October 20th, 2008

  • wosny

Occitan and French

I have had patients who speak Occitan, but although I can pick out odd words (camiso = shirt, agua = water, cattus = cat ) I have generally managed to get by with French. The other day we were given a booklet about elderly care, and some of the patients reminiscences were in Occitan with French translations.
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I hope this isn't so universal as to be banal; no way to find out but soliciting the polyglots of the community.

In English we have a division of meaning between experiencing something with your senses and choosing to use the sense in question (see vs. watch/regard/observe; hear vs. listen). This exists in French and Serbo-Croatian as well, and I suppose it does in scores of other Indo-European languages as well. However, I'm interested in larger paradigms.

Are there languages in which there are three or more categories distinguishing the subtleties of sensory experience?
Are there languages in which there is no such division?
life lemons

(no subject)

Hi, I'm doing an "Introduction to Language" module at university and it's been going swimmingly with me finally finding out what all those weird signs you use here mean. But I have a difficult question for homework. It's given me some definitive features for /d/ as alveolar, stop, voiced and non nasal. Fair enough, but then the question says that the voiced feature can be replaced by a non aspiration, and then asks why would this be less satisfactory. I'm completely confused. I know what voiced and aspirated are but I can't see why it is less satisfactory to say /d/ is not aspirated than it is to say it's voiced. As far as I can tell it's voiced so is it less satisfactory purely because /d/ is aspirated or aspiration is irrelevant to /d/ so putting that's not aspirated would be wrong?

Also I've started my uni Spanish class. I went in and sat down and the teacher started off gabbling away and for the whole lesson I just sat there going "What? Where? How? Who?" I didn't understand a whole sentence for two hours I swear. And I couldn't understand half of my class either. One girl's accent was so thick I swear she must have been Spanish and fluent at that. I didn't get a word. By contrast I can't roll my rs and I have no idea how to sound more Spanish and less received pronounciation English. But we did the present subjunctive which I learned four years ago so I'm in a situation where I can't understand barely a single spoken word but seem better at grammar as many of my classmates learnt their Spanish in a gap year and so are fab at listening but not so good on grammar. But as the class is purely in Spanish (we can't even just give the English equivalent of a new word, we have to describe it in Spanish) I'm really stressing and worried. Is there anything I can do apart from frantically listen to Spanish radio 24/7 until my next lesson? I'm not convinced my hearing is 100% in English anyway and it's always been my problem so maybe I should check it out because if I am slightly deaf that can't be helping. Sorry for the long post but I'm worried!
  • je_dors

Formal English help

So I'm in a computer lab right now and one of the students heard me speaking English (we're in Western France, so it's not that common here) and decided to ask me if I knew of any resources for higher level English phrases. He gave the example that "If you need more information..." and "Should you need more information" mean the same thing with the latter being more formal and of a higher level of English. I told him that I had no idea where he could find a resource like this, but he gave me his e-mail and I told him I'd check around for him. So...there you go.

Any resources on the subject are greatly appreciated.

German confusion

Been practicing my vocabulary, but while I'm getting the nouns pretty easily, the articles are consistently throwing me off, and the Wiki article didn't help much at all. I've figured out that most that look close to their English counterparts use "der" (e.g. der Elefant, der Tiger, etc.), but "die" and "das" consistently throw me off altogether. Are there any common endings or themes that I can use as hints for which to use when?
  • Current Mood
    confused confused

Internet catchphrases

Hi, everyone! I'm a student of Moscow State Linguistic University and I need your help in my course paper. It's devoted to internet memes and your task is to give me as much memes that has really become popular catchphrases among English-speaking I-net users. For example "O RLY?" or something of the kind. Something really catching meme-phrases people use even in everyday talking.

I expect mostly answers from those whose Internet-communicating experience is mostly in English, though everyone may answer. I'll be ever so grateful for your help!

I need mostly articles on the topic and evidence of using catchphrases like that in everyday communication. Or any info you think helpful.

Thanx a lot!

X-posted in terra_linguarum
  • joho07


Just started a Russian class, and wanted to know how you would write my name in cyrillic letters.

I did it like this:

Johanna (the j is pronounced as an english y, its a german name)- Йоханна