May 13th, 2008



Phew. Just finished phoneticising 17 lists of names from a vast range of languages to be read out at graduation ceremonies. A mammoth linguaphilic task. There was, however, one name that totally baffled me, and that was Singehebhuye. It was the third part of a three part name, and Google seems to think the second part (which I won't put in here for confidentiality reasons) is Estonian. For want of any brighter ideas, I found an online Estonian pronunciation guide and came up with something based on that (on the grounds that it's better my struggling profs say something when this name turns up), but to be honest, I wouldn't put any money on my efforts being right.

Any clues? Anyone? Estonian speakers??
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    confused baffled

all the many deutsch dialects

i keep hearing many different things regarding this issue, so someone please enlighten me :]

is it true that if i were to go to the northern cities of Germany, i would be hearing a form of the German language that was very different from that spoken in the southern cities of Germany? and does the same apply to the east/west cities, as well as the German spoken in Austria? I have heard that for sure, the German in Switzerland is markedly distinct, but I had really thought that in Germany at least, the language was fairly homogenous. is the standard, or 'high' German, considered the most proper or formal, whereas another type is considered the colloquial spoken form?

i'm considering going to Munich or Frankfurt in September with my mom, maybe there is a better city we should look into visiting if we want a really good exposure to the language? (at least, that's what i'm into, i think she's more into the shopping!)

thanks guys :)
Cool [DS] [Protag]

Ancient Greek Help?

I'm trying to translate the insult "seaweed brain" into Ancient Greek. I... have tried several dictionaries, and I can't find any entry for seaweed. In modern Greek I think it would be "fyki myalo" if I'm not mistaken?

I don't know anything about Greek, so I'm kind of at a loss.

Greek letters with transliteration would be wonderful, please.
After Ellen (Von UnWerth)

OED Equivalents in other languages

Hello Linguaphiles,

Anyone want to recommend OED equivalents in other languages? I would like to find etymological and historical evolutions of words for Portuguese in European Portuguese, and a separate volume for French in European French. Any ideas where I may find and purchase such volumes? I browsed without any luck.

Best to all,

This one left them all behind

good book?

Hi. With finals almost over, I'm looking forward to reading whatever I want. I'd love to read a good linguistic/language related book, but nothing too dense or intellectual (don't make me think after finals). Does anybody have any recommendations for an interesting language related book that is an enjoyable read? Something I could pick up at Barnes & Noble or something?

emergency french correction!

Hey all of you, I just heard about an opportunity to submit a poem about my current study abroad experience at a party in an hour, and I would LOVE it if someone would clean up the gravest of my errors so that it at least sounds presentable, anyone care to help? I didn't have much time to write it and have even less to correct it...I guess I'm mainly wondering about the de + infinitive stuff, and if the phrase "sinon déjà, t'inquiètes pas, il reste deux semaines" works or not. Anyone care to lend a helping main? Merci beaucoup!!! Disregard the accents, I'm using a crappy-as-hell computer/keyboard and don't have time.

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butterfly mending
  • ouisel

getting jumpy in Russian

 Can anyone help me out with translating an occasional phrase into Russian for use in fiction?

At the moment, I'm looking for an expression that would be translated as "jumpy" or "nervous", as in slightly inclined to paranoia.  The speaker is an older woman, and she's talking about a man.  A colloquial expression would be wonderful, but it has to be a term that would have been in use 20 or 30 years ago; current slang would be anachronistic.

Many, many thanks!
AWESOME thiourea

Language Politics in Belgium

Just read an interesting article in the International Herald Tribune: "Belgium teeters on a linguistic edge." It's a little long to post the full text, but it makes for an interesting read.

Liedekerke has only 12,000 inhabitants, but its elected council has caused a stir by insisting on the "Flemish nature" of the town. Not only must all city business and schooling take place in Flemish, true throughout Flanders, but children who cannot speak the language can be prohibited from taking part in holiday outings, like hikes and swimming classes.

"België barst!" says the graffiti on the bridge near the train station, or "Belgium bursts," the cry of the nationalists who want an independent Flanders. But here they also want to keep the rich, French-speakers from Brussels - only 21 kilometers, or 13 miles, away, and 15 minutes by train - from buying up this pretty landscape and changing the nature of the village.

(no subject)

Facebook Learn Spanish of the Day: "saber a gloria"
to be wonderful
Entregar eso ensayo me ha sabido a gloria.

From facebook:
El baño me ha sabido a gloria

That swim was wonderful.

Saber a gloria - when something is delightful. Also used with la siesta... la comida... el paseo...

So why is it not Though i do not understand why it is not "entregar eso ensayo me sabió a gloria."