I was talking to my mom last night and at one point in the conversation, she wanted to call something bullshit, but she is extremely opposed to swearing, so she used a euphemism instead. It was so funny that my partner and I both burst out laughing when she said it, but neither of us can remember it now. Help me identify it! [more inside]
posted by Neely O'Hara
on Jan 21, 2014 -
Does anyone know the name/email address of a guy who used to post to Usenet in the mid-1990s in justified text? (When rendered in a monospaced font.) [more inside]
posted by mstillwell
on Jan 14, 2014 -
I have some very basic French language skills, and I would like to develop them to the level of working proficiency over the next few months (I am prepared to study hard). I am enrolled in a class and have a tutor. What are some other resources (preferably free ones) that I can work with my own time in order to accelerate my learning as much as possible? [more inside]
posted by Scientist
on Jan 9, 2014 -
I'm looking for recommendations of English-language fiction that heavily features Spanish-language elements. I'm working on learning Spanish again (I had 3 years in high school, about 10 years ago) and thought it would be fun and useful to read novels that incorporate Spanish heavily, kind of an immersion strategy. [more inside]
posted by sprocket87
on Dec 30, 2013 -
Is there a word for "one word", like monosyllabic means "one syllable"?
posted by mikeand1
on Dec 12, 2013 -
Where can I see numbered diagrams for handwriting each Cyrillic letter?
posted by slowlikemolasses
on Dec 5, 2013 -
Looking for movie recommendations that feature French scenes, spoken French is good too. [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA
on Dec 2, 2013 -
What are some examples of really easy/obvious etymological descents that most people aren't really aware of? I'm trying to prove to somebody that there are a lot of these in the english language but I've forgotten most of the interesting ones I used to know. [more inside]
posted by tehloki
on Nov 22, 2013 -
Trying to think of idioms / phrases that relate to body language, rather than just body parts.
One example could be "to raise eyebrows".
There must be others, but the web mostly came up with things like "in one ear and out the other", which isn't quite what I wanted.
posted by Prof Iterole
on Nov 19, 2013 -
Poetry question: Do you think Adrienne Rich's "November 1968" is literally about burning leaves? Does she intend that month and year to mean something to the reader? Any other thoughts? [more inside]
posted by kalapierson
on Nov 19, 2013 -
Is there a word that means to corroborate a lie? For example if one person says the sky is green and then another person confirms that they sky is green. Or is there a legal term for this as well in the sense of lying about statutes?
posted by skwint
on Nov 16, 2013 -
I'm looking for Hindi books that progressively increase in difficulty. I'm a Hindi speaker that learned from my parents conversationally, but I have no grasp of the Devanagari script. I thought I could teach myself the script by rote, then work my way up through books of increasing difficulty similar to how I have read books in grade school in the USA. [more inside]
posted by brocrastinator
on Nov 11, 2013 -
Recent job opportunity came up, and I have the chance to write semi-professionally for a small company. Think in the vein of writing movie reviews or reviewing software. Its professional writing, but there will be conceptual and thematic details involved, it's not simply writing staid copy.
I would like to find a book that helps me hone my prose, and will teach me how to better edit and improve my work. [more inside]
posted by cascando
on Nov 5, 2013 -
Please help. I work for a language school that teaches Mandarin Chinese to foreigners inside China. We specialize in one month intensive teaching for beginners. We want to increase our social media presence and have some (even though we do say so ourselves) excellent stand alone ideas to do this.
They are educational free formats that allow people to study Chinese online in creative ways. We don't know the best way to present them though. Should they be 'onsite' options through our main webpage,or would they be better served as stand alone entities with their own page and an affiliation to our main company website?
Any thoughts and shared best practice would be greatly appreciated.
posted by tjabeijing
on Nov 4, 2013 -
Charles Babbage was a prominent member of the Analytical Society
, and was at the very least intimately familiar with Leibniz's formulation of calculus. But did he ever read Leibniz's writings on logic
? Did the Ars Combinatoria
, or any of his writings on the "universal characteristic" or "calculus ratiocinator" influence Babbage's thinking about computation?
posted by wobdev
on Nov 3, 2013 -
What is the word (if any, apparently) for the misuse of a nonprofit's funds for personal uses? [more inside]
posted by cmoj
on Nov 1, 2013 -
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.
posted by quidividi
on Oct 19, 2013 -
Czech speakers: are these 3 lines sensible to you? (They don't have to be perfect or poetic; I just wanted to make sure they're understandable.) They're google's Czech translation of an ancient Latin text. [more inside]
posted by kalapierson
on Oct 12, 2013 -
I'm planning on taking the JLPT N1 this December, but unfortunately between work and sleep I haven't been able to squeeze much study time in. Since I have a 2-hour commute every day, and sometimes an hour or two of travel during work as well, I reckon I can put it to good use by listening to spoken Japanese on my iPod. Can you recommend some interesting podcasts or radio programmes (downloadable/accessible without internet) that have a good coverage of N1 vocabulary? [more inside]
posted by monocot
on Oct 8, 2013 -
[PronunciationFilter] The title is: Crathadh 't 'Aodaich & Zbadba
from the album Mo-Di by the band Mouth Music
. I think the title is Gaelic but I'm not sure. How would I say the title? Or what is a close approximation of the true pronunciation?
