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February 2018
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Marcus L. Rowland [userpic]

I'm trying to resolve a problem with a package that was sent to Russia three months ago (an eBay sale) and has been returned unopened with a label saying it "wasn't collected". Basically, what I want to know is if the address was the person's home or a Post Office box.

the address was

(name of person)
KIMa 9 xx (xx is a two digit number)
Russian Federation

It's a bit of a mystery since he has never made any claim for a missing item, or given me any reason to suspect it hadn't arrived. I want to get my facts straight before I contact him.

solved - it's a flat number - I think that they must have tried to deliver it but failed, then he didn't collect it from the post office or something. That helps a lot, many thanks to everyone who responded. I've now contacted the buyer and am waiting to hear back from him on ways to sort this out.

5x6 [userpic]

I've been thinking recently about the following phenomenon that I am reluctant to call a coincidence.

It seems that when Jews were scattered away from Palestine, for a while they were readily adapting local languages as their vernaculars. In Spain it was Spanish-based Ladino, in Germany Germanic Yiddish, in Persia Fors (Farsi, later to be called Bukhari)). Later on, the same Jews would move to other countries, but now they would shlep their newly created languages along with them. Thus, in Poland and Russia they would keep Yiddish for many centuries, in Bulgaria or Greece, Ladino, in Uzbekistan, Fors.

Any thought as to why such a (suddenly acquired) conservatism?

НИБИРУ : словари древних языков [userpic]

☆ The language of the tribe of the Piraha (Pirahã) , living in the Amazonias is
considered one of the simplest on the Earth.

It has only 8 consonants and 3 vowels. At present, a full body of all texts in the language of the piraha is compiled. Translated and glossed texts, direct
and reverse piraha-English dictionaries indicating the frequency of use,
as well as video recording of the text on a pirate with subtitles - here:


Work on the corpus of
texts continues, But it is already possible to draw some preliminary
. # 1 Phonetics: In the piraha 8 consonant phonemes. In
the orthography of Everett, they are transcribed as p - [p] b - [mp],
prenasalized (nasal) [p] t - [t] s - [s] k - [k] g - [ng], prenasalized [g] [ŋ] x
- [ʔ], glottal stop & h - [h]

Prenasalized [mp] and [ng] are clearly audible in
the video on site "b" and "g", which confirms the linguistic universal
about the presence of nasal sounds in any language. The vowels "a-i-o"
are phonetically closer to the classical "triangle" A-I-U, but are slightly
more biased towards the center, that is, they are realized as [ɪ-ʊ-ɐ].

# 2
Raising and lowering the tone can fall on any vowel in the root of the
word, or absent at all. Therefore, we can say that the piraha is not a
tone language.

# 3 In the piraha, the category of past tense is clearly
identified, expressed by the suffix "-s, -sa, -sai", which does not allow
talking about it as a language "without time".

# 4 The presence of a
large number of identical translations (up to 20 or more, as in the case
of "do", "go", etc.) for words of a pirate with different roots, as is
evident from the above glossaries, makes a more thorough analysis of
the presented dictionary .
☆☆☆ If to say it is easier - not everything
written in Wikipedia about the language of the piraha, which was made
an icon of "uniqueness" in linguistics, corresponds to the truth.

☆ Язык племени пираха, живущего в Амазонии считается
одним из простейших.на земле.
В нём всего 8 согласных звуков и 3 гласные.
В настоящее время составляется полный корпус всех
текстов на языке пираха.
Переведённые и глоссированные тексты, прямой и обратный
пираха-английский словари с указанием частоты
употреблений, а также видеозапись текста на пираха с
субтитрами - здесь:

