September 23rd, 2009

a flame in two cupped hands

(no subject)

this post is one of those pesky "how do you say...?" requests. if you're irked by my kind, i have graciously placed my questions under a cut so as to allow you to ignore them if you're so disinclined.

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  • Current Music
    hand that pen over to ME, poetaster!

survey on tonal languages, just for fun

i'm thinking its okay to be biased with answers on this, since everyone has a personal connection/affection for their native tongue or whatever language they've taken a passion to.

So after hanging out this evening with my Vietnamese, half-Thai, and Punjabi friends, and overhearing two girls speaking in Cantonese (that my Vietnamese friend so kindly enlightened us with this knowledge =P i was inspired to ask some questions to you guys, just get some feedback on opinions with the following.

1. Which tonal language is the hardest to learn, for whatever reason?

2. Which tonal language has the most tones, or sounds/varying degrees of voice inflection?

3. Which tonal language is known for being quite aesthetically pleasing - hm, sorry I know this is rather subjective because after all beauty, even in sound, is in the..uh..ear of the beholder?

4. Which tonal language is most widely spoken in the Western regions of the US?

5. Which tonal language is most widely spoken in the Eastern regions of the US?

6. Which tonal language would you consider, nowadays, to be most useful for knowing?

7. Which tonal language is best known for having a rich literature background/history?

I will probably have more questions come to mind later, but that's all I can think of for now :p

Czech help for the weekend

Sorry, this is stretching into off-topic, but y'all are just so knowledgeable and helpful, and I don't know who else to ask.

Prague Castle is called 'Areál Pražského', right?

What are some common grocery store chain names near Prague?

Considering I don't speak any Czech, what language would be my best bet for communication? English or German, right?
  • pne

Video: hyperpolyglot speaks 16 languages

From what I've heard, his pronunciation is even pretty decent in the various languages! That's certainly true for his German.

The languages he speaks in that video are English, French, Spanish, Welsh, German, Macedonian, Swedish, Italian, Serbian/Bosnian/Croatian, Portuguese, Czech, Catalan, Russian, Dutch, Romanian and Albanian.

  • n_true

"Cookbooks" in all languages

I'm currently collecting the word cookbooks (note the plural!) in all languages for someone... the person who asked me is especially looking for unusual and exotic languages, so if you can provide anything or make corrections, please do so.

I'm collecting the word in a seperate LJ entry: Click here!

Please post more translations... either here as a comment or in my own journal. As you like.

Thank you!
  • Current Mood

(no subject)

I'm curious about some words used in an 18th century autobiography of Telemann (someone obviously near and dear to my heart ;) Telemann's early fondness for music made his mother VERY anxious apparently:

Ach! aber, welch ein Ungewitter zog ich mir durch besagte Oper über den Hals! die Musik-Feinde kamen mit Schaaren zu meiner Mutter, und stellten ihr vor: Ich würde ein Gauckler, Seiltäntzer, Spielmann, Murmelthierführer etc. werden, wenn mir die Musik nicht entzogen würde.

What exactly are Gauckler, Seiltäntzer, Spielmann, Murmelthierführer?

Flamethrower, jugglers, and I think the last one means "Woodchuck trainer".


Thanks in advance!

Nother Biblical Hebrew question

OK about that verse

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh - Genesis 2:24

This verse is often presented as an argument against same-sex marriage. Personally I want to refute that use, but I don't want to refute it incorrectly. So I'd like to understand the verse better. In particular, what are the implications of the verbal tense in Hebrew where it says "shall leave" and "shall cleave" ?

I tend to think of this more as a description than a command, like "this is why this happens," not "I command you to do the following." But I'm not sure if that's a reasonable interpretation.

I see that the verbal tense for "shall leave" includes a grammatical moiety (I forget the word) meaning "surely." Does this in-gram give the verb a meaning of a command? If so, I can see that that would weaken my argument.

Best books for learning Korean?

Hi! I'm a student of Japanese and Spanish, and I'm in love with pretty much every language I hear (except, bafflingly, French. Just doesn't get me by the heart for whatever reason). I'm wondering if you can tell me, since it seems of late that the next tongue I want to begin learning is Korean, what resources are to be most recommended? A cursory scan of the local Borders, which is fantastic for Japanese, reveals only four books on Korean, and those using only Roman characters, which seems terribly wasteful to me considering how lovely Hangul is.

I'm interested in books, CDs, online stuff, magazines, whatever I can dive into, as I tend to take the 'language-acquisition through overstimulation' route. Works best for me, anyway. ;)

Thanks very much for your time!


Hi everyone,

Does anyone know of a more legitimate linguistic term for those words that you tag at the end of a sentence? I guess there's lots of different kinds, but specifically: ",then?"


"So what do you want, then?"
"I'll keep it real short then."
"Ok, then."

This is for a possible senior essay topic. Thanks!