November 16th, 2010



Hey all! I've got two questions that want for answering, if you'd be so kind.

First I have a question about surnames. Do correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand it, the prefixes Mc-, Mac-, and Fitz- indicate "son of," and o'- indicates "grandson of" in Ireland, Scotland, and England. Does this type of thing have a name? Is/was this used in other countries and languages (I know Iceland does this with daughters as well as sons)? Can you provide me with examples, or point me to some wonderful website that addresses this?

Second, do you have any suggestions for how one might go about coming up with plausible-sounding names for both people and places when writing fantasy stories? I understand that the general concept would involve examining real cultures and taking a look at the names and place names they use, but I'd like to go into a fair bit of detail in coming up with these... and by that I mean putting in more effort than just glancing at a map of, say, Iceland and then attempting to spit out "Icelandic sounding" place names. Are there, for instance, patterns you know of that I might look out for? Perhaps resources that could advise me in this matter better?

Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to offer!
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    sleepy sleepy

Online Mandarin courses for credit

Hey all,

Does anyone know of any online Mandarin courses for credit?  There's a major scheduling issue in the Chinese dept at my school that's looking like it might result in me not being able to take any Mandarin courses next semester, which is a problem considering it's a part of my major.  I can't take any summer courses either through my school or another close to my home, so I was going to try to look into online courses for credit.  Does anyone know of any universities that offer online Mandarin courses for credit?  I'm looking for an intermediate-level course.  Xiexie!

A couple of Japanese questions


I need a plane ticket/receipt translated into English for an expenses claim, and they're really picky, so the fact that I can translate the parts of the receipt that actually say how much and what it's for isn't enough; can someone give me a hand with the following sentences (I can figure out most of the words, but not well enough to put it into a decent English phrasing that doesn't look vaguely Babelfished):

1. クレジット支払い   ¥13,100含む:三井住友カアド
2. 但し、旅客運賃料金として、上記の金額正に領収書致しました。


Is 僕 particularly 子供ぽい? I've been told before that girls shouldn't use it because it's 男ぽい, but today was the first time someone told me it's because it's 子供ぽい. I know it's used a lot by boys, but do adult men not use it too?