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Everything posted by BWL

  1. If you can tell the difference between the intonation of these four different sentences (in English), then you are not tone deaf 1.) You are sick? 2.) You are sick! 3.) Ohhhh, you are sick? 4.) Darn it! You are sick! In sentence 1 the "...sick?' part would be tone 2. In sentence 2 the "...sick!" would be tone 1 The "Ohhh...." in sentence 3 would be tone 3. And the "Darn..." in sentence 4 would be tone 4.
  2. BWL


    Bumping up this thread (Admin - If this is not allowed, feel free to remove it!) I used to live (well for 3 months anyway) in a small neighbourhood in Istanbul called Kuzguncuk on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. The area was once a Jewish and Greek enclave and there are still two synagogues, two Greek Orthodox churches, an Armenian Orthodox church and a mosque all in close proximity to each other. Most of the Ladino speakers have emigrated from Kuzguncuk but I remember being taken on a visit by local friends to the Old City on the European side of Istanbul. While walking in one of the
  3. "Chipashvili" is Georgian if I'm not mistaken. I don't know if 停滯不前 is a good Chinese transliteration of its pronunciation. You can go one of two ways: either pick a set of characters that match (more or less) the pronunciation or else pick a characters that match the meaning.
  4. Feel free to ask me any questions! Your may write in English, French, Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia, Tagalog, Hindi, Urdu, Turkish and Chinese. Although don't expect a 100% perfect response in Chinese (I only learned to read Chinese characters in my late 20s - early 30s and speak a very divergent dialect as my native language)
  5. I've added a common Navajo (yes, the Native American language with the largest number of speakers) idiom for "to be clumsy or awkward" (the equivalent of the Englisn "to be all thumbs", and the French "avoir deux mains gauches"). Tʼóó bílaʼ dijool Meaning, "his or her hand is just round". There is no gender distinction in Navajo pronouns so this can be used to refer to either male or female. If you'd like a grammatical breakdown (Native American languages are very complex and you could write a thesis just to explain the phonology and morphology of Navajo, for example) I could start a
  6. Hi! My name is Brian and I'm with a London-based company called uTalk (formerly Eurotalk). We're specialists in language-learning apps particularly for rarer languages like Basque, Greenlandic, Scottish Gaelic, Maltese, the various Polynesian languages (Samoan, Fijian, Hawaiian, Maori), Khmer, Burmese, Javanese and even uncommon Indian languages like Gujarati and Kachchi. Feel free to check out our website for the full list of languages! https://utalk.com/en/store Our app is full of useful, everyday words and phrases divided into topics, with up to 180 hours for each language. All words a
  7. Hi ! My name is Brian and I've been a member of this forum for years but due to work commitments had been away. I'm back (partly due to this lockdown)! I speak English, French, Mandarin, Taiwanese fluently and have a working knowledge of Turkish, German, Hindi and Burmese. Currently learning: Arabic (Syrian dialect), Navajo, Warlpiri and Nahuatl. Yes I know, strange combination!
  8. Glad you are feeling better! So many people are getting sick these days, it's scary. I'm in Malaysia and am staying put for a while thanks to all the craziness in the world today. I finally have time to get back to my language studies and have just published my first ebook.
  9. Hi! thank you, the honor is mine Was terribly busy these past couple of years. How are you doing ?
  10. I've been dabbling in Navajo and Warlpiri for a few years now. Both are quite complex and significantly different from more familiar European and Asian languages. Let me know if you want to know more!
  11. I just found out about this amazing place in Paris: http://www.mundolingua.org/ It's a museum for languages and linguistics! For any language lover who's in Paris, this is a must-see! It's the first European museum dedicated to languages!
  12. I vividly remember my friend from Kyoto who kept calling her mother "Okahan, Okahan!" I suppose the -san > -han and -masen>-mahen change is one of the stereotypical markers of Kansai speech.
  13. That's a good question! Here's a rough (OK, very rough) guide: Feminine noun endings The majority of words that end in -e or -ion. Except words ending in -age, -ege, -é, or -isme (these endings often indicate masculine words) Masculine noun endings Most words with other endings are usually masculine. There are numerous exceptions, for example "la plage" and "le poète", that the above rules will work with about 80% of French nouns you will encounter. Happy Learning!