Работа над корпусом текстов продолжается, но уже можно
сделать некоторые предварительные выводы.
#1 Фонетика:
В пираха 8 согласных фонем. В орфографии Эверетта они
транскрибируются как
p - [p]
b - [mp] , преназализованное (носовое) [p]
t - [t]
s - [s]
k - [k]
g - [ng] , преназализованное [g] , [ŋ]
x - [ʔ] , глоттальный стоп
h - [h]
Преназализованные [mp] и [ng] отчётливо слышны на
видеозаписи на месте "b" и "g", что подтверждает
лингвистическую универсалию о наличии носовых звуков в
любом языке.
Гласные "a-i-o" фонетически более близки к классическому
"треугольнику" A-I-U, но немного более смещены к центру, то
есть реализуются как [ ɪ - ʊ - ɐ ].
#2 Повышение и понижение тона могут падать на любой
гласный в корне слова, либо отсутствовать вообще.
Поэтому можно говорить о том, что пираха не является
тоновым языком.
#3 В пираха отчётливо выявляется категория прошедшего
времени, выраженная суффиксом "-s , -sa, -sai" , что не
позволяет говорить о нём как о языке "без времён".
#4 Наличие большого количества одинаковых переводов (до
20 и больше, как в случае с "do", "go", и так далее) для слов
пираха с разными корнями, как это видно из приведённых
глоссариев, заставляет провести более тщательный анализ
представленного словаря.

Если сказать проще - не всё написанное в Википедии о языке пираха, который сделали иконой "уникальности" в лингвистике, соответствует истине.

anyolite [userpic]

Two questions for speakers of Swedish:

- Trygghet: I've seen it translated as "security, safety, confidence, certainty, trust".  Wiktionary also describes it as "all the comforts and securities we have grown used to back in Sweden".

So, to me it sounds like the kind of security people feel about their daily lives, e.g., about their employment, about health care.  But can you use "trygghet" to denote a profound feeling of safety and comfort instilled in you by a certain experience, such as being around certain people or in a particular environment, or even just a visual or auditory stimulus - something that makes you feel safe, like when you were a child?

- Gökotta: I've seen it translated on the web as "waking up early to hear the first birds sing", but the Swedish Wikipedia says (in Google's translation):

"Gökotta is a Swedish tradition to go out on bird watching and picnics at the time of spring and morning when the cuckoo begins to go out. In parts of Sweden, it has been common to celebrate gökotta, especially on the day of Christ's heavenly journey, and earlier also the day of treason and the days before Midsummer."

Is modern-day gökotta mainly a religious activity in Sweden?  Or can someone who is not religious just wake up early on any random day during spring or summer and go bird watching (and perhaps have a little "fika" along the way), and still call it "gökotta"?


lamperouge_0 [userpic]

Is there a difference between 諦める and 諦めがつく?

zurita2015 [userpic]

These are from a novel from Philip Roth. I'm sure the author doesn't speak Arabic, so presumably he had somebody to translate and transliterate those. He gives the pronunciation and the English translation.

I need to know if the English translation and transliteration are accurate.(I tried to Google-translate them and the results were rather dissappointing)

1\ Ad-daroori lih achkaam. ‘Necessity has its own rules.’

2/'the shifting sands'--ramal mutaharrika

lamperouge_0 [userpic]

I am having trouble understanding what "グズグズ" means in this sentence: あのグズグズだった頃の俺の心がお前となぁなぁになる事をまだ許していないのは確かだ

Could someone explain?

5x6 [userpic]

I wonder, is there a rule of thumb explaining how to form an adjective from a name? We say Kafkaesque, but Shavian, Marxist, but Trotskyite, Ptolemaic but Tolstoyan. And it is not that there is no system at all: recently, I needed to use an adjective derived from Putin, and only Putinesque sounded right (an not only to me).

While we are at that, a more specific question: what would be the antonym of Keynesian? Monetarist, monetarian? Fridmanian? Chicagoan? Somehow, only monetarist sounds right...

booq [userpic]

Hi everybody,

When it is said, that a person has depression stored in his/her software, what does it exactly mean? Pent-up, or deep seated, or long existed?

Thank you in advance.

pronker [userpic]


Current Location: downstairs office
Current Mood: artistic
Current Music: Hark To The Bells
НИБИРУ : словари древних языков [userpic]

Abkhazian and Abazin languages ​​are considered as "record
holders" for "economy", which are "dispensed" by two vowels: A and Y [ә].

