April 24th, 2008

momo and sumire

Australian English

I'm looking for 'markers' of Rural Australian English (Broad AusEng) and preferably ones that are reminiscent of the language in the 1950s - vocabulary and grammar only, because it's for a written project. It's the version of Australian English that I grew up with, but I've been away from home too long, and I've forgotten most of the distinctive elements.

All I can remember of the grammar at the moment is;
* The use of 'me' instead of 'my' (Me mates dropped 'round to visit)
* The used of 'come' instead of 'came' (Me daughter-in-law come up from Melbourne last week)
* And occasionally the use of 'the' in front of new technology (I'll have to check the email to see if there's a message from her)

Lexically I can remember a lot more, but I'd LOVE to hear any other words or phrases that anyone else has got.

* Using the word 'tea' instead of 'dinner' (side note: I still do this, and I still get looked at strangely and mocked for doing so.)

* As useful as tits on a bull (completely useless)
* Going arse over tit (falling down, messing up)
* Heading into 'town' (where 'town' is the next biggest locality to the one you're currently in.)
* Duffer, silly duffer (a fool)
* Knocked off (stolen)
* Carrying on like a two-bob watch (making a big noise and fuss)
* Wireless (the radio)
* Six of one, half a dozen of the other
* You can spit in one hand and want in the other and see which you get first.

I'd love to hear anyone else's Rural Australian colloquialisms.

ETA I don't know when it came into common use but "arc up" (to get angry) is also now on my list.


An intro, some questions and a couple of links.

I've been lurking for a while but never had a reason to comment or post until today.
I'm from Texas, a native speaker of English, and I know Spanish, German and ASL to varying degrees of proficiency. I'm planning on learning French this summer, as well as some small amount of Finnish. I'm also planning on getting ahead or possibly skipping my third semestre of German and bringing my Spanish skills back up to par now that they've lapsed into oblivion.

I have a couple of links, one to an lj community where you can learn Finnish: finish_finnish and the other to a French course done by students at UT Austin for the first two semestres of French. Français Interactif
Both are free and completely web based.

This leads me to my first question. As these two sites are the main sources of my education in these languages over the upcoming summer I was wondering if anyone else has used them and knows if they are any good? Or perhaps someone with more experience in either language would be willing to look them over and tell me what they think? I'm trying to get a feel for how successful I will be using these courses to study this summer.

My other question is about other free web based, learn at your own pace language programmes. Does anyone know of some out there? I'd specifically like German ones for second year German but pretty much any language (especialy European languages) would be highly welcome.

And lastly, I have friends who speak all the different languages I'm learning, some native speakers and some who have learned it later on. I either talk to them or chat with them online. I also make a point to listen to music , listen to podcasts and read books or online newspapers in all the different languages. Can anyone recommend some other ways of becoming fluent in a language? I can't go abroad right now financially but I'm trying to do at home immersion until I can.

Machine or human translation, do you think?

I just received communication from a seller on e-bay. The seller is in China. That's all I know. I know China is a big place, but that's still all I know. My question about combined shipping rates got this response:

The HI, the dear friend, appreciate your E-mail, for having more
businesses with you in future, we can give you combined shipping
2-5 items.....................10% off on all shipping ang handling
6-9 items......................15% off on all shipping ang handling

more than 10 items.......30% off on all shipping ang handling
Have any problem, please contact us again.Thank you, nice day.

I'm just wondering if anyone is familiar enough with the language(s) in question to hazard a guess as to whether this was the writer's own not-quite-fluent English, or if this is likely to have been a machine translation? I imagine there's no way to know for sure, I'm just curious about your best guesses.

Land rental agreement

I am considering which terms to use translating from Russian into English a (I will put it broadly) land rental agreement.
Here is the gist of the matter:
the state rents/leases a plot of land to a business entity for a term of 20 years, for the conduct of a trade, and the entity may buy out the rented/leased land (although on what terms is unclear; the agreement simply says "pursuant to the lasw of the Russian Federation"). The Lessee/Tenant is basically responsible for the maintenance.

So is it
1. LAND RENTAL or LAND LEASE agreement? (I am inclined to use the word LEASE.)
3. Lessor/Lessee or Landlord/Tenant?

And also, should I use "the" with the parties' appellations -- "THE lessor" or simply "Lessor"?

Thanks to all!
my feet

Consensual vs. consentual?

Hello, fellow linguaphiles!

I have a question about a nonstandard spelling--"consentual" for "consensual." I've always understood the second to be correct and the first to be a very annoying typo. I recently came across multiple people who defended the first spelling as an acceptable variant, and linked me to dictionary.com, which indeed includes an entry for "consentual" dating from 2006. I know dictionary.com isn't the most reliable of references, and neither the OED nor Merriam-Webster includes "consentual." I had classed "consentual" with typos like "existance" and "definately," neither of which appear in a dictionary, but "consentual" appears to be considered slightly more legitimate than the latter two. I was wondering if it had perhaps recently become more acceptable due to frequency of use, or if it could be a regional thing (I'm American, if it matters). Is it really that common a variant? How much legitimacy does it actually have? I'd appreciate it if you language buffs and linguists could weigh in on this.