August 16th, 2010

Rafal Oblinski

Help me eat, please

Dear linguaphiles,

I'm going to Vietnam and Cambodia this winter (wheee!). The problem is that coriander leaves, often used in Asian food, taste like soap to me. It takes very few leaves to make an entire dish taste absolutely vile, and I'd really like to eat now and then while I'm there...

As far as I've been able to figure out, I need to stay away from rau răm in Vietnam and chi krasang tomhom in Cambodia. Is that somewhat right?

Could you please help me with what I need to say to waiters to order my food without coriander leaves, when wild-eyed screeching of "NO CORIANDER" in English combined with exaggerated arm movements won't help (which I'm assuming it never will)?

Thanks in advance!

PS: I do eat Vietnamese food now and then where I live, and sometimes deal with surprise coriander on those occasions when there's been a communication breakdown between the waiter and me. I can get it down, it just tastes really really REALLY awful.
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Hello Linguaphiles..I need a bit of help. For an assignment, my classmates and I are interested in finding out the differences, if any, of language use of students from different fields of study on our campus. Say, for example, engineering students versus law students - do their vocabularies and language styles differ, and if so, to what extent? We're still doing the literature review at this stage, but the problem is, we've found absolutely no literature to review. We've searched high and low and haven't found any references that are even vaguely relevant. I was hoping some of you guys here would know of something that we can use.

We're at an international university in Malaysia that uses English as the main medium of instruction. English is a second or third language for almost all the students, and about 60 to 70 percent of students are local. We'll be looking at the students' written English.

This assignment is for a research methodology class, and so we need to have a lit review as it will contribute to our grade. Plus, we're not entirely sure on how to proceed with this, and were hoping to get a bit of guidance from previous studies. I'd appreciate any help at all with this, thank you.