...then what would the names of those days be? I started wondering about that after reading this Wikipedia article about the names of the days of the week. [more inside]
Help me remember how to conjugate French properly when I talk. [more inside]
Sometimes, on restaurant menus or in other media that I'm not recalling at the moment, the text styling will reflect the meaning of the word. Examples off the top of my head: sizzling, hot, chilly. Here's an example in an advertisement. What would you call this phenomenon? The most apt description I can come up with is visual onomatopoeia, but is there a better word for this?
Can any animal understand a rhyme? Different animals can process different things that we consider part of normal cognition. What about rhymes? Have there been studies done to see which species agree with humans that certain human words rhyme? Can my cats appreciate that I rap for them
Looking for a way to switch language to Icelandic in Lubuntu, getting the full Icelandic character set. It would also be very useful to be able to switch between more than four languages like you can in Windows. [more inside]
I'm trying to learn Swedish (I'm just starting) and I'd like to find some podcasts and vlogs to listen to. [more inside]
How do families maintain cultural heritage and language when living in other cultures AND the parents are the exclusive transmitters of home country culture (I.e. there are no nearby communities and infrastructure for language lessons, cultural activities and groups)? [more inside]
Let's say I have a large set of time series. There are a large number of factual statements that could be made about it, including some that are trivially algorithmically generated (e.g. "Soy beans are appreciating in cost faster than corn"). Is there a term for generating statements like this?
Can any [Japanese? Chinese?] speaker please translate this mug? I realize I only have a pic of one side of it, but it would be nice to know the gist of what it says. Thanks!!
Can you help me come up with a name for a group of very talented cinematographers based in New York? Naturally the first place I went to was the dictionary (word by word), jotting down everything that had to do with the craft. The technical terms are not interesting to them because they prefer a nice name that focuses on the artistic/storytelling aspect of it. Help? [more inside]
Lately I've started noticing the construction "or no" in places where I would have expected "or not". [more inside]
I was peripherally involved in a recent work project predicate languages parsing and some natural language. I am interested in learning about modern development environments in these areas. Very basic and on up - I know what predicates are and natural language processing at a beginner level, decent understanding of code and networks, but not computer scientist. I want to easily parse and database a string of predicates from another application, set a value, quickly evaluate only if relevant, evaluate them against a database and set a shared memory location. All thoughts appreciated!
I said something that offended people. I will not say it again, but would like to know why it's so offensive. [more inside]
I'm looking for the appropriate translation of a couple of key but relatively obscure phrases for our visit to Indonesia with a baby in tow in a month's time. We'll be in Bali. [more inside]
You are not a touchy feely person - that is, you do not openly express emotion or affection through physical contact. How have you learned to give and share love with people in your life whose primary love language is physical touch? [more inside]
What is the difference in English between  "The flowers are white" and  "The flowers are white in colour"? Scientific texts (such as botanical descriptions) seem to prefer  and add "in colour" after the colour name though it is redundant. Form  wins the Google fight by a large margin and the Ngram for "white in color" shows a downward trend since the 1920s. Is it now OK to drop the "in colour" in contemporary (scientific) texts?
Spanish newbie filter. I'm teaching myself Spanish with the help of Duolingo and am having trouble with a few particular problem areas. Specifically, I would like some sort of handy way to recall present tense conjugations of the three types of verb. Something similar to differentiate the questions would be good as well. Also, if you use the app or found any handy methods while learning Spanish that aided recall, I would love to hear them. I'm enjoying this a lot and plan to stick with it. [more inside]
In the past, I've seen that sometimes English is interspersed with another language on certain websites. This site, however, has English titles to their posts, but most everything else is in Dutch. Why? [more inside]
What is the word or words in Icelandic for 'the redeemer' or 'redeemer'? [more inside]
I'm looking for all the places that claim to have the weather change every 5 minutes. [more inside]
I've decided in my quest to learn French, I am going to alternate between watching an episode of my favorite show -- The Golden Girls -- dubbed in French and watching the same episode subtitled in French. I've found a few episodes of the subtitled version online -- where can I find more of these AND the dubbed version? Does this even exist? [more inside]
I'd like to read stories in English with my daughter. [more inside]
English does not have words for certain kinds of specific relationships, but other languages do. I am interested in learning examples of some of these words. [more inside]
In other words, I'm looking for a list of adjectives that could complete the sentence "I am feeling __." This is actually a fairly extensive group of adjectives, and I'm wondering whether this type of adjective is identified formally as a certain type of adjective (which would make it easier to find the set) or whether anyone has assembled such a list.
