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Tips for learning english on vacation.

Hi. I'm a Portuguese student and I'm going to spend two weeks of my summer vacations on Leeds, England since I have an aunt there that invited me. I would like to spend my time practicing my English but I don't know what to do or where to go. Where can I meet new people (of my age range preferably: 20's), have a good conversation, listen to other people talk, ...? Your help will be much appreciated!
posted by tsuwal on Jul 3, 2013 - 6 answers

How to make people stop explaining simple English words to me?

I speak English with a foreign accent. Some people assume I don't speak Engish as well as them. And then speak to me like I'm a child. How can I tell them to stop? [more inside]
posted by mkdirusername on Jun 29, 2013 - 37 answers

How did we get from "tax haven" to "tax heaven" to "tax hell"?

Has anyone come across good sources on the history and evolution of the term "tax haven"? I am looking for sources detailing at least its first appearance in written or spoken English, and if possible the date in which it was (wrongly) translated into French as "tax heaven" (paradis fiscal). [more inside]
posted by ipsative on Jun 23, 2013 - 6 answers

Apostrophe Usage, Part 748...

In athletics, do events named "boys 100m" or "girls javelin" have an apostrophe? That is, should they rightly be "boys' 100m" and "girls' javelin"? It seems that the standard usage for grownup events is "men's" and "women's", but I'm unsure. Opinions?
posted by Jehan on Jun 11, 2013 - 9 answers

Americans do not have a British accent. Why?

I was at lunch today and asked my friends "Why don't American's have British accents in their speach?" They were dumbfounded and began to wonder themselves so I turn to Ask MetaFilter to find the answer.
posted by usermac on Jun 6, 2013 - 34 answers

Did Handel really say this?

After Georg Friedrich Händel became George Frideric Handel in 1727, I have it stuck in my mind that he once said, to a Brit who called him a German, "No, Sir, I am more English than you, because I chose to become English, whereas you were assigned your nationality willy-nilly," or words to that effect. But no amount of googling has found a reliable quote or reference to this. Has anyone else heard this story, or did my mind make it up? Anyone have a reliable source? [more inside]
posted by aqsakal on May 26, 2013 - 7 answers

Is my writing style overly complicated?

I learned English as a second language (native is Finnish). The emphasis in school was on vocabulary and very basic grammar; we did not to my recollection deal with stuff like passive voice etc. So in terms of writing in English, much of my "voice" has developed simply from what sounds right inside my head. However, I've been told that the way I write is overly complicated. Is this so? [more inside]
posted by Unhyper on May 22, 2013 - 48 answers

What single word describes these things that my employer sells?

I need one word, in singular form, that is synonymous with product, service, and experience (experience as in, taking a tour, sitting for a lecture, watching a live band..) The company I am working for provides many products, services and experiences for their customers, and I need a single, general noun that describes all of these. Help!
posted by Glendale on May 21, 2013 - 21 answers

List of simple word roots

I am looking for a text file of a list of words (roughly the 5000-10000 most common English words) and their root word and root word language. My Google Fu only turns up single words or pages that I can type in a word to get to another page to get the etymology. Wikipedia has some stuff, but it is sorted by language root, which is not what I am looking for. I would like to have a long list of words in a text file so that I can manipulate it programatically. Comma separated or whatever, any format would be great. Here is one use case: Yoke - [list of words that have yoke in the etymological history] (Many, many many English words come from the root work for Yoke.) All answers appreciated!
posted by Monkey0nCrack on May 16, 2013 - 6 answers

Is this an accent or am I hearing things?

These two YouTube videos, Video 1 and Video 2, contain men speaking English with a similar accent. Is this an accent? Can anyone identify it? [more inside]
posted by toftflin on May 15, 2013 - 15 answers

What to do in Montreal?

I'll be in Montreal and Longueuil, Quebec, Canada for two weeks. What budget-friendly things should I do there? [more inside]
posted by GlassHeart on May 12, 2013 - 17 answers

Can you help translate this Italian phrase?

Can you translate this Italian phrase into English? "Nun so' fesso ma faccio o' fesso perche' facendo o' fesso te faccio fesso." [more inside]
posted by ataxia on Apr 28, 2013 - 9 answers

House for sale

How to advertise a small French property in the classifieds ? [more inside]
posted by nicolin on Apr 21, 2013 - 2 answers

Finnish to English translation of Moomin theme song

I wonder if someone translates the Finnish theme song for Moomin into English. I cannot find the English translation in the internet. It would be very nice to understand what this interesting and classic Finnish song is about. [more inside]
posted by sanskrtam on Apr 18, 2013 - 3 answers

Why do letters have letter names? (B = "bee", H = "aitch"...)

