July 4th, 2010

Dutch Pronunciation

I'm a bit confused by a number of conflicting descriptions of several Dutch consonants, both in text and also different audio material that accompanies language courses.

For instance, I've read that <g> sounds like [ɣ] in one book, and [x] in another - and heard [ɣ], [ç] and [x].
For <ij>, I wouldn't know how it's supposed to be because the descriptions only say "between [æɪ] and [ɛɪ]" but I've heard plain and simple [æɪ] in some cases and [ɛɪ] in others - sometimes within the same passage!
My only other concern is word final -en ----- is the -n pronounced or not? I've heard it sometimes, and sometimes not.

Are these differences simply all dialectical? Many thanks :)

Danish to English translation

How would you translate:

"Når tingene brænder på"

It means sort of when things are close to burning/things are getting close to deadline and are going wrong. I am not looking for a direct translation but a saying that would mean the same thing.

(Basically I want to write a thank you to my mother for always being available for late night phone calls when I was panicking because there was no way I would finish my thesis in time. In Danish I would write: "Tak til min mor for at være der når tingene var ved at brænde på.)

P.S. Sorry if the question isn't 100% clear - my English skills decrease with increased sleep and lack of sleep and deadline is tomorrow :/

Japanese translation help

I am attempting to compose an email to a weekly apartment/hotel asking if it would be possible for me to mail packages to the apartments during my time of stay there. My Japanese is very poor and this is the best I can come up with:

WM へ




Will that get my point across in any way, shape or fashion. And, if not, can anyone tell me how I can fix it? (There are going to be several packages. I'm moving back to the States, but if I can just get things to Tokyo I have people who can carry them back for me from there) Or even tell me how to fix it even if it does get my point across. My Japanese is bad, and that may be the best I can do, but I recognize that the message up there is very, very messed up even if it IS understandable.

But, anyway. I'm trying to simply inquire if I can get packages sent to me at the weekly hotel during my time staying there. The part about my friends is simply because I cannot think of a better way to word it. Indeed, I'll probably actually be sending the packages to myself the day I leave my current home city for Tokyo.

Thank you in advance for any help.

Help me descipher a phone message

I got this message a couple of days ago. I have no idea who left it, or what language she is speaking. I think it might be Polish. Can anyone tell me what she is saying, or at least what language it is? It's likely that it's some innocent mistake, but not knowing what it says is creeping me out a bit.
「stock」★ your aura captivates me。

Translations for Avatar: The Last Airbender fan tribute

Hi linguaphiles!

In the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, the character Iroh has a song entitled "Leaves from the Vine" that's a tribute to the late Mako, who voiced him. My friend dungeonwriter is starting a translation project of the song as a fan tribute to both Mako and Mike & Bryan (the creators of the show) in appreciation of their work. She'd love any and all help translating the fairly short lyrics (just 27 words in the English version) into as many languages as possible; if any of you are artists or musicians, we'd also love your help setting the translated lyrics to music.

If you're interested in helping out, there are more details here, and an example of a translation of the song into Mandarin.

Thanks so much!

PS: I don't know why, but the tags page isn't letting me remove the "brazilian portuguese" tag. So, while that'd be a lovely language to add to the translation list, this post isn't directly related to it, and if a mod could assist in removing the tag, that'd be great. Thanks :)