I have observed a new phenomenon in myself this year and noticed different patterns in how my brain interacts with language in the period after trauma. I have a lot of other stress reactions going on that seem to be hypothalamus stuff (loss of circadian rhythm, weird appetite things, feeling hot and sweaty) but am not sure how any of that plays into processing language. I would love to learn more about this, either from anecdotes or from a more research-based perspective. [more inside]
In the vein of "squirrel away" or "ferret away" (and maybe even "badger"), I'm looking for a verb from the animal kingdom that means working hard at something, persistently and continually. It's come up a few times where I've wanted to say "Continue animaling away at the problem", but the particular beast I'm looking for eludes me. Help?
What do you call your smallest toe? [more inside]
Can anybody tell me what sort of writing this is, and what (if anything) it says?
I was playing around with Google's Ngram viewer and noticed this interesting graph. Any idea what drove the two peaks around 1885 and 1919?
On internet fora, it isn't uncommon to see people using abbreviations/textspeak. I've noticed Singaporean posters using particularly idiosyncratic versions of this: 'dun' for don't, 'den' for then, 'TT' for that. Example. What's the origin of this? [more inside]
My kids have asked me how to say a few things in English, but I realize the only terms I know were the racist terms used back when I was a kid. What are the current, non-offensive terms for these activities? [more inside]
I need a book on the different varieties of English, their spellings, grammar and punctuation and some info on vocabulary differences, too. But I'm having trouble finding one. [more inside]
I have a T-shirt with text in some kind of Arabic language, and I have no idea what it says (or even what language it says it in!) There's also a small triangular logo with an antelope and the word 'Zama'. Does anyone know A) what language it is, B) what it says and C) what the context is? [more inside]
I'm thinking of taking a solo trip to one or more of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. What's the language situation like in central Asia? How dumb an idea is this if I don't speak any Uzbek, Kazakh, or Russian (but do stick to the larger and more touristy cities and methods of transportation)? [more inside]
What does this cup say?
I have the opportunity to request materials related to my discipline for my community college library. What should a language teacher ask for? [more inside]
Something that often frustrates me reading the newspaper or stories on the internet is that a majority of the "current serious issues" things are going to come from Western English-speaking countries. Can you recommend websites that provide English news about fairly non-English countries? (From my Australian perspective these include anywhere in Africa, Russia, India, Eastern Europe, so on.)
I'm working with a woman who is in an interesting situation. She is deaf and was born and raised in Somalia. She learned ASL when she moved to the US a few years ago. She is now trying to learn to read and write English to improve her communication skills. Are there any good English learning resources for individuals who use ASL as their primary language?
Do electric kids toys come with all languages, and are then switched to a particular language when they leave the factory?
Is the distinction between a bee and a wasp different in British and American English? What about Biene/Wespe in German or cognates in other languages? [more inside]
I would like to go back to speaking French and Japanese and found out that it really comes back to me better after listening to people having everyday conversations in a more "natural" setting (rather than podcasts, news, etc.). Where can I find some conversation-heavy videos to watch/listen to? [more inside]
Years ago, someone from Portugal mentioned a concept and position on large European seafaring boats, who was on the boat to ward off disaster, or to take the helm if one occurred. They said there was a word in Portuguese for this concept - someone who is prized for being able to rescue catastrophic situations. Does anyone know this word or concept? [more inside]
What's the origin of the now-archaic phrase "sift this matter to the bottom," meaning to make it a priority? [more inside]
I have the opportunity to go abroad for an extended period time. My goal and purpose would be to strengthen my skills in a foreign language. How can I structure this trip so that this happens? [more inside]
This year someone very close to me was hurt very badly and then, to my great shock and relief, he recovered fully. I'm still processing this experience and probably always will be. I'm frustrated that the words that I have to best describe what he went through are often religious. I don't believe in god and neither does the person who was injured. I did not think that he would ever be the same again. The fact that he is is "miraculous," to be with him now is "a blessing" -- but it's not. The best-fit way I know to phrase it is "it's a miracle of modern science!" I'd appreciate help finding a truly secular vocabulary that captures the power of what he (and I) went through. [more inside]
What European language should I learn for the purpose of higher studies, work, and extensive travelling in Europe? I am a bibliophile, cinephile, and love songs with good and meaningful lyrics. Till now I've been enjoying all these, I mean the ones from Europe, in the form of translations and with the help of subtitles. (I write too; not to publish but it's very important to me). [more inside]
In which cultures/countries is it RARE for people to be able to sustain a tongue-rolled R? (Say, fewer than 1 in 10 people can do it?) In this case I mean sustain artificially long, say for 3 seconds.
I have been speaking English for 2/3 of my life, yet I still think my English sucks. Care to enlighten me why? [more inside]
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]
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!