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yong321 last won the day on February 28 2017

yong321 had the most liked content!

About yong321

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  1. Hi linguaholic, 我是中国人. I'm a native Chinese speaker. Thanks for telling me there won't be conflict if two people are editing the list. Google Docs is doing a great job! I just blogged about this list: http://english-for-chinese.blogspot.com/2018/02/the-multilingual-idioms-list.html Any comment is welcome! Could you make some minor corrections on the first column of the list? For instance, "burn (not bum) the midnight oil". Change "a" to "A" in "achilles", "a to z" to "A to Z". Append "a" to "piece of cake". I only went through the first 50 or 60.
  2. I added the column Chinese and provided a few idiom translations. I wonder, how we can make sure the file is not being edited by more than one person at the same time. When that happens, I think it's possible that some of their changes become lost. Should there be a locking mechanism to allow one person to edit at one time? This Multilingual Idioms List may be the first in lexicography or in human history. There ought to be a Wikipedia page for this work. Once the Wikipedia English page is set up, we can easily translate it into numerous languages and set up pages in those languages.
  3. répartir to share, to distribute, to divide. Not to be confused with repartir (“to leave again”, “to restart”), which has a higher frequency. Historically, the sense of “to share” appeared first. When the sense “to leave again” appeared, the form for “to share” changed its prefix from re- to ré- to avoid confusion. Only as a mnemonic, think of re- for simple repetition (“again”) and the slightly less simple ré- for a more unusual meaning, in this case, “to share”. palme palm tree leaf; swimfin, flipper (for swimming or diving). Note that English palm, a cognate, combines two meanings in one word: “palm tree or leaf”, which is palme in French, and “palm of hand”, which is paume in French. To help remember the difference, as a mnemonic, think of l in palme as the tree trunk while u in paume means the palm is spread out. The meaning of “swimfin” is because a swimfin resembles a palm leaf. See also paume. cingler to whip, to lash, to beat with a strap, fouetter; to sail. cinglé (informal) crazy. In the first sense of cingler, it’s cognate with cingle (“girdle”, “belt”), cinch (“saddle girth”). In the second sense, it’s cognate with sail if traced to Proto-Germanic, but probably influenced by the first sense (wind beats the sail). The meaning “crazy” of cinglé is from an old idiom which literally means “to beat the nose” but figuratively “to get drunk”. As a mnemonic, consider the fact that unmarried or single people are on average more likely to develop dementia (become crazy) in later life. (Note: These are sample words from my to-be-published book Learning French Words Through Etymology and Mnemonics, The words are arranged in usage frequency order. Underlined words serve as clues in a mnemonic.)
  4. This article "This ancient mnemonic technique builds a palace of memory" (https://aeon.co/ideas/this-ancient-mnemonic-technique-builds-a-palace-of-memory) describes the remarkable memory capabilties of various aboriginal peoples. It's true that without a written language, they must develop extraordinary skills in memorizing things. But I'm still not sure how we can make use of the techniques or physical devices (gadgets) in learning foreign languages or anything for that matter. Aren't they just mnemonics after all? We all use them anyway. Why are they more efficient? Comments?
  5. terrible terrible (cognate), horrible; (informal) terrific (cognate), excellent, formidable (as in French, not English). Note the meaning in informal or colloquial usage. While all derived from the same Latin source, English separates the two opposite meanings into terrible and terrific but French keeps one form, taking different meanings according to context and tone of speaking voice. baiser kiss (n.); (vulgar) to fuck (v.). Cognate with an outdated English word buss (“kiss”). Use a mnemonic such as “He gave his girlfriend Beth a kiss.” Be very careful with the meaning of baiser used as a verb. It used to mean “to kiss”, which nowadays is embrasser in French. You can use the word as a noun (in spite of the -er ending) without such concern. Not to be confused with baisser (“to lower”).
  6. Simone de Beauvoir remarked that in French, “most abstract entities are feminine” (The Second Sex, trans. H.M. Parshley, 1978, p.179). This is probably true; e.g., French word critique means “criticism” as a feminine noun, but “critic” as a masculine noun. I'd like to know (1) if there's any statistics proving her claim, and (2) if others especially linguists have made the same or a similar statement. Thank you! Note: I'm not interested in finding out if there's any morphological and semantic justification for her observation because there's probably none. Nor am I interested in associating grammatical gender with human gender, as Ms. Beauvoir probably assumed.
