March 19th, 2009


Overheard in Hindi movies.

I've been watching a lot of subtitled Hindi films recently (yes, all Bollywood, yes, I'm somewhat embarrassed, no, I'm not letting that stop me), so I'm starting to separate out some words that get used often, especially ones that get used with emphasis and at least sometimes by themselves. I'm getting some subject and possessive pronouns, and conjugations of 'to be'. The word for 'love' comes up with educational regularity.

There's a word which I have heard used often. At first I thought it must be quite rude, because I only caught it when it was being spoken harshly, all by itself, and generally on such occasions everyone in the scene was shocked to a standstill by it. More recently I've been able to catch it (or think I'm catching it) on the ends of phrases and sentences in a much more unexceptional way. I would tentatively transliterate it as 'bas' 'bAs' 'bhas' or 'bhAs' - I don't trust my ear for some of those distinctions yet, especially of the aspirated vs. non-aspirated consonants. Also, to my ear, it's an 'aa' sound, not the 'uh' sound of an unmodified consonant (e.g., बं), so I'd be expecting something more like बंास.

It gets translated as "enough," "that's enough" "stop," and "shut up," when it's used by itself. Now that I'm hearing it (if that is it) in longer sentences, I am inclining more toward a "enough" meaning. But I can't find it in the dictionaries I'm using. If anyone can tell me what I should be looking for - clearly I'm missing something - and/or provide any better information about it, I'd be glad.

EDIT: Found! It occurred to me to try 'sufficient' and I got बस - bhas. Thank you for, er...yeah. Still, can anyone tell me how rude this is when its used in isolation? I mean, is it as abrupt/rude as it sounds in the movies?

(Also, another word that comes up often is something that gets translated as 'just', 'only,' or 'except.' To me, it sounds like 'self,' with an 'l' in there. In the dictionary, I find सिर्फ - 'sirph(a)'. Is that likely to be what I've been (mis)hearing?)

Thanks again for anything anyone can offer. Oh, and I've been combing the net for good Hindi and/or Devanagarin script tutorials. Is anyone here interested in my posting links to the most useful ones I find? There are a few really good ones out there.

Mysterious japanese text

Good day, linguapheliacs!

Some months ago, I posted here in the hopes that I might be aided in a "translation" project, and my hopes were fulfilled in a brisk and marvelous fashion. I use these quotation marks advisedly, in that my efforts then, as now, run more along the lines of intentionally-but-hopefully-hilariously mis-translating Japanese hentai comics (or as I more artfully put it, "spinning the tawdry straw of Japanese porn into the purest and most gleaming of comedy gold").

However, no matter how badly I mean to maul the original text, I do at least wish to be able to accurately and properly credit the creator of the work, and so I come to your community once more on bended knee in hopes that you might again aid me in my noble work.

Here is the text of the title page (edited in such a way as to omit any pornographic images). I suspect that some of this text denotes the title of the story, and some the creator. If any of you might be so kind as to translate it for me to that end, I would be sublimely grateful.

As a sort of advance payment for such efforts, I offer for your reading (and to some lesser extent, viewing) enjoyment the otherwise-finished work, complete with my own dialogue, at my own journal here. Needless to say, it is not safe for work, nor suitable for minors, but it is my hope that it will be enjoyed otherwise, just as the previous work which I posted with regards-to here was so widely enjoyed by the members of this community.

Pocket Translators

Hey guys,
I am looking into buying a pocket translator that is capable in European and Eastern Asian languages as well. There are so many out there, and I don't want to spend my money one that only has basic vocabulary and/or is inaccurate. Any suggestions as to what pocket translator I should buy?

Basic Japanese stroke order gifs

Hi, everyone!

I was just going to update my Facebook status in Japanese, and since it's been years and years since I studied it, Googled the kanji for "nomimasu."

One of the results was this old website hosted by the University of Michigan. The "Stroke Order of Kanji at U of M" button links to a selection of kanji lessons, which include animated gifs of stroke order and pronunciation for some basic characters. There's also a kana section ("Stroke Order of Hiragana & Katakana") which does similar things. The other two sections of the site are broken.

Anyway, I know it's not great and there are probably better gif archives out there for this purpose, but I hope this site is helpful for someone who needs writing practice.
Future's Past

German bands, singers and music

Maybe a little off topic, but  I would like some help with German. My son has started a German course in school last year, but is not making a lot of progress. We cannot watch German television over here but I would like for him to hear German. I've always found that listening to songs is a very good way of learning a language.

My question: can you recommend any German bands/singers appropriate for a 13 year old who likes to listen to (hard)rock?

Thanks in advance!
chrome-chan and mukurowl

Dialect questions for native English speakers

I have a few dialect questions for native speakers of English, partly because I'm considering working with different dialects for a paper and partly because I'm idly curious.

1. What dialect do you speak and/or what region/country are you from?

2. Does your dialect have negative concord (i.e. didn't do nothing to nobody working out to didn't do anything to anybody, and so on)?

3. Does it have aspectual markers (e.g. habitual be in African-American Vernacular English)?

4. What would you consider the most noticeable or striking features of your dialect (whether phonological, lexical, or grammatical)?

Of course, if you speak more than one, I'd love to know the answers for all of them.

Thanks in advance!

Scholarship for studying Russian Language

This is information for the most motivated applicants for one of Russian language summer courses at Russian language school «Enjoy Russian». If you are really interested in Russian language, history and culture, but you can not afford studying in Russia, you can apply for the scholarship, covering the tuition fee in our Summer Russian Language Program in July or August 2009.

You can get full information on our website ( or just ask me.