I have read that there is a near-universal tendency for people to speak to pets in the same kind of high-pitched voice they would use towards babies because it is an instinctive response to smallness, cuteness, innocence. And I know that "Who's a good boy/girl/dog? Are you a good boy/girl/dog? Yes you are." is an extremely common way for people to talk to dogs, their own or others...although what's behind this I can't guess. (Bonus points if you can.) [more inside]
I am a white American from Michigan; I would like to donate money to support efforts to preserve native languages. I'm interested in pretty much any language preservation cause. [more inside]
I'd like to learn new languages - specifically French, German and Latin. The only significant time I have to do this is a daily ~2 hour commute. So, recommendations please for offline audio-based language resources (something that is, or can be put, on a CD). [more inside]
How mutually intelligible are sign languages of the same family? And how widespread is International Sign? [more inside]
How do you say I want to tell you how much I love you in your non-English language, including specialized non-romanized lettering? Please also specify the English equivalent of the language name ("Japanese"/etc).. It's for a non-school, non-profit art project :-3 [more inside]
If I were a hobby programmer and looking to learn a new language both for self-education in new areas and to get skills that could be marketable in the future, what should I look at? [more inside]
I used the expression "Like carrying coals to Newcastle" with my wife, who is originally from Ecuador. There is a different version in Ecuador. What other linguistic and regional variations do we know? [more inside]
I'm interested in learning a language, or more accurately re-learning it. Or even more accurately learning it better than I did in the first place. [more inside]
How does Death speak in Discworld translations into non-alphabetical scripts? [more inside]
I'm working on a web site proposal that includes a subset of pages that need to be translated into 8 languages. How do I estimate the level of effort on translation? [more inside]
In English it is grammatically incorrect to be gender neutral. When speaking of an entity you must speak of them either in terms of female or male. It seems that most languages are like this. [more inside]
I am looking for non-English language podcasts that do NOT focus on language learning. [more inside]
I will be in Brooklyn and Manhattan for about 6 months and would like to improve my conversational Spanish skills. Are there any good classes or groups for this that are informal and fun? [more inside]
I would like to learn Spanish with my husband, but we are looking for activities, or games, or just exercises that would be best for couple's learning. We have limited time available after work. [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.)
A follow up to this Michelangelo quote question - Calling Italian & Urdu speakers for some translation help! [more inside]
What's the best way to learn languages (particularly French and German) through software or online which a) does NOT rely on long lectures, b) teaches sufficient grammar and vocabulary to read moderately complex books, and c) is interactive (if possible with a clear measure of progress) and d) self-paced?
Help me find this half-remembered website: You tell the site what languages you speak, and it tells you what percentage of the planet's population you can communicate with. I remember it having a map that broke it down by country or continent, but I could be conflating it with another website.
I purchased some Vocabulearn Mandarin Chinese MP3s. Unfortunately they didn't come with a transcript. [more inside]
CCSF offers online beginning Italian, but that's all I'm seeing. I am looking for beginner language classes in any language that is not English or French offered online through a California community college. Can you suggest any? [more inside]
I help manage a website for an international audience; we strive to be inclusive. We offer several different language versions; our translations are done by volunteers. Generally we add languages based on whether we have volunteers to translate. We have been offering European Portuguese for a while. Now a new volunteer has shown up, asking to be invited to the project; s/he is offering to volunteer for a translation to Brazilian Portuguese, which we currently do not offer. [more inside]
I have a photo from a recent immigration rally with a young woman holding a sign in a non-English language. What does the sign say? And what language is it? [more inside]
Are there any online communities conducted in Spanish or French that are kind of like Metafilter? [more inside]
He speaks English, my family speaks Spanish.. how can I help him learn to speak to my family? [more inside]
Question for German speakers: I would like some reading material to improve my German. I've studied it for a while and have passively absorbed many words, but usually in the context of vocabulary lists and such. I don't want anything really easy however. [more inside]
What are some languages that are easy to learn to read/write without actually knowing the language? Obviously to an English speaker French and Spanish would be easy to read and write because we mostly use the same alphabet, so I'd like to stay away from languages that use that system. [more inside]
It's difficult to get a job in my field without knowing Spanish, and the grad programs I'll be applying to next year strongly prefer bilingual English/Spanish applicants. I'm searching for a job and I'd like to become conversationally proficient as quickly as possible. What methods have worked for you? A community college class? A private class? A private tutor? A particularly awesome website? I was once fluent in both French (which I spent years studying in highschool and then got practice working for a French company, who also provided a private tutor) and Portuguese (learned via an intensive university class, but lost once the class ended and I didn't keep using it). I pick up languages fairly easily, but I need a lot of practice time and a little bit of structure. I'm confident in my ability to learn the specialized jargon of my field once I'm comfortable speaking the language on an everyday basis. I'm looking at an intensive Summer class at the local community college, but I'd like other options as well.