In Russian, for example, there are 6 of them: A E I O U and Y [ә] .

The same pair of vowels (A, Y) with the addition of a long "A" cost
Kabardino-Circassian, Adyghe and Ubykh languages. And there is a
suspicion that all three vowels of these Caucasian languages ​​are only
variants of a single phoneme [ә].

* Are there languages ​​with a single vowel sound?

НИБИРУ : словари древних языков [userpic]

[Нынишняя арфаграфия в рускам языке слишкам слажна и ни атражаит саврименава звучяния слоф.
Как вы щитаите, настала время привисти её в саатвецтвие с риальным праизнашэнием] ?

Нынешняя орфография в русском языке слишком сложна и не отражает современного звучания слов. Как вы считаете, настало время привести её в соответствие с реальным произношением?

★ [Dhe karent oothogrefi in Inglish iz tuu kompleks aend daz not riflekt dhe saundz ov weedz.
Du juu think its taim tu bring it intu lain widh dhe riel prenansieishen] ?

The current orthography in English is too complex and does not reflect the
sound of words. Do you think it's time to bring it into line with the real

anicca_anicca2 [userpic]

Dear community past and present,

this used to be the most awesome community on the internet for someone who is interested in languages.
Native speakers from every corner of the earth conversing about language in an educated manner. Heaven.
I never contributed a lot but learnt so much here.
Just wanted to say this before there's nobody left to say it to.

Also - are there any other good language communities out there??

Love, anicca_anicca

lamperouge_0 [userpic]

The word appeared in sexual scene so I'll use a cut to be safe.Read more...Collapse )

klausnick/莫罗佐夫·尼科莱/профан [userpic]

What is the right pronunciation: [wine stine] or [wine stin]?

mavisol [userpic]

Dear community, I’m struggling with the translation of a passage from a last will from Russian into English (which is not my native language). It is a part of a text focused on art matters, so it will be read mostly by art lovers, not lawyers, and still some sort of legalese and legal clarity should be present in the fragment.

The hard facts: a woman wants that after her death her artist husband lives on her estate (land plus house) until his death but the estate should be owned by an institution (the School), which after the husband’s death should arrange her dear husband’s museum on the estate.

And here is the English text in my translation:

“I hereby bequeath my plot of land in [the village], with its house and outbuildings, to the professor of the School and painter Ilya R., so that he would hold a life tenancy of it, and to the said School, so that it would own it and after Ilya R.’s death arrange in it a museum called ‘Ilya R.’s Little House’… I also bequeath to the School a capital to be expended on the upkeep [maintenance] of Ilya R.’s Little House”.

lamperouge_0 [userpic]

I'm confused by this sentence「イイ顔になってら」because I've never seen ら used like this before. Could you explain what the ら means?

Г-н Фаршеклоакин [userpic]

Looking at words for "weather" in different IE languages that use familiar scripts, it appears that quite a few stem from PIE *we-dhro-, "weather", from root *we- "to blow", same as "wind"; and quite a few are homonyms of "time", or stem from words with the meaning "time" or "a period of time".

Two notable exceptions are Latin "Status caeli" (state of the sky) and Belarusian "Надвор'е" which can be translated as "state of the yard".

What other etymologies exist for words for "weather"?


Hi all! Is "It's not the end of the world" to mean "It's totally fine" an example of litotes? If not, what IS the rhetorical device that this example demonstrates?

teenatequila [userpic]

Hey all,

I have been looking up my middle name for years with no luck. I am half-Korean but do not speak or read/write the language. My mom told me that my name is older and therefore spelled in hanja, but she needs to "figure it out" and isn't too sure how to write it in hanja. I googled hanja names and stumbled across this community. I'm hoping you guys can help me out!

