May 2nd, 2007


Help me sound Polish

Hey all! I like to amuse myself by pretending to be my friend's fictional Polish ex-boyfriend. I am easily amused. However, I don't actually know much about Polish except for a brief period when I was convinced it was the Greatest Language Evar. What are some features of Polish (or other West Slavic languages) that tend to come out in native speakers? What parts of English grammar do they tend to have trouble with?


(no subject)

Ok, so I am taking 5th semester Spanish this fall while in grad school and I haven't taken Spanish in 3 years (the last semester I took was 4th) so I am a tad nervous. I am reviewing now and have a question...

I never learned how to use gustar or doler or verbs of that nature to say certain things.

For example, "He likes me." Would it be, "Le gusta yo" or "Yo le gusta"? Or something else? Same for doler. "We hurt him"...would it be "Nosotros le duele" or "Le duele nosotros" or what? Thanks:)
all these things that i've done

A "trip" in Chinese

Is there some kind of word in (Mandarin) Chinese synonymous to the English slang word "trip"? As in, a drug trip? I just tried up looking "trip" but it gave back the normal meanings for trip, such as a journey. I was wondering if the Chinese have a word that means something similar to the English slang? Or would it be happenchance they just decided to use the formal meaning of "trip" too?

Pinyin please, and simplified or traditional (unless it only has one, then that doesn't really matter which one you choose.)

(no subject)

Just a quick French question (in the middle of writing a paper);

if I'm using 'Bien que' followed by the conditional tense, do I just put the conditional in the present subjunctive, or leave it as is??

i.e 'Bien qu'il serait' - ou, 'Bien qu'il soit'


Fluency and timing

I am all for enthusiasm and encouragement when learning a language, but I think some people (myself included) can be unrealistic about the time frame it takes to become fluent in a said language. Or even basically conversational.

While there are many influences, such as knowing another language in the same family, that are individual to each situation and person, the common notion among people I've spoken to regarding the matter estimate approximately three years. How have you found your own progress with learning a new language? At what point have you considered yourself to be fluent? Have you lost your motivation when attempting to learn a language and given up? Or how do you keep yourself motivated?

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Say wha?

I keep seeing all these technical terms all over, like dipthongs and glottalization and flapping and rhotic and all this other stuff. Do you learn these things in language classes, or do you learn it in other places? It seems rather technical and I have no idea what you guys are talking about when you say these things. :p

(no subject)

Another random (and possibly stupid, but I'm curious) question from me, having to do with accents and dialects this time.

I know that in English (US English, that is) certain accents/dialects have come to have certain stereotypes and cliches associated with them -- most notably on TV/radio/in the movies. The ignorant southerner; the rich, spoiled valley-girl; the bad-ass New Yorker, etc. The linguistic equivalent of dumb blonde jokes, I guess.

My question is: in other languages, are there similar stereotypes/cliches that go along with dialects and accents? If so, what are they?

Translation help.

This is my first community post, and I do hope that the content and my request are acceptable. (Mods, my apologies in advance if they're not.)

I'm working on a paper for my Rhetoric of Narrative grad class, and I'm looking at the role of dialogue/discourse in memoir, etc. etc. I found what appears to be a really great resource for the work that I'm doing, except that the whole book is in Spanish, and I haven't studied Spanish since high school.

So, behind the cut I've got four rather lengthy quotes that I've translated. I'm hoping someone might be willing to give me some feedback on my translations -- and especially on whether I've translated ethically where I've gone more for "natural sounding" English than for a word-for-word literal translation. I'd like to include these quotes in my paper, and while my teacher doesn't speak Spanish, I'd still like to be as accurate as possible.

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Thanks in advance for your help!!


Anyone here learning Swedish? I'm trying to pick it up and am quite lost as what exactly to do [This due to being entrenched in Romance languages]. I don't think there are any great hurdles, right? I'm sure phonology is a problem but that is a given for any language. The rules for definite-indefinite and singular-plural seem daunting but not so bad. :p