My wife has a birthday coming up and I'd like to surprise her with a German book or two that she would be able to read... Eventually. [more inside]
posted by emelenjr
on Sep 19, 2014 -
Is there a word that means "discriminating on the basis of religion"? The closest thing I can think of is "creedist", which isn't an actual word. Is there a word that means what "creedist" would mean if it were a word that existed? Thanks!
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper
on Sep 18, 2014 -
I'm looking for a (Tolstoy?) quote about how couples develop a private language based on shared references and experiences, and how it's tragic when a couple breaks up because this language is lost. [more inside]
posted by Paul the Octopus
on Sep 16, 2014 -
TLDR: I'm in a serious relationship with a girl whose whole family is native Shanghainese speakers. They are ok Mandarin speakers. If I'm gonna be with her long-term (seems likely), I want to have a relationship with her family and feel like I need to learn either Mandarin (or Shanghainese -- open to that). So I need strategies to get as fluent as possible as efficiently as possible. I can spend whatever I need to on this. Can't go live in China for a while, though can at some point in the distant future maybe. I live in NYC. More after the jump. [more inside]
posted by wooh
on Sep 15, 2014 -
Anti-feminists seem to often use the word "female" in the noun form, in places where people would ordinarily just use "women." (I don't want to spend a lot of time hunting up evidence of this, but here are some examples
. There's also this
.) I'm curious to know how/why this became a thing -- for example, I've wondered if it has something to do with military or police usage, because those are the only places I've previously noticed women being referred to as females. Does anybody know?
posted by Susan PG
on Sep 12, 2014 -
There are countless films and TV shows (often but not always period pieces) that are set in France/Germany/Russia/Japan/etc but which feature an Anglophone cast, speaking English (with the occasional "bonjour" or whatever), playing French/German/Russian/Japanese/etc characters. What are some examples of the reverse? That is, non-English productions set in the US or UK, with e.g. French actors playing Richard Nixon or Queen Elizabeth?
posted by theodolite
on Sep 9, 2014 -
I'm in a situation at work where I am picking up signals from a colleague that he is interested in me. I have come to return his interest. But I am single and as far as I can tell, he is not. So I wonder how to interpret his behavior: is he doing it unwittingly? Unintentionally? If intentionally, why? [more inside]
posted by macinchik
on Sep 7, 2014 -
I have heard that German is somewhat of a lingua franca
throughout Eastern Europe. Would it be a more useful backup language than English when visiting Prague and Budapest? I will also be learning basic phrases in Hungarian and Czech. More details inside! [more inside]
posted by rednikki
on Sep 6, 2014 -
I'm looking for a film that I saw in the 80s or 90s in which two of the characters argued throughout about the proper definitions of "disinterested" and "uninterested." Both characters were male and were, I believe, the main characters. I'm fairly certain that the film was British.
posted by danslos
on Sep 1, 2014 -
What's it called when someone accuses someone of pointing out an injustice as perpetrating that injustice by describing it? Is there a name for this rhetorical device? An example would be in Jon Stewart's recent segment about Ferguson where a news anchor was quoted as saying "You know who talks about race?! RACISTS." [more inside]
posted by wrabbit
on Aug 30, 2014 -
I'm reaching for a phrase for a short science fiction piece I'm working on. I'd like to know what a Classical-Latin-speaking character would say if they wanted to articulate a particular concept analogous to "I think therefore I am
", but expressing instead a monstrous moral conclusion they've reached along the lines of I think therefore none may be / shall be. [more inside]
posted by churl
on Aug 27, 2014 -
I love jargon, especially among sub-genres of things. This week a web developer friend uttered a sentence about frameworks and databases that made sense but sounded so ridiculous I had to stop and ask him to repeat it. I'd like to hear more of these. Please give me the most jargon-filled sentence that you might have uttered at work in the past few weeks and made complete sense to coworkers, but sounds utterly ridiculous to outsiders, and state what your occupation/context was for it.
