July 19th, 2010

AWESOME thiourea

French: algues bleu-vert, mais algues bleues ?

Why is it that the French term for blue-green algae is algues bleu-vert and not algues bleue-verte or algues bleues-vertes, since algue is feminine? Also, is this term used much in Europe or is it mostly a Québécois term? I ask because most of the references I've found appear to be from Québec, such as this from the OQLF, which uses both algues bleues and algues bleu-vert. Is there another, common term used elsewhere? I suspect that cyanobactérie is no more common in French than cyanobacteria is in English.

My French is extremely rusty, so go easy on me! Thanks in advance.
jean-charles you fool!

(no subject)

Quick question: how would you pronounce the word/name "Lebanon"?

Background: I was reading this blog entry about a road trip through America and the writer mentions coming to Lebanon, Illinois, and remarks that locals apparently pronounce it "Leba-nun." I'm from near Pittsburgh and every kid knows the Century III Chevrolet commercial song that mentions "Lebanon-Church Road, Pittsburgh (minutes from the mall!)" and in my adult life I've driven on Lebanon-Church road more times than I could count, and I would also roughly pronounce it "Leba-nun", though perhaps more accurately "Leba-nin" if said quickly. And I couldn't for the life of me think of another way to pronounce this word. Why is "Leba-nun" a remarkable pronunciation? Maybe I'm missing something, haha.

Thanks!

Fonts for Phoenician and Cyprotic, and Phoenician numbers

So, as a fun side-hobby right now, I've been working on a conlang, and the written system I decided to have some fun with and use a lot of characters or variants of characters from Phoenician and Cyprotic and the like... the only problem is that my computer (rather unsurprisingly) does not appear to have prexisting font of any kind that includes them. (Right now I'm on an old Windows XP computer, though my laptop at home is running Vista)

While I could settle for borrowing random characters from multiple languages (like  Hebrew and Arabic and Algerian and Greek and such, all of which are supported on my home computer) and reassigning them to random phonemes and the like... I'd honestly rather have the flavor of something more old-school, but not quite so old-school that it's pictographic. That, and I just love the look of Cyprotic and Phoenician and would kind of like to learn the writing systems in the process anyway. 

So obviously, unless I give up or decide to draw it in Paint or something, I need to find a font that includes those, or create one. The problem with each of those being, I don't have money to splurge on a non-freeware font (the only, utterly awesome-looking font collection I could find that had ancient languages like that - it even has Oscan and Coptic!-  charges to get the full version)... and I've never created a font before. I have no clue how to go about starting it.

Anybody who could give me some tips or a direction to point myself to on either of these would be awesome :)


Also, on a somewhat related note, I am having trouble finding images of the Phoenician numerical system. Even Wikipedia annoyingly does not have the images for the number system, and while it describes some of them (1-4, 10, 20), it fails to describe what the number character would be for the number 5 at all. Anybody at least have an image of it somewhere?

ETA: Gah, sorry, forgot I was typing in Rich Text format and not HTML !

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skull

Latin question

Hello linguaphiles,

A friend of a friend wants to get some good Latin on a family crest. The message he wants is 'free the wolves'. This is an exhortation and the audience is a second person plural. I went through my dusty Classical Latin notes and decided on the imperative. So, this is what I came up with, a second person plural present imperative, with the object in the accusative plural:

Liberte lupos
Liberate lupos

Is this good Latin for what this person wants said? Feel free to suggest alternatives.
tsuki no usagi

stress in Japanese names

People often ask me how they should stress Japanese names (proper names, in particular). When I start explaining that Japanese language knows not such thing as word stress, they are not satisfied and go on asking: "But there must be a way to adapt names to other languages that do have word stress. How should one pronounce Takeshi or Naruto in terms of stress?"
I don't know how to explain it. It seems, that with Takeshi and Naruto, for instance (both in English and Ukrainian) second syllable is stressed. However, with "samurai" it is the last syllable in Ukrainian and the first one in English (with a secondary stress at the last one according to Collins dictionary). And if we take "Hiroshima" and "Nagasaki", it gets even more complex.

So the question is: is there any kind pattern for that?