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What are common pronunciation mistakes English speakers make in other languages?

I just found a list of common pronunciation mistakes English learners make depending on their first language background. What are typical pronunciation mistakes English speakers make when learning other languages? [more inside]
posted by soma lkzx on Feb 22, 2012 - 44 answers

The death and life of languages

Help me sort out the best way to approach language preservation, as an academic interest and as a guideline for volunteer work. [more inside]
posted by mammary16 on Feb 21, 2012 - 16 answers

Aunt In-Law Once Removed?

What do you call your brother-in-law's mom? [more inside]
posted by janelikes on Jan 10, 2012 - 36 answers

Seeking language-rich Spanish-language videos

Please recommend some entertaining Spanish-language YouTube videos for listening practice. I'm looking for a variety of Spanish accents, and people that are entertaining to listen to. [more inside]
posted by free hugs on Dec 16, 2011 - 5 answers

You say ukuleleist; I say ukulelist.

Question for the language types: which is correct, ukuleleist, or ukulelist? [more inside]
posted by chez shoes on Dec 8, 2011 - 19 answers

Spell "Apple" Phonetically without IPA

Sounding out English on the Internet: /æ/ [more inside]
posted by rubah on Nov 29, 2011 - 15 answers

words are metaphors anyway, what's the big deal?

I got hit with some pretty hard core cognitive dissonance last night. I'm looking for help arriving at mental homeostasis again. So it turns out that "derp" is ableist (although some say it's not). I am totally against all "isms" and so I don't enjoy feeling like I contribute. But that's not all... [more inside]
posted by rebent on Nov 1, 2011 - 33 answers

Are Korean and Hebrew languages related?

In Korean, the words for 'mom' and 'dad', respectively, are umma and appa. In Hebrew (maybe other Semitic languages, too), they are ima and abba. Is there a link between Korean (maybe other east Asian languages?) and the Semitic languages?
posted by KingoftheWhales on Sep 22, 2011 - 19 answers

How do I categorize sentence structures?

I'm looking for academic linguistic papers and/or books on classification of sentence structures. (Should I turn on the languagehat signal?) [more inside]
posted by Mr. Bad Example on Sep 13, 2011 - 9 answers

"Hand over your adjectives and no one gets hurt!"

"American English is like a mugger in a back alley who, instead of taking your wallet, takes your pocket dictionary". I read a quote in this vein a while ago and I'm trying to identify the actual quote and the source.
posted by chara on Sep 12, 2011 - 4 answers

How fast can you say the same thing?

Is there any data out there relating to the relative speeds that different spoken languages can express human thought? [more inside]
posted by merocet on Jul 20, 2011 - 18 answers

Harnessing without jargon?

A textbook that I once read contained a passage from some famous author (possibly Mark Twain?) that attempted to illustrate the usefulness of jargon by describing how to saddle a horse, or hitch a horse to a wagon (something like that) without using any specialized terminology. It was marvelously long-winded and impossible to follow. Textbook long since discarded, Google-Fu fails; any idea what this might have been?
posted by lordcorvid on Jul 2, 2011 - 3 answers

Lost link to small linguistic database of words from various languages.

Lost a bookmark to an online database of "common" vocabulary from many different languages, maintained by linguists. These were not Swadesh or extended Swadesh lists, but were a similar--the vocabulary was apparently designed to describe common experiences, like body/kinship terms, natural landscape terms, etc. It was definitely a work in progress. I think it had a blue and white design, a globe logo and an acronym in the name. Ring any bells, Metafilter linguists?
posted by Kutsuwamushi on Jul 1, 2011 - 4 answers

Mystery Pen Inscription

What is this language or cipher found on a pen, and what does it say? [more inside]
posted by Gordafarin on Jun 27, 2011 - 4 answers

#WhatLinguisticsTermIsThisHashtag

Is there a linguistics term for glued-together Twitter hashtags, such as #vacationwishlist, #isawesome, and #wordsthatdescribeme? Also, is there a good way of splitting these into individual words? [more inside]
posted by jasonhong on Jun 20, 2011 - 9 answers

The capital I.

Calling etymologists, linguists, lexicographers, and research librarians! Was there a time when 'television,' 'radio,' or 'newspaper' were always capitalized? [more inside]
posted by thebestsophist on Jun 20, 2011 - 12 answers

Who coined the term "Red, white and blue"?

