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]
I want to write a program to generate new, realistic-sounding and -looking words. I want to programmatically create strings like 'bik', 'clible', 'aunstic', and 'cranoak', (if these words don't already exist), and avoid strings like 'bblejkm', 'aunstrbl', and other things that don't look pronounceable. Looking for a database of word parts to feed into this program, possibly with a set of accompanying rules. English or any other language (ideally with phonetic representations). [more inside]
What are some terms for transgender in other languages, especially Spanish? What words do they use to identify themselves? [more inside]
So: my 2-month-old PS4 has broken down, with error CE-34878-0 across all applications. Sony US normally replaces machines that have this issue. My problem: I have a Japanese PS4, and Sony US refuses to service it. Sony Japan could probably help, but I don't speak Japanese (and I live in the US). What can I do? [more inside]
So I'm looking for a text that provides a good summary / overview of the Linguistics and Philosophical (and Psychological?) debates, conflicts, theoretical models of the relations between words, concepts, and things. A good overview that covers the range from Abelard, Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Chomsky, Fodor, etc.. Does such a book exist? [more inside]
With a long-enough sample of written or spoken* English from someone whose first language is not English, can linguists identify what that person's first language is? If so, what are the tell-tale signs for various languages? [more inside]
Can a writer's literary style or technique be summed up in one phrase? I am trying to compile such a list of descriptions. An example would be: "Ernest Hemingway: Simple, terse, unadorned, and uses few adjectives." George Bernard Shaw: "Energetic, witty, intellectual, aggressive, comedic, and socially critical." The more technical the description, the better.
Is there a word in English (or any other language) for anticipating nostalgia for events that have not yet happened? [more inside]
As opposed to natura non facit saltus. Is it just natura facit saltus? I want to be emphatic that it does saltate. Google Translate and other translation systems are giving divergent answers.
Hi everyone. There is a 20 year old German exchange student in my class (I'm pursuing a professional degree). I'm 26. I admire him a great deal and I miss our conversations. He's who I aspire to be as a human being: someone who radiates goodness and spends his time buried in books when he's not training for an upcoming triathlon. We were friends and then because of my stupid feelings, we slept together. [more inside]
I have, by happenstance, come into possession of a small statue of a samurai that came with a little wooden sign with some Japanese writing on it. I'm sure one of you can easily translate it for me, and for that I would be grateful.
In the “Steve Jobs” script by Aaron Sorkin, there is a little exchange between Jobs and Sculley in which the former says that the name “Apple” came from a “list of friendly-sounding words”. Regardless of why Apple is named Apple, do such lists exist? Is there any research on what makes a word sound friendly to people (phonetically, semantically, aurally, visually, ...)?
What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of certain languages? I'm most interested in English and French but if you have knowledge of another that would also be fascinating! [more inside]
I've said and written 'spicket' my entire life and only this morning discovered it was non-standard. Some dictionaries give a cursory redirect to 'spigot'; some don't even list the 'ck' variant. The apparent root of 'spigot' [Latin spica] would seem to obviate this discussion, but the change from /k/ to /g/ had taken place at least by 1590 (both forms co-existed for a while). When did 'spicket' become non-standard, and why has that /k/ persisted to the present day? [more inside]
Hi, I'm interested in any slang words or phrases you have heard for making a u-turn. I'll share the two I've heard; I'd love to hear what you have heard. [more inside]
"Après moi, le deluge" is a famous phrase. Literally it means "After me, the deluge." Idiomatically it essentially means "I don't care what happens after I'm gone, even if the world ends." I get all that. But what is missing from the Wikipedia page I linked to is the historical/cultural context; "the deluge" figuratively refers to the biblical flood described in Genesis 6-9. Is there a specific word for this sort of context for a phrase or term of art? [more inside]
Is there any sort of dictionary or text corpora that outline which of a number of synonyms are the most universally understood by other language speakers or the least colloquial? [more inside]
Hi, I am looking for lifestyle and design mommy(or not)bloggers that speak and write in French. Bonus points if they are vloggers or keep an active YouTube Channel and Instagram. [more inside]
I'm looking for my cousin, who would like to come here for 2 months or so and study English. I was hoping to find a program that would put her with a family here (I don't really have the space or lifestyle for it). And of course, I need the program to be reputable and safe :) I imagine this sort of thing HAS to exist. Do you know of one?
