April 21st, 2009

Athena of Pireus
  • fpb

Help me contradict this moron, please!

The conservative American commentator Dennis Prager was stupid enough to post an article that started - started! - with the following words: One of the reasons for the ascendance of the English-speaking world has been that the English language is almost alone among major languages in having the word "earn."

Of course, in Italian "earn" is "guadagnare". Can you give me as many verbs from as many languages as possible, with the same connotation of work, profit, increase, and merit?
Peace on Earth

Name Not On Our List? Change It, China Says.

Name Not On Our List? Change It, China Says.

This article has two interesting features for linguaphiles:

1. A lady, Ma Cheng, has a name that delights me. It's written as "Horse Horsehorsehorse".



2. The Chinese government wants to limit peoples' choice of names to 8,000 characters (a typical Chinese name has two characters.) In a country with 1.3 billion people, the bureaucracy needs to plan for many name collisions.
porcelain

German R Sound

So I got made fun of for accidentally aspirating the k in Markt (we were joking about old American German newspapers and I said "Tja, fuenf Dollar dass wir das Wort Pferdemarkt finden werden.") and making it sound like Macht. I learned German from people from Niedersachsen and Bremen and have an apparently noticeably light pronunciation of 'r' so that gar is "gah", werden is "veh-den", and wieder is "veeduh". I don't know how to write the way I pronounce it; it sounds a lot like uh or eh but it's held longer and has a turn to it. I don't really notice that I don't pronounce the 'r' sound.

How strong is 'r' supposed to be in spoken German?
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