August 1st, 2009

Eddie

Serbian "Baraba"

The Serbian Eurovision entry this year featured the singer describing himself as "stara baraba", which one translation renders as "an old raff", and I'm assuming means sort of a "vagabond" from the context.

Would the word "baraba" be derived from the Biblical figure of "Barabas", the man freed by Pilate in favour of Jesus, or am I reading too much into it?
Salad

Pronunciation of "Souye"

Any wise linguaphile out there who can tell me how "Souye" might be pronounced? It's part of a name which looks to be in a southern Chinese dialect (family name "Liong"). A creative/old French spelling of "Swee", perhaps?
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bunny

origin and pronunciation of Loïc Wacquant

So there's this French sociologist named Loïc Wacquant and I've always wondered how to pronounce his name, especially his first name. Also, what is the ethnolinguistic origin of his name? It doesn't seem like a typical French name, although with the massive immigration France has been experiencing for at least the last 100 years, the idea of what is typical regarding French names appears to be changing (witness Sarkozy's Hungarian origins). Or might it be from a French group that isn't part of the mainstream? I know whenever I see a funny Spanish name it's usually Catalan or something. So peeps, what's the dilly yo?

Qur'an Translation

I am not Muslim myself, but after studying some Arabic in school and given the prominence of Islam in world events at the moment, I'm interested to read some or all of the Qur'an to get a taste for the beliefs of Muslims, rather than just listening to CNN's interpretation of their doctrine. I'm not at a point with my Arabic where I could actually read the Qur'an, so I'm looking for a decent English translation. There are so many on Amazon, I really have no idea where to start. Ideally, I'd like something that's somewhat contemporary and a good read on it's own in English. If there exists a copy that has a good translation along with the Arabic text (for future reference) that's not too expensive, that would be great too. But mainly I'd just like a translation at this point, and if further down the road I find myself jonesing to test any Classical Arabic chops I might acquire, I can pick up a copy of the Arabic text then.

Oh, and since this isn't for any formal research or a class or anything, by "not too expensive" I mean something less than $25.

شكران!