November 3rd, 2009


Sanskrit Request

A friend asked me to have another friend in my department translate a phrase into Sanskrit for her for an art project, but my Sanskrit expert's out of town for the next two weeks and she needs it sooner. Can any of you help? Here's the phrase:

You cannot control the actions of others; you can only control your reaction.

But Macs are PCs, too! Stop being elitist!

A friend of mine is running a poll to see what kind of computer people use, with the options PC, Mac, Linux, and Other. Almost instantly I saw a few disgruntled responses claiming that the poll is being elitist, Macs are PCs as well, etc. Kind of found it interesting, personally. Figured I'd drop it in here and see how it's perceived by the community, as I'm sure it could well be a generation gap thing (e.g. those who grew up in the early days of personal computing, vs. those who grew up in the era of the iPod and Mac vs. PC advertisements).

As for my take on it, what I recall is that while PC literally does mean "Personal Computer", the phrase derives from the trademark on the IBM PC, hence why you used to see "PC-compatible" stamped on software boxes throughout the 80s and 90s. As anyone versed in computer history is aware, IBM chose DOS for its operating system, so naturally the phrase became associated with whatever Microsoft OS was popular at the time, even after the "-compatible" portion of the phrase was dropped. Hence, while I can see an Apple product being classified as a PC when talking about personal computers vs. mainframes or a similar discussion, when talking about various types of personal computers PC is rather inseparably tied to Microsoft in my perception.

Anyone else?
  • Current Mood
    curious curious

Japanese help

I'm writing a semi-formal 作文 right now, and I'm a little stuck.

The English sentence I'm trying to write is, "Because she wasn't an actual Japanese teacher, she wasn't very good at teaching grammar."

and what I have so far is: 彼女は日本語を教える資格を持っていなかったので、文法の説明______
Obviously, I'm stuck on the last part. I have tons of words I could use, like 下手、熟練しない、あまりできなかった、and so on, but all of those seem juvenile and rude given the context. I feel like there is a set expression to say someone doesn't know how to/can't do something politely, but my dictionaries aren't giving me suggestions that quite match my sentence.

Any suggestions are appreciated :)

transitive verbs in Spanish

Hi there. I'm a heritage Spanish speaker taking his first college-level Spanish course (it is an advanced course in grammar and composition) and I had a question:

does anyone have any good articles on how transitivity works in Spanish? The textbook I have said a transitive verb was capable of taking a direct object or indirect object, but my professor disagreed with the notion that a transitive verb can take an indirect object ( I disagree with him).

He was explaining, however, how Spanish does not seem to have the notion of ditransitive/tritranstive/ambitransitive that wikipedia indicates are possible for verbs.

so, could anyone clarify how transitive verbs differ in Spanish from English? How transitivity works in Spanish?

Also, if possible, could you point me in the direction of any articles or websites that deal with this?

Thanks in advance!

ETA: I already read wikipedia's articles on transitivity and valency and a few others. Thanks, though!
alle has a bucket, d'oh

male version of "dona"?

So I know that in Portuguese, "dona" is used as a title, less formal than senhora (I think? I'm really not sure), and in Brazil, "seu" is the male equivalent of "dona", but I was wondering what the male equivalent is in Portugal -- do they also use "seu" there? Also, could anyone clarify the levels of formality/usage of dona/seu vs. senhora/senhor, specifically in European Portuguese usage if there's any difference? Thanks!