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kindmemory [userpic]

Is this a word in any language whatsoever? I was at church, speaking in tongues. I'm newish at it and it sounded rather dubious. I looked for it on the internet, and it looked like a term used in some sex ads, like personal ads. I was afraid to click on the link to see what it meant. I have heard of people in churches channeling the wrong spirits. I am pretty sure this is not a spirit I was meant to hear from. Would like some idea of what I said that day.

'Homonisha' is the word I saw when I Googled it. 'Homonishia' is what I heard in church.

r_blackcat [userpic]

Dear linguaphiles, please help to clarify this question.
The Wordreference dictionary gives the pronunciation of "live" as "lɪv" without differentiation between verb and adjective. And on the same page the HarperCollins gives different pronunciation - "lɪv" for verb and "laɪv" for adjective. Does it mean that adjective "live" could be pronounced both ways?
UPD: ok, simplier question: how should be pronounced "live" as an adjective?
UPD2: Thank you everyone! All doubts are cleared.

booq [userpic]

Hi everybody,

Would you please explain

1. what does "Looking at smth close-up" mean? Does it mean close to smb's eyes or just staring at smth attentively?

2. is stepping hard equal to stomping?

Many thanks in advance.

Kolobok [userpic]

Hi all. Please help me with commas in this text.

My friend which is non Russian-speaking asked me how to pronounce the vowel ‘Ы’ in Russian.

The simplest advice I found in Internet is to take a pencil between teeth and to say ‘И’ ([i:]) while trying not to touch the pencil with the tongue. Lay down the tip of the tongue otherwise you will say ‘И’ anyway. When you remember the feeling try to do it again without pencil.

Any advice about grammar are welcome too. Thanks.

topum [userpic]

This was in Thessaloniki. Anyone can translate it?
Many thanks.

JR [userpic]

This is a book created with YouAlign. Only thing you need is a file with the text in language 1 and a file with a text in language 2. The website looks at the content and aligns so that it matches line by line (it's meant for translators, but my main interest is in creating bilingual books). I accidentally tested this because my Italian translation was missing a line, so YouAlign just made the spaces between paragraphs bigger so that the texts would stay aligned on its own.

Files need to be smaller than 1MB (try deleting the covers ebooks sometimes have inside if you're over the limit) but other than that and no locked PDFs, it takes a bunch of formats with no problem. Have only tried Latin script languages, it might have issues alignigning stuff like English and Chinese or Russian and Portuguese, for alll I know. Hopefull not :p

If you want to check out some ready made bilingual ebooks, try Farkas. They even have a program to turn the books into ebooks, something I haven't yet figured out how to do with YouAlign generated files (feel free to enlighten me!)

Hope you find this useful :)

topum [userpic]

We saw this tree during our trip to Moldova. I think this is Russian though. Does anyone know what it means?
Read more...Collapse )

Kengwen [userpic]

What is your favorite non-English word starting with a G?
With a K?

What does it mean, and what language is it?

avium concentus in agris [userpic]

My coworker Willi is drafting a new concept for arts education at our school. One term that he uses is "Kulturbausteine", literally "culture building blocks", meaning: elements of cultural education.

Is "culture building blocks" comprehensible? Is there a better translation?

EDIT: Thank you all!

Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

I am listening to some Russian handbook CD, and the guy who reads pronounces "по-русски" as if there was an 'e' at the end. And also the equivalents of "in English", "in German" with an 'e' at the end.

I haven't heard it ever before. Does it indicate that this guy is from some part of Russia, is it some dialect, or something else entirely?

