September 9th, 2010


Finnish noun cases

I have begun taking notes on and practising some Finnish grammar and vocabulary. I've come to noun cases and see that there are 15, sometimes 16, of them! I find it quite daunting. Does anyone know of any strategies for keeping them all straight? Also, any tips for a "non-agglutinative language" speaker concerning affixes, and how to get used to using those?
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Etymology: Grimm´s Dictionary (German)

Hello dear linguaphiles!
I´m working on a paper about etymology in German.
One of my most important resources is the  "Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm".
The problem is that I have massive issues with the sources/Quellenverzeichnis.

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Have any of you worked before with this dictionary?
Do you know how the Quellenverzeichnis works? Any tips for me?

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Latin graffiti in French comic book

I was rereading a bande dessinée today, and noticed some things in the background -- graffiti on walls, carving on tables, and so on. The story is set in the ancient Rome, so they're all in Latin. Now, I can deal with French, but I've sadly never had the chance to learn Latin. Hopefully someone here can help me translate :)

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Sorry for the low quality! Some of them were so close to the binding that they were impossible to scan, hence I had to use my digital camera.
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A question of accent

Can you tell the difference between a "standard" American and Canadian accent?

I'm especially interested in hearing from UK English speakers on this one. The last few times I was in the UK, I was often taken for a Canadian, which I blamed on my Minnesota accent, which seems to be growing thicker all the time. However, that only happened when I was travelling alone - the few times I was with my friend or my sister, both of whom are much louder and have what I would consider distinctly American accents, no one ever asked if we were Canadian, American was always assumed.

I brought this subject up recently with some folks, and they seemed to think that being asked if I was Canadian was because Canadians tended to be upset when assumed to be American, but not the other way around. I'm not so sure about that, though - even going on road trips in Eastern Canada and the US I was either assumed to be from Western Canada (by the gals behind be at a Blue Jays game) or just Canada period (in Boston and Virginia). Recently even someone from my hometown who I met at a friend's house asked me if I was Canadian! I wonder if my accent hasn't started to pick up some more Canadian traits after moving around so often? Does it matter? Sometimes I can't even convince myself I'm not from Canada.

tl;dr version: I'm moving to London next week. Do you think hearing me will have people assume that I'm Canadian, or do people not even care? Also, Canadians: are you really offended when people think you're American?

Spanish speaking pup

Really weird question- feel free to delete if it's too off topic, but I thought I'd give it a shot.

We recently acquired a four-year-old beagle. He's purebred so his original owners, I believe, have had him since he was a puppy. My mother recently spoke to his former "dad" and he mentioned that the dog is so obedient and knows all his commands.... in Spanish. We don't speak a word of Spanish. We're slowly teaching him English commands, but he clearly doesn't know any already, and in case we really, really need to get him to understand something.... do any of you speak Spanish to your dog/s? How would you say common commands (I'm mostly looking for sit, down, stay, and come) in Spanish?

Thanks in advance!

x-posted to allthingsdog 
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Bones: Booth and Brennan

For people who read on the Internet too much and want to feel like they're studying

First of all, sorry if this has been posted before - I looked around and couldn't see anything on it.

If you use Google Chrome, there's a free vocab-building extension called Polyglot that you can download for your browser. It changes random words on any website you visit into foreign language vocab, highlighted in a different color, with a translation that appears when you hold the mouse over the word.

I am having a lot of fun both revising French and trying to learn new Spanish words from it by setting one in every ten words to turn into French or Spanish vocab - it means I can kid myself that I'm learning when really I'm just mucking around on the Internet :) Also you can turn it off easily (there's a button in the top corner of the browser) if you ever want to read a non-translated page.

Of course there are a few issues (it sometimes doesn't work well for words with multiple definitions, like translating 'Like' on facebook as 'como'), and sometimes mixes up nouns and verbs when the words in English are the same. But if you've got a basic knowledge of the language and can pick out and ignore mistakes like that, it's great!
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Word generator thing.

A long time ago I had a bookmark to a site that would create nonsense words based on text you entered. So, for example, if you entered Portuguese text, it would spit out words that looked vaguely like Portuguese based on some simple extrapolation of patterns. It might have been geared towards gamers or fantasy novelists, but I don't remember.

Does anybody know what I'm talking about and have it bookmarked?
Swimming swimming

Looking for "Tula Baba" Zulu lyrics

I've been scouring the internet for a complete set of lyrics for this beautiful South African lullaby but the only thing I keep coming up with is one that has English added to it and the Zulu part is just repeated.

I listened to Miriam Makeba's song and loved that one because it was all in Zulu.  I can't quite pick up the rest of the lyrics though, only a few words unfortunately.  Is there anyone on here who knows the full song in Zulu?  I don't mind an English translation, but I don't want the Helmut Lotti version. :/

What there is so far:
"Tula tu tula baba tulu sana
Tul'umam 'uzobuya ekuseni."

Please and thank you!
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