I consider myself a fairly savvy traveler yet one who still makes noob mistakes that end up costing me disproportionately in either in time, money, or enjoyment simply because I didn’t know better. Although I’ve gotten better with each trip, it leaves me wondering what easy changes I still have left to make that can boost my travel skills without having to learn them the hard way? Bonus points for recommendations that take advantage of a smart phone! [more inside]
In American English, instead of saying "I don't know", you can just kind of.. mmm out each word. 1) Does that have a specific term, or is it just generalized under nonverbal communication? 2) What other languages have similar phrase > nonverbal things that are commonly used?
I urgently need this Latin sentence translated. Thank you! [more inside]
Explaining researching that uses data point around ATM/cash machines for both American and international audiences. In the US, people know them as ATMs. In the UK, they are often called cash machines, or cash points. I can only pick one for this work: which should I pick? [more inside]
You can effect a change but you cannot effect a banana. Change and banana are both nouns; is there a specific name for the type of noun that "change" is but "banana" isn't? Or is this a case where it can't be described in the way I'm hoping. TIA!
Need help finding foreign language editions of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. [more inside]
Our daughter just finished her first year of Spanish in a full-immersion kindergarten. We're looking for good all-Spanish TV shows we can show her (and my wife, who wants to learn) over the summer so she doesn't forget it all. [more inside]
Explain the nuanced difference in meaning between "also" or "too" in this sentence: "We repair your motorcycle too." vs "We repair your motorcycle also."
I would like to learn Romanian. Unfortunately it is hard to find course offerings for this relatively niche language. I don't have a ton of money to throw at this, but I am willing to dedicate a significant amount of time over the next few years. Internet based language learning would be fine, but Seattle-specific language courses/groups would be optimal.
Toward a better definition of "bogan;" gender differences in everday speech; an American tourist speaking without giving offense? [more inside]
I'm trying to figure out the proper Hindi translation for "courage, dear heart". Google Translate gives me a few options, depending on whether I capitalize, add commas, etc, etc, and I'm trying to figure out the difference between them so I can figure out which is correct. I'd really like to get it right! Translations below the break: [more inside]
Is there a word in the English language that means a person who owns nothing? [more inside]
I'm a native U.S. English-speaker, they might not have been. I've twice been at U.S. job interviews where I haven't been able to understand my interviewer; they had an accent and I couldn't tell what words they were saying, even after they slowed down and repeated. How should I handle this? [more inside]
I have noticed that in the UK people will sometimes refer to the (head) office of a company as "[Company name] Towers", even if the building is not in a tower, and it's not officially called a tower. Where does this come from? [more inside]
In addition to "Welcome, Please Insert Your Card" messages in English, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese, my Wells Fargo ATM also displays "Nyob zoo, ntxig koj daim npav rau." Google Translate informs me that this is Hmong, but does not give me any inkling why an ATM in rural Virginia is greeting me in Hmong, a language which is considerably farther down the list of languages, ordered by number of speakers, than the other languages mentioned, and seems almost bizarrely random. What might the reason behind this be?
Walking 'abreast' means walking side-by-side. What equivalent word means walking single-file? [more inside]
What are some works of SFF that showcase beautiful language on a par with All The King's Men, Gilead, and Raymond Chandler's detective novels? I've read plenty of SFF that has transported me, but little that's struck me as gorgeously written. Thanks!
While recently playing around with some online language translators, I wondered if it would be possible to learn a language (Latin, in this case) by only using such resources. I reasoned that, by translating from English to Latin, and vise versa, beginning with the rudiments of language, one could by trial and error, gradually learn the language. [more inside]