Some time ago, on one of the national basic cable movie channels (USA, I think) which would run multiple showings of a given film for a month or so, I repeatedly flipped into a period film that amused me each time I watched a snippet. Unfortunately, I never watched enough of the film to get a good idea of the plot, and therefore can't effectively describe the story, sooo... [more inside]
On the weekend I discovered a great series of German magazines/publications: Karfunkel, especially the Karfunkel Combat series. I know my son would love this stuff, but his German is super basic. So is there an English magazine series anything like these? [more inside]
What are some examples of really easy/obvious etymological descents that most people aren't really aware of? I'm trying to prove to somebody that there are a lot of these in the english language but I've forgotten most of the interesting ones I used to know. [more inside]
What percentage of English words have three syllables?
Can you please help explain to me some techniques and procedures for teaching English to students with whom you don't share a common language? Its private tutoring and the students in this instance are two 10 year olds and they need to be speaking as much as they can in the next couple of months... and I will have them twice a week for an hour. I have an Ipad, a white board, and a copy machine....
1)I should be going. 2) I shoud get going. 3)I should go. Please tell me the difference of the nuance between the three. Thank you.
Right, calling all ESL teachers! Help this former teacher become a teacher again! I need your best 20 minute beginners English sample lesson plan and some resources I can use to brush up on my rusty grammar! [more inside]
I'm doing research on bowling and bowling pros, and I've had a hard time finding info on bowlers from Japan/JPBA (Japan Professional Bowling Association). Does anyone know any English sources that cover (or covered) the JPBA or any of their top bowlers? [more inside]
I want to get a firmer grasp of the English-speaking countries history. [more inside]
I couldn't answer this when my Polish friend asked me why the letter changed sound, does anyone else know?
Are there any websites that show reliable listings of middle/junior/senior high teaching positions throughout the U.S.? Public or private. Specifically in my case, positions in Secondary English/Language Arts.
We are trying to think of names for our impending baby girl. I am American and my husband is Japanese. We plan to give her an English first name, Japanese middle and last name. We have settled on a middle name, Miyuki (美幸). So her name thus far is _______ Miyuki xxxxshi. Criteria for English name:  must be easily writable in katakana (For example, Wi- isn't great, or Gl-, or x. All of these sounds can be written, but they come out complicated.)  must not sound silly in Japanese (this is subjective and related to .)  must not end in a long e sound, since middle and last names already do.  Prefer a classical name (i.e. something my Grandma would recognize as a name) but no need for it to be especially popular right now. We'll probably avoid the top five or ten most popular names. We are NOT looking for names that do double duty (which is what most of the threads I've found are about). So, not Naomi (always the first name that gets trotted out in these situations). We want a name from each culture that the grandparents on the opposite side can pronounce and that the kid can write when she gets to kindergarten. I'd especially appreciate input from fluent Japanese speakers here, and/or members of mixed families. Thanks!
Is there such thing as an English-language, available in the US, version of "livres de poche" (pocket-sized books)? [more inside]
Is there a term for a seer/diviner/oracle that is only able to see into the past? I'm willing to grab one from a non-English language if there is a word that means specifically "a seer who can only see the past", but English is prefered. Antiquated terms are OK. Bonus points for interesting etymological details (or links to interesting etymological details). [more inside]
I'm fascinated by the efforts of Deutsche Bahn to get rid of the "Bahnglisch" that litters the service with expressions that look English but aren't the sort of expressions that any native speaker of English would actually use, and it occurred to me that this sort of thing is common in German outside of DB, and probably all over the world. [more inside]
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!
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]
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]
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?
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.
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]
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]
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!
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!
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]
I'll be in Montreal and Longueuil, Quebec, Canada for two weeks. What budget-friendly things should I do there? [more inside]
Can you translate this Italian phrase into English? "Nun so' fesso ma faccio o' fesso perche' facendo o' fesso te faccio fesso." [more inside]
How to advertise a small French property in the classifieds ? [more inside]
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]
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]
For the last 12 years, I've worked as an adjunct English professor. It's time for a change. [more inside]
Where is this mystical land where it is acceptable to answer statements with: "So?" [more inside]
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?
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!
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]
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]
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]
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?
Help me find a dialect map for the pronunciation of the word "data". [more inside]
When did people stop using the term "model minority"? [more inside]
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]
Which is correct? a) "Led Zeppelin is a band" b) "Led Zeppelin are a band" [more inside]
I'm considering taking online courses/doing a part time degree in English for interest reasons. Will this be worth it? [more inside]
What is it like working in Asia? [more inside]
How long did it take for the United States to lose all traces of a British accent among its citizens? [more inside]
Does anyone have any resources to find historical forms of Ebonics? [more inside]
We are considering naming our soon-to-be-born son Gael. I have a few questions about that. [more inside]
I'm looking for specific book recommendations for high school exchange students. [more inside]
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]
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!