I spent 4 years learning French in high school, and have retained just enough since then to vaguely eavesdrop on a fellow commuter's French novel the other day. I would like to brush up on my reading comprehension, and could use some suggestions for some simply written fiction to pick up. [more inside]
My mom has a bar of soap that I probably gave her as a gift several years ago. We're trying to figure out what language, if any, the logo/brandname are in and what it means. It could be mirrored or upside down but it still doesn't look like any character set I recognize. The soap was probably purchased at a fair trade store so it could be from anywhere.
I'm giving a talk tomorrow where I will be covering the work of typographer Eiichi Kono. So my question is pretty simple: how does one best pronounce his name?
I'm looking for any examples of two-letter acronyms that are pronounced as words in English (IT wouldn't count because it is pronounced as two individual letters). Due to the fact that the word "acronym" is widely used to refer to any abbreviation based on initial letters this seems to be quite difficult to search for. Any suggestions? [more inside]
What languages have seen minimal linguistic drift over the last few centuries, or even millennia? Which ones have changed dramatically? I'm also hoping for accessible, layman's answers rather than deeply technical resources. Help? [more inside]
Interesting Portuguese-language shows on DVD? [more inside]
What is the native San Francisco accent? That is, the accent that San Franciscans had in the middle of the 20th century. Was it as distinctive as a Boston or New York accent? This is a question that I've pondered on and off for a while... [more inside]
What are some insightful well-written books or articles, academic or otherwise, on the mechanics of how we learn second-languages and anything about the application of linguistics to learning languages? [more inside]
Which languages, if any, have the same word for "beak" and "mouth"? Or: which languages lack a specific word for referring only to a "beak" (aka the hard, pointy, front end of a bird)?
I am in Seattle. I'd like to learn French, to the point where I could (in 6 months, say) carry on a rough conversation with someone in Québec or France. I have knowledge of a few words but would essentially be starting from scratch. With which group/center/school should I take classes, but most importantly: why? (In other words, what would make that class better than those offered through alternatives?)
Any good dictionary apps for foreign languages on the iPhone? [more inside]
I need help in acquiring a lot of a vocabulary for a lot of languages. How can I best proceed and what should be my expectations and timetables be? [more inside]
Does anyone have any resources to find historical forms of Ebonics? [more inside]
What is this greeting?/ Was dieser Gruß? [more inside]
How do I find a quality language tutor for myself in NYC? [more inside]
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]
Are grammatical genders, as a rule, consistent across the Indo-European languages which use them? [more inside]
"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?
What is the etymology of British nicknames ending in -zza/-zzer? [more inside]
How can I find a passion for language learning? [more inside]
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]
Hi everyone, 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.
As a reader, how do you feel about invented language versus familiar words in imaginary worlds? [more inside]
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]
What are some actual (non-fictional) modern, Orwellian / dystopian phrases? [more inside]
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]
What's with the language in Spartacus? [more inside]
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?
What does this Egyptian Arabic song mean in English? Listen to the song here. Thanks! : )
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]
Is there a design term which describes the aesthetic, "things which show the details of their construction".
Is there a design term which describes the aesthetic, "things which show the details of their construction". Examples inside. [more inside]
Case endings and gender in language: why? [more inside]
Is there a verb in the English language that describes the process of leaves changing color, withering and falling? [more inside]
What does a "robot voice" sound like in languages other than English? [more inside]
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]
Tell me everything about teaching kids how to speak and read and write. [more inside]
Which language is claimed to have shifted between language families? [more inside]
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]
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]
Best structured cheap or free Spanish conversation classes in Toronto (better yet, at the University of Toronto)? [more inside]
Can you share ways of sounding less direct and polite while contradicting / disagreeing / sharing ideas in a business context?
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?
is there a sophisticated word for altering your partner's appearance? [more inside]
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]
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.
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]
Linguistics! Can you guys explain the joke in this image, which represents how different languages get from point A to point B? [more inside]
Tell me a little bit about this recording I made in a taxi in the UAE. I think it's in Urdu. [more inside]
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]
French tv & movie recs for someone who wants to be entertained but also get used to the language? [more inside]