My name is spelled "Yae Ja" in English, and my mom told me that it means "artistic". My mom wrote my name in hangul as "예자". I found the name "Ae Ja" which sounds very similar to my name. I don't know if it's the same name just spelled differently, or if they're different names.

I'm wondering if anyone knows how to spell my name in hanja, and if anyone knows if Ae Ja and Yae Ja are the same name (minus a difference in English spelling). And if it truly does mean "artistic" or if it means something else.

Thanks in advance :D

Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

I'd like to ask you what would a French soldier say, after he receives an order, before he goes away. I believe in English it's simply "Yes, sir!"


Can someone help transcript this song, please? I really like this band but being ESL, I can hardly understand what they are singing about.


Or here

(I think the bandcamp version has slightly higher quality but you get interrupted with "open your wallet!" thingy after a few replays)

Thank you beforehand!

Anna [userpic]

Hi, I have a question for any native British or UK folks.

The following is a quote from a piece of writing that I am editing for a friend:
Gwen elbows him in what he is sure she believes to be a subtle manner. “What we’re trying to say,” she continues, “Is that we want to make sure that you’re alright. You’ve been sort of….erm….wound.”
“I’m fine.”
“No,” she shakes her head and a few curls fall out of her ponytail. “You aren’t. I...I don’t know what you’re going through, but you haven’t been fine since….well. In a while.”

Now, the question I have concerns the end of the first line of dialogue. My writer tells me that she intends 'wound' to mean 'wound tight' not wounded/hurt/injured. She and I both recognise that there are times in the English language where words are dropped from the end of sentences, if it is well implied what the speaker means. Question: is this an appropriate phrase where a dropped word might occur for a British English speaker? Or is there some entire other way a native Brit would tell their friend that they look wound tight/stressed out?

(To make this a little more complicated, and the reason why I brought this to the comm, the character in question is actually also injured with a black eye... which has made him a bit 'wound tight'; so I feel that simply leaving 'wound' is too ambiguous, in this context.)

I do appreciate any help or insight you all can provide.

Thanks, Anna

Andrew [userpic]

Would a native Hebrew speaker mind confirming some spelling for a calligraphy piece please?

So we have the first part of Psalm 31:15 with nikud: בְּיָדְךָ עִתֹּתָי
How would this be written without the nikud? Do I add a extra yud and a vav to עִתֹּתָי? So בידך עיתותי?
Thanks for your help!

stam_adam [userpic]

Hi, could you please help me understand the structure of the sentence in bold (and the meaning too ;) )?
[John used to have a good life and successful career, when an accident made it impossible for him to return to his professional field. After a long period of troubles and failing attempts to find other job, his brother who just bought a car and was pleased by the ambience at the dealership tells him to try to get a job there. John has no idea of this business and not a hint of desire to work in it, but in despair decides to follow the advice. At the dealership, they first take him for a rich potential buyer, but then he says to the owner that he is actually interested in work]
"Work? What kind of work?"
"Well, my brother said this is a place that I might be able to sell some cars."
An internal cringe as I show off my detective skills.
"Your brother? Who's your brother?"

First, I don't understand who's having a cringe, John or the boss?
Second, what does "show off" mean here, and what it has to do with "detective skills"?
And finally, I can't understand the logic and the structure of the sentence. :((
Thanks for any help :)

mavisol [userpic]

How would you call the items below - jugs, pitchers, decanters, anything else?

How would you call the bead-shaped pieces of stained glass stuck to the base? Or just call it like that? Many thanks in advance!

stam_adam [userpic]

could you please help me to understand the use of "a dash of" here?

A guy is trying to build an artistic career. His first small steps were successful, so he decides for a bigger one, and with lots of bravado and a dash of one-hundred-percent real confidence, he goes on to audition for the new play.

I think I understand the words :), yet I feel like something eludes from me in this sentence. I'd appreciate any explanations, comments on the nuances etc.
Thanks for any help :)

dorsetgirl [userpic]

I'm working on a submission to an academic journal with a research buddy - I'm in the UK, he's Canadian, we communicate by email and generally have a pretty relaxed relationship with a reasonable amount of humour.

