November 1st, 2009


Translation request

Hi guys, I have a bit of an odd request. Could you guys translate these two rather grim sentences into as many languages as possible (apart from Spanish which I know already)? in IPA or some kind of transcription would be great. Thanks a bunch in advance for any help.

"I'd rather be dead. I don't want to live anymore."

EDIT: Sorry guys, I should have thought of this: the speaker is male. Thanks so much for your translations!

Coincidence? I think not!

Alright linguaphiles a debate is presented to you, but first exposition is somewhat.

 A friend of mine watches the show Sanctuary and mentioned a character who had grand mal seizures and while having said seizures possesses laser vision. As well as this he is a savant of sorts who has a *stereotypical* eidetic memory (Also called photographic) and can draw perfect images of anything he's experienced or seen up to the given point. At this point in the show it is assumed these two things are unrelated to each other but still obviously suck.

 Said friend argues that it's coincidental for the character to have two such afflictions that are unrelated to each other whereas I feel since they have nothing in common other than their connection to the character they don't fit my idea of coincidence. My example of what I felt a coincidence was if lightning hit the tree in front of my house and knocked a branch off and three blocks away the same branch fell off another tree.

 What do you all think? and where are you located? I know I can check definitions online but I prefer a more organic research style.

 Thanks in advance for any assistance, we've already settled the debate for the most part. (Read: forgot about it)

Edit: I'm not asking if this situation is coincidental as it's a tv show everything is planned that way. I'm more curious to know if in some insane universe if this occured would you consider it to be a coincidence or just odd? Basically do you feel that the only things these two have in common is they both afflict the same person is enough to call it a coincidence.

Hopefully clears things up.
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nominals with genitive arguments

Hi everyone!

I was wondering whether, in your language, it is possible to have a construction like English Hannibal's conquest of Rome or German Hannibals Eroberung Roms; in other words: a nominal or nominalised verb with two arguments in the genitive form. (You can make a parallel construction with a verb instead of a noun: e.g. Hannibal conquers Rome.)

Clitics, case inflection (Hannibal's, Roms) or preposition (of Rome) all count as genitives.

Secondary question: does your language have articles? (I'm trying to see whether there's a connection between having double genitive constructions and having articles.)

Thanks in advance!

Past tenses in Chinese

Hi everyone, I apologize if this is redundant but I guess the concept of this is not quite sticking - it just doesn't come easily to me!

I'm having trouble with how I say I finished doing something, as opposed to: I used to do something, and the have/had done something (in Mandarin Chinese.) I know that the markers 'guo' and 'le' both connotate something done in the past; however there are circumstances where I see one used or another, and it's not clear; moreover sometimes they are both used and I don't know what to infer from that.

So for example, how would I say

1. 'I studied this afternoon' - something very recent that I just finished doing; and

2. 'I used to climb trees when I was younger' - the typical imperfect past;

3. 'I have read that book' or 'I have been to Japan' something along the lines of, I've done that before and it's a finished task that's 'perfectly' finished?

Thanks guys - I've noticed it's very interesting, when learning new languages, especially to see how the past tense is dealt with in many different ways.