September 7th, 2009

German sentence help

I am typing an essay for my college German class and I can't seem to figure out how it is supposed to go.

"Ich kann nicht es ausbesserung."

The reason I ask is because 'ausbesserung' looks like separable prefix.
Could anyone help make this sentence correct.

Merci! :D


Yiddish = dead?

A public radio host on "Radio Smart Talk," broadcast on WITF-FM from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is currently interviewing a linguist about the variations to be found in the speech patterns of various parts of Pennsylvania. So far, so good. Except the host just pronounced Yiddish a "dead language," and the guest agreed with him. What do you all think?
  • Current Mood
    confused confused
Shoulder Mount

Learn vs. Teach and Sat vs. Sitting

Just pondering, since I've seen a few instances of this in the past few weeks: do you (personally, not just "people in general") ever use "learn" to mean "teach" anymore? Are you a native English speaker (and if so, age and location?)? Do you use it out of habit, or only when you're not thinking, or in all situations? Does it depend on anything?

I understand that up until the past couple hundred years, "learn" DID mean "teach", but now in America at least (other countries?) it's strongly strongly associated with slang/being uneducated/backwoods "hick" speech ("My teacher done learned me real good!!") and has a negative connotation now (which while I certainly feel the same way, it kind of intrigues me: typically, don't we associate older styles of speech that have fallen out of style as being more formal/educated? Or has SO much time passed since this was acceptable that now it's just being "purposefully ignorant"?)

On a separate note, I'm really intrigued by the UK English use of "sat" in place of "sitting" for imperfect constructions ("We were sat in the back of the hall" instead of "We were sitting in the back of the hall") -- I'm American, and my education in the history of the English language amounts to a few weeks in a linguistics course I took in college, so I'm wondering where this difference came from; was it originally correct, and "sitting" came about as hypercorrection or something? Or is it just simply a difference in dialect and that's that? Or am I simply understanding the construction incorrectly and it's supposed to be a passive construction ("We were made to sit by someone in X location")? Though in this case, I'm quite sure my UK-English-speaking friends have used it in place of "was/were Xing" in constructions such as, "And would you believe it, I was sat RIGHT in the middle of the row!!"

  • Current Mood
    curious curious
PV=nRT snoopy

Another Quick English Question

Hey, I'm translating a document from Hebrew to English.  העלאת שכר לימוד would be a "rise in tuition"? "raise in tuition?"  Umm...?  You don't actually have to know Hebrew to help me on this one.  I just would like to know which one sounds better in English.

Always listen to Buck

Sweet Blood

A quick Czech question
What does "sladká krev" (sweet blood) mean?

I've found a description here, but I don't quite understand it.

If you find yourself, as I do, proving a particular hit with this country's midges, then you will probably be told this is because you have 'sladká krev' ,or sweet blood. I always find this complimentary-sounding turn of phrase something of a consolation for all of those angry red marks.

Thanks in advance for your help :)
behind him

Japanese Translation Steps

I was wondering the process people take when translating things from non-Latin-alphabet texts to English. Do you put it into the Latin equivalent first, or just read and translate?

I'm in the middle of translating a Japanese short story and I tend to put things into romanji first before translating to English. I guess it's more of a first read- getting me familiar with the story and text- and gives me a chance to look up kanji that I don't know. I'd say I'm at an high intermediate level; I did translate a light novel for my senior project. Nevertheless, I'd say I still only get about 60% of what I read due to snags.

Would you suggest that I get into the practice of doing it as I go along, or is converting to romanji first an OK thing at my level? It is just a transition until I get better at the language?
How does everyone else go about it?