  14. Yes that explains a lot! I've noticed a lot of words like this as well, common Japanese words written in hiragana rather than kanji. For instance, do people still write "おはようございます" and "こんにちは" with kanji? Thanks!
  15. That's a great list! BTW do Japanese normally write "hasami" in kanji? I remember seeing it written in hiragana although I can't recall if I've ever seen the kanji.
  16. Sinisinta kita sounds very poetic to me, like something a hero in a romantic novel would write on a piece of paper and tie to the leg of a homing pigeon and then send it flying his beloved's house Incidentally "sinta" (the root of "sinisinta") is cognate with Malay and Indonesian "cinta". We use the word "cinta" in a rather poetic way too, I don't think it's a coincidence.
  17. http://www.omniglot.com/blog/?p=12207 I'm sharing an interesting link from Simon Ager's amazing blog and website, Omniglot. Guess which type of Gaelic the recordings are in: Irish, Scottish or Manx Try not to read the comments below the recordings in the post there are a lot of clues there!
  18. I studied the lyrics of this song by Jacques Dutronc for my DELF B1 and amazingly, while living in Paris I discovered that after all these decades...... Paris at 5 am is still exactly as he described and sang about way back in the 60's.
  19. A similar debate has been raging on and off in Malaysia for decades. The official language is Malay, originally known as 'Bahasa Melayu'. 'Bahasa' simply means language (yes, it's derived from Sanskrit), so the word means 'the Malay language'. When Malaysia became an independent nation, the official language was renamed 'Bahasa Malaysia' (Malaysian language) instead. Some purists claimed that the original name should be retained while others say that 'Bahasa Malaysia' belongs to all Malaysians and not just to the majority Malay ethnic group. The debate rages on.
  20. I personally say "zed", that was the way I was taught in Malaysia (a former British colony, so British spellings and pronunciations are standard here).
  21. When I studied Japanese at university, we were taught the standard Jōyō kanji (around 2000 plus). The main problem for me was that I was a native Chinese speaker (I grew up speaking a non-standard dialect) and I kept having problems when reading aloud because I often could not decided if a kanji was to be pronounced with on-yomi or kun-yomi. Learning to read names was a big problem for me (though I believe that I'm not alone) - for example, the unisex name Hajime (meaning 'beginning', 'origin' or 'first') can be written with 10 different kanji, and this does not include hiragana and kat
  22. Apologies for bumping this thread, I just heard this one the other day while watching a Japanese anime, just couldn't resist sharing. 耳が遠い (mimi ga tooi) = to have bad hearing (ears are far) もっと大きな声で話してくれませんか。おじいさんは耳が遠いんです。 Could you please speak louder please? Grandpa has bad hearing (literally, "Grandpa's ears are far").
  23. A friend recently asked me how to say 'love at first sight' in Chinese. Well it's: 一见钟情 (yījiànzhōngqíng) The literally meaning is: one glance (一见), fall deeply in love (钟情). Pretty much self-explanatory
  24. The most boring part for me is memorizing vocabulary. However this becomes a little less boring when there is context associated with the learning process, like when I struggled to learn Turkish in order to follow a recipe book (my aim at the time was to make the best and most authentic imam bayıldı ever from a book of traditional recipes). Needless to say the dish turned out so-so but my vocabulary increased dramatically. I've also been tinkering with the idea of starting a language learning blog focused on using recipes for traditional dishes as texts for foreign language learners (com
  25. By any chance, are any forum members here learning a Native American (or Canadian First Nations) language? I fell in love with Navajo years ago, developing fluency in such a complex language was exceedingly difficult. I'd love to interact with learners in this language as I am intending to brush up my command over the next couple of months. Another interesting language I tried learning was Plains Cree, from the Algonquian language family. It's unrelated to Navajo, the way that English is totally different from Basque. Plains Cree even has it's own fantastic writing system, Cree Syllabics.
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