posted by mathowie
on Aug 14, 2014 -
Japanese demonstratives follow the こそあど pattern, such as with これ/それ/あれ/どれ and この/その/あの/どの, so why does the pattern change with ここ/そこ/あそこ/どこ? Logically, shouldn't あそこ be あこ? Why isn't this the case? [more inside]
posted by reductiondesign
on Aug 13, 2014 -
I've been digging for about a week and I can't find audio examples of a japanese-speaker singing Disney songs phonetically in English. I know it's a thing, because I think I remember being shown this sort of thing vis-a-vis The Circle of Life a few years back by someone who was bilingual, and I got the impression from the number of videos then that this was a common practice among Japanese (and maybe other Asian countries?) kids to do. Can someone find me a link? Or give me better search terms? [more inside]
posted by ABlanca
on Aug 12, 2014 -
Mr. sixswitch and I both have a common experience of precocious kids: trying out words that we've learned from reading in conversation, with tragic results. I pronounced disheveled as dis-heveled (because obviously you could also be heveled), he said 'doicksiem' instead of 'deuxième', and so on right up til yesterday (chassiss for chassis). Is there a linguistics term or nickname for this type of thing? [more inside]
posted by sixswitch
on Aug 12, 2014 -
I'm studying Japanese. I want to tag and track individual words and grammatical structures that I'm learning. What software will help me do this? [more inside]
posted by kristi
on Jul 24, 2014 -
Help settle this bet/communication issue.
Pretend it's this past Monday, July 14th. You and several friends get an email about another friend's upcoming birthday party. The note says the party is next Saturday. Do you think the party is Saturday the 19th or Saturday the 26th?
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Jul 15, 2014 -
I'm a young woman without much luck in romantic relationships. I think I may have a problem with my behavior and body language because I'm introverted and I'd like to understand it and maybe gain some control over it. [more inside]
posted by poilkj
on Jul 11, 2014 -
Looking for a "webcomic" I saw somewhere on MetaFilter, no luck turning it back up. Details within. [more inside]
posted by xenization
on Jul 6, 2014 -
Actually, that should read "Hey, readers of Chinese script, etc". Recently, some of my neighbors took exception to the opening of a homeless shelter in my neighborhood. They held a protest. Some of the signs were in Chinese. What do these signs
say in English, if you've got a moment?
Many thanks in advance.
posted by jason's_planet
on Jul 1, 2014 -
As a kid, I saw part of a cartoon aimed at bilingual (Korean + English) children. The plot involved a bunch of children on some sort of fantastic quest or journey. The scene I remember most clearly is one where they're being riddled/quizzed by something (I remember it as a floating light, but it might've been some kind of creature or robot or something). It asks for the name of the backmost teeth, and the youngest of the children answers "몰라" ("I don't know"; pronounced molah
, which the riddler interprets as "molar") [more inside]
posted by kagredon
on Jun 30, 2014 -
Looking for words or short phrases that represent the idea that it was "Nice Meeting You" or "we will see each other again" or maybe "let's hang out again sometime soon." The best I've got so far is "Ciao," which may be perfect - it means hello and goodbye, and it's kind of informal. [more inside]
posted by jander03
on Jun 20, 2014 -
I'm teaching a three-hour daily intensive college Latin class. Help me come up with ideas to relieve the mind-numbing boredom of endless drills and "The queen sent the letter to the citizens"-type sentences. [more inside]
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark
on Jun 20, 2014 -
I would write "1950s" or "1980s", and this is universal among native English speakers, so far as I am aware. In international contexts, however, I sometimes observe that people whose English spelling is otherwise flawless will consistently write "1950ies" or "1980ies", which reads to me like it has an extra syllable. Where does this convention come from, and what linguistic background makes it sound like a reasonable way to contract these numbers? [more inside]
posted by Mars Saxman
on Jun 19, 2014 -
Can anyone recommend a beginner level English language tutorial series for Spanish speakers who cannot read or write in either language?
posted by jayCampbell
on Jun 12, 2014 -
How can I deal with this nagging sense of guilt that I should know more Chinese than I presently do? Or, how can I improve my Chinese as a busy twenty-something year-old? [more inside]
posted by gemutlichkeit
on Jun 10, 2014 -
Linguistics: Can the beginning of a sentence or phrase be a conditioning environment for sound variation? [more inside]
posted by Thing
on May 30, 2014 -
How would one write "The Fast Ones" in Ottoman-era Turkish? I'm making a mildly humorous sign for a Turkish friend, and for various reasons I'm pretending it's Ottoman-era (1650). [more inside]
posted by aramaic
on May 29, 2014 -
A friend of mine wants to get another tattoo, and the phrase he's picked to get inked is this: "I am the angel of death, not mercy." He would like for the ink to be in Latin, so obviously he wants to make sure the translation is spot-on.
