March 23rd, 2010

Please help my character swear?

I have a roleplaying character that I will be playing (a while from now) who is fluent in Spanish, and also knows some Mandarin, Russian and Italian (specifically, whatever type/variant one would pick up in New York, first as a young child in Rochester with a bilingual parent, and then on the streets of New York City...), and who swears like a sailor. I... speak a little German, and about 5 words of Spanish, and I don't even swear much in *English*... For the most part, I'll say "[blah blah blah], she said in Spanish", but she's likely to slip swear words in those other languages into otherwise English sentences, so I'd like to know some of those.

Apparently, most of the Hispanics in and near New York are Puerto Rican, so Puerto Rican Spanish would be the most appropriate, if you're taking something from another culture base (or if the word's in Russian, Mandarin, or Italian), please let me know. The timeframe for the game is, well, 15 or so years from now, so I have some leeway.

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Update from the mods?

I don't wish to be tedious, but it's been a full three weeks since I posted here asking for some clarification from the maintainers on a recent act of moderation and a full week since their last communication on the subject which promised a response "sometime soon". Any of the mods care to hazard a revised estimate? I appreciate that you're all striving to reach the best possible decision, but it's hard to go back to business as usual here with basic questions about the scope of moderation left unanswered.

dear linguaphiles

I've read this in The New York Times and I would like to know more about this fascinating story:

"When Haiti was devastated by an earthquake in January, aid teams poured in to the shattered island, speaking dozens of languages — but not Haitian Creole. How could a trapped survivor with a cellphone get usable information to rescuers? If he had to wait for a Chinese or Turkish or an English interpreter to turn up he might be dead before being understood. Carnegie Mellon University instantly released its Haitian Creole spoken and text data, and a network of volunteer developers produced a rough-and-ready machine translation system for Haitian Creole in little more than a long weekend. It didn’t produce prose of great beauty. But it worked"

Perhaps somebody here has been involved in this project or can direct me to some more detailed reports, or has a personal opinopn on this?

Quick Question - Chinese and Keyboards

What's a good program for inserting Chinese characters through a regular keyboard - using the phoentics that convert into the Chinese script? My friend has been searching for one for over a year now, otherwise I wouldn't have asked without searching first.

Hopefully, this will help out someone else, too, who has a similar question? =3


(no subject)

I came across the construction 〜ないでいる (as in 伝えられないでいる or できないでいる) recently, and I've never seen that before. I know that besides being a negative command, 〜ないで can mean "without", but given the full phrases I don't think that's the meaning here. The full phrases are:


Can anyone help me figure out how to best translate those verbs? Is this a special idiom, or something I've just never encountered before?
  • joho07

qu'est ce que c'est

Does anyone know where the question-phrase "Qu'est ce que c'est" comes from? Did people actually used to use the long version "que est-ce que ce est"? The use of this whole phrase seems awfully complicated to me.


(no subject)

I'm contemplating taking Hebrew next year but my school offers both Biblical Hebrew and Modern Israeli Hebrew. I'm completely at a loss. Internet comparisons point out that I should review my reasons for learning the language but this doesn't really apply to me; being able to explore Judaism closer in reading the major Jewish texts is equally appealing as being able to hold a decent conversation with some Israeli friends of mine. =) Is it the case that learning one given variant first makes the other more natural to acquire?