May 16th, 2008



So, I am a linguaphile, but know nothing about Russian. I am a fan of a bad-ass Russian men's choir that my father-in-law knows, and they end all their shows with 'Kalinka.' They encourage the audience to sing along, so I've researched the lyrics online, hoping to sing, but YouTube and text transliterations don't provide the pronunciation these guys have.

The initial 'Ka' rhymes with 'sky,' the 'lin' with 'bean,' and the 'a' is like what the dentist says when he/she tells you to say 'ah.' Mostly it's the first syllable that's different with these guys than the other versions I hear.

I imagine this is telling as to where they come from. Their name is the 'Ural Cossacks,' if that helps. Is the pronunciation like that in the Urals? Or of the Cossacks? Or something else?

food etymology

I just made a new dish and was wondering what to name it (involves eggplant, chicken breast, noodles, gorgonzola, etc; I'll post the recipe if anyone asks). That got me wondering how other dishes were named. We all know about the Earl of Sandwich and 'mahonnaise,' and then there's ratatouille, which is named after 'tossing' the ingredients....

1. Do you know any foods that have an interesting linguistic story behind their name?

2. What's the most common method of finding a name for a new dish?

3. Any name suggestions for my dish, summarized above?

Baby name: Margaret

My family is American of primarliy Irish decent, and my husband is German. We want to start having kids next year, and so far I've been looking at baby names for girls. There was a great post a while back that got all the different versions and nick names of Elizabeth. How about giving 'Margaret' a try (it's a family name)?

Names I know found from English-based sites: Margeaux, Margaux, Margo, Margarita, Margarethe, Margret, Margarinda, Mussaret, Margred, Marguerite, Margrit, Margerie, Margery, Marjorie, Madge, Maegan, Maygan, Megan, Meagan, Meeghan, Meggan, Maidie, Mysie, Maisie, Mariane, Morgane, Morgant, Maggi, Maggie, Maggy, Mae, Mai, May, Maggie Mae, Meta, Peg, Peggy

German spin-offs: Gretchen, Gretl, Gretel, Greta, Grete

At the moment, I'm personally in love with 'Gretchen' -- both the English and German pronunciation.
Celtic coffee
  • ouisel

another Russian question: Paul Winter

In 1984, Paul Winter did a concert at the UN in honour of World Environment Day. One of the songs, "Hymn to the Russian Earth", is supposedly a Russian folk song. The lyrics are as follows:

If the people lived their lives
As if it were a song
For singing out of light
Provides the music for the stars
To be dancing circles in the night. 

Can anyone confirm that this is, in fact, a Russian folk song?

And can anyone provide me the original lyrics in Russian, or failing that, translate it back?  As before, I'm afraid I will need it in the Roman alphabet rather than Cyrillic (apologies to purists; it's what I'm stuck with).

And if you actually have the original lyrics, assuming they exist and it isn't a misrepresentation, how accurate is this translation anyway?

I feel like I know her
  • maclyn

Interesting and useful resource

I use this a lot when doing work for my Scottish Gaelic degree; it's a web resource created by a professor from my university's Celtic department called "Fuaimean na Gàidhlig" (The Sounds of Gaelic) and is a pretty exhaustive phonetic analysis of the Scottish Gaelic language with sound files.

Thought it might be useful and/or interesting for folk here!

Correct? (Turkish)


Bu masaj tam mı?
Is this message here grammatically correct?
If someone could let me know and edit any mistakes for me, that would be sooooo harika! :)))

Çok teşekkürler!


Günler ve geceler sensiz bütün boş.
Seni çoook özlüyorum.
Kalbim ve dudaklarım sana can atıyorlar.
Şimdeden ertesi öpücüke çok sabırsızlıkla bekliyorum.
Umuyorum çok eğliyorsun.
Unutma beni!
Seni çoook seviyorum, kalbim!
-Dudun (Your 'Dudu')
PS- Salamlar Engine! (Greetings to Engin (or) Say hi to Engin for me)

*x-posted in turkish_lang

'I demand that you mind your vocabulary!'

Hello, I have a question:) How is it better to say in English "I demand that you mind your vocabulary", "I demand that you watch your language", "I demand that you choose your lexicon" to express the meaning: I want you to think what words you use about it (it's a reply to an insult)?
Also, the phrase itself should sound like an official protest, not teacher-like, and I was told the phrase 'I demand that you mind your vocabulary!' sounds exactly like a teacher's remark.
Is it actually possible to use 'lexicon' in this meaning? What would a native English speaker say in this situation?

earthman vs. earthling

Sorry to disturb the community so often :), but would you tell me what word is better in the following situations? a)an alien addresses some people on the Earth to ask the way, b) an earthman addresses people of the Earth in general in a rather pompous letter.