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State of Being Other

How to reconcile the differences between your origin and daily society? [more inside]
posted by chrono_rabbit on Jun 27, 2014 - 12 answers

African languages among enslaved people in the USA.

When did enslaved Africans in the US stop speaking African languages? [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Mar 2, 2014 - 19 answers

Something that's lasted for a long time will continue to endure?

Is there a word to describe the idea that something that has proven its value for a long time (for example the music of Mozart) is likely to endure into the future? I remember reading something to this effect in Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Antifragile, but my a search of the index and my google fu fail me. TIA
posted by quidividi on Oct 19, 2013 - 18 answers

How is the jargon in Shadowrun translated in other languages?

Kind of curious about this. I know Shadowrun does/did well in Germany, and has/had at least a nominal presence in Japan. One of the (for good or ill) characteristics of the setting is the jargon and street slang. How are these translated into other languages? What are some examples?
posted by curious nu on Jul 26, 2013 - 4 answers

Examples of background clues from vocabulary and/or usage?

When someone says head or latrine for bathroom its likely that they were in the military or around the military. A less common example,when someone says "avoid the near occasion" about something its likely that they are from a Roman Catholic background, I'd even say its use indicates a likelihood that they are or were a priest, seminarian, religious, in a kind of serious catholic family or school etc. Reckon is a common word and its being used once doesn't mean anything but when its use is pretty frequent it might be indicative of someone's having lived in the south east United States. When people say pop instead of soda or coke they likely are from somewhere roughly between Chicago and Denver, Oklahoma and North Dakota. Things like this interest me and I'm sure I know only a infinitesimal fraction of a percent of them. Do you have any like observations to share? [more inside]
posted by logonym on Jun 19, 2013 - 92 answers

Is Australia just the West Island?

Quick question for folks who've lived in both Australia and NZ: what cultural and language differences did you notice?
posted by superfish on May 3, 2013 - 12 answers

There is no Jay Smooth video about this one.

I have never used "Jew" as a verb. I no longer "welsh" on debts, and I haven't used "gyp" since I was educated on the racism behind that term. Do I also need to stop using terms like "Mexican standoff", "Chinese firedrill", and "kabuki dance" if I intentionally don't want to create offense to a reasonable person in another cultural group? I grew up in very homogeneous territory and so I'm still learning. Please school me. I love words, I love colorful language and descriptors, but I don't want to be an ass. Words matter.
posted by availablelight on Sep 17, 2012 - 58 answers

Useful idioms

Business idioms that are actually useful? [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Jun 29, 2012 - 31 answers

Significant Iraqi number?

In Iraqi culture, does any whole number between 20 and 50 have special significance or associations (positive or negative)?
posted by kalapierson on Mar 10, 2012 - 2 answers

Cultural values affecting foreign policy?

To what extent do cultural values affect foreign policy making between U.S. and China? [more inside]
posted by espada0 on Feb 14, 2012 - 11 answers

What does the word "abstract" mean?

What does the word "abstract" mean? [more inside]
posted by internet_explorer on Jan 16, 2012 - 11 answers

Searching for fun ways to keep up with French language

I'm fairly fluent in French and would like fun ideas for keeping up with the language. [more inside]
posted by lirael2008 on Aug 6, 2011 - 22 answers

Book recommendations on the philosophy of education

I'm looking for recommendations for books related to the philosophy of education, especially those related to multicultural approaches to education or foreign language instruction. [more inside]
posted by one little who on Aug 4, 2011 - 12 answers

A significant question

Lacan writes about a "symbolic order," a realm of signs and culture constituting a separate domain from the "real." What other authors/thinkers (besides Lacanians, like Zizek, and their predicessors like Levy-Strauss) make use of this way of viewing the world?
posted by Obscure Reference on Oct 4, 2010 - 15 answers

My Nigerian brother-in-law can't hack it in Germany. How do I help him?

I live in Germany, and my German girlfriend's brother-in-law is originally from Nigeria. He is having trouble integrating. He's lived in the country (on and off) for 10 years, but continues to struggle with the language. To make matters worse, cultural differences are getting in the way of him establishing himself. What can I do to help him? [more inside]
posted by rhombus on Sep 30, 2010 - 12 answers

I think he's upset, but how can you tell?

