January 27th, 2008

Flash crash

Language identification/translation help

I was skimming through a Japanese manga set in the Middle East when I came across a drawing of two foreign language books sitting on a bookshelf, their titles written along their spines.

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Arabic speakers in other comms have told me that the one on the right is Jazeerat Failaka (Arabic: جزيرة فيلكة), the name of an island off Kuwait. But no one seems to know the language of the other book title, let alone what it says. So far, I understand it's not Hebrew, Greek or Russian.

Can anyone here help me translate this? It may just be gibberish...but it seems to be drawn with care. If it is just pretty squiggles, can anyone take a guess at what writing system might have inspired it?
Bakura Ryou

Russian in Distress


I am new to this community; I read the rules, of course, but please let me know if there is a format I'm not following or anything! I am an American and a native speaker of American English, and have near-fluency in Spanish, for what it's worth.

A Creative Writing professor assigned our class a scene wherein an elderly Russian man is hit by a car (in small-town America, around no other people who speak Russian). He speaks no English. He is Jewish, and is reacting to both his injuries and the attempt by a Catholic priest to offer him last rites. If necessary, I can always take the wussy route ("He said something in Russian") since the priest is the point-of-view character, and he speaks no Russian; however, I would really like to be able to actually type what the priest hears. I would love any help people could give me with this!

The phrases I need translated (with Roman characters, to go in a story otherwise written in English):

"Call a doctor."
"I don't speak English. Anna, where is Anna? She can take me to a hospital."
"No, I am Jewish."
"No! Put that away! Don't you tell me I'm dying!"

A depressing piece, certainly, but I'm hoping it will at least be well-written, and this would help a lot. Thank you!

P.S. I'm cross-posting to little_details, because this assignment is due very soon, so I kind of need to know whether I'll be able to get a translation. Just wanted to make sure I didn't confuse anyone!

**EDIT** Thank you guys all so much! <3!
Cool [DS] [Protag]

Frustrating Game Terms...

All right. It's been bugging me for a long, long time now, and I guess it's time to ask someone who might have a clue. No clue which Asian language this is in, so if anyone who knows those languages would take a look, that would be appreciated. Though it is a bit of a spoiler for this game, so I'll put it under a cut, though it's not a HUGE one. About halfway through the game, I guess.

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French Slang

My French teacher in middle school liked to tell us a lot of French slang words that we could maybe use with our friends. She said once that the French say "C'est chouette" as a way of saying "that's awesome!" or "cool!" But "une chouette" is an owl. It's really funny and doesn't make that much sense to say owl as a synonym for something nice. Does "chouette" truly mean cool or was she completely wrong? 
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    amused amused
Me--State Fair

translation request

I'm on the V-Day committee here at college, and we are creating trifolds about violence issues in different countries.

We would like to put the phrase "Until the Violence Stops" above each country or countries where the language is spoken. Any and all languages are welcome--we've made an effort to translate several languages, and I'd like to get it as right as possible.


I'm just curious...

How common is it in your country to learn foreign languages? Is it encouraged? Are there a lot of options to learn languages in your school system? Are there languages which everyone's obliged to learn in school? How many languages do people usually speak/understand? What influences the attitude towards learning foreign languages in your country (or area, if there's a difference), and the choice of languages to learn?

I'm not doing any research on this, I'm not even a linguist, I simply find it an interesting topic to think about. :)

I'm from Belgium, Flandres to be exact. In Flandres, all students learn at least three languages in secondary school (Dutch, French and English), and have the opportunity to learn Latin, Greek and German in the 'highest' sort of secondary school, and Spanish in some schools. We start getting French class when we're ten years old, but most children already know some English at that age. Speaking foreign languages is really common here, I was actually surprised when I first realized that this isn't the case everywhere. The main reason for this, I think, is that Belgium has three official languages (Dutch, French and German, although the German-speaking part is very small), and our country is really small s you're very likely to meet people who don't speak the same language. Dutch is also a language that isn't spoken by a lot of people, there's not a lot of Dutch film or music, so we are influenced by English from a fairly young age, and if we want to communicate with foreigners they're not very likely to understand Dutch. This may also explain why people in Flanders seem to be more enthusiastic about learning foreign languages than those living in the French-speaking part.