Once upon a time, I was a moderately fluent student of classical (Attic) Greek. That was 15+ years ago, and I'd like to get back to that point again. (With some specific goals in mind.) What tools can help me do that? I have been a fan of the awesome Perseus Project almost since they launched, and I've still got my trusty print edition of Liddell and Scott (and two sets of grammar books) but I'm not sure which other books or geeky tools might help me do what I want. (Details within) [more inside]
I studied Spanish in high school and college, and I even spent a semester abroad in Spain. At that point, I was very proficient at reading, writing, and speaking it. Sadly, in the 8 years since graduation, I feel as though I have forgotten everything. I am looking to get into a field where knowing Spanish would be very helpful, and I am trying to figure out the best way to both relearn what I knew (and possible go beyond that). Obviously for speaking, I will need to get out there and practice, but before that, should I just pick up my old textbooks and get going? Or, is there a better way?
I teach college students. One otherwise capable student I have taught this year has struggled in particular ways that suggest s/he might have a learning disability or similar. The school's office for student disability service can provide testing &c if the student contacts them. What is the best way to discuss this with the student and recommend they seek assistance? [more inside]
Are there FontSquirrel and DaFont equivalents for the Greek and Hebrew language? I'm looking for some creative Greek fonts in particular, so, where do I find the Greek equivalent of "Bleeding Cowboys" for example? [more inside]
For a personal project I'm working on, what would be the best programming language if I wanted the user to be able to input some text and image choices and have them receive the information back in an eBook? I've used PHP before to store and retrieve that information, but I'm not sure it could handle the conversion to an ebook. [more inside]
Can you give me specific instances of US political candidates or elected officials publically speaking in a language other than English? [more inside]
Here is the photo with the Arabic message: LINK What does this say in English? I think the girl might represent me. She looks brokenhearted, too. Thank you so much for your help!
I would like to know, when one is studying German, what do you have to learn with nouns? With verbs? I think with nouns you must learn the gender and the plural form, but that's it. Should you also learn declension? With verbs, what must one memorize in addition to the root word? [more inside]
Hello, I am currently studying Chinese. I'd be interested in any advice people could give me with regard to making my Hanzi practice more productive. [more inside]
Ok, so a friend is knitting a dog puppet out of an English language book. They are not so fluent in English, I am not fluent in knitting. They are hang up on the following instruction: "Row 21 (eyebrow row): K2tog at the same time making loopy st 1cr, loopy st 2cr, k2sc, loopy st 3cr, k1sc, pult." Can anyone offer any way to explain this? I think I can wrestle it into German. Thanks!
If a child is immersed in a particular language on a medium-term basis (say, a year of preschool, or maybe two or three), and becomes fluent in it, but then the exposure is taken away, how much does this language stick? Can the child still understand the basics of the language a decade later? Or does it make the language easier to relearn later in life? ALSO: What does early exposure to a foreign culture do for a child, if anything? Is cultural uprooting and rerooting of this nature disorienting and/or destructive for a child? [more inside]
Are grammatical genders, as a rule, consistent across the Indo-European languages which use them? [more inside]
Egyptian Arabic Translation needed, please. [more inside]
What is the equivalent of "John Doe" in other languages? [more inside]
Grunge and Rock outside the USA [more inside]
Eyptian Arabic Translation Needed: انا دلوقت فى القطر لما اروح هكتبه وابعتهولك What does this mean in English? I tried Google translator and Bing, but it came back gobbledygook. Thank you!
Why is the spell checker in Firefox defaulting to Dutch, and how can I make it stop? [more inside]
How can I brush up my language skills, given I seem to have a difficulty with rote learning? [more inside]
How can I set up interviews with multilingual speakers and colleagues so that the default language they use is most likely to be English? Is there anything I can say or do to make this happen? Alternatively, how do I deal with the frustration of not understanding what is going on, when everyone is speaking a language I don't speak? [more inside]
Why is it so hard to quickly count from 1 to 100 alternating between 2 different languages on each digit? Any cognitive scientists want to explain this? [more inside]
What are some recommended books for the general reader on why languages are so different. How come languages such as Thai, Mandarin, Hebrew or the Indo-European langauges have such hugely different alphabets, let alone such vast differences in pronunciation? Given that human societies share many common characteristics, how come we ended up speaking so differently from each other. As I say, I'd prefer books aimed at the general reader, rather than, say, linguistics specialists.
For a project I'm doing, I'm looking for songs in Spanish that demonstrate voseo (the use of the informal second-person singular pronoun vos). This way of speaking isn't technically "standard" Spanish, so I don't exactly know how to search for songs that show this usage. [more inside]