I'd like to know who or whom first coined the term "red, white and blue" and if there was a purposeful differentiation from "blue, red and white" or any other combination thereof other than linguistic value. [more inside]
posted by jsavimbi on May 25, 2011 - 17 answers

Taxonomy or list of English grammatical constructs?

Taxonomy (or just a list) of English grammatical constructs suitable for use as a checklist for a second language learner? [more inside]
posted by amtho on Apr 26, 2011 - 11 answers

The cat ate the keat

What term describes this property of human language? [more inside]
posted by molybdenum on Apr 18, 2011 - 17 answers

Wine Dark... Hair?

Wine Dark... Hair? Have there been significant studies of the gradient between black and red hair in literary, visual arts, etc? You see a lot of attention paid to the gradient between blonde and red. Does anyone know anything about this? [more inside]
posted by MidSouthern Mouth on Apr 9, 2011 - 13 answers

Word Frequency Counts

Can I compute how frequently a word occurs in general English text? I have a list of about 2000 words, and I want to sort it with the most common words first. [more inside]
posted by Chicken Boolean on Mar 28, 2011 - 27 answers

Watson! Komdu hingað! Ég þarf þig!

Balto-Slavic, Germanic, Italic: help me select which Indo-European language(s) I should learn next! [more inside]
posted by vkxmai on Feb 28, 2011 - 19 answers

Do linguistics grad students have time to breathe?

Lifestyle of a Linguistics Graduate Student? I am starting a Ph.D. Program next fall, and I want to have an idea of how much time I will be spending on campus, working, studying, etc. Will I have time to sleep? Will I be burnt out and hating myself after one semester? What about money? [more inside]
posted by lettuchi on Feb 23, 2011 - 15 answers

Do you use the same adjectives (high/low) for space and pitch in languages other than English?

LanguageFilter: A friend of mine was asking her various polyglot friends this question, and I thought I could help her get a wider scope: "In English, we describe high pitch and low pitch sounds with the same terms we use for things that are high and low in space ("high" and "low" could describe space or pitch). Is this also a convention in your language(s)?"
posted by tumbleweedjack on Feb 19, 2011 - 24 answers

"Amazingly odd and oddly amazing" - is there a name for this kind of phrase?

What are these phrases called? Examples: "amazingly odd and oddly amazing"; "terribly basic and basically terrible"; "embarrassingly hot and hotly embarrassing". I could swear I came across a name for this type of word pairing once before (quite possibly on this very site, in which case sorry), but my searches to find it again have been hopelessly awful and awfully hopeless. [more inside]
posted by d11 on Feb 12, 2011 - 16 answers

Please help me solve a maddening problem with Doulos and IPA

Desperate IPA situation! I've opened up an old Word doc that was created using SIL Doulos or SIL IPA93 fonts. These are now defunct. I currently use Doulos SIL and Charis (both unicode, hooray!). The document is substituting certain alphabet characters for much needed IPA symbols. I need to know what those masquerading alphabet characters used to be in IPA. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Jan 30, 2011 - 10 answers

How does Lionel Logue sound Aussie in The King's Speech?

What features mark Geoffrey Rush's character in The King's Speech as being Australian? [more inside]
posted by Gordafarin on Jan 29, 2011 - 31 answers

Cognitive Linguistics Reading List

Can you help me create an Independent Reading list on cognitive linguistics? [more inside]
posted by shesdeadimalive on Jan 28, 2011 - 6 answers

The spelling of Popeye's laugh

How do you spell Popeye's laugh? [more inside]
posted by flashboy on Jan 18, 2011 - 19 answers

Suggestions of non-English online communities which are Metafilter-esque?

I'm doing an online community + linguistics project. What sites in non-English languages are like Metafilter? [more inside]
posted by honest knave on Jan 5, 2011 - 3 answers

How do you say...

If you wanted to learn 100 words in a foreign (i.e. non-english) language, which words would you choose? [more inside]
posted by mnemonic on Dec 13, 2010 - 26 answers

What are the rules governing English word-substitution into South Asian news broadcasts?

What are the rules governing English word-substitution into South Asian news broadcasts (ex: this S. Tendulkar interview)? Why is it done, when is it done, and what does it connote? [more inside]
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj on Dec 13, 2010 - 7 answers

Why do different languages sound different?

