January 4th, 2008

Miles Prower

Esse - Etre - Sein - Van - Olmak...

What is the origin of the irregularity in the verb "to be" in many of the worlds languages?
Looking at Latin for example, there are stems in er-, es-, su- and fu- .u..

Why also languages not directly related to Latin also show these irregularities? Is there a reason for it? Would the language work the same if "to be" conjugated regularly?
Mexicaans masker

Chinese fonts

Hello fellow linguaphiles,

What is the best way to type Chinese characters these days? When I last looked into the matter a few years ago, people were recommending a program called NJ Star, which I sadly never had the time to install. What's the Chinese word-processing program of choice these days? For practical reasons, I'd prefer a pinyin-based system to a radical- or stroke-order-based system.

Many thanks in advance for your tips!

Farsi translation

I apologize for the (semi-)repetitiveness of my requests, but I thought I could give this one it's own thread since the other one has got a lot of discussion regarding the Russian translation. Just to clarify, this is for my Persian ESL students. They are women in their 70s, so the translation should be pretty traditional without lots of slang. The English text is under the cut. I apologize once again for double posting, but I need this soon and I didn't want it to get lost in the other thread.

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And again, if anyone has any suggestions for beginner self-study English books for Farsi speakers, that would be great.

Amr Diab translation

Is there anyone here with enough Arabic to tell me what Amr Diab's song "Tamally Ma'ak" means? It contains the word "habibi" a lot, so I presume he's singing to someone he has feelings for, but I don't know any Arabic beyond that.

A phonetic transcription of the lyrics is at http://www.lyricsdownload.com/amr-diab-tamally-ma-ak-lyrics.html

If it's too tricky to translate word-for-word, even just the general gist will do.

Thanks very much in advance.