July 25th, 2007

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(no subject)

I was reading something recently about the lost languages of Britain, and I was interested by the Romance language that Latin-as-spoken-by-the-British would have evolved into. What would it have ended up like if the Saxons hadn't invaded? Like French, or different? All the names would be totally different as well. It wouldn't be called England, for a start...

I wonder has another written an alternative history about this. Huh, other people consider AHs where the Confederates won, I think about languages.
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haneul bl

(no subject)

I had a friend last year in school who was a foreign exchange student from China. I was rummaging around in my closet earlier and found this piece of paper that she wrote on, and I don't remember what she said it meant. Here it is:



Anyone know what it says? Thanks. :D
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Computer program learns vowel sounds like child

Found this article on Digg, but there were no real comments of unique justice, and instead a lot of moronic Simpsons quotes, so I thought I'd bring it to a better suited community. ;)

Money shots:
"The debate in language acquisition is around the question of how much specific information about language is hard-wired into the brain of the infant and how much of the knowledge that infants acquire about language is something that can be explained by relatively general purpose learning systems," said James McClelland, a psychology professor at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
"In the past, people have tried to argue it wasn't possible for any machine to learn these things, and so it had to be hard-wired (in humans)," he said. "Those arguments, in my view, were not particularly well grounded."

I'm rather convinced that we now have the computer technology to start processing language better, it's just that no one has gotten to programming it yet. This is a step!

slt

Hi everyone! So i've lurked on this community for a long time now under different usernames. I love this community! I have some questions about French, and I also just need to vent some steam about the language as well! I started French in college for a language requirement and immediately fell in love. I LOVE the language, the culture, the country...everything.  I hate myself for not taking advantage of all the opportunities to learn french when I was younger, my high school had an excellent program and I was stupid to not take French then. (roar!) I feel like I'll never be fluent, and just when I think I am making progress, a thousand other mysteries about the language unfold- which of course why I love it. I'm just...FRUSTRATED with myself, and learning...and I dont know what to do. Okay...end rant. Any support, words of advice would be awesome.

Onto the questions:

(1) I saw Paris Je T'aime, and without spoiling any of it, there is one scene where a man is telling his mistress to forget him, essentially breaking up with her. They show the text message and it said "d'oublie moi" I believe. Now, if i was to say a command, I would have thought to say "oublie de moi"...when you are saying something like "forget about..." etc, do you move the "de" to the front of the command? Also...I was watching "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" in French dub, and there is a scene where one character is telling another guy to back off, and says "d'avance pas" why is the "de" in front again? Whats more frustrating, is that the sub-title said "Recule!" Any help would be awesome.

(2) Can anyone please explain when to use the following words in speech: ce, ceci, celui-ici, cela, celle, celui etc. etc. I know there is a word for them, and i remember learning them...but...somehow I seemed to have forgotten how/when to use them. In fact, I do use these words in speech but I feel like I am always using them incorrectly.

(3) I had an example of this, but I cant find it...what does one use "aussi bien"?

(4) How does one say, "Calling all Francophones!", what is the word for when the verb takes that form

Last question
(5) From what I remember, I thought "en fait" was the equivalent of "actually", but I hear a lot of french speakers saying "au fait", what is the difference, when does one use "au fait"

Thanks! Sorry if these questions are inane and whiney, I really appreciate all your help with this beautiful amazing language :)

Turkish video/lyrics

I don't know about you...but music gets me interested in languages I wouldn't think about much otherwise. Since I've pretty much memorized the lyrics to this cool Türkçe song from watching the video so many times, I figured I'd share. The vid is stylish and hot and the uploader posted the lyrics, so attempting to sing along is très amusant. TRY IT. Söylemek! Püf de Üfle by Murat Boz. I keep on hearing people say Turkish is ugly. Is that a common opinion in other countries? Hard to say it's anything but neat by listening to this if you ask me.



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The translation is rough, so if any of you Turkish speakers feel like correcting any mistakes or giving prettier translations of at least the chorus, that'd be much appreciated! Sagol (thank you) in advance.

French

I just started learning French in college (and reviewing an inkling of it). If anyone wouldn't mind exchanging languages or teaching some tricky parts of it (like conjugating or articles) please message me.

(no subject)

Helloooo.

I began learning Japanese by myself after the unfortunate two weeks I had at the Japanese class in my high school. I made myself flashcards with the hiragana alphabet but before I started to memorize them, I decided to transcribe some common expressions into the hiragana alphabet. I started with "konnichiwa" and then checked a website that lists the common Japanese expressions (http://www.iej.uem.br/hiragana.html here). For some reason, the -wa is replaced by a -ha. I was wondering why that happened, because I doubt that it is a human error.

Another snag I ran into is that when I tried to transcribe "ohayo gozaimasu" the -za- syllable at a couple different sources also looks completely different from what is listed in my book, more like a reflected -ji. What is it supposed to look like?

I don't understand =\