Do we know anything about why different languages sound fundamentally different? What started the people who would eventually become French going "zhoh" in the first place? [more inside]
posted by marginaliana on Nov 8, 2010 - 29 answers

Birds of a feather...do WHAT exactly?

Is there a specific term to describe the coordinated movement of a collective group of animals? [more inside]
posted by Ouisch on Oct 5, 2010 - 21 answers

Practical transcription of Tamashek

I'm trying to write Tamashek, the language of the Tuareg, in latin characters. I have nearly all the literature on this -- the problem is, there are a variety of proposed systems, and all of them seem to be based on a largely impractical phonetic alphabet. Most of the proposed alphabets are around 36 to 50 letters, rendering it largely ineffective, especially when trying to teach writing to illiterate native speakers or second language learners. [more inside]
posted by iamck on Oct 2, 2010 - 14 answers

English words and terms that have changed meaning?

What are some English words and terms that have changed meaning significantly in the last century or so? [more inside]
posted by Dandeson Coates, Sec'y on Sep 8, 2010 - 69 answers

At right about the nose level

I'm enrolled in an advanced semantics class, wherein I'm 1 of 2 undergraduates. It's been a year and a half since I've studied syntax in any way and the class is (after one day) very syntax heavy. Can the hive-mind help me find a good syntax refresher? [more inside]
posted by shesdeadimalive on Sep 3, 2010 - 4 answers

Different associated meanings across different languages

Finding the network of different associated meanings across different languages? [more inside]
posted by kradeki on Jul 30, 2010 - 4 answers

What are some examples of *real* conundrums?

I'm looking for examples of conundrums in the *technical* sense: riddles with answers that are puns. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on Jul 22, 2010 - 19 answers

what affects the variables in a language's regional accents?

in english, for the most part, it's vowel sounds that differ across regional accents. in other languages i've studied (italian, hungarian), consonant transpositions seem to be more common. what gives? or am i even drawing accurate conclusions? [more inside]
posted by nevers on Jul 13, 2010 - 23 answers

Take me to the river, Chaunse me in the water...

Looking for a vernacular American English word! Chaunse, shawnse, shaunse, etc... [more inside]
posted by darkstar on Jul 3, 2010 - 15 answers

Linguistics college class?

What should I expect from a college-level linguistics course? [more inside]
posted by reductiondesign on Jun 21, 2010 - 10 answers

Can you reccommend a good, in-depth primer on grammar?

Can you reccommend a good, in-depth primer on grammar? I don't mean where to use a comma, but rather a clear definition of, for example, nominative, accusative, dative and genitive cases. What exactly are tense, mood, person, number, and voice. That kind of thing. [more inside]
posted by Nothing on Jun 6, 2010 - 16 answers

Which university is more prestigious, Georgetown or University of Washington?

Which school, Georgetown or University of Washington, do you think has more name recognition and prestige? I got into the Masters program for Computational Linguistics for both universities but I'm not sure which one I should go to. It's okay if you don't know anything about the actual departments or linguistics. Just want your overall impression of both schools. Thanks! [more inside]
posted by w84rav on May 25, 2010 - 27 answers

Word I find software that can get to the root of this problem?

How do I obtain a list of all words associated with a list of word roots / stems? [more inside]
posted by hooves on May 13, 2010 - 6 answers

Give me information relating to Linguistics and Environmental Analysis as it pertains to my education.

I am a high school senior, about to go to a liberal arts college, and am wondering a few things about a few 'intended fields of study' (Linguistics, Environmental Analysis, and more?). [more inside]
posted by makethemost on May 12, 2010 - 14 answers

You cawl thayt a noyf?

Is there a resource that demonstrates how to do foreign accents by re-spelling words in such a way that when read aloud by an American, will closely resemble the accent? For example, in "Australian", Down = Dan. [more inside]
posted by TimeTravelSpeed on Apr 2, 2010 - 15 answers

Jewish accent?

American Jewish Accent? [more inside]
posted by Biru on Mar 25, 2010 - 38 answers

Mame-loshn?

Is Yiddish a creole? [more inside]
posted by ennui.bz on Mar 16, 2010 - 13 answers

How did "sugar" come to mean "diabetes"?

So what do you know about "sugar", "sugar diabetes", or "the sugar" being used as synonyms for "diabetes"? And how did that meaning come to be, exactly? [more inside]
posted by skoosh on Mar 6, 2010 - 32 answers

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