July 15th, 2007

(no subject)

So I have a question for y'all. My friend and I have googled to no avail, so we are hoping someone here will know more information than we do.

We are looking for a poem in French that we are 90% sure was written by Victor Hugo (but searching his poems hasn't turned it up). We know that it was short, about6 or 7 stanzas, easy french and it had the words : la roche and la mer in it. We think it also may have been like, the ocean talking to the rocks or the waves...and i think the first line started "la roche est sur le(la)....quelquechose.

*sigh* sorry if this seems like no information but I'm hoping someone is a Hugo fan or just remembers the poem. it was so pretty! Thanks!

Oh, another question i was thinking about earlier:

What are generic names for towns in different countries? For example, in the U.S. we might say "Springfield" or "Anytown" (but i'm more looking for the former which is an actual city that is in like, 2/3s of the states rather than a made up name)

Ok, thanks!

"suck" is an adjective?

Heard today at a coffeehouse, from some people who were looking at flyers advertising apartments: "46th and Locust is kind of suck."

When did "suck" become an adjective? I can see myself saying "46th and Locust kind of sucks", which is clearly where this is coming from, but it seems weird to me.

(Oh, and the purpose of this post is not to debate the quality of certain Philadelphia neighborhoods. This is purely linguistic curiosity.)

French questions

I recently heard a man asked "You're from Quebec?" in French (I can say it but not spell it, lol)...his response is what surprised me. He said,

"Ouias, mais je suis angloquebecois," exactly like that. I knew he was a native English speaker, but I was under the impression that the English-speaking portions of Quebec called themselves Quebecers and not Quebecois? I don't know him personally so I felt awkward to ask and I didn't. What's the deal here?

Also, in Regina Spektor's song Apres Moi, she has one line of French" Apres moi le deluge". Shouldn't there be a verb in there, or is that ok like it is? And is the other non-English part in her song Russian?

Wow, that's more questions than I thought I had!

Thanks as always!!!
nikau (NZ!)

Lrn how 2 txt

The local community centre put a pamphlet in our letterbox this week about their various classes: art, exercise, various beginners' classes in different languages--and this one.

Text Like a Teenager

Have you ever wanted to learn the art of texting? Do you have trouble deciphering messages on your phone, or are you just not sure how to use the text facility? Come along on Tuesday afternoons and find out how to improve your texting capabilities.
Starting Tuesday 24 July, 4.00 to 4:30pm for 6 weeks. [my bolding]
What, showing people how to text will take that long, or are the abbreviations the difficult part? Has anyone else ever seen courses in texting offered? :-P


To learn new vocabulary - in addition to conventional methods - I've started using an online program called ALBIS. Not only is it effective, but the minimalist design makes it simple and completely to-the-point.

I've taken some screenshots to show you how it works (on the website there are no instructions, no information, and no previews).

First of all, it's available in the following languages:

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Once you've chosen which language you speak and which you want to learn, you're taken to a main screen that looks like this:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Each time you press OK a new word is shown until you have finished a small series of words that comprise a level. At the end of a level you are time-tested on the words you've learned. If you fail you repeat the level, if you pass you move on to the next level and a new series of words.

That's all there is to it. For myself the retension seems to be high, I did the first two levels yesterday and can still recall all the words.

The website is found here: http://albis.vetsin.com/
  • foutu

québécois -- food

can someone give me the more colloquial quebec french translations of the following?

if i've provided french translations, they're the ones given on the packaging for those items, and my customers don't use/understand them. i only have to speak french during dinner on the weekends and i don't have time for french class in the spur of the moment, otherwise i'd interrogate my customers and not you guys. :)

dipping sauce != trempette
hot peppers != poivres (i've heard something like "pipettes")
well done (burnt)
all-dressed (all toppings)

finally, is breuvage /bʀœvaʒ/? i feel like i'm pronouncing it wrong.

thanks! :)
  • mooose


The post was partly inspired by my having seen the trailer for Ratatouille the other day, and partly from a real need...

I was wondering if people here could help me translate the word 'food' into as many languages as possible.

I'd be interested to know if there are any problems with finding a suitable translation that covers the same semantic domains as the English word e.g. to translate 'food' into xxx language, do I need to know if I'm talking about haute cuisine or basic staples, am if I am referring to meat as opposed to vegetables?

Thanks. :-)

Romanian speakers?

Some author boldly claims here that the Romanian language has word-initial syllabic m and n. I can hardly believe my eyes (never studied Romanian, but have the vague idea what it's like).

Please tell me it's a lie can you prove or disprove that, please?