August 27th, 2007

Easy to read Russian...

Servus! Hello! И Привет!

I was just wondering if anyone could recommend any good Russian children's books that would be good for a beginner to read and learn from. Any websites with children's stories in Russian would be great as well; I haven't really been able to find anything too good in my online searching.

Danke! Thanks! И Спасибо!

verbal wit

Hallo again. I still study the concept of fun in American linguaculture (you've helped me a lot with it here).
One of the ways to let people have fun is verbal wit. In the Middle ages people who entertained others using their wit were called fools, or jesters. So, I've got 2 questions:
1. How would you call a person whose profession is to entertain people using his/her wit?
2. What pictures or situations come to your mind when you think about this person?
3. Give 3 ajectives characterizing that person.

Thank you in advance.
I'll unscreen the comments later.

Medical terms in French and Spanish

My mother is an RN, and she's starting a job where she'll be translating from French or Spanish into English (and vice-versa, I think). She used to be fluent in the two, but she's become rusty over the years. Does anyone have links to good reference sites for medical terms in either French or Spanish? Thank you in advance!

Linguistic Anthropology: "Sanctuary"

In the parlance of Republican-primary politics, “sanctuary” – as in sanctuary city – has become a bad word. In our occasional series we call Word Watch, ABC News political correspondent Jake Tapper and linguist Geoffrey Nunberg explain how a term rooted in religion was turned into an epithet.

- NPR's "On the Media"
Listen/Read HERE.

x-posted to anthropologist

French, German

Let's first go for the French and German question, which is about terminology. Can anyone affirm me that what is called in Germany "Discofox" is the equal to the French term "Rock"?

Nun die vollständig deutsche Frage:
Nach Erklären des Präsens habe ich dummerweise kurz nach einigen regulären Fällen, ein unregelmässiges Verb konjugieren lassen. Dabei handelte es sich um lesen (ich lese, du liest, er liest, wir lesen, ihr lest, sie lesen). Sowohl bei Lesen als auch bei sehen gibt es einen "e/i-Wechsel", die der kleine Duden: Deutsche Grammatik (S.152 Paragraph 172) wie folgt erläutert:

Eine Reihe von unregelmässigen Verben wechselt in der 2. und 3.Person Singular Präsens und im Imperativ Singular den Stammvokal e gegen i (ie) aus:
geben - du gibst, er gibt, gib!
nehmen - du nimmmst, er nimmt, nimm!
sehen - du siehst, er sieht, sieh!

Gibt es trotzdessen eine Möglichkeit diese Wörter zu erkennen oder muss ich meinem Nachhilfeschüler erklären, dass er auch das leider stumpf auswendig lernen muss?

Translating my nickname!

Hello everybody! Would you mind to help me? It'll be just twenty seconds ^^ I'm trying to translate my nickname to another languages of the world :) So, can you write the translation and tell me the language you are translating in? Thanks a lot!


Lullaby in black and white --> Cançó de bressol en blanc i negre (Catalan)

Thankies again!
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fire safety

Please tell me if the following phrases, about a fire safety system in an office, sound OK to you. Thanks!

"All office premises must be equipped with a sufficient number of smoke detectors, linked up together with ??cables to form a ??chain. The cables must be connected to a central switchboard.
...All office premises must be equipped with special tubes (pipes?) with snouts (muzzles?) for gas supply. The tubes (pipes?), in turn, must be connected to an installation (unit? rack?) (equipped) with gas containers holding incombustible gas (usually СО2 is used)."

P.S. The picture of "special tubes (pipes?) with snouts (muzzles?) for gas supply"

"gas containers holding incombustible gas "

(no subject)

So, my friend, who's studied Japanese for about four years, might just get to go to Japan for two weeks as a guide for some adults. She's invited me to come with her, because i'm good at handling people.

Alas, I do not speak any Japanese besides basic introduction of my name and the ability to say 'I speak no japanese!'.

So, any recommendations for good places to get speaking Japanese basics that would serve well for dealing with retail, basic conversation, ordering tickets, that sort of thing? My friend can read lots of kanji, so getting around shouldn't be a problem.

blind in one eye/deaf in one ear

how do you say the following, in as many languages as possible?
"i'm blind in one eye"
"i can't see out of my left eye"
"i'm deaf in one eye"
"i can't hear out of my left ear"

the reason i ask is because i'm blind in my left eye (and temporarily have really bad hearing in my left ear, long story, wrong place) and have like no peripheral vision on my left side and constantly run into people on the street and it's really embarrassing, so i'd like to be able to explain myself in as many languages as possible. i live in montreal and even though i'm fluent in french i never really bothered to learn how to construct this phrase and usually just point at my left eye and say "j'peux pas voir" or something. anyway, sorry if you hate "how do you say" posts but this isn't in many dictionaries- as always, literal retranslations are appreciated cause i think it's interesting.

*i realize that half-blind and half-deaf are kind of ambiguous in english (as to whether they mean that you're blind/deaf in one eye/ear or have poor vision/hearing in both ears)

languages and resumes

So I realized last year after trying to watch spongebob square pants in French that perhaps, as my resume stated, I was not fluent in French. I considered my French fluent because I had the grammatical base, considerable French thought in my writing, and even understood the beauty of French phonetics (this class was perhaps the most helpful class that I have taken at university). But the vocabulary is what gets me.


I'm editing my resume now, and I found these guidelines online

Languages (optional)
If you include languages (either under "Skills" or "Languages" section), be sure to accurately represent your skill level: Basic ability - completed coursework in language. Literate - Can read and write language. Conversational - Can speak language. Proficient - Can read, write and speak understandably. Fluent - Can read, write and speak with similar skill to native speaker, and could interview and/or work in that language.

Now my problem:

I am Korean American, so I can speak Korean to some degree, and would consider it to be proficient. My French, however, is BETTER than my Korean, but obviously not fluent due to the lack of vocab.

Is there a way to convey this? Or should I just move everything down a level. (Easiest part is that my Russian is basic. 4 semesters, and the language is still difficult!)

Thanks for any help/advice and especially for any links to helpful guides (that are hopefully generally accepted by the working community)