May 14th, 2008

Multiple "or"'s: commas or not?

"In the event the defendant declines to submit necessary information to the relevant agency(,) or fails to submit it within the prescribed period(,) or significantly obstructs the investigation..."
To be or not to be? To comma or not to comma? :))))

Movie English

Anyone know of any IPA descriptions of the Englishes spoken in North American movies from the 30s to the 50s?    Any leads or key words even would be useful... Or youtube videos from particularly poignant examples.   I can just listen, but detailed descriptions might be useful.  Any acting resources for speech accent learning available anywhere?

Thanks. :D

Translation tones (Mandarin-English)

Hello Linguaphiles,

As someone who speaks moderate Mandarin/ lived with family in Taiwan 2 years, I have a question to ask speakers of English and Mandarin regarding the general tone and effect a language takes when translated.

For example, in history books and on TV, when English-based media translate something from Mandarin, that phrase always sounds overly poetic, (tiny example, the Hundred Flowers campaign), when, in Mandarin such a poetic, lyrical effect was not always intended; it is something rather more inherent in the vocabulary and means of expression.

I wonder if this characteristic makes the language seem more 'oriental and exotic' than it is, if you see what I mean.

Conversely, I wonder how English sounds to a Mandarin speaker when translated back to Mandarin: clunky, unexpressive?

How about cases with other languages? I know Italian -> English translation of tourist pamphlets always sound really verbose...

Sorry if this post is a bit unfocused, I hope I got the gist of the question across!

Disney Soundtracks in Other Languages?

I love listening to the music from Disney animated films in other languages, but I have no idea how to buy those soundtracks. I've looked on the English web without much luck; the Spanish ones I have now I had to record off the DVD of the movies when they were switched to a different channel, and while that works for Spanish and French, it doesn't give me access to some of the difficult-to-find languages, like Hebrew and Russian. I've seen some clips on Youtube and I really want to have proper copies!

Anyone have any idea how to buy soundtracks for films in other languages? :)
aladdin sane, aladnsane, bowie

(no subject)

This is somewhat off topic, but I figure that many of you are well read, so if it's allowed, I thought this a good place to check: Somewhere in the back alleys of my addled brain I seem (heh) to recall a quote about 'seeming seemly, but not all is as it seems' or some such; I feel like ti may have been Shakespeare, but I really don't have much info - the quote in question might not even exist.

Anyone have an idea?

Kannada anyone?

Would anyone happen to know how to say "good luck" in Kannada? The only online dictionary I found has six entries for "good luck," and I'm not sure I trust any of them.

Thanks for any and all help!

Nicht zuletzt: hard to translate in this context...

I am trying to find an English equivalent for a strange german phrase. (It's from a novel.)

The context:
A student has just finished expressing some very radical ideas in a debate in History, and the impressed but sceptical teacher aproaches her after class and asks her, "Where did you get that from?"
Her answer, in German:
"Nicht zuletzt von Ihnen, ansonsten zusammengeklaubt im eigenen Kopf."

My attempts thusfar have made it to:
"Not laslty from you, otherwise gathered together in my own head."

Which sounds no better than Babelfish could have done. .
My problem is that I tend to translate too close to the original. That makes uncomprehensible, awkward sentences which are difficult to read and are lacking the human feel.

And besides, I am trying to get across what she means. 
I was thinking, "Well I could even have gotten it from you..." But that doesn't have quite the spark of intellect as the original.

Any ideas?