I live in an apartment with a bedroom window that overlooks the parking lot. People come home late at night and lock their car doors remotely, with that annoying chirp of the horn. Some people give it half a dozen honks, every single time. What I'd like to do is post a friendly note by the mailboxes, in as many different languages as possible, just asking that people kindly refrain from the horn honking in the parking lot. [more inside]
I've always wanted to become intimately acquainted with the Greek tragedies, but there's a huge part of me that says, "If you're not going to learn Greek, what's the point?" So, are there translations that truly do justice to the source material? Perhaps more to the point, are there longstanding translations which have themselves become more or less a part of the Western canon? If so, can someone recommend any particular editions? I'm particularly interested in Antigone, The Bacchae, and The Oresteia. And finally, does anyone have experience learning Classical Greek later in life for the purpose of reading the plays and epics? Was it worthwhile?
What script is this painted text written in? This feels like an embarrassing sentence to write, but I suspect it's either a Brahmic script or something from Tolkien. (Bonus question: What does it say?)
Isn't there a particular word for the deterrent method of putting thieves' heads on pikes outside a village perimeter to discourage further attacks on the villagers? [more inside]
I was telling my 8-year-old about a trustworthy, kind, reliable woman I know, and I finished up by saying "She's good people." My daughter and I both now want to know the origins of the "[One person is] good people" phrasing. [more inside]
Recently in another question, someone linked to a fascinating article about New York Jewish Conversational Style. The article detailed quirks of this conversational style and discussed the implications of it on others who don't share the same style. Do you know of other articles that detail the conversational style of certain groups? Perhaps about people of certain genders, ages, areas of the country, socioeconomic statuses?
Every time I start my Acer laptop (Windows 10), its default language (on every program as far as I can tell) is French. But this is not what it says in my Region + Language settings, where it says English (Canada), with English (United States) as Windows display language. [more inside]
I would like to learn to do a passable amateur version of some basic British regional accents-- a Cockney or two, Somerset, Yorkshire, Scottish, RP. Where should I start? [more inside]
If you're an average Joe you probably know Samson's riddle (Judges 14:14) as: "Out of the eater, something to eat. Out of the strong, something sweet." or something like that. Most English translations rhyme the [eat/meat] with [sweet]. But what about the original? [more inside]
What does "sure" mean in response to a question? Yes, No, or "uh, kinda maybe"? [more inside]
I teach teenagers ESL. I've been building a small library including graphic novels and books (The Stonekeeper, American born Chinese, Anya's ghost, Frankenstein makes a sandwich, In real life, The cartoon guides, Adrian Mole, Klutz book of inventions etc. - even drawing manuals) but also DVDS (Simpsons, Futurama, Father ted, Flight of the Conchords, Amandla, Secret of Kells...) and Cds (Elizabeth mitchell, They might be giants, Jack Johnson, The rutles...). [more inside]
How can I become fluent in french as quickly as possible? I have studied French on and off for several years but still feel that I am no closer to fluency, and I hope to visit France and possibly even work there for an extended period within the next few years. [more inside]
I see on AskMe all the time, whenever someone refers to an adult of the female gender as a "girl," several people will immediately pop up to sternly correct them. I've come to accept this as part of the site culture here, and keep it in mind for my own questions and comments, but it quite honestly seems bizarre based on my own life experience. I'm curious how common this view actually is, and whether people actually stick to it in real life. [more inside]
Can you link me any searchable online encyclopaedias with original articles written in Korean? As many as possible, preferably! [more inside]
I'm trying to improve my ability to write convincing dialog for non-native English speakers. One of the best ways I've found is to listen to a few hours of an ESL speaker to get a feel for their slight differences in usage and grammar. Podcasts are perfect for this, but I've been having problems finding shows. [more inside]
Is this a pickup line or prostitution code? [more inside]
My French is good, but I am not a native speaker. I am looking for books, podcast, blogs, YouTube channels etc. which I can use to maintain it during my maternity leave. [more inside]
Please recommend tv shows, Youtube videos, cartoons, songs and simple books that are spoken/written in the German language that a five-year-old would enjoy. Difficulty: Five-year-old in question only speaks English. [more inside]
I'm looking for examples of colloquial weather terms like the "dog days" of summer, Indian summer, or blackberry winter. These are just examples, the terms don't have to be about weather like those. I'm just interested in learning more local/regional expressions like these, especially non-English ones if people know them. Thanks!
After the Japanese occupation of Korea in the 40s, my great grandfather was the culture editor of an English language newspaper that published in Korea. That's cool and all but many Koreans in those days were illiterate in Korean never mind English. So who would buy and read this newspaper and what's the point? [more inside]
I want to go China towards the end of the year. How far can I get without knowing any Chinese languages? [more inside]
I'm designing a programming language (yeah, like the world needs another pl). Though the design is in flux, I'd like to "reserve" the name of the language. I don't anticipate making any money from this exercise, so I'm not sure filing for a trademark is the right way to go, nor do I want to spend any money on this. Would creating a github repo do the job? Posting to a tech site? [more inside]
English also has "pins and needles" to describe the sensation. What is it called in other languages? The only things I was able to find on the web is that it is called "ant running" in Hindi and that in Italian it is called "feeling ants." I find this super interesting!
