March 24th, 2009

tied up

Accents in Spanish

Hi, I'm taking my second semester of Spanish and my teacher is from Peru. I noticed that she rarely uses accents on words that normally should have them, like the past tense of jugar, jugué. She'll just spell it jugue. Since I'm just now learning the pretérito, I'm a little confused. Last semester, my teacher (American, but lived in Colombia for years) said that it's very important to remember to put accents on words that need them, especially so you can tell the difference between things like el and él.

My question is, is leaving out accents a local thing in Peru, and do other countries do it as well? For the Spanish speakers in this community, how important do you think it is to use the correct accents on words?
Clare Island

Arabic consonants and vowels

I started learning Arabic yesterday, beginning with the alphabet. Looking now at dictionaries and Wikipedia, it seems that my Egyptian friend wrote only the consonants for me (plus aleph, ayn, wow and ye). Is that the extent of the vowels? What about the long ones listed on Wiki?

Thanks in advance for your clarifications.

  • wiped

Official language proficiency tests

I know there are 'official' proficiency tests for some languages like Japanese and Chinese. Do these exist for other languages as well? I'm interested in taking tests in Spanish, French (reading/translation only if possible), Persian, Arabic, and Turkish, partially because I want to know how well I do (and where I need to improve), but mostly so that I can refer accurately to my proficiency on things like resumes. Do tests exist for these languages? If so, is there just one universally recognized exam, or are there multiple agencies or companies that offer testing? Where can I find out more about this?

(no subject)


I am taking a translation course at my university, and for my next project, I have to find a piece that has not been translated yet. I would like to do a French comic book. I have previously translated ~8 pages of Raghnarok (tome 2) and ~10 pages of Asterix Chez les Helvetes (that project is actually due in a coulple weeks!).

I'm currently wavering between Serge, le hamster de l'infer and Maliki (which is also online in webcomic form).

First, I would like to make sure that these have not been translated into English. I can't find a lot of information on Serge, so I'm guessing that it hasn't been translated, but I just want to make sure!

Also, I was wondering if anyone here had read either. They both look pretty cute, and I'm looking forward to working with them. For my project I will probably just do a segment of about 10 pages of either, but I may continue the project to expand my portfolio over the summer.

  • joho07


"Wir diskutieren über das Verbot von Alkohol." oder "Wir diskutieren über den Verbot von Alkohol."

Wenn man "Alkoholverbot" benutzt, ist es logischer (oder es klingt zumindest besser) wenn man 'das' sagt. Aber wie ist es im anderen Fall nun richtig? (Es ist doch eigentlich Akkusativ, und müsste 'den' sein, oder? Irgendwie klingt das aber nicht so ganz richtig :)


Spanish conditional statements

How common is it nowadays in the Spanish-speaking world to substitute the imperfect subjunctive for the conditional tense in conditional statements? That is to say, take for example, since it's the first thing that pops into my mind, this line from a Daddy Yankee song:

"Si tu sintieras lo mismo que yo, estuvieras aqui conmigo" (If you felt the same as me, you'd be here with me)

Now of course, the way I learned it in school, the second part should read "estarias aqui conmigo," but the construct as it appears in the song seems to be more common than the one I learned, as I hear it nearly everyday and it's rare for me to hear the other one.

As a matter of fact, the other day I was speaking to a coworker, and I said something using the construct with the conditional, and she didn't understand me at first. Is it becoming that rare?? Any help is appreciated, so I know whether or not I can just drop the conditional tense in sentences like this altogether. Les agradezco mucho su ayuda.

Plug for summer courses in some lesser-taught languages

This is a great program!  Check out the website for more info.

Arizona State University offers eight-week, eight-credit intensive summer language courses in Albanian, Armenian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Macedonian, Polish, Russian, Tajik-Persian, Tatar and Uzbek through its Critical Languages Institute.

The CLI runs June 8 - July 31, 2009 on ASU’s main campus in Tempe.

All courses are tuition–free. The only cost is a $500 non-refundable processing fee.

ASU also offers language intensive three-week, two-credit study abroad programs for Albanian, Armenian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Macedonian, Polish, Russian, Tajik-Persian, Tatar and Uzbek.

The study abroad programs, which
run August 3-21, 2009, are designed as an extension of the CLI courses, but are also open to qualified non-CLI students.

For more information and to apply to the CLI, please visit our website or contact us at cli AT asu DOT edu