Current Music: Led Zeppelin "Good Times, Bad Times"
Alex [userpic]

I work at an animal shelter, and two of our volunteers (a married couple) brought in a huge basket of Easter candy for us today. They are Swedish, so I thought it would be nice if we wrote them a thank-you note in Swedish. So on that note, would anyone be able to translate the following into Swedish for me? Edits for clarity are welcome:

Dear Per and Maria,
Thank you so much for the lovely basket of Easter candy! It was very thoughtful of you and everyone really enjoyed it.
The two of you are such wonderful volunteers and real assets to the shelter. We really value your dedication to the dogs, and your positive attitudes are so encouraging when we are having a rough day. We are very lucky to have you, and we hope you continue to volunteer with us for many years.
With love from [our names]

Thanks for your help!

steepholm [userpic]

Americans! Do people in your country generally pronounce "pundits" as "pundents"? I ask, because I heard it not once but twice in this video. First at 0.57, the female Trump supporter says it. I dismissed that, because of course anyone can stumble over their words, especially in moments of high excitement (and she seems as if much of her life is spent in that state). But then the presenter of the clip does it too, at 2.36.

Is he just subconsciously echoing her pronunciation, or is this now a thing in the States?

whswhs [userpic]

Recently I've had occasion to look at the marriage ceremony in an older version of the Book of Common Prayer. And one thing, in particular, struck me: The groom's vow ends with "to thee I plight my troth," but the bride's with "to thee I give my troth."

Why the difference in words? What exact difference in meaning does it convey, and why does it need to be there?

I have a guess, but I'd rather hear what others think uninfluenced by my own speculations.

Thanks to anyone who answers!

Oryx-and-Crake [userpic]

Dear linguaphiles,
I am currently reading That's not English by Erin Moore, a book about differences between BrE and AmE. What she describes mostly makes sense, but one chapter surprised me:

In English English, quite means "rather" or "fairly", and is a subtle way of damning with fair praise. To an American, quite simply means very, and amps the adjective. No subtlety there.
An English author receives an editorial letter from her American editor who "quite" likes her new book. (Insult!)
An American student finds it impossible to get a job in the UK based on the glowing recommendation letters submitted by her professors, whose highest praise is "quite intelligent and hard-working". (Shock!)
An English houseguest confesses to being "quite hungry" and is served a steak of punishing size by an oblivious American friend. (Horror!) And so it goes.

My question is to the native speakers of British English here. Is this true? For some reason, I either never came across such usage in BrE (and I read a lot of British literature), or overlooked and completely misunderstood the sentences with "quite" all my life (which does not sound very probable to me, because if you completely misread a sentence it will sooner or later clash with the remaining text and then you'll notice).
If you think what the author says is true, have you ever had misunderstandings in communication with AmE speakers, similar to what is described above?

Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

Johnny Marr about his co-operation with Bryan Ferry: Bryan Ferry was an old hero of mine and it was great to work with him, but the end result was…he’s a bit blow-waved.

I suppose this isn't a compliment, but was it meant to describe the character, the music, or something else?

Current Music: Bryan Ferry "The Right Stuff"
dragondances [userpic]

Hello linguaphiles!

My in-laws recently gifted us with a folding screen, which has a cherry blossom design and some writing in what I'm guessing is Japanese?

Any ideas what this could mean? I just hate to be the person who has a decoration and no idea what it says...

Large picture cut to save flistsCollapse )

blackxlupin [userpic]

Hey everyone,

I'm having trouble with the word мероприятие in Russian.

In my bilingual dictionary (Russian-Dutch), it says it's a kind of organized activity like you do when on school trips, but that certainly doesn't seem to be a 100% match, if it's correct at all.

I've looked it up in several monolingual dictionaries, but all I get is this incredibly vague definition that reads like it could refer to just about any "action," but looking at example sentences, I don't think that can be right. And I can't seem to gather a rudimentary understanding of the word just reading through example sentences, either.

I'm really stumped. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!


I recorded a short extract, just one page, from a book
on reality TV talent shows (a rather cynical look at them,
too) - and would like to invite comments on the reader's
accent. Read more...Collapse )

Mikazo [userpic]

Hello all! I am having trouble finding the best Japanese word for "real," as opposed to fictional. Imagine you were to tell someone that comic books are not real. The word "real" has many translations, and I can't find the appropriate one in this case.

