November 11th, 2008


Hello; 'tis my introduction

I don't know if it is common to make introductions here, but I'd like to post one anyway.

I'm panzeleche. I think languages are very interesting, especially the more off-beat ones. I'd like to know more about linguistics and how languages relate to each other.

My first language is Spanish, although my spelling in it is a bit off. I started learning English at around four years of age, and I would say that I speak it much better than most of the people around me (it is quite depressing to see the New York Times start a sentence with 'and').

I am learning French. I forgot why. French is cool and useful, plus it's somewhat similar to Spanish. I can read texts if I have my dictionary, but I've never tried talking and rarely have the opportunity to listen. I take classes at my school for French. We are covering the 'imparfait' and the 'conditionnel' right now. I am independently studying Russian. Russian is so awesome~. I've been using '' so far, and it appears to be a good resource. Either way, I'm ordering a Russian grammar book for Christmas. I'm so excited. :3

Um, my other interests are Icelandic (because Iceland is awesome and because it's beautiful), Hindi (it's useful and a friend of mine speaks it), Cornish or Welsh (both are quite cool. I prefer Cornish, but I'm far more likely to find stuff for Welsh, so...), some African language like Zulu (the lion king was translated to Zulu. Plus, Zulu has clicks and those are quite fun to make), and then maybe Japanese (I'm a videogame nerd and I own a copy of Mother 3) or ASL (another friend has a dead sister). I really wanted to learn Icelandic, but the lack of resources was very disheartening. :(

Unfortunately, I cannot buy anything. All my resources have to be free websites. Thankfully, there seems to be many French and Russian websites, but the other languages I have an interest in (mainly Icelandic, Cornish, and Zulu) have a very low number of online resources. If you happen to know of any websites with grammar and other important stuff for the languages listed above, I would be very grateful.

Yeah, that's the end of my long introduction. If you need help in Spanish or translating something to Spanish, don't be afraid to call me. I look forward to doing stuff here. :3
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German help

Sorry in advance. This is a homework question. I have a performance proficiency test in German 101 today, but I have been absent quite a lot because of a cold. My partner went ahead and wrote the script for our project, and emailed it to me. I had completely forgotten about it. I'm screwed.

Anyway, would someone here be able to tell me if the script is okay? I know he's not the best speller, so spelling mistakes aside, is this okay? SOMETHING seems very off.

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Thank you so much for anyone who can help.

EDIT: Thanks for all your help! It went... sort of okay. A little brutal, really. I forgot how ridiculously nervous I get standing in front of people, so memorized or not, I still stuttered my way through the whole thing, and blanked in places that made me slap myself in the forehead.

Some Greek etymology

Is Greek tyri ('cheese') somehow related to the set of cognates which includes Lithuanian sūris ('cheese'), Russian syr- ('raw', 'moist', also 'cheese'), English sour, German sauer, etc.? If so, how comes there is leading 't' instead of *yri<*hyri? Well, PIE *t is a source of secondary s in Greek (e.g. esy vs. English thou, French tu, Russian ty), but not vice versa?

Also, says the origin of Latin totus is unknown, but isn't there an obvious correspondence with Greek toso (<*totjo 'so much')?
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French question

I am working on an 18th century orchestral suite, and once of the dance movements is entitled "Les Matelots," which is something I've never seen before in hundreds of movements. I looked it up on Google, and it gave me something like "The Ratings," which makes no sense. Another movement in this suite is entitled "Les Furies," which is a reference to the Greek gods. Could anyone offer a better reading of this word?


Christmas (sorry!)

I just noticed that Dan Everett has a new book out this month (I will be reading it more for its interest than its scientific value, though I'm not really in a position to judge/assume either), and that along with a few other hardcover books are going to be put on to a Christmas list that should make present giving a heck of a lot easier for a few of my close relatives.

I'm still a few books short and so I was wondering if anybody had a suggestion or two. As for what I'm looking for; my interests are broad but for now I'll just ask about books concerning language in some way, or touch on language (e.g. anthropology, psychology, human cognition, etc.), and preferably books that will age well, though I'm not really sure what that means myself. Recently I've been delving into a texts on syntax, psychology, and other linguistic/cognitive science topics, and I'm OK with the heavy language (I'm alright wrapping my head around Chomsky in Rules and Regulations), but I am really looking for an enjoyable read here, hopefully without having to deal with too much pop.

Sorry for the difficult post, and I know it's not the first post this year asking for book recommendations (I am looking through the previous replies!). Any ideas?

gender question: Spanish

So I get (or at least I thought I did) how agua is masculine but takes feminine adjectives, and how it's el agua, yet agua fría, where the final letter in fría "matches" the final letter in agua, not the gender. Makes sense.

But here's where I'm tripped up. Can someone explain why in this article from today's El Mercurio ( about water desalination plants, potabilizarla is with la and not lo at the end?

1860: año en que se prueba en el norte chileno el primer sistema para sacarle la sal al agua de mar y potabilizarla.

It makes it sound like they're trying to make the salt potable. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance

(here's the whole article: )