Any Latin scholars able to help with this? Thank you so much!
posted by shiu mai baby
on May 14, 2014 -
Short of being in Australia*, I'm writing a story that takes part in Sydney, Australia. Are there any online resources, etc. that could give me an idea who to write dialog that an Australian citizen would speak (certain phrases, slang, etc).
*(Warning to Australia, I'll be visiting next year)
posted by acquiredtarget
on May 6, 2014 -
Where you live, or where you grew up, do people commonly refer to their parents as "my folks"? Would that phrasing sound odd to you, or stand out in any way, if, say, a coworker used it? [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie
on Apr 21, 2014 -
I'm a fast reader in English. I want to get faster at reading in Russian (in which I am fluent, but rarely use at this point). How can I do this?
posted by aaanastasia
on Apr 8, 2014 -
I need to return to my French language oral fluency by mid-October. What are your best tips and tricks to resuscitate your language skills? Websites? Podcasts? Structured systems? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Apr 7, 2014 -
My company currently has a computer that has a Japanese version of Windows 7 Professional installed on it. We want to install an English language version of Windows 8.1 on the computer. Will the language for the Microsoft Office software (currently also Japanese) already installed on the computer also change to English when we change to the new English language version of Windows 8.1? [more inside]
posted by tokaidanshi
on Apr 7, 2014 -
Does anyone remember a recent article by (I think) a linguist whose main point was defending the colloquial use of "like", as a way to explicate internal monologue in a way that wasn't really done before? For obvious reasons this is very hard to google for. I don't remember if I saw it here on Metafilter or some other source.
posted by bleep
on Apr 4, 2014 -
Search results indicate this term being used synonymously with "mad scramble", but also as something to do with sports tournaments. Apart from being evocative, does it mean anything specific?
posted by unmake
on Apr 2, 2014 -
Asking for a friend. Said friend is:
A) Tired of writing "synonyms and antonyms" over and over
B) Trying to shorten the paper she's writing that contains this phrase. [more inside]
posted by Mister Moofoo
on Mar 31, 2014 -
I'm an atheist with a God problem. My exclamations of surprise, disgust and frustration usually take the form of "Oh my God" or "Jesus Christ!" or "Holy shit". I want to find some new - preferably safe for work and young ears - versions of my favorite exclamations that have the same import and emphasis that I so enjoy from the current ones. [more inside]
posted by tafetta, darling!
on Mar 25, 2014 -
There's no shortage of articles online that take the basic form "here are awesome non-English words and phrases that are hilarious and/or that English doesn't have a direct translation for". Examples: A German slang term for low-back tattoos is "Aarsgewei", which translates to "ass antlers". Also in German, the term for eating because you are sad is "Kummerspeck", which is literally "grief bacon". The Finnish word for pedant, pilkunnussija, translates as "comma fucker". I'm curious about the flip-side, like a non-English-speaker being amused that low back tribal tattoos are called "tramp stamps" in the US. What English words or slang terms are amusing to speakers of foreign languages in the same way that I find some of their terms amusing and/or awesome?
posted by rmd1023
on Mar 25, 2014 -
Hi, folks. Through work and study, I achieved fluency in Spanish. In my current job, I was hired to do bilingual work, but I have had very little opportunity to speak Spanish for about six months. I'm worried I may be forgetting Spanish, which is really very bad for me on many levels. Please help me find a few ways to keep in touch with the language. [more inside]
posted by Hennimore
on Mar 24, 2014 -
What do you think of the name "Rub" for a health spa? Is it cute or dirty and why?
posted by lolo341
on Mar 21, 2014 -
Can the hive mind take a look at the picture of this necklace and see if the back of it is calligraphy of some sort? It looks like Arabic or Persian. If so, does anyone know what it says?
Here's the picture.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies
on Mar 10, 2014 -
I’ve noticed that I’m increasingly reading “I’ve not” in place of “I haven’t” and “I’ll not” in place of “I won’t.” When I was growing up (the 70s), these expressions were exceedingly rare. I knew they existed, of course, but to me they seemed redolent of century-old books: “I’ll not brook such behavior in my classroom, Tom Sawyer!” “Fezziwig! I’ve not heard his voice since my youth.” But in the last 15 years or so, I've been seeing these phrasings more and more often in colloquial writing — other blogs, Amazon reviews, internet discussions, MeFi etc. I don’t seem to hear these forms spoken, which adds to their air of formality. [more inside]
posted by ROTFL
on Mar 8, 2014 -