  7. gré liking, will (n.). Cognate with grace (“free favor from God” in religious context). Often used in phrases such as contre le gré (“against the will”), à son gré (“to his liking”). See also malgré (“in spite of”). bijou jewelry. Celtic origin. Use “bead jewel” as a mnemonic. Try pronouncing d and j lightly. meurtrier murderer (n.); murderous (adj.). meurtre murder (n.). These words are cognate with English murder if traced to Proto-Germanic. Note that there’s no doublet in French matching English murder as a verb; use assassiner or simply tuer instead.
  8. chouette owl; (informal) cool (adj. or interj.), great. In the sense of “owl”, it’s cognate with chough (a crow-like bird), but folk etymology believes it’s from chat (“cat”) + hurler (“to howl”). The second sense, “cool”, is not clear in origin; it’s somewhat unthinkable an interjection of “Cool!” would sound like the hoot of an owl or the meow of a cat. Use a mnemonic such as “Sweet!” For old-timers, use “Swell!” instead. Not related to chute (“fall”). parapluie umbrella. From para- (“to guard against”) + pluie (“rain”). The prefix is cognate with parry (“to ward off”), doublet with parer (“to fend off”). If you happen to know Spanish, you may think of the word to mean “for rain”, which serves as a good mnemonic. See also parer.
  9. tromper to deceive; to cheat. Cognate with trumpet. According to A. Brachet, an etymologist, this word means "properly to play the horn, alluding to quacks and mountebanks, who attracted the public by blowing a horn, and then cheated them into buying; thence to cheat". écarter to separate, to remove. écart gap. From ex- (“to remove”) + carte. It originally meant “putting the cards aside” in card-playing. chauve bald. Cognate with callow (“immature”, “inexperienced”; previously “bald”). Chauvinism is named after “Nicolas Chauvin, a legendary and excessively patriotic soldier of the French First Republic” (Wiktionary). The surname Chauvin literally or originally means “bald man”. Alternatively, think of the common image of a group of right-wing chauvinists that are bald-headed. (They are sample headword entries from my Learning French Words Through Etymology and Mnemonics, which makes use of etymology to help you remember French words, and failing that, suggests a mnemonic.)
  10. I had this idea for some time and posted it on my blog. I think we can organize volunteers to do one thing that was never done before. Suppose we want to know the most popular opinion of the people in a specific country on a specific indident. We can visit the major news Web sites of that country and see what the popular comments are. The most like'd comments can be considered as the representative opinions. The reason I brought this idea up on this forum is that the comments are written in a specific language. To make them readable by other people (mostly English speaking people) requires translation. Unfortunately, casual writing with some spelling and grammatical errors poses a challenge to machine translation. Volunteers speaking different languages can do the work much better. I hope this idea can produce a free Web site. It fills a niche on the Internet, because it's something never done before. (My blog posting http://some-new-ideas.blogspot.com/2016/09/web-site-to-collect-dominant-opinions.html explains this idea in greater deatils.)
  11. http://yong321.freeshell.org/misc/mltr.php You enter in English, and get translations in multiple languages of your choice. You could use an existing translator such as Google Translate but you have to do that one language at a time. Mine does it all with one click. Any comments are welcome.
  12. Some people prefer repeated drills. It works great especially for young people. Some others like to analyze a new word. It works better if he has some knowledge of etymology and phonology. But if etymology fails to help, this "word analysis" may still help with creating a hint as a mnemonic. I use this method extensively (and even wrote a little book about it). To see examples, visit http://yong321.freeshell.org/lsw/sample3.html http://yong321.freeshell.org/lsw/sample6.html where almost every entry is like a mini-blog. Any critique is welcome.
  13. The Spanish translation "ir al grano" for "cut the cheese" seems to be for "cut to the chase" instead.
  14. ILoveOrangeSoda, Thanks a lot. The RAE Web page you showed is exactly what I want. So, the year after which Spanish dictionaries are supposed to sort words like Chávez and then Cruz instead of Cruz before Chávez is 1994. Good to know.
  15. Spanish or traditional Spanish treats ch as a single character, which is sorted after c. Is this still widespread practice? Do most Spanish dictionaries still do that nowadays? In a discussion forum on Oracle database, I was told "Hace años que la RAE eliminó la "CH" como letra" (See discussion "Ordenar C y CH" at http://www.forosdelweb.com/f100/ordenar-c-ch-1154750/ ). So I'm guessing the trend is to not sorting ch after c. Also, I'm interested in finding the "official" announcement from RAE that they stop treating ch as a single letter.