January 6th, 2010

Hello
  • fynoda

Singlish

You all like languages, and I don't see this come up here much, so I thought someone may find this interesting. Singlish is basically English spoken in Singapore laced with words modified and borrowed from Malay, Hokkien, and Chinese. They even re-purpose words from English.

An Australian living in Singapore wrote a nice entry about it here, and there's a video too. Go check it out, lah!
Candles
  • djonma

Greece (Crete)

I'm really sorry that this isn't really related to languages, but it's the only community I can find about Greece, without a ton of anime-related stuff.
It does have some language-related stuff.

My parents retired out to Crete a few years ago, but their Greek is very bad (they're both very old, so memory is an issue, and they find remembering words very difficult, and learning a new language very difficult).

They're having problems with their Landlord. Now a greater understanding of the languages involved for both parties would probably help (My parents speak English, the Landlord is native Cretan).
I'm more after some kind of tenant rights though. In the UK, we have the Citizen's Advice Beureau (I think I spelt that totally wrong - I've not slept, it's 10am, I'm tired and dyspraxic!).
They advise on small legal issues like this.
The landlord has been demanding money for fuel for the heating system, and then not been putting the heating on at all. (And by money, I mean a lot of money!)
My Dad is 75, has severe heart failure, emphesema, other major medical conditions. He could quite literally die without being warm enough.
Is there somewhere they could go to get some free legal advice by someone who would speak enough English to help them out?
Do they even have rights over there?
We don't really know the laws very well, mostly they've just got on with things, and they've not had any problems until this new landlord this winter. Before this, everyone has been really nice and accomodating, and they made really good friends with all of their neighbours.

Again, I'm really sorry that this isn't directly linguistically related, but there's bound to be someone here who knows where I could go to ask at least, or would know if there's no chance of them getting any support, or whatever, I just feel so useless not being able to help and in a different country, when I know my Dad's so ill.
Fortunately they're looking to move somewhere a bit bigger asap anyway, and they'll be vetting the landlord/landlady a bit more this time (as much as is possible with their limited Greek).
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frederick

English vs. other Germanic past/perfect

Could anyone point me towards a source that discusses the use of English tense and aspect compared to other Germanic languages, preferably Dutch or German? I seem to remember something about the different use of simple past vs. present perfect, but I'm not sure what and I'm not being specific enough for Google's liking. I'm talking about situations where you'd have to use a simple past in English but a present perfect in the other language, or the other way around.

Note that I'm not asking you to explain to me how this works, but to point me to a publication I can use as a reference :)
fair-haired girl
  • adaly

Pronunciation of the indefinite article in English

Hello,

I live in the south-east of England, and I often hear people pronounce the indefinite article ("a") /ey/. I know this can happen when one doesn't know what's going to follow, or when one wants to emphasize this particular part of one's speech. That being said, at times, it doesn't sound like this variation serves those purpose (or maybe it's just me!).

Is there any other situation when this change in pronunciation can occur?
What does such a variation say about the speaker (social class, region, intent) (assuming it says something at all)?
Does this happen in other parts of England and in other English-speaking coutries?

Thanks a bunch in advance ! :-)

PS : please feel free to correct my English!!
KayVee is swish and that's the deal.

うつ依存症

I've come across the word うつ依存症 in an e-mail, and while my instinct is to go with "addicted to antidepressants", that really doesn't seem right, and I can't find the specific phrase in any dictionary online. :(

It's apparently used in the Japanese title of Prozac Nation, but I haven't been able to fathom from that what it means. The e-mail points out that 「うつではなく、うつ依存症という状態でした」, so I'm guessing it's not a common word.

I'd be grateful if someone could clarify the meaning of the phrase. Thanks in advance. :)

EDIT: I should probably clarify that (unless someone knows exactly what this means) I'm really looking for native speaker input on this. I appreciate it looks weird, that's why I'm askin'.
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