posted by zorm
on Oct 4, 2013 -
I am new to teaching, and will be teaching spanish once a week for one hour to 8 or less children who are in reception and year 1 (4 to 6 years old). Do you have any ideas to what I can do? I have looked online and have some ideas but more are appreciated, I am quite nervous! [more inside]
posted by lovisa91
on Oct 3, 2013 -
What's your experience navigating life errands (especially grocery shopping) as a non-native English speaker in an English speaking country? Any experience as a non-native speaker in any country would work as well. This is for a research project. [more inside]
posted by lacedcoffee
on Sep 30, 2013 -
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 -
Has anyone seen examples of a language-learning method where you begin reading (maybe along with audio narration or subtitled video) in English and over time the syntax and vocab gradually shift into the new language? If it's not a thing, can you imagine why not? If it is, can you help me find it?
posted by subarctic_guy
on Sep 14, 2013 -
I am looking for an open-source / commons repository of any spoken language. Preferably free, otherwise just well-formatted. [more inside]
posted by tintexas
on Sep 11, 2013 -
Do you have suggestions for the best ways to improve my intermediate-level Spanish, take advantage of immersion here in Argentina for the next few months, and ease up on anxiety/overthinking when speaking so I can be more fluid and fluent? My top priority for improvement is listening comprehension, followed by clarity, speed/fluidity, and confidence in speaking. [more inside]
posted by EmilyClimbs
on Sep 10, 2013 -
How can I type stress marks on Mac OS X using the Russian keyboard? I'm talking about, for example, the ´ marks like in "Соединённые Шта́ты Аме́рики"—the а́
and the е́
. Thank you! [more inside]
posted by reductiondesign
on Sep 9, 2013 -
I'd like more and better (preferably Internet-based) resources for learning Russian. Cyrillic alphabet instruction not needed. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by graymouser
on Sep 8, 2013 -
Even before this language quiz
was featured over in the blue, I've been meaning to ask this question: What are some handy ways to distinguish between a particular language or regional variation and its closest counterparts, based just on a few words, a certain cadence, or unique kind of pronunciation. [more inside]
posted by umbú
on Sep 4, 2013 -
I'm on a dating site and I've noticed that in the profiles and messages of some non-native English speakers there's a pattern of irregular spacing around commas. I don't believe that it is a random typographical error, as I have seen it repeatedly by different writers.
Here's an example: "I like to go to the party ,park,movies ,I like to go hike ,swimming ,travel "
The above example is from a native Arabic speaker. Is this related to the grammatical construction of a particular language, differences in keyboards, or something else?
posted by aspen1984
on Aug 29, 2013 -
How do you go about consciously aping the voice/tone/style of a particular genre of fiction or writer? [more inside]
posted by Erberus
on Aug 24, 2013 -
I'm looking for a good online database app thingy that would let 50 teachers and 200 students easily and quickly input sentences in two languages *as well as pictures* and be easily searchable by all participants in the future. Any ideas? [more inside]
posted by sdis
on Aug 19, 2013 -
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 -
I recently discovered Têtes à claques
. It's addictive and frickin' hilarious, and has done more for me to pick up Quebec French than any book or class. What similar stuff exists in other languages? [more inside]
posted by wutangclan
on Aug 4, 2013 -
I graduated high school having been in french immersion and when I graduated I did the testing and I was offically bilingual. Hurray! However, that was over 10 years ago and I have hardly spoken it since I graduated. Now, suddenly, my job wants me to get my french proficiency tested to see if I can satisfy the required language requirements for my branch. (We need to have X# of people able to speak French because a percent of our clients speak french as their first language, and right now we're down a person apparently). Au secours! [more inside]
posted by PuppetMcSockerson
on Jul 30, 2013 -
I'm (re-)learning Spanish and am finding the stories in my "First Spanish Reader" to be somewhat lacking in interest. Since I enjoy thumbing through architectural/interior design magazines, I thought a print subscription to one in Spanish would be a fun way to learn. I've encountered the Spanish version of Architectural Living ("Arquitectura Viva"), which seems alright. I'd like to know if there are other options. For reference, my preferred aesthetic is stark modern with aged materials (examples: wabi sabi
and excessive concrete
). Muchas gracias!
posted by FiveSecondRule
on Jul 27, 2013 -
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 -
Does anyone know the Latin (?) phrase for when a judge authors both an opinion AND a special companion opinion (concurrence or dissent)?
posted by mmiddle
on Jul 22, 2013 -
what are the things called when you make sounds that are not words, but convey some emotion? i remember reading an exercise, about the length of a paragraph, demonstrating the different noises people make. [more inside]
posted by cupcake1337
on Jul 21, 2013 -
Native or longtime speakers of French, as it is spoken in France: How does my spoken noob French come across? Link to embarrassing sound file inside. [more inside]
posted by Rykey
on Jul 19, 2013 -
Is there a term for a seer/diviner/oracle that is only able to see into the past? I'm willing to grab one from a non-English language if there is a word that means specifically "a seer who can only see the past", but English is prefered. Antiquated terms are OK. Bonus points for interesting etymological details (or links to interesting etymological details). [more inside]
posted by NoraReed
on Jul 16, 2013 -
I'm looking for lines of dialogue from movies, novels, or elsewhere, in which someone says that something is not an X, even though it is
an X, just not a mere X or typical X. An example of the type of exchange I'm looking for: "Wow, you spent a year's salary on a car?" "A car? This is isn't a car
. It's a Lamborghini!" The second person knows that their Lamborghini is a car, but means to express that it isn't just
a car. (It's important for my purposes that the person doesn't say 'just'.) There must be some recognizable instances of this type of speech, but I'm drawing a blank. Any ideas?
posted by painquale
on Jul 7, 2013 -
I have a list of 625 English words, translations in a bunch of languages, and what-not in a giant excel file. We'll call that excel file "the Data." The Data is in alphabetical order. I also have a separate list of those same English words in a different order. Is there a way to sort the Data so that it's in the same order as my new, non-alphabetical list? [more inside]
posted by sdis
on Jul 7, 2013 -