Today I made some rather clumsy (ie possibly less than tactful) comments about his first draft for the abstract, and it was fairly obvious he wasn't too pleased. I then put together a first draft of my own for the abstract, and braced myself for an angry rejection.

I got this back:

"I quite liked your opening sentence but I made a minor change to the second one - I hope that's OK."

Now, if that had been written by a British person I would take it to mean

"I can just about bring myself to be polite about your opening sentence because after all you have to pick your battles, but the second sentence was so bad I had to take it apart before I could agree to have my name under it."

I may exaggerate slightly, but only in degree, not direction.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that Americans use "quite" in a very different way from us, and I'm wondering if that applies to Canadians as well.

So my question is: did he actually like my opening sentence (after all, he didn't change it) or was he being barely polite?

Unfortunately I don't like what he's done to the second sentence at all, so I really need a bit of a steer on this before I respond!

Edit: I'm still not getting notifications from LiveJournal, so my apologies in advance if there is a delay in replying to your comment.

If anyone is interested in what I've said here about some of our British speech habits, you might like to have a look at @VeryBritishProblems, which contains scarily accurate insights into the British psyche as well as laughing (at ourselves) at the way we phrase things.

stam_adam [userpic]

I'm not sure I understand what does it mean, "hold one's breath". Could someone help please?
An unknown guy comes to a local agency and wants to try himself in acting, at least in the commercials. Being realist, he does not expect to become a world celebrity the next day, but really wants to get himself out there. And then he says to the agent: I won't hold my breath, considering we're talking Texas and not Hollywood.
Does it mean he does not put his expectations too high, or that he is not too nervous about the results, or that it's easy for him, or something else?
Thanks :)

petrusplancius [userpic]

Г-н Фаршеклоакин [userpic]

I could have asked this question on https://retrocomputing.stackexchange.com but it is likely too linguistic for that forum (they don't have a terminology tag), and still could be too hackerish for this one:

Is there (or was there when programming was done at a lower level than today, and required more bit-twiddling) a tendency in colloquial professional English to convert the phrase "all ones" that denotes a bit pattern within a computer register or a memory location consisting of all "1" bits, into a noun?

For the opposite, all zeros, the common form is simply "a zero", but I have never heard "all ones" elevated to a noun phrase that could take an article.

A bit of trivia: in Russian, the corresponding word was "всеед" (vseed), shortening of "все единицы" (vse edinitsy, 'all ones'), incidentally homonymous to the word with the meaning "pantophage".

5x6 [userpic]

...which many of you may have missed:


The Fall of the Empire: The Americanization of English by
Bruno Gonçalves, Lucía Loureiro-Porto, José J. Ramasco, David Sánchez

The Almanac [userpic]

I was a big fan of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles back in the day and I've just started getting back into it. As such, I've been researching more about the television series online and learned (amongst other things) that a publishing company called Bungeishunjū put out some adaptations of episodes for the Japanese market when the series was first airing.

However, the wiki page I just linked to only lists the original titles and authors' names, without transliterating into rōmaji or offering English translations for either, so I'd be extremely grateful to anyone on this community willing to do those things for my own edification.

Thank you very much in advance for your assistance!

Current Mood: curiouscurious

Hello people,

I'm looking for a visual dictionary containing all of the three above mentioned languages. So far I can only find the typical 5 language visual dictionary with the languages English, German, French, Spanish and Italian. I still have one of those at home from when I was a kid. I woulnd't mind other languages beside the above mentioned. But I'm really looking for a book that has at least those three languages in one. I've already tried Russian bookshops to see what languages their 5 language type visual dictionaries come with, but no luck.

Thanks in advance!

pronker [userpic]

Gran (1900-1986) had a term for a boyfriend of a married woman: Mr. Man.  As a little girl living with Gran and Gramps, I thought it was simply this guy's name ("Mr. Mann," possibly) who came to visit a woman who lived on our street.  The woman had been married for ten years and then separated from her husband.  The affair began after she moved out.  She and her husband reunited after five years and stayed married until his death.  After I grew up and heard Gran apply the term to other, similar situations, Mr. Man sounded specific to an extramarital affair.  It also seems now like I'd heard/read this term another place, but I do not recall where.  Would anyone here know this term?

