September 8th, 2008

French help...

Does anybody have any reliable ways to keep the following verbs

se promener

straight in your head? I find myself getting mixed up with them, a lot...

Also, in a construction like this:

Non, il n'y en a pas dans le quatier.


Non, mais a' l'hopital il y en a une dizaine en permanence.

Can somebody explain to me the construction using "en?" I'm not sure I understand how to use it like this...


hello everyone! I'm a Sociology major and have been toying with the idea of double majoring in Linguistics for awhile now.  Any comments on the field? Like job opportunities or experiences you've had with it?
  • teh_hjp


I've signed up to study beginners Basque this year, though I don't know if I've got on the course yet, but I was just wondering if people have any experience with Basque. I'm majoring in Castellano, with Mandarin, (and last year studied Portuguese, and the year before Italian.)
So has anyone any experience with Basque?
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Lost in translation

This morning, while dropping off something in a co-worker's office, I saw the package from a computer mouse on the shelf, and the slogan on it caught my eye:

Value in an optical mouse

Optische Technologie zu einem attraktiven Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis

Avantages d'une souris optique

Waardevolle optische muis

Assuming that the English version of the slogan is the original, to my mind, only the German translation (literally, something like "Optical technology at a very attractive relation of cost to features") captures the spirit of the English as I understand it; that is, "value" is used here as a way to express "costs little but is still fairly good/featureful". (Colloquially, perhaps, "lots of bang for your buck"?)

Whereas the French talk about "advantages of an optical mouse" and the Dutch praise the "valuable optical mouse", which I think is not what the slogan writer had in mind—they were thinking of, as the German translator put it, the relationship of cost to features/value.

Which just goes to show that it isn't enough to be a fluent speaker of the target language and have a good dictionary; you also have a know a bit of marketing-ese if that's the language the source text is written in.

And the German translator did a good job IMO; he re-worded the "claim" (I think is the technical term?) a bit but in doing so, turned it into good idiomatic German marketing-ese. At least to my eye, it reads very well and also succeeds admirably in capturing the spirit of the English original.

LIBRAS and Portuguese

Hi everyone :)

I have 2 questions for you relating to Brazil.

1. Can anyone point me to some resources about Brazilian Sign Language (LIBRAS)? I “speak” ASL a bit and having seen LIBRAS used, it seems that they’re related somehow, but I can’t tell for sure. Any resources you have that explain how LIBRAS developed would be great (i.e. what language did it develop from) :)

2. My second question relates to Portuguese. As anyone who knows Portuguese can tell you, how “rr” is pronounced can vary significantly (the word "terra" for example). While many Brazilians pronounce it as an /h/, there are some that pronounce it /x/ and, although rare, some pronounce it with /r/ (like perro in Spanish). I've mainly heard the latter use from TV announcers (Faustão comes to mind).

This has me wondering about what the underlying form of these allophones is, since all 3 of these variations are easily understood by Portuguese speakers. Forgive my amateurishness in this question, but how can I figure out what the underlying form is in this environment?

ETA: Resources can be in either English or Portuguese ?)
pinky and the brain

English history text needed

 I have a friend who wanted (but couldn't) take a history course, and she's very interested in the period from the fall of the Roman empire through to the end of the Renaissance period.  So, does anyone have the name a good text she can sink her teeth into?  It can be a French or English text.  Thanks ahead of time for any suggestions!
Stravinsky smugshot

(no subject)

Could someone assist me with the pronunciation of the following names?:

Croatian conductor Lovro von Matačić

Violist Danusha Waskiewicz (I'm not sure where she's from; it sounds like it could be an American first name, so the pronunciation of the last name could be anything!)

Thanks very much, as always! Cross-posted to classical_music and linguaphiles.

(no subject)

I recently discovered that Sweden's Television has several episodes of a news program in Sami available in streaming online.

Go to:

2. click the header "Play"
3. click "Nyheter"
4. click "Oððasat

It sounds really cool! Like Finnish but with some additional sounds. I don't know what sort of Sami it is though, anyone have an idea?