May 24th, 2007


rapace d'homme?

Dear linguaphiles, I need your help.

I am translating a story in which someone is cooking a meal according to a recipe from a very old and weird, ostensibly magic, cookbook, with very unfortunate consequences. At one point, she is to add something that the book lists as rapace d'homme. She assumes that it is French for "Gentleman's Relish" which she adds and then something really nasty and slithering comes after her. So, clearly this rapace d'homme was not supposed to be the same as "Gentleman's Relish" which is a kind of anchovy paste. What does it mean then? I could not find anything close to it in a dictionary. It is probably a set phrase.

Thanks in advance

UPDATE: The book I translate is in English, and the character is English-speaking too. But the cookbook she uses is in many weird languages, including French which she does not know very well. So what I was trying to say, the character misreads rapace d'homme as innocent and conventional "Gentleman's Relish" while it can be something entirely different. Could it be "human flesh", for example? That's what I am trying to find out.
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Reference recommendations

As part of my new job (hurray for getting to be a professional linguist finally!), I need to build up my language reference library again. Much of what I have is fifteen years out of date (which is as useful to me in the current circs as Mr. Johnson's original might be).

For my preference, I'd have a x01 Verbs for each language (Russian, German, French - I have the German already, want to find out if there's a 501 for Russian yet, instead of the old 201 I've got).

Where I'm looking for recommendations is for three books:

I need a dictionary each for French, German and Russian, and by that I mean a monolingual one for each. I already know enough to find the newest Duden for German. Can anyone recommend a French and a Russian monolingual dictionary? As in, what people would call a dictionary in those countries?

Also, I need a recommendation for a good German-English/English-German dictionary. My French and Russian are Oxford - I have the Concise Oxford Russian-English, and the Oxford-Hachette Concise French.

So, to sum up:

1) A French dictionary, monolingual?

2) A Russian dictionary, monolingual?

3) A German-English bidirectional dictionary?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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Today I got a coin from Guernsey in my change. The inscription on it interested me. It said "S'BALLIVIE INSULE DE GERNEREVE" which obviously means "(from?) the Bailiwick of the Island of Guernsey". It was the language itself that interested me. It's not the endangered local language, which looks like French but with some different spellings and vocab. Could it be some sort of Normanised Latin? The coins in the rest of the UK tend to have either standard Latin or Welsh mottoes engraved on them ( I particularly like the Scottish one which boils down to "don't mess with us!").
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This is a random question, but I've noticed something: in many languages I've encountered, the "respectful" word for a homosexual is the same or very similar to the word in English (usually "gay"). The other words that don't come from English are pejoratives (i.e., maricón in Spanish).

Are there languages that have native words for a gay person that aren't meant to be deragatory and if so, what are they and do they have a double-meaning (like "gay" can mean happy)?

P.S. Sorry if this isn't the most coherrent post ever. I haven't slept in a while. haha