• whswhs

Tibetan names

I've been reading about this subject, growing out of a campaign I'm running, and I'm curious about a topic that falls within it. As I understand it, Tibetans often have multiple names that amount to short phrases, but with no element that exactly corresponds to the Western concept of a surname. But when they enter the US, and perhaps other Western countries, they get fitted into the Procrustean bed of given name/surname, usually by selecting two elements of the actual name.

I'm wondering if anyone here is knowledgeable enough to provide an example or two of how this might work: what's the original form and what does it turn into? Help would be much appreciated!

My #1 Foreign Language Communication Tip

Don't say I don't understand when you speak a foreign language. A concrete thinker like me may find it too vague.  Instead, be specific or try to get clarification from the other person.  Learn phrases in the target language to solicit clarification. In case you are uncertain of the meaning, explain what you think it means and get it confirmed  This is helpful with context-dependent language like slang that you may be able to find in a dictionary. It sounds natural and will keep the conversation going


Do not let the varying perceptions of native speakers get you down. They are not professional teachers. Therefore, they will be unable to evaluate your abilities fully. Their reaction to foreigners is relative to their experience with them. It has been my experience that people perceive my Spanish abilities and accent differently.  Th

Don't fear "for a foreigner" comparison either. I know this might be frustrating when you try hard to fit in.  The statement is not insulting unless someone says it mockingly. To me, it acknowledges the effort I invested in learning the language that a native speaker would have acquired naturally. I know I will not sound the same as them, but I can try to improve.   Their confidence in my abilities and patience matter more to me. This also why I tell people that I am not a native speaker, so if I make an unusual mistake, the native speaker will know why. Don't be afraid to mention it when it feels appropriate.

What I am thinking as an English native speaking to you

 If I genuinely don't understand I will say it gently  I also tend to use more specific language  what do you mean?  This makes it clear to the listeners why I don't understand.  It is not always about bad grammar or misusing a word

I won't correct every little thing to keep the flow of the conversation going and not overload you with information only if I feel it will impede understanding  unless it is practice situation and you want me to.  I learned that the hard way in a college class. The person felt like I was distracting  her.  Accuracy comes with time.  The courage to express yourself is priceless.

Yes  I realize that communicating with second language speakers is an art that few natives possess unless they have studied  a foreign language themselves.  Simplification is hard because it hard to  assess the learner's level unless they are obviously bad. I have a Peruvian friend who speaks really well but occasionally I will  confuse him with what I say   That's why many learners feel imitated by trying to speak to a group of natives who are not used to second language speakers.  There the pressure to express yourself just right and they will throw around colloquialism and other informal language that you don't understand.   This also why it hard  for me to admit I don't understand  and  is why when I am speaking with a group of Spanish natives I freely admit that I speak it only as  second language. 

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Pandemic Spanish

I know I may  be  a little late with this post  by maybe you just starting learning Spanish now, or have not learned vocabulary related to COVID-19 before. So I will sharing a little basic voculbary which some pronunciation  and grammatical tips for the English acronyms for the diease in Spanish

One of the most varied words in this category is the one for face mask.   La mascarilla, a diminutive of mascara  and the only that really applies to a mask  (whether for the face or skin).  The definition is a mask the covers mouth and nose to protect from pathogens   Tapabocas is also used but that can also refer to somethings that covers  an opening on a machine or even device. Cubrebocas is  new  that is doesn't even appear in the official Royal  Academy  dictionary as I write this.  In Argentina  Uruguay   Bolivia and Paraguay  the term barbijo is used  but  this word  also refers to a chin strap (barbaquejo in other reigions   and will translated as such by machine translators .  La mascarilla is the one I use most and recommend if you have to be neutral.  However, you should be aware of  these alternate  terms if you go where they are used speak to those who use them.


Hand santizer- alcohol en gel literally  gel alcohol.  You may also see desinfectante de manos.  However with the pouplarity  of the non-standard verb santizar for sanitize I wouldn't be surprised if a noun form appears despite the academy's objections 


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Why Phoenix and noy Fenix?

Can  you tell me why the name of mythical bird is translated as Fenix in Spanish   but not the city with same name. I thought  Fenix would be easier for Spanish speakers to pronounce anyway?   I know there are specific rules but which applies here?