February 17th, 2008

tribe: brady
  • zuisa

Poll: Do you own any books in languages you can't read?

Does anyone else own books in languages they can't read? I don't mean "learn to speak" guides or anything like that, I mean actual books that native speakers would read.

I ask because I was unpacking all my books the other day, and I came across a book that I absolutely forgot I had: "Harijs Poters un Fēniksa Ordenis" - the 5th Harry Potter book, in Latvian. Which I do not speak a word of.

I only have this book because someone brought it to me last summer (she had gotten it from a 'free book' pile somewhere) and wanted to know what language it was in. I had made the semi-educated guess of Latvian, but I wasn't sure until I found a little copyright wording in the back that mentioned Riga.


Other than that, my books are all in Spanish, French, or Chinese, which I can get through with a dictionary. But I giggle every time I see the Latvian book, which I of course can't bring myself to throw away - hopefully I'll meet someone who speaks Latvian I can give it to!

Anyone else?

(no subject)

 Anyone willing to make some good suggestions about excellent films in the following languages:

-Spanish
-Portuguese
-Swedish
-Norwegian
-Danish
-German

Thank you! :)
  • Current Music
    telemundo

The history of parentheses

Does anyone know when the modern use of parentheses in literature began?

In discussing Elizabethan sonnets, one of my students asked about the use of parentheses, whether it was the poet or editor's choice.  We were discussing Shakespeare's Sonnet 29 in particular, ll. 11-12:

(Like to the lark at break of day arising
   From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate;


The student asked a really good question about the history of punctuation, and I'd like to give him an answer.  (I'm used to the very random punctuation in medieval manuscripts, which is utterly non-modern in use.)

Thanks!
  • Current Music
    Hey Pretty -- Poe
  • necroad

Surnames

It's me again, with the names. I'm curious if anyone knows anything about surnames. I'm looking for a surname that has connations of death, or something ending, losing something or anything along those lines. It doesn't matter about which language it is (but it'd be nice if you can state which one) and if you can think of absolutely anything relative, it'll be very appreciated.

EDIT: I forgot to say. I don't mind if it's in say, Japanese or any such language that this system would apply to and the kanji (or whatever) has a double meaning-- even if the surname doesn't use the reading that's related to the topic at hand. If this makes sense.