Example:  Gran, peeking through the venetian blinds:  "There's that Mr. Man again.  He sure is a pest."

Gran was born in NE and lived there until 1936, when she moved to CA for the rest of her life.  Her mother came from Devon, England at age eighteen, and her father was born, raised and lived in NE all his life.

Current Location: downstairs office
Current Mood: lazylazy
Current Music: tiny evening breeze, ahhh
M. [userpic]

Hi all!

I am currently researching an exhibition for a paper, and have found a Japanese blog post on the exhibition which Google translate suggests contains some highly relevant details I haven't been able to find elsewhere. The problem is that I'm a bit worried about extrapolating what the correct translations of the Japanese might be based on the Google translation, because I simply can't back up their accuracy.

I would be incredibly grateful if anyone would be willing to provide translations of the relevant bits (5 longish sentences), which I'll post under a cut. I may paraphrase the translations, so an accurate idea of the content is more important than style!

If anyone is willing to translate, I would like if possible to credit you by your real name for the translation, though if you prefer that I credit you by username I could also do that. (To clarify: the paper isn't intended for publication, at least at this time, and as I'm a student I don't currently have the funds to pay a translator. Should a publication follow, I'll contact you and ask for your permission to include the translations, and should I get any funding at that stage I will gladly remunerate you! I can't say whether that will materialise, though.)

Mods: I wasn't sure from the rules whether such translation requests are frowned upon here; if that is the case please do let me know and I'll remove this post!

Many many thanks in advance to anyone willing to help!

Relevant excerpts from the blog postCollapse )

Oryx-and-Crake [userpic]

Dear linguaphiles,

I am translating two stories by James Tiptree Jr. and there are some things I need help with.

The first story is called "I’ll Be Waiting for You When the Swimming Pool is Empty" (1971). I could not find the text available online but the plot goes approximately as follows: A nice young Terran boy on his gap year stumbles on a very primitive planet and sets about, in his charmingly naive and bumbling way, to improve it, like a Peace Corp volunteer teaching basketball to a tribe of headhunters. He advances the development of their society greatly, and they start interplanet travel to bring enlightenment to more planets. At last they bring all the planets to their own, now advanced, level. They send a message to the Terran boy asking him what to do next but he never gets it (presumably being already dead of old age). I more or less got all the allusions in it (hopefully) except the following:
* the actual title. Is it a reference to some song or poem?
* the author makes fun of popular brands, e.g. his sound system brand is "Marsony" = Mars + SONY, the spaceship is "Galhonda" = ??? + Honda; his forcefield is "GE-Bilblas", the GE part is clear but what is Bilblas?
* "And in a very short while they had a kibbutz, and the girls were teaching Walden set theory and creative hygiene." Set theory is a branch of mathematics, and Walden is a book by Thoreau, but it does not make a lot of sense together...

The second story is titled "Painwise", and can be read online here. In short, it is a story of an astronaut scouting alien worlds whose pain receptors are rewired somehow so he’s impervious to torture, yet he can still suffer in his isolation and loneliness. He is picked up by a live space capsule manned aliened staffed by three sentient empath aliens. He fetches food from various planets for them - they do not dare to land on these planets because it's very painful for them every time, them being empaths and there being so much pain in the Universe. Now my question is about the following:
* "Sometime later while he was feeding Muscle with proffit ears..." What could these proffit ears be? It's possible that the author just invented a name for some exotic food from distant planet, but I will be grateful for any other ideas.
* "He was driving a stagecoach, wiped in salt combers, tossed through volcanoes with peppermint flames, crackling, flying, crumbling, burrowing, freezing, exploding..." - the part in bold is not clear.
* (about sex) "I had five women and a cloud-painting team and some little boys, I think." - the part in bold is not clear. Could it mean a group of artists or does it have some other meaning?

