September 11th, 2007

Best (free) online dictionaries? French, German, Mandarin + others

Hey, I'm a French major learning German with a pipe dream towards learning more than a month of Mandarin. I've been using this amazing online French/Italian/Spanish dictionary for my French translation needs, but I'd really like to find a good online German dictionary. Any suggestions? I'm definitely a fan of example sentences.

My Chinese laoshi told me once upon a time that was the best when it comes to Chinese. Feel free to challenge that...especially if you know of one geared towards beginners.

And finally, any of you have suggestions for good online dictionaries/translators for any other languages you'd be so kind as to share? I find myself wanting to know random words in various languages all the time.


ATM woes in the language of your choice

Imagine the situtation. You visit an ATM machine (redundant, I know, but it's what people say), and you put in your bank card, enter your password, etc. At the end of the transaction, the machine does not return your card. You may or may not have gotten any money. That part is not relevant.

When you get outside, you say to a friend, in horror... The machine (just) XXXXXX my card!... What? What did the machine do to your card? In the language of your choice, please translate to English. And if this is not close to the expression you would use, then what would you say?

Thanks! And I  hope this doesn't happen to you any time soon.
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(no subject)

what do you call the action of pressing the button in order to have a lift get to your floor?
do you "summon", "call" or "invite" it? :D
also, what's the situation in other languages like Spanish (llamar a elevator?) and German (Lift heissen?)?

amused a bit...

NB I'm not really asking what is it regarding the button, but rather the lift!
rock out

(no subject)

Hey all,

I've been a community member for years but I'm not really around much. I've got a Latin question for all you classics people.

My brother and his fiancee are looking for a translation to engrave on a keepsake for their wedding. I think it's a snowglobe or something similar. I haven't taken Latin in years so I don't trust myself to be accurate... what we need is this sentence:

"I will follow you into the dark."

There seem to be so many words that convey "dark" or "darkness," I'm not sure what's best. The sentence just needs to convey a feeling of trust really.

If anoyone could help me with a translation I'd (we'd) really appreciate it. Or if anyone has a suggestion of a Latin phrase with a similar feeling that might be comparable, I figure they might be open to that too.

Thank you!
Grand Pré archaeology

Translation help

I am looking for some help rendering a paragraph of Spanish into suitable English for my MA thesis.  While I can read it well enough, my translation skills are lacking and this accerbated by the age of the text (1571) and the fact it was dictated to a third party.  I cant offer much beyond a credit and a copy of my thesis which is on significance of weaving and beer brewing as performed by Inca chosen women.  If you are interested you can either post here or send it on to my email at  Thanks. 

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Candian Multilingual Standard

I'm playing with the Canadian Multilingual Standard keyboard option on my computer, and I can get the éÉèÈçÇàÀôêîûâÖÜÏËÄ , however, i'm having trouble figuring out a few things. The first one is, getting the lower case letters with the trema and figuring out how to get the u,i,o with the accent grave and the u,i,o,a with the accent aigu. Also i need help getting the uppercase circumflex on the a,e,i,o,u. If anybody could be of help to me it would be greatly appreciated. I thought changing the language option on my keyboard would be easier than looking at a character map every time i go to right papers in spanish or french. Ohhhhh...and i completely forgot but the enya above certain spanish words like pi(n)ata. :)

merci beaucoup

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Is "bursdag" an adaptation of an English word into Norwegian phonology or does it have some significance in the Norwegian language itself?

Medieval Spanish weaponry terms

I'm a bit at a loss regarding the translation of the word "falcón." My teacher described it and drew me a picture, so I know exactly what it is, only neither of us could think of the word in English. None of my Spanish dictionaries have it. For those of you who don't know, it's a sort of Middle-Eastern looking sword with a curved blade and a curved tip, like what the palace guards wield in "Aladdin." Any thoughts on the English equivalent?

ETA: Thanks for the replies! It seems the answer to my question is either "falchion" or "scimitar."

English question.

I'm having a small argument with a friend of mine. She asked me to help out with her homework, which was to translate a bunch of sentences into russian. The sentence she asked me to help with was:
It certainly evens things up a bit with Ferrari down to one car.

My first guess was that the sentence was referring to some kind of team racing competition, and I translated the sentence accordingly. She then told me that the topic of their class was business, and then another gave us the supposedly correct answer. Apparently, the sentence was referring to Ferrari's production being brought down to one car.
And here is the reason of our disagreement: I argue that this kind of assignment is flawed, because it is impossible to figure out what the sentence is referring to by the contents of the sentence alone - there need to be either additional sentences, or this one needs to be expanded with necessary details. She argues that the topic of business should have been enough to correctly guess what the sentence was referring to. English not being my first language, I can't rely on my experience with the language, so I'd appreciate some input from native speakers.

Ave amatici!

hello peeps!
Does anyone here speak Latin?
I know a little, but am not really fluent in it.

Some time back, I was watching a film about killer whales and a voice over at the start of the movie said something about the latin name, Orca orcanis, meaning ' the bringer of death'.
I was thinking "Nah! 'Mort' is Latin for 'death'".
however , I still don't know what orca orcanis means.
Can anyone help me out here?

Phonology question

Is there a term for phonemes that are allophones in some cases, and distinct phonemes in others? Using Japanese as an example, /b/ and /v/ are strict allophones, however /f/ is distinct from /h/, and yet it blends sometimes (e.g. coffee = koohii), and I've heard one or two cases where someone singing in Japanese seems to have changed an h into an f. Maybe I just wasn't paying close enough attention, perhaps.

Even if my example is somewhat bad though, is there a name for this phenomenon, or would they be technically considered distinct phonemes since there are times where they create semantic differences?
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