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Hey, Chinese speakers . . . got a question for you

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 - 2 answers

Need an accurate English to Latin translation.

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 - 10 answers

"Guys! Check it out! The English term for it is..."

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 - 54 answers

Look at this old bookplate!

What language is this? What does it say? [more inside]
posted by steef on Feb 21, 2014 - 8 answers

Could my language learning process be useful to someone?

My favorite way of learning a language is translating text back and forth. Could the translation work of a careful beginner be useful to anyone at all? [more inside]
posted by Sock of Silliness on Sep 16, 2013 - 12 answers

Norwegian wood?

A family heirloom has a mysterious inscription in what I assume is a Scandinavian language. But what is it? [more inside]
posted by theory on Aug 13, 2013 - 8 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

"What you look for in a bag was once found in a sack"

Is there a Swedish speaker in the house? In the Swedish film Call Girl, one of the characters utters a phrase that is translated in the subtitles as: "What you look for in a bag was once found in a sack." To me it's a total non-sequitur... Any idea what it means? Here's the clip on YouTube. Thanks!
posted by Silky Slim on Jun 26, 2013 - 7 answers

What does this note say? Possibly arabic?

A friend of a friend posted a picture of a note to facebook. Can any of you identify the language and offer a translation of what it says? [more inside]
posted by knapah on Apr 3, 2013 - 8 answers

Hokis - Armenian slang?

Trying to find out more about what the word Hokis, which seems to be a slang term, means in Armenian. Not very googlable, or not for me. Any help would be much appreciated.
posted by jitterbug perfume on Feb 3, 2013 - 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

Help me listen to miserable music in Spanish.

I'm trying to revive my rather rusty Spanish. One of the green's favourite tips for language learning seems to be to immerse yourself in TV programmes/films/music in the target language. So I want to start listening to Spanish-language music, and I need some recommendations. [more inside]
posted by badmoonrising on Sep 24, 2012 - 13 answers

Meaningful phrases, in Italian, to express a fond farewell.

What are some phrases in Italian that convey "goodbye" in a not-so-casual, but rather sentimental if not hopeful way? [more inside]
posted by chloe.gelsomino on Sep 20, 2012 - 5 answers

Idiom? I thought you said something else...

There must be a way to say 'big fish in a small pond' in languages other than English... right? [more inside]
posted by chrisinseoul on Jul 25, 2012 - 13 answers

Arabic Translation Needed Please!

Arabic Translation Needed: What does this picture say?
posted by thatgirl1985 on Jul 12, 2012 - 2 answers

Translate that!

Are there any untranslateable American and British words? [more inside]
posted by curuinor on Jul 7, 2012 - 61 answers

Language learning website using bilingual stories?

I came across a very neat online language learning tool a few weeks ago, but I didn't bookmark it and now I can't find it again. Basically it worked like this: you choose a preset text or story (I think they were mostly fables and fairy tales), your native language, and the foreign language you're trying to practice. Then it shows the text of the story with a few of your native words replaced with their foreign equivalents, letting you learn them in context. [more inside]
posted by pont on May 25, 2012 - 4 answers

Sign language

I'm curious to what this sign says and I don't even know whether it's Arabic or Persian. It was posted among hipsterish events posters on a busy Montreal street. Anyone?
posted by zadcat on Apr 1, 2012 - 1 answer

What does "yah soosah" and "yah habibti" mean in Arabic?

My dear Egyptian friend calls me "Yah Soosah" and "Yah Habibti." What does this mean? I'm pretty sure these are terms of endearment, but what do they mean? She said "yah soosah" is an old Egyptian word. Help me figure out the meaning of my new pet names. Thank you!!! : )
posted by thatgirl1985 on Mar 26, 2012 - 13 answers

Translate this word/concept in your other language(s)

I need a succinct translation for "advocate" or similar term in as many languages as possible . [more inside]
posted by mynameismandab on Mar 2, 2012 - 10 answers

Help me translate a first name in a foreign language

Looking to have a name written in various languages. [more inside]
posted by dbirchum on Feb 8, 2012 - 6 answers

Je ne sais pas comment le dire en Kreyol.

If I were at a stop on a tour, or at a museum, what is the right word in Kreyol (Haitian Creole)? [more inside]
posted by droplet on Dec 7, 2011 - 2 answers

Help me answer this support question in Japanese.

Help me answer this support question in Japanese. [more inside]
posted by artlung on Nov 11, 2011 - 8 answers

Existe esto?

Does this app exist? I want a utility for my Android that will provide on-the-fly translations for selected sections of a body of text I am reading, without requiring me to leave the text or manually type in the section I need translated. [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Sep 21, 2011 - 5 answers

How can I maintain and improve my Japanese translation skills?

I am a professional translator, Japanese to English. I work almost entirely in comics and novels, at home, alone. My Japanese language skills are atrophying, and I don't know what to do about it. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 15, 2011 - 25 answers

Do other languages have an equivalent of the King James Bible?

Do other languages have an equivalent of the King James Bible? [more inside]
posted by TheophileEscargot on Sep 15, 2011 - 15 answers

Another term for "part time"

What's another term for "part time", that would be more appropriate when attached to someone who is on a company's board of directors? [more inside]
posted by farce majeure on Sep 7, 2011 - 22 answers

Mystery Pen Inscription

What is this language or cipher found on a pen, and what does it say? [more inside]
posted by Gordafarin on Jun 27, 2011 - 4 answers

What does the Italian word "coo-ka-looch" mean?

