October 3rd, 2007

me

carbonation in Romania, and maybe church, too

I am leaving for Romania in a matter of hours. I think I have all questions answered, except the following:

1. Is sparkling/carbonated water or flat water the default in Romania?
2. What words do I use to get carbonated water?
3. What is sparkling wine called there? Champagne, Sekt, Cava, Prosecco?
4. How do I ask to find the Unitarians / UUs? (Their website is broken.)

Thanks!
les fleurs

NEEther, or NYE-ther?

This may sound like a really stupid question, but I've always felt I should know the difference.  How is "neither" supposed to be pronounced?  I can't ask anyone I know, because I'm either the friend everyone comes to for this kind of thing, or I'm in the company of people who would snigger at my question. 

While we're at it, is it EEther or EYEther?

PotAYtoe, potAHtoe?  Okay, I know that's preferance.

Holmes pipe 2

Public use of endearments

I rang to order a taxi this morning and the man at the other end of the line addressed me as "My love". This led me to reflect on the public use of endearments. Here in England they are very commonly used on public transport especially, and also often in small local shops, garages etc. The general rule is that endearments such as "darling" or "my dear" will be used by a man to a woman or a by a woman to a woman, when buying a bus-ticket for instance, but not by a man to a man; but in my part of South-West England it is common for a man to use them to a man as well. When I first came here, I was quite surprised to be called "M'dear" by the man in the local garage, but now I find it nothing out of the ordinary to be called "My love" by the taxi man.

So may I ask whether, and how, endearments are used between strangers (or near-strangers) in public dealings in other langusges in other parts of the world? And also in other parts of the English-speaking world?
Eddie

Italian abbreviation

How common is it in written Italian to abbreviate the word "per" with the letter "X"? I've come across at least two songs (Tiziano Ferro's "Perdono" and Zucchero's "Per colpa di chi") which are often written that way - even if the "per" is part of a word. Is it one of those "cool" spellings, sort of along the lines of the English-language hip-hop tradition of misspelling everything in sight?

Accents across languages

Hi there,

I have a question about accents. As far as I'm aware, if a native English speaker from, say, Australia spends enough time in England, they will adopt an English accent. But what would happen if, for example, a native English speaker spends a certain amount of time in France, speaking French? Would this then affect their accent when speaking English? I'm curious.

Thanks!
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Kullervo

Short Translation

In playing Popomundo, I received a message from another player in Finnish. My Finnish is no good and I can't figure out what she's saying. Can someone help me out?

Subject: Hupsis!
Body: Tulin vahingossa painaneeksi väärää kommunikointivaihtoehtoa. Voit hylätä opettajapyynnön. Hyvää uuttavuotta! =)

-Lidija

Thanks in advance, and more to come as well.
Kullervo

TESOL

Has anyone heard or does anyone have any information about the online TESOL training through American TESOL Institute (reviews, compliments, complaints or otherwise)? I want to know if they're a reputable organization. If not, do you have any other recommendations for TESOL certification?
Doctors Everywhere!

trying to do a little homework

I'm planning to go here: (http://www.kostnice.cz/) while I'm in England for my semester abroad.

What sort of languages could I expect to run into here? Czech, obviously, but are there any others?

Also...are there any sort of phrases or things I should know or be aware of?(More specifically, I have a Soviet Union track jacket...given history, would that be better off left behind?)

I know this might not be the best community for these sorts of questions, but you guys seem pretty smart and well-traveled, and pretty much everyone I've asked so far has had so little information, that Eastern Europe in general has become a sort of "here be dragons" area where the map's not filled in.