguaphiles,

could some kind Polish speaker please help me translate this note to my neighbor? He let me use his phone even though he had no idea what I was trying to tell him, and I want to explain and thank him properly.

Thank you very much for your help!

Dear neighbor,

thank you for letting me use your phone! I locked myself out of my apartment and had to call the locksmith to open my door.

I apologize for the disturbance, and thank you again!

(1st floor)

Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

I have a question concerning this line: Les photos, les chansons et les orchestrations
Ont eus raison de mes économies.
Is this "s" at the end of the past participle of avoir necessary?

This is where I found it:

Current Mood: bouncybouncy
Current Music: Charles Aznavour "Je m'voyais déjà"
lamperouge_0 [userpic]

I am wondering what 枯れている means in the context of this sentence:「二十歳の俺はこんな枯れてるはずじゃなかったもん」

I tried looking the word up in the dictionary but am still having trouble understanding. Could someone please explain? Thank you.

5x6 [userpic]

I have never heard this idiom. Nobody around me has ever heard it. Yet all dictionaries list it (for example, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/grass+widow).

So I wonder - is it British? Obsolete? Or I just happened to live inside a perverted bubble where nobody knows a common expression? Dictionaries do not list it as either regional or archaic...

mavisol [userpic]

The context: previously these areas were the purview / competence of agency Y, and now, under this new law, these areas are the purview / competence of agency X.

So, is it OK to say (see the subject line)?

Many thanks in advance!

Г-н Фаршеклоакин [userpic]

He posted a vintage photo of he and the former First Lady on his official Instagram account.

That's definitely deliberate and cannot be explained away as a typo, a hyper-correction, or a distance effect, as in "for you and I".

Dear forumites!
Please help me with the correct translation of the subject of bachelor`s degree from Russian into English language.

RUS: "Швейцария глазами русских участников Швейцарского похода 1799 года"
ENG: "Switzerland through the eyes of russians soldiers of the Swiss campaign of 1799" - is it correct?

Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

Could you please tell me what l' mean in this sentence?

Mais l'on mesurerait mal la << matérialité >> de certaines images de l'eau, la << densité >> de certains fantômes, si l'on avait pas d'abord étudié les formes irisées, tout en surface.

from L'eau et les rêves by Gaston Bachelard

Current Mood: inquisitive
Current Music: Portishead "Cowboys"
Whodunnit? [userpic]

A russian question: I was reading the book A Mountain of Crumbs, about growing up in St Petersburg in the 60s and 70s. As a teenager in the 70s the author and her friends would say "he/she's not our blood group" to mean they didn't have much in common with that person. Is this something people still say? Is it a common phrase, or really dated 70s slang or something really specific to the author and her friends? Googling "группа крови" either gives me scientific info, or the Kino song.

at least 10% Discocunt [userpic]

This is marvellous: apparently the graffiti artists hired to decorate the "Syrian refugee camp" set for Homeland took the opportunity to write their opinions of Homeland on the walls:

(SPOILER: they don't like it.)


I am not sure whether the photos in the article are just screenshots from the existing series, or whether they show some of the subversive graffiti. Can any Arabic readers check?

Tenshinrtaiga [userpic]

I'm having some issues with tenses. I am trying to write in past tense but I think I'm mixing it with present tense. Please see below and let me know what you think, please.

"He didn’t speak a word the entire climb, unnerving her. Still, since he never told her to stop, she continued moving upward and soon they were on the roof. Again, he gripped her wrist, this time leading her over to the front of the building, looking over the edge to the street below."

Unnerving, moving, leading and looking are all present tense, but the rest of the sentence is past tense...

Thanks in advance!

Tags: ,

Personal names are an important part of language, yet names are often considered outside the sphere of language learning, instead belonging to the sphere of culture. In my own language learning experience, usually the teaching of names are limited to a few names that are used in textbooks, and maybe the names of a few important public figures that show up during the course.

What are your experiences with language learning and names? Do you have any resources for learning more about names to share with us?

I'll start with Swedish names, since I'm from Sweden. :)

The site "Svenska namn" is a fun site with lists of the most common names in Sweden. It's written for parents, but don't let that stop you.

As you can see, the most common last names all end in -son. That's because of historical reasons, way back the men were called father's name + son and women were called father's name + dotter, later those names with -son turned into hereditary last names (is that the right expression for that?).

I'll also add a good resource for German last names, that I found recently:
It's about German last names, and especially the names that denotes jobs, such as Müller (miller in English I guess?).

Lastly, it's very interesting to look through the tag "names" here on the Linguaphiles community. You can waste a lot of time doing that, as I just did. ;)

Tags: ,
Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

Since I can't find it in any Old French dictionary that is available to me, and it's driving me nuts, I decided to post here in hopes that someone would know the meaning of the word "moysne"/"moisne" and the word that looks like "aulP" (the second in the first row, then again in the second row, and more), but maybe I'm not able to decipher it.

The text is behind the lj-cut, and I don't know what it is exactly, save the fact that it seems to talk about admonishing someone for negligence of the midnight prayers.

Read more...Collapse )

Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
Current Music: Screaming Trees "Even If, Especially When"
asher63 [userpic]

Can anyone explain what gesture is meant by this phrase (American, poss. African-American, English) and what it connotes? Toni Morrison uses it all the time and it's driving me nuts. Example: "Frieda sucked her teeth and made a phttt sound with her lips."

I get the impression that it connotes disapproval or maybe deliberation, but I'm not sure. Is anybody familiar with this expression?

theFish [userpic]

I would like a word-for-word translation of this line from a Cowboy Bebop song:

"Hitotsu no me de asu o mite"

Bonus question for Japanese speakers:  If you heard just 'suomite' used as a neologism, or a name, what would it evoke for you?

Marcus L. Rowland [userpic]

I'm an occasional contributor to fanlore.org, a wiki about fandom - fan fiction, fan art, conventions, etc. based on books, films, TV etc. At the moment the overwhelming majority of posts are about English-language fandom and activities, but one of its aims is to broaden the coverage and cover source material and activities in other countries.

As part of this I recently wrote a small entry about the Italian comic "Diabolik" and the film "Danger: Diabolik" which derives from it.


What I wasn't able to do was find out if there is an active fandom for the comic; unfortunately in English-language searches it's drowned out by an unrelated anime series, Diabolik Lovers. About all I've learned is that there are Diabolik panels at Italian comics conventions.

If anyone here can give any more information about this comic's Italian fandom and activities I'd be very grateful. And if anyone knows anything about other non-English fandoms it would be great if you could think about posting an article to Fanlore.org

Back Viewing 50 - 89 Forward