January 14th, 2009

from a painting

Why have Diacritics?

Why and how did diacritics come about?  I find it a brilliant idea that a letter may have its pronunciation changed by adding a dash on top of it, but different languages use these accents differently, and with languages that have accents that others do not, in modern times, the ease of typing a certain language may be somewhat hindered by the fact that the keyboard layout being used doesn't have that accent, which would mean changing the keyboard layout, etc. Also, an attempt to read an unfamiliar language (either out loud or in a search for cognates to try to understand the text) may also be inhibited.

It seems that English (and maybe Dutch - not sure about it) is the only European language that doesn't have any accents. How did accents wear off of English?

I'm the following letters and similar ones as being "accented" even if they're not officially so (they're obviously derived from accented letters): ñ, ø, ç, å, etc.

A "How do you say..." post.

Hi!  I need some hAlp!  What I am trying to say in Spanish is:  

Come for some science fun on Thursday, January 22nd from 6:00pm to 7:00pm in the Multipurpose Room.  Plan on participating in exciting science activities.  There will also be a session on how to make an award winning Science Project.  See you there! 

My natural translation is below, and I know I likely needs some editing - I really don't want to embarrass myself with a bad translation! 

Can anyone help correct me?

Ven divertirse con algunas ciencias divertido!: El jueves 22 de enero de 6:00 pm a 7:00 pm en el Salón de Usos Múltiples.

Plan de participar en actividades de ciencias. También habrá una sesión sobre cómo hacer un proyecto premiado Ciencia.

¡Nos vemos allí!

Molly books

Italian question

I was wondering if anyone knows of a phrase or idiomatic expression in Italian that is equivalent to the English "they lived happily ever after." My dad, who speaks Italian, and my Italian teacher were only able to provide literal translations, and the book of Italian fairy tales I have doesn't seem to use anything like it. Does the language simply lack such a phrase?
  • mavisol

"multilateral donors"

What does it mean (re: philanthropy)? The phrase: "Many philanthropists now play a key role in areas that were previously regarded as the exclusive domain of governments and multilateral donors." Thanks a lot!
  • feanix


I've been watching this community for a while and have finally decided to join and post. Well, I've decided to post because I need to know something, but I like the community just the same.

Anyway, I'm needing some help with a Latin phrase, which I believe it "Ars longa, vita brevis".

Now, I know that's not the full quote, but that's the part I need to know about. I believe that it translates to "Art is long, but artists die and are forgotten", but I've always taken "vita brevis" to mean "life is short".

I'm hoping someone can tell me whether or not that's correct, and if it isn't is there a better way to say "life is short" in Latin?