International tormented musicians wanted: I'm looking for artists who sound like Vladimir Vysotsky but who perform in other languages. [more inside]
posted by monocultured on May 16, 2010 - 6 answers

Linguistic Identity Crisis: A country girl divided by a common language.

I'm moving to the UK for the next three years and have some questions about my identity and language use. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on May 5, 2010 - 41 answers

What's the name for the art of not talking about what you're talking about?

In Japan, there was—and maybe still is?—a practice of communicating via allusion. I figure there must be a name for that, so tell me what it is. [more inside]
posted by Su on Apr 29, 2010 - 3 answers

How useful is a degree in Persian?

How vocationally useful would an degree in Persian Language studies be? [more inside]
posted by Black Spring on Apr 3, 2010 - 13 answers

Sacrifice, speech, writing and art

Sacrifice, speech, writing and art: I am interested in the different ways in which a sacrifice, a sacrament, a spoken word and a written word act as signifiers. The notion for instance that the sacrament, at the point of its acceptance, is understood as becoming the signified. What can you tell me / what has been written about the notions of sacrifice and their relationship to speech, art and the technologies of writing? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Feb 24, 2010 - 8 answers

Soy gringa... Or not.

Is it a bad thing to call oneself a "gringa" (if one is indeed a caucasian American female) when speaking with Latinos? (context inside) [more inside]
posted by amyms on Jan 20, 2010 - 27 answers

Pop Culture Call and Response?

Is there a word or a term for a pop-culture handshake? [more inside]
posted by flatluigi on Dec 4, 2009 - 15 answers

Help me, uh, go Dutch!

I'm half Dutch, but I've never been to The Netherlands. On my first trip there, where should I go, and what should I do, to get a better understanding of contemporary Dutch culture and language? [more inside]
posted by embrangled on Oct 8, 2009 - 11 answers

Dating Across a Language Barrier

Dating Across a Language Barrier: Can you share success stories and advice about relationships where you and your partner primarily spoke different languages? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 7, 2009 - 13 answers

In search of cultural grammarians!

What are some interesting blogs that touch on both the language and culture of a country? [more inside]
posted by ElectricBlue on Jun 28, 2009 - 7 answers

Distinct written and spoken languages

Are there any human cultures, past or present, which have developed completely (or largely) distinct spoken and written languages? [more inside]
posted by nthdegx on Apr 20, 2009 - 22 answers

I'd like to enroll in the Chinese Graphic Designer 101 program, please.

I'd love to get tips/resources for 1) learning more about the Chinese language and culture for work travel, 2) doing graphic design for a Chinese audience and 3) learning more about working with Chinese writing (this was helpful, for example).* Thoughts? *Bonus points if anyone can tell me if there are any Chinese typefaces I could access that have a particularly whimsical, fun, or child-like feel. [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on Apr 12, 2009 - 12 answers

New theories of Mimesis (in digital/hypertextual/hypermedial cultures)

I am looking for writings on mimesis in regards new, digital, hypertext and hypermedial technologies and cultures. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Feb 16, 2009 - 7 answers

Why do so many people say FoxFire instead of Firefox?

Is there some linguistic or cultural explanation for mistakenly calling Firefox FoxFire? [more inside]
posted by odinsdream on Jan 7, 2009 - 31 answers

Examples of double-meanings in movies, shows, cartoons?

Looking for scenes with dialogue in G-rated movies, shows or cartoons that have hidden references for adults. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Oct 19, 2008 - 43 answers

Should Immigrants Be Required to Learn a National Language?

What are the reasons for and against constitutionally requiring a specific national language? [more inside]
posted by netbros on Aug 28, 2008 - 74 answers

translations needed

Please help me with a fun multilingual translation? Quick and easy, all languages needed. [more inside]
posted by Meatbomb on Aug 5, 2008 - 42 answers

Are you a man or woman?

When did adults in Western countries decrease using man/woman when speaking about themselves, e.g. describing their gender? How came this to be? [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jul 20, 2008 - 18 answers

How do you fake American?

How do you fake American? [more inside]
posted by lpsguy on Apr 10, 2008 - 66 answers

MMmmm Owwww Weee or Yarp flooop squerze?

