July 8th, 2008


This question was initially posed by my mom, but I became interested when I couldn't give her the answer. Do puns exist in languages besides English? I was trying to think if I'd ever heard of any in Spanish (or even if there was a word for "pun"), but came up blank. I'm specifically interested in Spanish, but I'll take examples in other languages with explanations.



I believe this quote is quite inspirational for all linguaphiles:

"So viele Sprachen du sprichst, so oft bist du Mensch" (Goethe).

I would translate it into English like that:

"You are as many times human as many languages you speak

What inspirational quotes/sayings about languages do you know?

Polish sharing learning community


I have started (some time ago but did nothing with it) a community for those learning Polish to share the experience. The idea is that people can ask questions, but also just say what they did/what they learnt, or talk about learning Polish in whatever way they want. So if you are learning it by yourself, like I am, there can be some support, or someone who at least has a vague idea what you're talking about if you're complaining about something or excited about something, and having people know that you're learning and a community to post progress reports to can help motivate you too. (of course, you can join if you're not learning it by yourself too).
The community is get_polish_now  .
It is called this because I have tried to learn Polish a million times already, and never got anywhere, so my intention for myself is to really do it this time - "get" as in both acquire and understand, and "now" because it's going to be this time (not next time, or the time after).
Please see the user info of the community for a better description, I seem to be having trouble saying what I want to here, for some reason :)

shall probably cross-post to one of the Polish communities

Please delete if considered off-topic, etc.

My written French is rustier than a rusty thing.

There was a quote which was popular with my crowd when I was in college, which I must have written out at least a dozen times, and yet cannot reconstruct without (I'm sure) a million embarrassing errors now.

As near as I can reconstruct it, the quote went, "A nul âge on ne philosophe plus volontier qu'à vingt ans, et surtout vers quatre heurs du matin."

Can anyone fix it for me - correct accent marks and all? I want to quote it in a post, and I'd prefer not to look stupid.

Extra points if anyone knows whether I'm remembering correctly that the source of the quote was Barthes.

Many thanks. I can still speak French moderately well for expressing my needs (if not my thoughts) and not completely mangling pronunciation, and I can scrape along in reading it, but my audio comprehension is rotten (not practicing) and when I try to write, all those little details that I can slip by in speaking suddenly become important... There's nothing like trying to write in French to make me remember how little I actually know the language.

(no subject)

Two questions:

1. What is it called to use "for + infinitive" such as "if there was a worthy cause for to give to"

2. What is it called to use 'what' in place of 'that' or 'who' ex." The cat what had a hat."

thank you very much!

Language Tests

I remember someone a while back asking about language proficiency tests so I thought I'd provide this link for future reference. I took TISUS - a Swedish proficiency test - and this association's seal is on the certificate, so that's how I came upon it.

Association of Language Testers in Europe

"ALTE is an association of providers of foreign language examinations, founded in 1990. It includes many of the world's leading language assessment bodies. In 2008 ALTE has 31 members, representing the testing of 26 languages."

Holmes pipe 2

Singles mit Niveau

At a German site I was visiting I found an advertisement for this dating agency: 'Elite Partner - Singles mit Niveau', where, so it seems, one might be able to make the acquaintance of some classy young lady such as a Journalistin or Designerin. May ask people from German-speaking lands, does this sort of thing (P.S. I mean use of language) set your teeth on edge? Or do you just get used to it?