(I originally posted this as a comment on a Facebook thread of mine, but thought it was worth reposting as a Words & Stuff post.) The first time I saw the word mojibake, I didn’t recognize it as Japanese, so I pronounced it (to myself) as rhyming with cake. Just now, I did a search […]
Archive for Languages
I feel like I see this kind of thing a lot in sf stories. Made-up example: “Feh!” she said, in perfect unaccented fluent Old High Garzingian. I feel like a single interjection, or any other single word, or even a brief phrase, isn’t really enough of a sample for an observer to be able to […]
I have a variety of concerns and dubiousnesses about Heather Altfeld’s essay “Every Day, Another Language Dies,” published at Lit Hub in May. (Originally published in Conjunctions 70, under the title “Obituary for Dead Languages.”) But I nonetheless found it a poetically lovely and sad eulogy for languages lost and languages we’re losing, so I […]
As I’ve been slowly learning Spanish via Duolingo, I’ve found the large number of cognates between Spanish and English very useful. Sometimes, false cognates get in the way; the most common example I see of that is the word embarazada, which English monoglots may assume means “embarrassed,” but which instead means “pregnant.” But setting aside […]
From Vanity Fair: “Alicia Vikander Teaches You Swedish Slang,” a 4-minute video. I initially assumed this was a straight-faced joke, with Vikander (the Swedish actress who’s playing Lara Croft in the new Tomb Raider movie) making stuff up; but no, apparently these are real Swedish slang phrases. Though some commenters suggest that some of her […]
Why do we have more days set aside to honor stuff than things?
Interesting article: “Understand Why [the Spanish pronoun] ‘Usted’ Is Sometimes Abbreviated ‘Vd.’” (Originally published in 2006.)
Article from 2012 about Sweden’s new gender-neutral pronoun.
Some common exceptions to the usual rule in Spanish that words that end in -o are grammatically masculine-gendered and words that end in -a are grammatically feminine-gendered.
Two reference sites that provide conjugations for verbs in many languages: bab.la Verbix