Questions in the Writing & Language category.
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July 28

Turkish Hip-Hop Translation: Roadside Picnic

I recently interviewed a Turkish band who introduced me to the group 'Roadside Picnic', who make fantastic, alluring left-field hip-hop. I've been hopelessly hooked on this live version of what I presume is a new song from the duo. It's titled "Bir Ustamızın Havası", and I'd love to know what the song is talking about. [more inside]
posted by beijingbrown at 11:52 PM - 0 answers

Help translating a flyer from English to Portuguese

I have volunteered to help out with a thing, and now I have a (short) bit of text that I am hoping someone can translate from English into Portuguese for me. [more inside]
posted by janepanic at 4:57 PM - 3 answers

July 27

Visuals that come to mind?

I am trying to create symbols and images that children can associate with certain words. Can you help me come up with all the visuals that come to mind for the words "advisor" and "luxury" (these are the two that I am stuck on because of how complex and non-accessible for children they can be)?
posted by omar.a at 11:00 PM - 19 answers

What 3 letter word should I get engraved on a knife?

I want to buy a cheap rainbow folding knife and get it engraved with something rad. I only have three letters to work with, however. [more inside]
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:47 AM - 90 answers

July 26

Business Nomenclature

I'm writing several form letters targeting different types of business and would like to use the proper terms with each type. For example, lawyers have clients at their practice. Theaters have patrons at their venue. Doctors have patients at their clinic (or practice). Stores have customers at their business. What are some other examples I could prepare? [more inside]
posted by Sophont at 12:39 PM - 12 answers

July 25

Why are Russianized family names more common in Central Asia?

Why are Russianized family names more common in Central Asia than other parts of the former Soviet Union? [more inside]
posted by pravit at 4:00 PM - 5 answers

July 24

Analogies for Someone Stuck in Their Comfort Zone or Resistant to Change

What are some good analogies to inspire someone who's stuck in their comfort zone or are resistant to change to embrace an open mindset towards the idea of positive change/transformation? [more inside]
posted by purefusion at 3:14 PM - 13 answers

What should it be called: ATM or Cash Machine?

Explaining researching that uses data point around ATM/cash machines for both American and international audiences. In the US, people know them as ATMs. In the UK, they are often called cash machines, or cash points. I can only pick one for this work: which should I pick? [more inside]
posted by troytroy at 1:53 PM - 26 answers

July 23

No dirty limericks, but a veiled sonnet would be nice

Wedding poetry recommendations for a pair of active, late 20-somethings? [more inside]
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:37 PM - 12 answers

July 22

Did people actually say "shwench"?

Many years ago I read this William Safire article in which he claims that "shwench" is 1985 slang for a female college first-year. Did anyone ever actually use this completely bogus-sounding slang term? [more inside]
posted by town of cats at 10:26 PM - 22 answers

Communication vs Communications

A recent question here involved a job title with the word Communications in it. I thought, from the job description, that Communication (no s) was the more appropriate word--but apparently I was wrong. Can someone explain why? [more inside]
posted by mpark at 2:55 PM - 9 answers

July 21

Help me find a quote like this?

I'm trying to find a quote that fits a romantic (but not overly saccharine) mood that basically says "I do this because of my love for you, I believe in it because you believe in it, I stand by your side against adversity because I know I am with you."
posted by cyrusw8 at 9:59 PM - 13 answers

Translation of Hebrew Signage on Small Building

There is this odd little building in my neighborhood and I would really like to know what the sign on it says and what it could possibly be used for. I saw it being built over the past year, but I have no clue what it is. Here is the building and this is the sign on front.
posted by Julnyes at 12:11 PM - 5 answers

Introducing honoured guests

I am responsible for introducing (in English) a number of honoured guests from Japan at an event in Canada. I am looking for the appropriate English honorifics (His Excellency, Her Honour, etc) for some specific government officials, as well as some general honorifics. [more inside]
posted by arcticwoman at 10:04 AM - 8 answers

July 20

What do we call the type of noun following the verb "effect"?

You can effect a change but you cannot effect a banana. Change and banana are both nouns; is there a specific name for the type of noun that "change" is but "banana" isn't? Or is this a case where it can't be described in the way I'm hoping. TIA!
posted by ftm at 1:14 PM - 25 answers

July 19

Russian Surname Transliteration

What possible Russian surname is "Goloumachaya" when badly transliterated into Roman script? It comes from a mid-1900s English source, but has no search results on the internet. [more inside]
posted by Thing at 3:00 PM - 10 answers

July 17

Ég tala ekki íslensku. How do you say "subtitles" in Icelandic?

I... well you see... okay, can we just accept that I have a reason for asking this? I don't speak Icelandic (I even have a t-shirt to attest to that fact). Google Translate is ambivalent, suggesting either "texti" or "Undirtitill" or just throwing up its hands depending on how I phrase it. Are you from Iceland? What do you call the words on the bottom of the screen that translate what a character is saying? Kattullus, are you out there?
posted by Naberius at 10:08 AM - 3 answers

Japanese without the hard parts

So I know Mandarin Chinese, as in speak and read it pretty much as well as English. I also have a community of Japanese speakers I can tap to help me with the very esoteric task of learning Japanese from scratch. I don't have any incentive curiosity and time to kill, so given these factors, are there any things the almighty green would recommend to learn Japanese better/faster/smarter, especially from the unusual approach angle of a USian gaijin? [more inside]
posted by saysthis at 9:16 AM - 5 answers

Childhood book filter: Frozen younger brother

Seeking the name of a kid's book from 70s-ish timeframe. Story set in eastern europe or russia-ish forest area. Parents leave the house and leave older brother in charge. More plot, more inside. [more inside]
posted by LoraxGuy at 7:59 AM - 3 answers

July 15

Longing in another language

I know there are words in other languages for things we don't have words for in English sometimes. I am looking for a word that means something along the lines of "longing for things that one feels one is missing out on due to circumstances beyond ones control". In addition I am looking for other words that describe specific types of sadnesses or happinesses. These can be in any language.
posted by jitterbug perfume at 7:42 PM - 14 answers

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