May 9th, 2007

  • 3_2_1


I'm wondering if anyone would have any idea what the word asharam means, in any language. It may also be transliterated as asaram or something similar.

I've googled it myself, but haven't found any satisfactory translations, though it seems there are many people/places with the name in India, though I also seem to have found a couple references to the Torah, which lends me to believe it may also be Hebrew.

Thank you.

Edit: I'm fairly sure the similar word ashram, meaning hermitage is not the same word, but thank you.

can someone translate this..

Erika chan! cono natsu, ippai nihongo shaberitai... nihongo wasureteru, sabishi.. Erika chan wa SU-PA KU-RU!

I know it is about a person named Erika... but thats prettty much the only word i can identify.. and it was written in japanese transliteration. Please can someone help me out?

Thank you thank you!!

Linguistics blogs?

I've heard about some good ones, but I'd like to hear your recommendations.

Specifically, I'd like scholarly stuff--I'm a student, and though the general pro-sumer type information is interesting, I really would benefit most from one or two good, meaty blog posts a day.
trainspotting/movies | me + irvine welsh

German "How do you say"

(UPDATE: Got a good answer, thank you, to both questions. For the first: bezüglich was the word I needed, and for the second, I'll go with the Oxford :). )

I'm looking for how one would say:
"Billing-related questions"

Billing is easy - Berechnung or Gebührenzahlung - and questions - Anfragen.

But how would I, in short terms, get that "-related" in there? It seems impossibly awkward to do the end run of "die in Verbindung mit ___ stehen" or something...

(EDIT: Good point from dellaran: I don't want to just simplify it to "Fragen über Ihre Rechnung" or something like that, because I'm doing this with the goal of producing as near to exhaustive a list as I can of the ways in which people might request this particular piece of information (so that we can properly model the range of possibilities for the AI to recognise). This is also why I'm using, in this example, Anfragen rather than just Fragen; some people will always say "inquiring" when "asking" would have done. I know, cause I'm one of them. ;) So the simpler forms I've got; I'm working on the more esoteric, stilted, and awkward ways of saying the same things now. )

On a side note, may I share something squeeful with y'all? Who might appreciate it more than here?

I'd been searching for work for literally months and months, digging around in ads for web designers, graphic designers, writers, translators, anything I could find. A friend sent me an ad last Wednesday, about a local company seeking a "Natural Language Grammar Specialist". Long story short, I'm now working for them - as a linguist. OMG! I finally, finally get to use my whole degree training for something! The company is working on natural language processing systems for commercial apps - an AI to help learn the customer base's linguistic quirks more quickly, and to interpret natural language in such a way as to allow more efficient interaction with customers. W00t! I'm a linguist again!

Which is how I come to be wondering about German this morning, and billing-related questions. :)

And on a related note - anyone got any recommendations for a good, thorough, German-English dictionary that's quite recent? I'm finding my 15-year-old Collins is groaning under the strain of language change. I've already got a good Duden on my list for the in-German book, but wondered if anyone's particularly happy with a recent edition of a German-English. This is for work, so money isn't the biggest concern - effectiveness is. I'm Canadian and English, so I'd much prefer one that uses Brit spellings if possible (sorry, my neighbours to the south, but your orthography confuseth me endlos).

Spanish from Argentina


I'm not sure this is the right place to ask but I need help: I'm French, I don't know anything about Spanish and I went to Argentina one month ago to visit a friend there.
We stayed at her parents, who only speak Spanish and I'd like to thank them by sending a postcard in Spanish.

Could anybody help me and translate it from French or English to Spanish?

"Bonjour, je vous envoie cette carte pour vous remercier de votre accueil chaleureux et de m'avoir fait découvrir les asados, délicieux.
Je suis ravie de mon séjour dans votre pays et dans votre ville, c'était d'excellentes vacances, trop courtes, malheureusement.

J'espère que tout va bien pour vous.

Merci pour tout, sincèrement."

I can try and write it in English too but I'm afraid I'm not very good at writing letters in English.

The Story of French

I'm currently reading The Story of French by Benoit et Barlow, which was recommended to me by someone in this community (though I can't remember who...)