Can someone tell me what this Italian term of endearment means? It phonetically is pronounced "coo-ka-looch" [more inside]
posted by jModug on Jun 24, 2011 - 6 answers

Talking the talk from Kuwait to Kinshasa.

I have need for a large and strange batch of audio translations. As a newbie to this game, please help me zero in on market specifics. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark on Jun 20, 2011 - 3 answers

Translate an Amish insult?

Please help me figure out a potential Amish insult [more inside]
posted by Graygorey on Jun 9, 2011 - 8 answers

I'm looking for an artificial language learning game based on trial and error.

I'm looking for an artificial language learning game based on trial and error. [more inside]
posted by monkeys with typewriters on May 2, 2011 - 4 answers

How do showtunes get translated?

I'm trying to find information on the translation of musical theater, particularly the songs. [more inside]
posted by Gordafarin on Apr 29, 2011 - 4 answers

Why does this Russian translation not match up?

There's a "Trimet Respects Civil Rights" notice on all the public transit vehicles in Portland. It's one straightforward paragraph translated into 6 languages. Why is it that in the [what I believe to be] Russian translation, the word "Trimet" only appears once, whereas in the 5 other languages it appears twice? [more inside]
posted by desertface on Apr 14, 2011 - 6 answers

"satavaziru"... what does it mean!?

A guy in Tallinn pointed at me and said something that sounded like "satavaziru!" (emphasis on the "zi" syllable). What might that mean? [more inside]
posted by mokudekiru on Apr 13, 2011 - 12 answers

"Eat a bag of dicks" on my principal's back? Please?

Do you know Japanese? Do you not know Japanese? What does my shirt say? (p.s. It's likely not Japanese.) [more inside]
posted by phunniemee on Apr 3, 2011 - 18 answers

What do you get when you play A Yellow Submarine backwards to a non-English speaking audience

Every so often in my interweb adventures I find videos or recordings made in a non-English language along with a written transliteration of what the words could sound like in English, which ends up stroop testing the brain into hearing the transliteration. Do you know any examples of the opposite? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Mar 27, 2011 - 2 answers

Translation is futile?

Who was it who said or wrote that translation between languages is ultimately impossible? [more inside]
posted by fugitivefromchaingang on Mar 16, 2011 - 18 answers

Help with Latin translation

Language question (for a friend) - which is technically more correct in Latin? [more inside]
posted by librarianamy on Mar 2, 2011 - 13 answers

What does my t-shirt say in Arabic?

What does this Arabic writing say? [more inside]
posted by AngerBoy on Nov 29, 2010 - 18 answers

English to Sinhala translation

Can someone help translate from English to Sinhala using Sinhala alphabet? [more inside]
posted by cyniczny on Nov 22, 2010 - 0 answers

Mirror, mirrored and mirroring in Arabic?

In Arabic, what are the words for mirroring, mirrored, mirror (the verb "to mirror" rather than the noun, if they differ), and if possible mirrorer ("one who mirrors")? I'm most looking for the transliteration but I'd also love to see the Arabic script.
posted by kalapierson on Nov 18, 2010 - 7 answers

I'd ask George, but he doesn't speak English

Can you translate the Chinese(?) characters on this picture for me? [more inside]
posted by dyobmit on Sep 8, 2010 - 7 answers

What does this awesome 105-year-old Armenian-language Austro-Hungarian postcard say?

I just bought a postcard written in what looks like Armenian sent from what is now Lviv to what is now Chernivtsi (in what is now Ukraine), sometime between 1905 and (I'm guessing from the stamp) the end of the First World War/Austrian rule of Galicia. What does it say? [more inside]
posted by mdonley on Aug 25, 2010 - 22 answers

Expressing percentage reductions in the english language

Best way to express a percentange reduction in the english language. [more inside]
posted by elpapacito on Jul 23, 2010 - 11 answers

Help me translate my name into as many languages as possible!

Help me translate my name into as many languages/alphabets/character systems as possible! [more inside]
posted by Tchad on Jul 13, 2010 - 18 answers

Hebrew Translation

I found an old parchment scroll while looking through my old family papers. There is Hebrew written in black ink on it, and it is dated 1896. [more inside]
posted by elis on Jun 15, 2010 - 7 answers

How do you say "culture shock" in Chinese (Mandarin)?

How do you say/express the idea of "culture shock" in Chinese (Mandarin)? I do speak Chinese, so if you type in pinyin that will be fine. Thanks!
posted by hnk on Jun 10, 2010 - 6 answers

"La Novela del Indio, Tupinamba" in English?

I've always wanted to read "La Novela del Indio, Tupinamba" by Eugenio Granell, but I would need an English translation. I've never found one. Is there such a thing?
posted by aletheia on Jun 2, 2010 - 3 answers

ancient latin translation II

I have a lead medallion (about 150mm dia) which has the following inscription : side #1 ESAVO MC SM [] SORDCMPUAESE {picture of a pikeman} SV side#2 PCM POMEVSAVSEBVCIM * 1309 * {picture of a king} ED The A/R and U/V are a bit interchangable and the last M has three loops. Please find some scans here If anyone could translate or tell me more about it I would be very grateful. All the best Dren
posted by Dren on Feb 21, 2010 - 7 answers

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