March 23rd, 2009

(no subject)

The phrase "I was like" in colloquial English can mean a whole range of things: "I said", "I thought", "I reacted in this way...", "I felt" etc. It's used ubiquitously in casual conversations.

Swedish has a similar expression that is used in the same way, "Jag var bara" (I was just/only).

Do other languages have a similar phrase or some other "simplified" colloquial way of relaying information that can for example replace the fore mentioned verbs like the English or Swedish expression can?

Sewing vocab

I have craft books from various different countries, and the names for these sewing items seems to vary even among English-speaking countries. What are these things called to you? (I'm mainly interested in English, but other languages are cool too)


It's the machine you use to neaten raw edges of seams. It trims the edge of the fabric, and the home versions use four threads to seal it. To me this is an overlocker. The verb is to overlock (not to hemlock as one girl in my school sewing class kept finding herself saying!)

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(no subject)

I have to do a presentation about the sociolinguistic marker in my class at the University of Barcelona. Naturally, I'm drawing a lot from William Labov's work.

My question is, how would one say "r-less," "r-lessness, "r-full," etc. in Spanish? R being the variable (r) in the speeches of New York City, that is.

Also, how about "elicitation"? Would it just be sacamiento?

(no subject)

I can only vouch for the Americas. -- I'm fluent in English and Spanish. And though we love to joke that only Americans speak one language, I know that in Central and South America, though the ideal is to speak at least another business language, the reality is that most only speak their native language.

I know, vaguely, about the fact that most Europeans grow up speaking at least two languages. I assume that the details are complex, and aside from geographical factors, I am curious to hear if the education system in place is the cause behind a person's fluency in two languages or more.

And how do Asia and Africa (and the rest of the world) compare?

Any input will be appreciated.