July 28th, 2008

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Za trochu lásky... by Jaroslav Vrchlický

Would someone be so kind as to translate this from Czech to English, or point me to an extant translation? I have been looking for a while and haven't found anything :-(

Za trochu lásky šel bych svĕta kraj,
šel s hlavou odkrytou a šel bych bosý,
šel v ledu – ale v duši vĕčný máj,
šel vichřicí – však slyšel zpívat kosy,
šel pouští – a mĕl v srdci perly rosy.
Za trochu lásky šel bych svĕta kraj,
jak ten, kdo zpívá u dveří a prosí.

Cheers and thank you! Na zdraví!
KEITH

slightly obscure latin construction...

How does one express "must" or "should" in classical Latin? (ex. "You musn't watch that" or "You should do this".) For some reason, I can't seem to remember. Is it one of the things that's expressed with the subjunctive (if so, what's the construction/clause called and how is it formed?), or is it something else entirely?
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Alexander - Australia

Another round-up of Spanish-learner n00b questions.

Since it's been a while since I threw myself on the mercy of the community, I'll refresh the usual caveats: I'm a US English-speaker with moderate classroom French, currently independently studying Spanish mostly from an audio-book which focuses exclusively on spoken Spanish, most of it Mexican from what I can tell. I have gotten a written textbook (Living Language's Ultimate Spanish: Beginner - Intermediate, but haven't been able to set aside time to work with it steadily, and have recently obtained two Spanish translations of books I know in English (Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal and (see icon) Alexander y el día terrible, horrible, espantoso, horroroso) in an attempt to get my writing/reading skills close to my still-beginner-level speaking/listening skills. However, I haven't made as much progress as I'd like in those yet.

My goal is fluency, which I know will require travel and hope that the school I'm about to start in the fall will provide me with this. I hope in time to be able to offer social work services in both Spanish and English in the US, which means being fluent both in speech and in rather formal (red tape/official) writing.

In the mean time, however, right now, my written Spanish sucks. I know it, and I'm ashamed of it, and I'm working on it. Anyone who wants to correct my atrocious spelling and complete failure to use accent marks correctly 80% of the time should feel free, but I consider it my responsibility, and you don't have to feel like you have to follow me around teaching me remedial spelling. I just am apologizing in advance if I make you cringe.

Right. Caveats over. Here's my latest round-up of varied and mostly unconnected questions:

1. In my icon: what form of the verb is 'mudaré'?

2. Auxiliary verbs - what comes next? Collapse )

3. Cultural differences or stilted textbook? Collapse )

4. Truly, Madly, Deeply Really, truly, actually.

4a: I'm curious about what would be the most natural word for a native (Mexican) Spanish speaker to use to signify, 'contrary to what you might expect/what you have just said--' So someone might say to me, "You seem to have learned a lot of Spanish," and I would say, "Actually (really, in truth), I haven't, I just fake it well."

4b: I'm also curious as to whether the same word or words would be used as intensifiers, the way many of those would in English: "I was *really* tired last night."

Phrase clarification

In a last year Economist issue I stumbled on an article which was headlined 'The American presidency is Hillary Clinton's to lose.'
Since then I've come across the structure 'his to win/ to lose /etc.' quite a few times.
I've smugly presumed that it means 'it depends on a person whether something happens or not, that it's up to them, etc.' If I'm wrong, please correct me. If right, I wonder whether it is a lot more emphatic than a regular 'it depends on him', 'it's up to her', etc.

Your thoughts and reflections would be very much appreciated.

Beginner's Italian Courses?

Ciao a tutti! Sono Jessica, ho 18 anni e sono un'utente tipo lurker. Scusatemi, ma ho paura che non ho proprio niente di speciale da dire. Ma questa volta si! (almeno, penso..) Voglio fare un po' di tutoring perche' sono una studentessa universtaria come tutte le altre che mancano sempre un po' di soldi Wink Quindi, vi chiedo aiuto - quale testi sono i migliori per i principianti dell'italiano? Di solito, faccio il tutoring con gli studenti piu' o meno avanzati di VCE (la nostra versione della maturita') quindi spero che voi possiate aiutarmi!

Hey everyone! I'm Jessica, I'm 18 and I'm a bit of a lurker around here. Sorry, but I'm scared that I really have nothing substantial to say. But this time, I think I do (or at least I hope so..). I want to do some tutoring because I'm like every other uni student who always needs a bit of money Wink So, I'm asking you for help - which courses/books are the best for beginners of Italian? Usually I tutor more or less advanced kids in VCE (our version of the High School Finishing Exam) and so I hope you guys can help me!