February 24th, 2009

ambigram, seraph, hebrew, sx
  • varpho

online transliteration

i'm looking for online transliterators... something like online keyboard for a script, but not exactly - i would like something with Latin layout rather then original layout of these languages. what i've found already is:
vereb.free.fr/transliteration - Cyrillic, Arabic (Persian), Greek
translit.ru - Russian, ... wait. OK, i see that they have broadened they offer... so now there is also Hebrew, Armenian, Ukrainian, Belarussian, Greek and Georgian available.

other ones:
whiteagle.net/jap - Japanese kana
iit.edu/~laksvij/language/sanskrit.html - Devanagari
cgi.sse-ag.ch/tib/tibform.pl - Tibetan

but anyway, maybe someone hasn't heard about it. and maybe someone has heard about similar utilities for other systems of writing...

Names for US/Americans

In filling out forms (for me right now apps for universities abroad) what is the legal, official, correct way to write my country of origin and nationality? I have a US passport. For country should I always write out the United States of America and should I leave out or include the? What about abbreviating it? Should I use periods (USA or U.S.A.)? And when required to state my nationality, is U.S. citizen appropriate?

And while we're at it, in dates should I pad single digits with a zero on the left? So for the first of January, 2009, is it 01/01/2009 or 1/1/2009?

Thanks for your help.

T and Y changing to CH sound

This may be a terribly stupid question, but what is the process called whereby t-sounds followed by y-sounds, and other similar consonants, change to a ch-sound? E.g., what you changing to whatchu.
I knew it a couple of months ago, but of course now I need it, I can't remember.

To make up for that, here's a more interesting one:

1. Jack likes him.
2. He likes Jack.
3. Jack says he likes Mary.
4. He says Jack likes Mary.

Why is it that in sentence #3, the pronoun is ambiguous, but in the others, it must be a different person from Jack?

Blog Looking For Contributors

Hello everyone!

I was recently invited to join a nice little blog called Language Nerds Adventures. According to the description, the blog is dedicated to discussing all things related to language and linguistics. There are videos, polls and interactive questions and discussions. They are welcome to any and all suggestions, and right now are looking for a few new nerds to join as contributors.

There is no pay, of course, but I everything that you write, you own.

Check it out

x-posted everywhere

ETA: From the about section:

Here you will find stories and discussions that feature the effect of language on our daily lives. We are a group of self-proclaimed language nerds, but we don't talk technical terms. This is about entertainment. Any education is purely incidental.

We'd be delighted to have you share your thoughts and ideas. Blogs are more fun with audience interaction. So please join our discussions ! We don't bite.

Hope that clears things up!

  • fagnzr

Term paper.

For my term paper I have to discuss an aspect of american culture that I find interesting, so I decided to do sociolinguistics.  I guess linguistics in general can work too, but my real interest lies in the sociological part.  Problem is I need to find an "agent of change" within this movement that was born before 1939 to write the paper with.  I can't find any known sociolinguists or anything, can anyone help? I'm pretty new to the linguistics world so I don't know much. Any help is appreciated.
Milwaukee Art Museum (closed)

Michael, "Mickey" Noonan

It is a sad time indeed. A great linguist, Mickey Noonan has passed away this week.
He died suddenly of a brain aneurysm.
The memorial for Mickey Noonan will take place this coming Saturday, February 28, 3:00 - 5:00 in Greene Hall on the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin campus (3347 N. Downer; just a bit North of the E. Hartford - N. Downer intersection). Everybody is welcome!
A man this smart is a sad loss. Words fail to express the magnitude of this loss for us and for many others around the world.
from a painting

So THIS is why 98% of Japanese can read

 While watching this: http://www.brainrules.net/film (part 10 - vision), I learned that the brain reads by deciphering alphabetic words letter-by-letter, which takes time, knowing that each letter is a "picture." With so many Kanji, it must be easier for the brain to read these non-alphabetic images (I'd say Hiragana and Katakana are an exception). Is this the actual reason, along with the good educational system?

This sentence no verb?

I have a friend (with no particular interest in linguistics) who misheard a 'Blue Monday' lyric as 'I see a ship in the harbor; I can a shallow bay' (it's 'I can and shall obey').

He was pretty convinced and insisted it was linguistically correct, borrowing the verb from the previous line.

You can get away with a lot when you're being artsy, but otherwise, can you borrow a verb like that in English? In another language?

berber i love you?

hi all!

this question seems like a long shot, but I figured I'd try anyway.

my boyfriend is Algerian and speaks Berber and French. His birthday is tomorrow and I wanted to write "I love you" in Berber on his card. I asked him how to say it without telling him what it was for, and he said it was pronounced "hem-lar-kem," with the R like in french, but had some special characters he couldn't type.
I was wondering if anyone knew what these characters look like. I don't want to ask him again because I think it will be obvious what it is for then and I want it to be a surprise.
If anyone has any help thank you!
  • ausila

(no subject)

My mother is of Greek decent, and wants a tattoo of the classical Greek translation of "Be here now" (in the imperative familiar, if it makes a distinction). Anyone know their Classical Greek?