Anyway, a couple things caught my attention and I thought I'd ask about them here, to see what the opinions here are...

From page 235:

In Louisiana, in New England, and in some communities in the Canadian West, many native francophones lost their capacity to conjugate verbs. For example, an anglicism such as Il faut watcher son français (you need to watch your French), inelegant as it is, is still structurally French. But Il faut watch son français (which we heard in Acadia) shows that the speaker hasn’t mastered the basic system of verb conjugation in French…these mistakes are often a clear indicator of imminent assimilation.

My question here is about the part in bold. Do you all agree/disagree with these statements? How do you feel about the general sentiments in the above paragraph? I’ve heard that non-Quebecois francophone Canadians are struggling with French not “picking up” with many younger people, but that’s the first example I’ve seen of a verb being used as though it’s English like that.

From page 315:

Most Algerians, Sengalese, Indians, and Polynesians are at least bilingual (not surprisingly, since only ten countries in the world, and very small ones at that, are classified as strictly monolingual).

Again, the bold part is what I have a question about. Which countries are these? I can guess that Iceland is one of them, but the other nine I don’t know off-hand. Liechtenstein, maybe? And the Vatican?

Grand merci beaucoup!
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Where did the vocative expression "grasshopper" in English come from, anyway? I mean, in the mock-wisdom statements like: "Good things shall come in time, grasshopper".

I get the image of some old Japanese sensei with a long beard sitting on a rock as he says it... but they didn't speak English...
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HELP! :)

I would GREATLY appreciate some on sentence translations in the following languages:
and -Gaelic

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Hindi, German, Russian, Thai...

Hi, next week at my school, I am probably competiting in this language competition thing. I was wondering if someone could tell me basic words/phrases in Hindi, German, Russian, Thai. Could you give me the pronunciation, written way in the language, and the English translation? Thanks a ton.
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Two Unrelated Questions

1. Someone stated today in useless_facts that a french kiss (a open-mouthed kiss using the tongue) is called an "English Kiss" en france. I don't know why, but I doubt this assertion. Well part of me does--in Brazil, it's called an "Italian Kiss." So I guess I could see it happening. Can anyone confirm/deny this for me?

2. For those English speakers out there. Which sounds best to you:

a. I graduated Harvard in 1998.
b. I graduated from Harvard in 1998.

My mom always told me that sentence A was an East Coast thing (being a native Californian, she always said this with some derision :). If one sentence sounds more natural than the other, I'd love to know where you're from so I can figure out a pattern (if any).

To me, both sentences sound acceptable, but the first sounds a bit awkward. However, I do say "I graduated high school." So I don't know this instance would be different.
  • paul_s

Father in Indo-European

Hello again.

I was wondering whether anyone knew the etymology of the Ukrainian word 'батько'?  I'm trying to come up with a plausable explanation as to how two so closely related languages as Russian and Ukrainian get two completely different words for 'father'.  I can explain 'отец' in Russian but I don't know where 'батько' comes from.

Thank you.

one of those requests. my wife's brother has the following bit o' arabic in his msn profile:

 أعلن الامين العام للامم المتحدة بان كي
but of course i have no idea what it means and he won't tell her.  she tried googling it, but to no avail.  any takers?

i'm sure he has no idea what it is either, so excuse if it's profanity or ridiculousness.  thanks!

German - Old or New spellings?

Quick straw poll, I guess...hehehe...

Been thinking of getting back into German, but last I did anything with it was before the spelling reform. Personally, I'm no fan of the changes it makes, but not being a native German myself I figured it'd be interesting to inquire as to the habits of those who use German out here. Which do you use? Which do you see used most?
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-thek-? (German)

Here's one I found while reading Thomas Bernhard's Der Stimmenimitator:

Pharmacist - Apotheker

Ok, BUT!

Librarian - Bibliothekar

So why the -ar ending? Is this a holdover from Greek or some strange anomaly? Are there other -thek endings that do this? I can think of one other: Diskothek, but I would imagine that one who frequents Diskos would be a Diskotheker, right?

Also, has anyone read The American Language by H.L. Mencken? Is it generally respected?

(Half-Crossposted in germanics)
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