February 3rd, 2009

:Janus:

Loaded phrases

Exchanging emails (in English) with a friend (Spanish), a phrase came up which I would consider to be "loaded." He, however, didn't seem to be aware of this reputation.

The friend said: "I met someone tonight."

In course of fact, he had met up with someone.
But it made me think about loaded phrases - where what is understood is always more than what is said.

"We need to talk" is, of course, another famous example.

The linguaphilic question is this:
What other loaded phrases can you think of in English and any other languages you know?
portrait

Michel Thomas Japanese Course Opinions

I'm looking for opinions/reviews of the Michel Thomas course for Japanese. My auntie was visiting the other week and rather inspired by my love of languages and current work on learning Mandarin: she said she'd love to learn Japanese as it would be very useful at work where many of her colleagues are from Japan.

I was going to recommend the Michel Thomas cds as a starting point for her - I found the French ones gave me more confidence in speaking and the Mandarin course is making things crystal clear for me in terms of how the tones work - but have read a few reviews that suggest the Japanese course isn't as effective, doesn't seem to fit with the Michel Thomas method and is quite disappointing, more like rote learning that you'd find in other language teaching packs.

I'm a little wary of suggesting she try it if these few reviews are accurate, but I've not been able to find much written about it online as yet.

Any opinions, and if its something to avoid, suggestions of good starting points for someone wanting to mainly learn communication skills and confidence in using Japanese for social reasons rather than tourist stuff?

Thanks in advance.
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    busy

Are you compassionate?

I've recently gotten into an argument with a friend regarding the use of the term "compassion."

He claims that through a Buddhist philosophy, one is able to/should have compassion for oneself and though I've looked up the idea on Wikipedia (here), I still feel as if this idea of having compassion for oneself is rather limited to this particular instance.

I took a Syntax course last semester and remember my prof mentioning something about nouns that somehow imply that two people are generally required, with maybe some exceptions, but I can't for the life of me remember what the name for these were. I also might just have confused it among the fuss of transitive v. intransitive verbs.

Do any of you know what I'm talking about? In your opinion, can a person have compassion for himself outside of Buddhism?

The problem for me is that it really feels like a cop-out/mockery of everything that compassion entails. It's the notion of self-pitying and it's too close to "poor me wah wah wah" for my liking. I'm not sure if that's just because of the way Western culture has embraced the conecpt or if it's just that I have issues with what I consider weakness. :X OR possibly it's just the way I perceive this particular friend, haha.

I know this is rather more philosophical than semantic, but the wording just kind of struck me the wrong way.
[Stock] Magic

(no subject)

How would you translate the headline "Looking up Down Under" into German? I've got "Australien (und Neuseeland) im Aufwärtstrend/Aufschwung" since the article is about an economic boom there. I'm not sure if my translation is catchy enough, though.

Italian -> Eng

me again. sorry. any help with the words in the following sentence?--"Se poi, per ipotesi, l'economia mondiale dovesse ripartire, il processo inverso di crowding out, ossia l'uscita dai titoli pubblici [i feel like there's a set expression in English that I'm not aware of] verso quelli privati, farebbe aumentare non di poco il servizio sul debito pubblico [same thing] in tutti i paesi indebitati."