Many thanks in advance!

blackxlupin [userpic]

Hi all,

In the sentence Отец глаз не сомкнул всю ночь, is глаз an accusative singular (because it's a direct object) or a genitive plural (because of the negation)?


Tags: ,
Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

I've seen a few film adaptations of Ilf and Petrov's works and from what I've gathered Ostap Bender's shoes were described as "апельсиновые". Now, in English translation I found that they were raspberry-red. O.o What's more, my Russian teacher told me that you cannot describe the colour with the adjective апельсиновый, only food.

So, my question is, in the books, what word is used to describe the colour of his shoes?

Current Mood: puzzled
Current Music: Arctic Monkeys "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor"
petrusplancius [userpic]

I have an account of Dutch 18th Century criminal procedures in which the letters R.O. are regularly inserted after the title of the prosecutor ("de eisscher R.O. deede zeggen.." "Mr Pieter Galle, Advokaat Fiscaal R.O. Eisscher in cas crimineel", etc.); could anyone please tell me what these letters stand for?

Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

I was told that the word синиец means devil (one of the synonyms) and comes from the name of the colour cиний. But I can't find it in any on-line dictionaries (although I found it in some literary texts). In what contexts it's used? Is it an old word, or made up recently? And why is it derived from "blue"? I mean, the logic behind it.

ETA: I don't know how it's spelled, I've only heard it, not seen it. Maybe it is синец (without the second "и").

Current Music: Don Drummond "Alipang"
5x6 [userpic]

On a Russian-language translators' forum, we had a curious discussion. The question is as follow: In an American text written by a prison psychologist, the author lists situations in which inmates may need psychological help. One of the item on the list is interviewing for "privileged committee seats."

It appears that this clause can be parsed in three different ways, all grammatically acceptable.
1. "interviewing for committee seats, which are privileged compared to not being on such a committee." That is to say, people are interviewing for being members of inmates advisory committees; being a member of such a committee is a privileged position in prison.
2. "interviewing for special seats on the committee, which can be called privileged". For instance, there may be an Advisory Committee of 22 members, including the chair, the vice-chair, the secretary, and the scribe; these four positions are considered "privileged" and interviewing for such positions is especially challenging.
3. There is a typo (or a common mistake), and the author meant "privilege committee seats". This assumes that there is a so-called Privilege Committee advising the management about inmates' privileges", and people are interviewing for seats on this committee.

So my question is, when you first read this sentence, before perusing these three options, what is your immediate understanding? Do you feel that one reading is much more natural than the others? Do you feel they are all about equally likely? Or that there is one that is hardly possible, but the other two are equally acceptable?

avium concentus in agris [userpic]

1. Writing "Diarmuid and Grania":

Yeats, if we are to believe [George] Moore, which is always perilous, burst into Moore's bedroom at Coole - about 1898, that would have been - with this proposal: that Moore should draft the play in French; that Lady Gregory should put the French into English; that Taidgh O'Donoghue should then put the text into Irish for Lady Gregory to reconvert into Kiltartan English, on which Yeats would then put style, "a last and immortal relish." This makes a kind of crazy sense: the French for construction, the first English only for Taidgh O'Donoghue's eye, the Irish for root idiom, the second English for "PQ" (Peasant Quality), the "style" to give Yeats after all something to do.
Hugh Kenner: A Colder Eye. The Modern Irish Writers (very funny book)

2. Performing it:

For instance, the name of the country Eire he wanted pronounced something like "Oorchah." A character played by Henry Ainley was named "Caoelte." This we had been pronouncing at rehearsals "Kaoltay," but Yeats said no, it ought to be "Wheelsher." So it went on right through the cast ... Everyone was in panic ... Harry Ainley went through the evening being called successively "Wheelchair," "Coldtea," and "Quilty."
Matheson Lang, who played Niall in "Diarmuid and Grania".

Yeats was right. Brendan O Hehir says that "Caoilte" sounds like "Queelcher" and "Eire" like "Errchuh."

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"
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