Thanks in advance.

stam_adam [userpic]

Hi everyone,
a little question: if it says, with no additional context, that the small house has light blue tiles stuck around the brown exterior walls, does it mean these blue tiles form a line on the walls which goes all around the house, or that they are scattered here and there over all the four walls?
Thanks :)


Hi everyone,

I'm hoping you'll be able to translate "Girls Against Cat-Catcalling" (and "Women Against Cat-Calling") into RUSSIAN and POLISH and actually as many languages as possible for me. (French, Greek, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese would be great, too.)

Cat-calling is a colloquialism so I'd appreciate as good a translation as possible.

This is not my artwork

Any other feminist slogans in any language would also be appreciated.

Thank you.

Marissa [userpic]

Hello, Linguaphiles - it's been a while!!

I would be much obliged if someone with Italian expertise could help me translate a short note from English. This will be a handwritten note to accompany a wedding invitation (in English). The note is going to a close friend of my fiancé's family - an elderly woman whose grasp of English is tenuous. I'd like the tone to be respectful but warm. I've met her, but only once, at another wedding!

"Dear Nicoletta,

We hope that you are well! We would be delighted to have your company at our wedding in Jamaica this October, but understand if you will be unable to make the trip. In the joyful event that you are able to join us, we would imagine that Nick's Uncle Paul would be happy to assist you with arranging your travel and accommodations through our travel agent, Ms. Sarah X (800-xxx-xxxx)

Affectionately yours,
[Joe and Jill]"

...Thanks SO much, Linguaphiles!! This is my first time on LJ in ages, just because I can't think of anywhere better to go for translation help. <3  I don't want to offend her or imply that she's incapable of making her own reservation

stam_adam [userpic]

Hi, I have a question to native English-speakers :)
When, with no particular context, you hear the word "smudged window", does it it sound to you like the window is dirty, or that it is blurred? Let's say: She stood, lost in her thoughts, pointing to the city beyond a smudged window. (this is not a quote, just an example :) )
Thanks a lot!

Do you know how to write pinyin on the computer with the correct tone marks? When I google it, I find a lot of explanations of how to write Chinese characters with Pinyin input, which is no problem for me, since I have Microsoft Pinyin thingy installed. Before my current laptop, I used to be able to find the accented vowels in pinyin somewhere in the language box, which was cumbersome but at least I knew how to do it. Now I can't even find that. I can just use numbers, but I prefer the look of the tone marks above the vowels.
I have a laptop with Windows 10 and a Swedish keyboard.

pronker [userpic]

My siblings and I are compiling odd things that our grandparents and parents said. Three of Gran's ([1900-1986], mother immigrated 1890 from Devon, England, father born and raised in Nebraska; she enjoyed Nebraska small town upbringing until 1936, when relocated to northern California forever) sayings baffle us. Would anyone else have heard of:

1. "Eskimo" for anything mildly objectionable. "Don't wear green with purple, that's Eskimo!"

2. "Kookoomaw" for anything really objectionable. "Ugh, that's kookoomaw! Throw it out!" (referring to moldy cheese fallen to the rear of the refrigerator)

3. "Let wind be free, for there shall be no other God before thee" said when hearing a fart.

Current Location: sofa
Current Mood: artistic
Current Music: something from upstairs
pronker [userpic]

Spinning a windy to mean telling a tall tale. "Aw, don't take me seriously, I was just spinning a windy." Has anyone else heard this? Searching did not turn up a source. (Native Californian here.)

Tags: ,
Current Location: downstairs office
Current Mood: giddygiddy
Current Music: kitty meow
kiwizelena [userpic]

I joined the LiveJournal today, as well as Linguaphiles community. I am intending to practise my English for exams and for further use.

I write this post just to let everyone know that I am from Czech Republic, I love my country and my language. I'd love to see if there is someone, who would be interested in Czech/need help learning it or something like this. Otherwise, I'll just keep reading/scrolling down.

