May 17th, 2007

mnemonic device?

So while leafing through my notes on the imperfect subjunctive for Spanish I found "I killed Ron" scribbled by it. I am positive it is a mnemonic device that my teacher mentioned to me but the only problem is that I absolutely don't remember its actual significance, and it is distinctly posible I miswrote it as well, so, uh any students/teachers of Spanish know?

(no subject)

I know many of you are doing college-level/graduate work or beyond, but just out of curiosity, I thought I'd ask if anyone is currently enrolled in an IB (International Baccalaureate) school? If so, what foreign language(s) are you studying? Anyone preparing for French B HL?
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Yiddish translation

This is a follow-up to a question I posted here a few weeks ago on behalf of my sister about a Yiddish song called Din Toire Mitt Gott.

1. Could someone give us an exact translation of the following lines (including any nuances of meaning, if present)?
l.4 --vos host tzu dein folk yisroel,
l.5 --vos host du zich on gesetzt on dein folk yisroel,
l.6 --az vu nor azach iz emor el bene yisoel,

2. Is the term folk Isroel standard in Yiddish or is there a (more) common
Germanic form (e.g., yiddisher folk?) to be expected?

3. Is the word Sof (=end) common in Yiddish or is there a (more) common German equivalent?


Story of French, continued...

So I am still reading The Story of French (Hey! It's a long book!) and I have a couple more things I want to pose to this community.

On pages 369-372, it discusses French vowels and how the vowels of the French language are currently changing and how, more and more, the "e" sound is being tacked onto the end of words that end with R, such as bonJOURe, and au reVOIRe, so that a schewa sound is tacked on to the end.

Question #1) Is this common in all varieties of French, or just Parisian French?

It also talks about how in Paris and surrounding areas the words mettre and maître are pronounced the same.

Question #2) Aren't the pronounced the same everywhere? I can't hear a difference between them. :-/

Finally, it talks about the nasal vowels of in, an, un, and on and how they all have almost merged into a single vowel.

#3) Can somebody explain this to me? I'm not sure I hear them as the same vowel at all. Is it different in Quebec French?

Last Question(not related to the book)) If you had to identify the main differences in pronunciation of Quebec French from "standard" French, what would you say they are? What I'm reading is that the vowels that sound the same in France don't in Quebec. Can anybody confirm this or deny this?

Peace and much thanks!! :)

(no subject)

In Spanish, if /l/ comes before a dental /d/ or /t/ (can't make the actual IPA symbols; sorry) then the /l/ is supposedly also dental, but I really don't think that means anything. The /l/ still sounds the same, so what's the point in making a distinction? Forcing beginner phonetics students to remember one more rule? haha

(no subject)

Hello, everyone! I have... An idea! Tremble in your boots! Watch me put my insomnia to good use! I haven't slept in three days, and my inner voice has developed a British accent, but nevertheless, weep at my brillance!

Lots of novice learners have difficulty in finding pen pals and people to practise written language with, due to shyness. It can be difficult to find someone willing to correct and talk with, and many times a penpal will eventually stop replying, leading to more woes and insecurity.

But, livejournal, more specifically, this community, is a massive, broiling, oozing mass of intelligence, a cooking pot of languages. A mass cacophany of noise! A metaphor describing vast amounts of knowledge and know-how!

So, why don't we have some fun, enjoy ourselves and shun the cringing embarrassment of failure?

Let us practise our languages, no matter how poor we are at them! Make a comment in your chosen language, saying ciao, guten tag, konnichiwa, or even hello. Converse with other people, no matter your level. Make conversation amongst yourselves in other languages! Thread like you are hoping to crash livejournal! Sit with a dictionary on your lap and a cup of tea in hand!

You can only get better by practising, after all.

Sound like fun, anyone?
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Speaking of phonetics..

I'm taking an introductory linguistics class and having a lot of trouble differentiating between vowel sounds. I can barely transcribe anything from English phonetically without being a vowel or two off. Does anyone have any reccomandations on how to improve and how to actually hear the differences?

Turkish possessives

For some reason, I can't seem to get my head around Turkish possessive endings. I'm sure they're as simple as the rest of the language, but they just aren't sticking. In the short term, I'm wondering if "çocuklarını" is correct for "her children" ("Ben çocuklarını gördüm" = "I saw her children"?).
In the longer term, is there a good website out there I can bookmark with tables of the suffixes? I have no objection to rote-learning this bit, since nothing else seems to be working for me.