What is a great website for teaching how-to-write kanji, with animations? [more inside]
I am in my 40's and college educated. I've always been told that my language skills are impeccable, but I feel like there's room for improvement. For example, I recently read an article that contained the words "milieu" and "métier," and had to look them up. [more inside]
I'm looking for a more appropriate word than "non male" that is more inclusive than "female." [more inside]
We have been watching a lot of "Antiques Roadshow" in this household — usually one or two episodes a night for a few months solid. I am curious about people's reactions and the language they choose to express their surprise. [more inside]
We're working with a Syrian refugee family in our community (Canada has a lot these days!). I've been tasked with sourcing and setting up a computer for them to use for basic web browsing and Facebook. I've tried twice, run into trouble each time, and would love suggestions from anyone who's familiar with setting up computers in Arabic. Windows? Ubuntu? Details inside. [more inside]
I am learning French. So I am looking for a long-running episodic French TV show that is: popular enough to be "available" online, about 30 mins per episode, somewhat entertaining, relatively current / recent, and with lots of dialogue. The aim is to watch just one short episode every evening, in order to improve my listening comprehension. [more inside]
Do you know a Polynesian language? How would you pronounce (in how many syllables, and stressed how) the names Rumuari'i and Ruata'ata? [more inside]
I came across a word once that I didn't know. Well, that has happened more than once. But this time I actually looked it up because it sounded so pretty, and the definition was something like, "a luminous trembling quality, as moonlight on water." How incredible that such a word should exist! I was enchanted by it, both because it was a lovely sounding word and because the definition was so ephemeral. [more inside]
Can you offer some names for this line of discursive reasoning that goes "only the strongest is strong at all" or "only the most pretty people are pretty." So far I can think of two: No True Scottsman and the various ways of saying "might makes right" but I have a tip of the tongue feeling there are a lot of these.
I recently got a great offer from my company for a paid sabbatical of one month. Their conditions are to use it on a personal project of some sort and give a presentation afterwards. I. E. "Don't stay at home and watch TV." [more inside]
Do you have any recommendations for Russian language comics for an adult English speaker learning Russian? [more inside]
I'm currently enjoying the audiobook of "Lost in Translation" by Nicole Mones. The narrator often uses a phrase in Mandarin, and then says the English translation afterwards. She also uses lots of accents. It has a very nice ear-feel, if that's a word. What are some other audiobooks you enjoyed that feature these techniques? Thanks! (Don't say Shantaram, it is already my favorite audiobook ever).
I'm looking for a good Swedish expression for "Get some cider in you!" or "Drink up your cider!" Something that sounds a little on the rural / folksy side would be best.
Is there a word for when you hear someone say something in the background or when you're not paying attention and you don't process it immediately, but recognize the word a few seconds later from the pattern of pronunciation? I suppose sort of like hearing someone say your name without actually hearing them say your name. [more inside]
It's my 50th year and I still don't know another language. I am determined to learn Spanish and I've started with Duolingo, but it doesn't seem to "stick. I've repeated the basic lessons a few times, but keep getting some words wrong. I've just done these questions, what is wrong with me?! Are they any good tips or methods on how to remember what I've just done ?
I've run into a lot of clever acronyms for organizations lately, and have wondered which came first, the chicken or the egg. If you ever were tasked to name an organization and/or come up with its acronym, did the name of the organization just happen to lend itself to compacting neatly into a self-descriptive acronym, or did the acronym dictate or alter the name of the organization? What was the path you followed to arrive there?
What are your suggestions/resources for learning Latin independently, outside of school? I am a beginner, with access to a well-resourced library and the Internet. I'll keep this question brief and general, since I am open to any and all suggestions. Thanks!
Thanks to the glory of Duolingo and printable alphabet worksheets, I've started to dabble in Russian language learning. I don't intend to ever visit Russia. Why should I keep learning the language? [more inside]
Yesterday I stood up too quickly, got a bit lightheaded and had to sit down again. My Mexican hosts were concerned and I tried to explain. At this point that I realized that "got up too quickly" is really not that descriptive and in fact borders on idiom. So now I'm curious what the Mexican Spanish idiom would be for that particular event (technically orthostatic hypotension). And while I'm at it I'm kind of curious about other cultures as well. Please help me sate my cultural curiosity.
Where should we take introductory Hindi in NYC or is there an iOs app or other resource we should start with first? [more inside]
If any Francophones are up for a challenge: can you tell this monoglot what is being sung in The Go! Team's song Ye Ye Yamaha? (YouTube link but should also be on all the streaming services.) He wants to sing along but has to resort to garbled nonsense words. It's a fuzzy pop song with a killer catchy chorus, if that entices anyone!
Brief Shakespeare quotation on the idea of desire or love as muse / as source of creative fire? [more inside]
I read (somewhere?) a quote by someone (an author? poet?) that when a relationship (marriage?) ends, a little language shared by the two is lost. I've googled all sorts of combinations of these words and cannot find it. Did I hallucinate this? Thanks!
I am thinking that I might want to learn German as a language of beer and cheese for career advancement. Good choice? Should I take a class or set out on my own? [more inside]
Has anyone used online tutors or services that they had positive experience with? I tried to use Rosetta Stone but didn't find it helpful because I think I may need more personal teachings. I have found some online "tutors" but am skeptical of their services. I know VERY BASIC spanish, and am looking to learn more and be able to converse and understand better... My child's father is Spanish and it is important for me to learn to communicate with his family and with our daughter together. I live in the DC area if anyone knows of local resources. My preference would be online or something I can do in home at first since we have a new baby, there isn't much time to get out during the week with working full time.
I’ve been a lifelong reader and writer. I’m realizing while doing more writing (and in particular editing my own writing) that I need better resources and suggestions for learning English grammar. I've been told by some editors that I make mistakes and I’d love to have a better sense of how to polish what I write and deal with the little bits of grammatical inaccuracies that sprout up in finished pieces. [more inside]
I know there was this process in the last few hundred years of European history where newly forming nations, trying to take hold of themselves, would decree one language official (French, Spanish), and try to squelch all of the many other languages/dialects (Occitan, Catalan) spoken within their borders. Where can I learn more? [more inside]