December 4th, 2008

Damnit Janet

Disneyland Paris


Right now, I'm taking a class on Imagineering at UCLA, and we've been studying all the parks, including Disneyland Paris. The castle there is called "Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant", which my professors and textbook say means Sleeping Beauty's Castle, like the one in Anaheim. However, it seems to me that it means literally, "The Castle of the Beauty in the Sleeping Woods" because dormant agrees with bois, rather than with la belle. It has been a little while since I studied French, so I'm not sure. Am I crazy?

language use question

I am just curious about the (un)grammaticality of two sentences... or at least what you guys think. I just came across this while reading and thought "wait a sec, I would say the ungrammatical one! Hmmm, what about other people??" So, here I am! :D

Would you ever say:
"What did you catch, a rabbit and?"

Or would you say:
"You caught a rabbit and what?"

I would be more inclined to use something much closer to the first form but I would add the indefinite article to the end ('what did you catch, a rabbit and a?').
What about you? Is one of these used more to clarify (say you didn't hear/didn't believe the end of the sentence 'we went hunting and we caught a rabbit, an alligator, and a giraffe.') or would both be used to inquire about what was caught in a case where you forgot what was caught or just as a general inquiry?? Do you consider the first form to be ungrammatical and the second one to be grammatical? Do you still say the ungrammatical one (if you think it is ungrammatical)?

I was just curious! :D
Even though the first sentence is ungrammatical, do you still say it?

The "widest path" word

Here's a linguistic experiment: take a word list of a language, find the most frequent first letter. Among the words starting with that letter, find the most frequent second letter, etc. until a complete word is formed (or several words, in case of ties).

Using the file that comes with a spell-checker in Linux (/usr/share/dict/american-english), I got Collapse )

As far as I remember from a very old article from a (then-)Soviet popular science magazine, the corresponding words in Russian are Collapse )

When I first read about this word game - I think I was about 10 y.o. at the time - I tried the same trick, albeit crudely, with a 50,000 word French-Russian dictionary, counting pages and columns rather than individual words for the first few letters, and got Collapse )

What is the "widest path" word in your language?

mandarin song

i have a pretty simple translation request for a mandarin chinese song.
actually the singaporean version of that "numa numa" song that has invaded youtube. i happen to really like singing along to it haha. i'm in my 4th year of chinese at school and can figure parts of it out but a few of the sentences i just don't understand. so if anyone feels like it, what do these lines mean?

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谢谢 :)