Dear French speaking Mefites: I am an idiot. I can't get the prepositions down! Knowing when to say "au" or "du" is KILLING me. I've made cheat sheets and have memorized most of the set phrases I can, but when I'm writing on my own I inevitably foul it up or blank. Can you help? [more inside]
posted by two lights above the sea
on Dec 4, 2012 -
Are grammatical genders, as a rule, consistent across the Indo-European languages which use them? [more inside]
posted by obloquy
on Dec 4, 2012 -
"Book review" typically refers to the review of a single book. Is there a term for a single article that reviews the collective works of an author?
posted by NotMyselfRightNow
on Nov 30, 2012 -
Linguists, is there a name for this annoying trend, and can we point to where/when it originated: Overusing the word "that" without first defining what you are talking about? [more inside]
posted by jbickers
on Nov 26, 2012 -
I am a 24 y/o English native about to start a PhD in London. During the next 3 years, I would very much like to begin learning French alongside my doctoral studies, and I am interested in finding out the most effective and efficient way of going about this.
Realistically I will probably be able and willing to dedicate between one and two hours a day to studying French. I am interested in learning to both speak and write the language in equal measure.
Any advice is much appreciated.
posted by FuckingAwesome
on Nov 23, 2012 -
As a reader, how do you feel about invented language versus familiar words in imaginary worlds? [more inside]
posted by batmonkey
on Nov 21, 2012 -
I want to create a spreadsheet from the hyperlinks and words in a word list on Wiktionary. Please take me through the steps. Thanks! [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam
on Nov 20, 2012 -
What is a good skill to learn on a commute? 90-120 mins each day, subway/bus, mostly sitting without a table. Kindle/IPod/iPad available. Preferably looking for NON-language suggestions. [more inside]
posted by lalochezia
on Nov 7, 2012 -
Stamp collecting is philately. Coin collecting falls under numismatics (perhaps as a subdivision). Rock collecting is not really geology in the same way as the above terms are used. Is there a similar term for rock collecting?
posted by Jahaza
on Nov 3, 2012 -
What does this Egyptian Arabic song mean in English?
Listen to the song here
Thanks! : )
posted by thatgirl1985
on Nov 2, 2012 -
Looking for scenes (television or film) in which an actor plays a character with a different accent and then that character
puts on the actor's native accent. [more inside]
posted by 256
on Nov 2, 2012 -
Is there a design term which describes the aesthetic, "things which show the details of their construction". Examples inside. [more inside]
posted by primer_dimer
on Oct 31, 2012 -
Is there a verb in the English language that describes the process of leaves changing color, withering and falling? [more inside]
posted by shew
on Oct 22, 2012 -
We're hosting a grad student from Thailand tonight who speaks very little english and has some trouble following conversation. What do we do to be good hosts? [more inside]
posted by elvissa
on Oct 19, 2012 -
Which language is claimed to have shifted between language families? [more inside]
posted by Jehan
on Oct 14, 2012 -
Year off between undergrad and dental school. Optimally, I would like to go to South or Central America for the purpose of learning Spanish. Best way to do this? [more inside]
posted by mellosphere
on Oct 11, 2012 -
What is a good resource for understanding art theory - book recommendations, websites, things of that nature. I keep finding myself realizing that there's uses of language in art that doesn't match up with what I think it should be. [more inside]
posted by mephron
on Oct 11, 2012 -
Best structured cheap or free Spanish conversation classes in Toronto (better yet, at the University of Toronto)? [more inside]
posted by 256
on Oct 9, 2012 -
Can you share ways of sounding less direct and polite while contradicting / disagreeing / sharing ideas in a business context?
For example in a scenario where one wants to say : Why don't we have a website for this product a more polite way of saying the same thing could be: I am new here and was wondering if there would be any value in having a website for this product.
I would love to hear ideas around how individuals can sound polite and make their point in business setting where often times you need to make your point to senior management.
