May 23rd, 2008



The designer of the mittens behind the cut says that the Kanji characters depicted on the thumb mean 'good fortune'. I'm curious, is this true? Are the slightly squashed-looking characters even recognisable as Kanji, really?

Collapse )

Spanish accents/diacriticals in Open Office, on Linux platform

Can anyone tell me what would be the fastest, smoothest way to use accent marks when writing in Open Office on a Linux platform? I know that I can open use insert => special characters each time, but that takes several steps with the mouse, interrupting my writing process.

I've gotten spoiled, using a Mac, with accent marks available by key-stroke, but I've just gotten an eee PC running Linux (and no, I don't want to run Windows XP instead) and I have to learn a new way of doing it. I'm just trying to find the method that would let me write in Spanish with as little disruption of the writing as possible.

It's actually not just Open Office - I'd want it for online use, as well. But I know there are a lot of references (some of them linked to in the memories of this community) on how to achieve 'special characters' in html, so it's really the off-line use that concerns me most.

Any suggestions?

(So frustrating! A year or more ago, my biggest concern would have been Japanese, and Open Office is incredibly well-adapted for Japanese. But nooooo, now I need a Roman alphabet with accent marks. Sigh. My timing is off.)

languages families


can you please recommend a good trustworthy book or website where I can find a classification of languages families and groups? one of those studied at the universities and accepted by academics?

thank you


Do you TAKE or MAKE a decision?

I live in the United States, and when one hears about (for instance) government deciding anything, the news is likely to be that "The President MADE a decision." I find this in common speech too: "I don't know, haven't thought of it, will let you know when I make a decision."

In my travels, in Quebec and in England, I've heard alternative usage, to say one will "... take a decision."

My experience is that the expression "to take a decision" feels awkward or unusual to American ears. Is that just me? What are your thoughts, is this regional/colloquial?
koch snowflake
  • vaarhe

German translation

Hey, I'm looking for how to say, "And God said: Let the animals be with God" in German. So far, this is what I came up with, though I really don't know if it's right: "Und Gott sprach: Lassen die Tieren sein mit Gott." Thanks!
Hudson 1

Language and animals.

I thought some of you people might be interested in this. An article in New Scientist is saying that over time those things that we feel make us different and unique from all other animals have disappeared. So for example it was once thought only humans used tools, but then they found various types of animals using them.

So the last remaining difference seemed to be that only humans had the ability to use language. Some scientists are now suggesting this is no longer true, provided you look at what 'language' is in the right way.

Unfortunately to read the entire article you have to buy the magazine or subscribe, but some of you may have access through libraries.