Have a nice day!

Мария Капшина, Морана, Spielbrecher [userpic]


I have a question about pairs of personal pronouns like jou/je, zij/ze, mij/me used to mark emphasis in a statement.

As far as I know, this opposition doesn't exist in other Germanic languages (Or does it?). I'm curious about its origin. Am I right to assume that originally Dutch had only the "stressed" variants that tended to get "frozen" in this older form when under logical emphasis, while in the "non-stressed" position they were more easily contracted to eventually become separate forms?


whswhs [userpic]

Is there an adjective form derived from the Latin word genius, as in genius loci, "spirit of a place"? Neither genialis nor genitalis seems to be used in a sense that refers to spirits.

aikaterini [userpic]


I have a question about pronunciation of certain Scottish names. I'm thinking of writing a story with Scottish characters and I'm trying to make sure that I've got their names right.

Initially, the characters would be named Fingal and Fiona. But then I read that Fiona is not a true Scottish Gaelic name, and that the Scottish Gaelic form of Fingal is Fionnghall. So, then I decided that Fionnuala or Fionnula sounded more Scottish Gaelic than Fiona.

So, I've been wondering: what is the correct pronunciation of those names in the nominative and vocative? I've heard Fionnghall pronounced as FYOHN-uh-gall or FIN-gall.

In the vocative, where Fionnuala becomes 'A Fhionnuala' and Fionnghall becomes 'A Fhionnghall', what would the correct pronunciation of those names be? If, for example, Fionnghall is pronounced "FYON-uh-gall" in the nominative, would it be pronounced "A YON-uh-gall" in the vocative? If Fionnuala is pronounced "Fin-NOO-uh-la" in the nominative, would it be pronounced "A in-NOO-a-la" in the vocative?

Current Mood: curiouscurious
5x6 [userpic]

An old battle, isn't it? I've always been more or less on the latter side, to an extent. Indeed, there are few people out there who stick firmly to one concept (up to split infinitives and ending prepositions) or the other (ain't and double negatives in written speech).

I think it is important to differentiate between what sound "wrong"(=uneducated) and "wrong" (=non-native).

I've made a little list (excluding medieval grammarians' inventions like split infinitive) of expressions that sound wrong (at least to some), but not non-native, and made notes of how I, personally, perceive these. I am sure others feel differently, so I'd love to hear comments on that:

1. ain't, double negatives, messed conjugation ("we was"): definitely wrong.
2. Messing objective and direct cases: "Between you and I", "Who's there? - Мe". The former makes me cringe, the latter not so much.
3. Using who instead of whom - basically a norm now; using whom instead of who - I find it unacceptable
4. Confusing farther and further - sounds wrong, but not terribly so.
5. Try and //verb//, instead of "try to //verb//" - OK
6. Like better, instead of like more - perfectly OK
7. Confusing "that" and "which", like in "Conclusions were spelled out in the summary that/which was attached to the report". Formally, the meaning is different (and one demands a comma and the other doesn't), but people routinely confuse them. I accept, but do not like this.

What else did I miss? Yesterday's colloquialisms becoming grammatical norms today?

dorsetgirl [userpic]

The Mexican band Maná have a lead singer whose full name is apparently José Fernando Emilio Olvera Sierra. He's normally known as Fher Olvera.

My question is: what is the 'h' doing there in "Fher"? I'm assuming that it is in some way reflecting the pronunciation of the shortened name, and I'm further assuming that the pronunciation is closer to FARE than FUR. Have I got that right? And if so, how does it work? Is 'h' only used like this before an 'e', or does it have a similar function before other vowels in abbreviations?

Presumably the same thing is happening with the abbreviation of Barcelona, as in the football club? I'm guessing the pronunciation of "Barce" is either ambiguous or just plain wrong, and that's why it's spelt Barça instead, even though that means, again, flinging in a letter that wasn't there in the original (although in this case it's obviously a replacement rather than an addition).

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