Also, Any books or websites that can help with this?
posted by r2d2
on Oct 7, 2012 -
I spend a lot of time sitting around waiting, with my iPhone. I also spend a fair amount of time having very similar conversations, in my very poor conversational spanish, with native-speakers who (usually due to tragic life circumstances) lack education in their own language. What I don't do is expand my vocabulary or learn proper grammar. As a consequence, while I can usually understand the gist of what people say and make myself generally understood, I don't understand the details, can't express myself precisely, and I'm not getting any better at any of those tasks. [more inside]
posted by Nx
on Oct 6, 2012 -
I am looking for a 2D animation toolkit that helps me animate various actors, like man, woman, cat and helps in realising various actions like sleeping, running, etc. with programmatical ease. I have looked into processing.org and started to toy with simple geometric shapes, but yet to stumble across an animation with man/woman actors. Could you help me find some good resources where I could learn to animate such things? TIA.
posted by godugu
on Oct 4, 2012 -
Recommend some good Spanish language media (TV series, online radio, podcasts etc) for my girlfriend to immerse herself in while she learns Spanish. [more inside]
posted by knapah
on Oct 2, 2012 -
Tell me a little bit about this recording I made in a taxi in the UAE. I think it's in Urdu. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark
on Sep 28, 2012 -
Attention, language types of MetaFilter: The Russian word poshlost'
is roughly equivalent to the English "banality" or "self-satisfied mediocrity." Vladimir Nabokov wittily rendered it as poshlust
("posh" + "lust"), and described it as "not only the obviously trashy but mainly the falsely important, the falsely beautiful, the falsely clever, the falsely attractive."
Is there a specific term for this kind of word play? [more inside]
posted by easy, lucky, free
on Sep 27, 2012 -
French tv & movie recs for someone who wants to be entertained but also get used to the language? [more inside]
posted by Mizu
on Sep 26, 2012 -
Are there any famous English catchphrases in foreign language television and cinema? Think of this as the Foreign language equivalent to "Hasta la vista, baby!" [more inside]
posted by Nanukthedog
on Sep 26, 2012 -
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 -
Is there any way of adding new dictionaries to the system dictionary app for Mac OSX? I am learning russian and would love to be able to highlight a word and receive an english-to-russian or even just russian definition. [more inside]
posted by 221bbs
on Sep 24, 2012 -
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 -
I recently found myself in the middle class with none of the financial acumen needed to handle money on this scale. To be specific, my most complicated financial transaction to date has been handing someone two hundred dollars in cash and riding off on his bike. I'd like to talk to someone knowledgeable about money about my financial goals and be told my options for achieving those goals. Do you know such a person in New York City or the nearby suburbs? The two specific goals I have in mind right now are saving for retirement and paying off a bunch of debts. A possible complication is that all of the debt is in my parents' name, so it might be nontrivial to structure the repayment so that, from a tax perspective, it doesn't look like I've just started giving my parents lots of money every year. Also, it would be better, though not strictly necessary, if this person could speak Chinese to my parents.
posted by anonymous
on Sep 19, 2012 -
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 -
I'm taking a beginning Thai language class, with an emphasis on oral communication. Is it vital to learn the tones/alphabet first? [more inside]
posted by elisse
on Sep 16, 2012 -
What are some non-religious words or phrases for expressing good wishes/thoughts for the future, besides "hopefully?" [more inside]
posted by raztaj
on Sep 13, 2012 -
I'm looking for a song I heard on the radio a couple of times about 6 or 7 years ago. The music was interspersed with a Spanish language lesson in it that started out seeming normal and got kinkier as it went on. Ring any bells? [more inside]
posted by ninazer0
on Sep 11, 2012 -
WTH? Message in a bottle, secret admirer, or random gibberish?
A friend's mom took her car to the shop (SW US) and left a whiteboard (which she uses to communicate) inside. After she picked the car up she noticed the following written on it. Any ideas as to what language it is or what it says? Thanks in advance.
Mysterious message here
posted by subajestad
on Sep 5, 2012 -