Is Ooow Universal? If I kick a Masai warrior, Brazillian beach bum, an Eskimo or an Indonesian will the exclamation for pain be similar? What about Mmmmm? [more inside]
posted by sien on Apr 9, 2008 - 23 answers

How Things 'Become': The Infinity of Definition

I am looking for writings on the infinity of definition. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Mar 13, 2008 - 32 answers

"I can has a cheeseburger?"

What is the origin and meaning of "I can has a cheeseburger?"
posted by NorthCoastCafe on Mar 10, 2008 - 8 answers

Examples of 'The Infinite' in Myth and Their Effect on Conditions of Truth

I am searching for examples of The Infinite, or the immeasurably large, in our mythologies and archetypes. I am also interested in the categories of Truth which came out of the emergence of Western, ontological thought. Does the trust in a rationally conceivable reality deny us the infinity of the mythological realm? By rooting ourselves in the present, and denying atemporal mythologies, do we also deny the infinite origins from where we came? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Nov 28, 2007 - 22 answers

Darling, you look positively pulchritudinous. OW! No, that's a GOOD thing!

What words do you know which have a strong dissonance between their form and meaning? [more inside]
posted by Jon Mitchell on Nov 3, 2007 - 88 answers

Et Tu, Bompensiero

Is there such a thing as a common Italian surname? [more inside]
posted by yalestar on Oct 11, 2007 - 29 answers

Why do some Japanese TV shows use difficult English phrases instead of Japanese ones?

How is the English language regarded in Japanese culture? [more inside]
posted by ibmcginty on Aug 25, 2007 - 16 answers

When vous becomes tu

In languages which use different pronouns to distinguish 'you' (close, informal, equal) and 'you' (distant, formal, hierarchical), how is a shift between the two handled? [more inside]
posted by reynir on Jan 27, 2007 - 50 answers

Arabic aliens? Gollum in Gaelic?

Recently I've been fascinated with the way a good actor doing good voice acting can convey a very specific character in movies or video games. (This may seem dumb, but the Demonhunter Illidan in WarCraft III has a particularly memorable voice). What I'm really wondering about, though, is the fact that all the examples of really effective, specific voice acting seem to be English-based. [more inside]
posted by dmaterialized on Dec 25, 2006 - 11 answers

[japanese] ... flying knee! ... [japanese] ... why not say "flying knee" in japanese?

Why the random English words used in asian language programming? [more inside]
posted by twiggy on Nov 16, 2006 - 12 answers

My vocabulary is large, it contains multitudes

LanguageArts: to the bilingual (or more) people in the hive... [more inside]
posted by seawallrunner on Sep 5, 2006 - 24 answers

Non-sectarian op-ed: it's right to avoid blasphemy

An op-ed piece argued that it feels right to avoid blasphemy in general conversation even while agreeing that our old blasphemy laws are a bad idea and unconstitutional. This was several years ago, in a secular publication, not written by clergy, and not specifically sectarian. It definitely did not focus on Islam. Any recollection of this? Thanks.
posted by Dave 9 on Aug 22, 2006 - 3 answers

Falemenderit Shume!

Albania - where to stay, what to do? [more inside]
posted by lorrer on Jun 19, 2006 - 4 answers

Give me your modals, your prepositions, your phrasal verbs yearning to breathe free

How do I teach 10 or so Indonesian academics and postgraduate students how to "ace" their US Embassy visa interviews and "prep" for life in the US? Personal experiences with the US immigration process? What are some interview strategies you can pass on to my students? [more inside]
posted by mdonley on Jun 2, 2006 - 2 answers

Nazi: Still a four-letter word?

Does the re-purposing of the word "Nazi" in U.S. culture in recent years to mean generic-overzealous-rule-enforcement instead of Homicidal-Socialist-German-Workers-Party detract from the horror of the Holocaust and the other crimes perpetrated by actual Nazis? Is the "Soup Nazi"-type usage of the word "Nazi" taking away the power of the word? If so, is that the right thing to do? Is it causing greater estrangement in cultural relationships between the U.S. and Europeans? How is the word "Nazi" used in your community/workplace/social circles? [more inside]
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian on Mar 11, 2006 - 33 answers

Are Americans Really All That Ignorant?

Are Americans really all that ignorant? [more inside]
posted by BigBrownBear on Nov 18, 2005 - 84 answers

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