I first came across this about 20 years ago in a Calvin & Hobbes strip where Hobbes taunts his friend: "Calvin and Susie, sitting in a tree. Kay-Eye-Ess-Ess-Eye-En-Gee!" I never understood why Hobbes was making "words" out of letters; I assumed it was something unique to comics (or tigers). Then today, a poem linked to in this FPP reminded me of that old comic strip and got me thinking: Why is there an entire parallel alphabet to spell out the letters of the alphabet? [more inside]
posted by andromache on Apr 14, 2013 - 29 answers

What should I do when I grow up aside from be taller?

For the last 12 years, I've worked as an adjunct English professor. It's time for a change. [more inside]
posted by miss-lapin on Apr 10, 2013 - 20 answers

So?

Where is this mystical land where it is acceptable to answer statements with: "So?" [more inside]
posted by 256 on Apr 5, 2013 - 40 answers

The visual equivalent of 'Prisencolinensinainciusol'

There are Latin fonts designed to mimic Cyrillic, Asian characters, and many other scripts. What are some examples of foreign-script fonts which mimic Latin characters?
posted by Gordafarin on Mar 30, 2013 - 4 answers

Standard American pronunciation training

Hello, I'm a French student preparing for English interviews and in my last mock session my interviewer talked about my accent that could put me at a disadvantage. I can't afford and don't have the time to see a speech therapist so I'm looking for books with audio tracks that are aimed at mastering the standard American accent. Do you know or know somebody that had had great results with a particular book? Thank you!
posted by lite on Mar 27, 2013 - 19 answers

Thesis argument about cultural contact zones

Hi Mefites! So I'm wondering if anyone can help me in finding something to argue in a 5-6 page paper regarding 'cultural contact zones' in Orwell's essay ' A Passage to India'. Specifically, "the concept of a “contact zone” emphasizes how subjects are constituted in and by their relations to each other, usually involving conditions of coercion, inequality, and conflict. It treats the relations among colonizers and colonized not in terms of separateness but in terms of interaction and interlocking understandings and practices, often within radically asymmetrical relations of power." ( this is part of the prompt). Any suggestions? I'm usually a fairly competent writer but am having trouble here. [more inside]
posted by marsbar77 on Mar 2, 2013 - 15 answers

VERY BRIEF 1940's German/English Translation Help Requested

Hello, Hive. I'm working on a historical graphic novel and a portion of it involves four sentences in German. I've made an effort to hammer something out by testing Google Translate's gibberish against some German language textbooks and grammar sites. I'm sorta confident about them, but would love for any bilingual native German speakers to give them a once over. Particularly, if you have any insights into generational differences in the German language, as this piece is supposed to take place during WWII. Posting them after the jump. [more inside]
posted by ProfLinusPauling on Feb 27, 2013 - 6 answers

Learning a neutral accent and DIY speech therapy

I teach for a living but have a lot of linguistic baggage that I'd like to get rid of. Specifically, I have some weird pronunciation/accent issues and would like to speak "General American" or newscaster English. Is this something I can do on my own? What resources should I use? [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Feb 27, 2013 - 7 answers

"It work." or "It works". Which is correct?

Alright all your grammar masters. My wife is foreign and she announced "It work." when I rubbed her shoulder and fixed her pain. I corrected her by saying "It works." to teach her well. She then proceeded to explain to me the English of "plural" with adding an "s" to the verb. Is this correct?
posted by usermac on Feb 25, 2013 - 17 answers

Dayta or Datta?

Help me find a dialect map for the pronunciation of the word "data". [more inside]
posted by janell on Jan 29, 2013 - 30 answers

A Model AskMetafilter Post

When did people stop using the term "model minority"? [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Jan 27, 2013 - 27 answers

I'm looking for flowcharts depicting the oddities of English

In my lab I was hired in part so as to have a native speaker of English on hand to improve the general knowledge of the language if only by osmosis. So, deciding to take my duties seriously, the other day I drew the Oh Snap Flowchart on the whiteboard of our break-room where it was a big hit, what other amusing flowcharts are there floating around the internet that I could use to explain any of the various oddities of the English language? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 22, 2013 - 5 answers

Grammar nerd question

Which is correct? a) "Led Zeppelin is a band" b) "Led Zeppelin are a band" [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on Jan 9, 2013 - 30 answers

... all the trouble of a B.A. in English literature

I'm considering taking online courses/doing a part time degree in English for interest reasons. Will this be worth it? [more inside]
posted by Paper rabies on Jan 3, 2013 - 10 answers

What is it like working in Asia?

What is it like working in Asia? [more inside]
posted by inaisa on Dec 31, 2012 - 18 answers

A linguistic query

How long did it take for the United States to lose all traces of a British accent among its citizens? [more inside]
posted by newfers on Dec 29, 2012 - 18 answers

Would Chalky White really have sounded like that?

Does anyone have any resources to find historical forms of Ebonics? [more inside]
posted by patricking on Dec 15, 2012 - 11 answers

Baby Gael?

