May 19th, 2008


The removal of "or" - OR - the removal of "between" and "and"...

Earlier on I wanted to ask my mother if she would drive me to a friend's house in between 15 and 20 minutes' time. However, in natural speech (at least, for me, Scottish native speaker of English) this came out:

"Mum, can I get a lift to X's house in fifteen twenty minutes?"

Which...obviously doesn't make any sense written down. All that has happened is that I should have said "fifteen or twenty minutes" or possibly most accurately, "between fifteen and twenty minutes".

What I'd like to know is, how do you eloquent this in your native language, or any languages you know? Or if you want to talk about English, is it different in your dialect? As far as foreign languages go, I'd be most interested in Japanese or Chinese, but I'm interested to hear any! Thanks!
  • Current Mood
    curious curious

Speaking of German...

Is this a spam, or something I need to respond to?

Lieber Herr/Frau:
Dank für Ihre Aufmerksamkeit. Wir sind der Welthandel elektrischer Produktgroßhändler in China.
Bitte sieht, dass mehr Details auf unserer Website und hofft, dass Sie die Produkte finden
werden, die Sie hier mögen:
Unsere Website: <>

It came on one of my eBay auctions. I'm thinking it's probably some stupid spam.

Antisemitism for other ethnic groups

Being a Jew, I hear the word "antisemitism" all the time to mean prejudice against Jews.  Are there any other ethnic groups that have a word for prejudice specifically against them?  Also, another thing I was wondering.  Jews aren't the only Semites, yet "antisemitism" specifically refers to this one group.  Prejudice against Arabs, for example, is never called antisemitism, even thought they are just as Semetic as I am.  Anyone know?

(no subject)

hi! im new here, im Sara from Portugal!

i have always wanted to learn new languages, but eventually i would give up but now i really decided to go forward and the languages i wanted to learn are :
- serbian
or - bulgarian

they sound so beautiful!
but also hard, but i would be so happy and proud for speaking it.
is there anyone here from serbia and or bulgaria?
or anyone that speaks the language?

is it hard?
any tips? is there any good places/books whatever online that could help me?

thank you!! :
modern still life

'none of them work(s)'

Stephen Fry (<3!) gives an impromptu grammar lesson here:

A man says "None of them work" and Fry corrects him, claiming that the correct formulation is "none of them workS" since the subject of "not one works" is singular. The logic seems sound, but I have never heard anyone say "none of them works", only "none of them work." Someone in the comments at the video suggested that Fry is mistaken to think that "not one" is equivalent to "none." I'm not sure who to believe. I dont think that "none" is actually a contraction of "not one," but... I dont know.

What do you lot think?
MISC: flower dew


So I'm on foreign exchange in Germany right now, but I'll be coming home to the US in a few weeks. I'm afraid of losing all the progress I've made with my German, but the DVDs I buy here don't play in my laptop (or I'm assuming, my DVD player back home). Is there anywhere that I can buy DVDs with German dubs, but will play in American laptops? I haven't been able to find any back home (the most they ever have is French).
Thanks in advance :]
cindy pon

21 accents

"Amy Walker does a little tour of 21 accents in 2 1/2 minutes. From the UK and Ireland to Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, France, Australia, New Zealand, and around North America."

(via Boing Boing)

I think this is cute and she does a pretty good job though I suspect many of the accents are more stereotypical than realistic.

The ones that I think she kind of missed: Brooklyn, Toronto, Charleston.

Best way to learn a language

I got this message today from my cousin:

I want to learn French and want to know the best (and fastest; and cheapest) was about doing it!

How "fluent" do you think you would become after studding for a year?

Of course I would prefer to be able to tell him that the best way to learn French in a year is to go to a country where they speak it! But that's probably not what he's after :)

My suggestion would be taking classes at his local university and reading/listening to/watching as much French as possible but this (especially the classes) could be expensive.

So please tell me: what do you think the easiest way to learn a language is? How fluent can a person of average intelligence become after a year?
  • Current Mood
    curious curious
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Germ. Problematik

Hi all!
I'm looking for any early mentions of the word Problematik in German (either in dictionaries or in any other books). According to Der grosse Brockhaus (1933, 15. Aufl.), die Problematik appeared c. 1800.
I can't resist to quote the definition Collapse )
BtW - On-line German dictionaries are quite disappointing. But maybe you know some good ressources?
PS. I had forgotten one can choose the years of publication in Google books, but anyway: any early mentions in dictionaries would be of great interest to me.