We are considering naming our soon-to-be-born son Gael. I have a few questions about that. [more inside]
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas on Dec 6, 2012 - 104 answers

High School Book Club Recommendations

I'm looking for specific book recommendations for high school exchange students. [more inside]
posted by trueluk on Dec 4, 2012 - 3 answers

As indicated below, the headline is a reference to same.

How do you edit writing written in a different dialect than your own? I'm very soon going to be responsible for editing some English technical/business writing by a team in a highly multilingual south-Asian country. [more inside]
posted by TheNewWazoo on Dec 2, 2012 - 10 answers

pulitzer drafts

Years ago Jack Hart, the esteemed editor and writing coach at The Oregonian, posted the rough drafts of Tom Hallman's Pulitzer winning story The Boy Behind the Mask somewhere online. Perhaps to a writers'/journalists' forum or mailing list. One editor's reaction to seeing the progression of the story through the drafts was to call it the most instructive lesson he'd ever had in newspaper writing. Help me track down those drafts!
posted by AceRock on Nov 26, 2012 - 0 answers

Tell me the stories of San Francisco...and help me tell others!

Help me teach the stories of San Francisco! [more inside]
posted by guster4lovers on Nov 23, 2012 - 27 answers

Exact placement of nicknames?

As a rule, when writing out a woman's full name in a formal manner, should the nickname, if present, be positioned just before the maiden name, or just before the most recent (married) name? Example: Jacqueline Lee "Jackie" Bouvier Kennedy Onassis vs. Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy "Jackie" Onassis. [more inside]
posted by The Confessor on Nov 6, 2012 - 5 answers

Egyptian Arabic Song Translation Needed....Haty Bosah Ya Bet

What does this Egyptian Arabic song mean in English? Listen to the song here. Thanks! : )
posted by thatgirl1985 on Nov 2, 2012 - 4 answers

Eh? Aye? I?

How does a Scotsman (or woman) pronounce the town Ae, Scotland?
posted by furtive on Oct 25, 2012 - 4 answers

Bilingual blogging layout in Urdu and English?

What do I need to know to create a bilingual blog that uses left-to-right and right-to-left languages simultaneously? [more inside]
posted by bardophile on Oct 17, 2012 - 3 answers

Oh the Humanities!

What qualifications do I need to teach humanities, beyond the normal education teachery qualifications? Victoria, Australia, to be specific. I am a Spanish/English methods teacher, but would love some more advice on applying for all those English/Humanities jobs out there. [more inside]
posted by titanium_geek on Oct 4, 2012 - 4 answers

English catchphrases in foreign language films

Are there any famous English catchphrases in foreign language television and cinema? Think of this as the Foreign language equivalent to "Hasta la vista, baby!" [more inside]
posted by Nanukthedog on Sep 26, 2012 - 11 answers

How to find Hermann Hesse in English?

Hermann Hesse apparently published a book called Bäume: Betrachtungen und Gedichte (Trees: Reflections and Poems) and I'm trying to find a version in English, because it sounds awesome. Look. [more inside]
posted by Cobalt on Sep 25, 2012 - 6 answers

Dear Ms. Wilson and Messrs. Smith, Willians, Jones, and Davis,

I need to address a formal letter to five recipients of different rank and gender at once. How? [more inside]
posted by Nameless on Sep 14, 2012 - 22 answers

Does Midsomer Murders portray English country life realistically?

I know that the real English countryside is not as violent as Midsomer County -- no place is -- but how realistic are the other aspects of country life portrayed in the show? (specific questions inside) [more inside]
posted by OrangeDisk on Sep 14, 2012 - 9 answers

Best version of the Child Ballads?

I'd like to get a copy of the Child Ballads, but there is a frustratingly large selection and very few reviews of any of them. Any suggestions on the best version? [more inside]
posted by HSWilson on Sep 14, 2012 - 9 answers

British Word for Nymphet Fetish

Doing research for my new book on age-discrepant relationships and ephebopilia, I just watched the film Twinky (1970), which was partly filmed in Britain and a British (?) word was used that I can't seem to find the correct spelling for. Spelled phonetically the word is - nym-phe-ta-tish. From the context of the film, it appears to be a combination of nymphet and fetish and refers to one who has a fetish for nymphets. Does anyone the correct spelling of the word? Thanks!
posted by lrnarabic on Sep 8, 2012 - 4 answers

What size population is needed to maintain an accent?

What size population do you need to maintain an accent? [more inside]
posted by jjderooy on Sep 3, 2012 - 10 answers

Name/Find that shirt!

This is the nicest men's shirt I've ever seen! what the heck is it? [more inside]
posted by euphoria066 on Aug 11, 2012 - 5 answers

Looking for a new name for the company.

Need help naming a small HR development business [more inside]
posted by brappi on Jul 30, 2012 - 5 answers

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