Posts Tagged ‘english’

Find Out the Similarities Between Languages

There are thousands of languages and dialects around the world. If you encounter a language that you’ve never heard before, you feel like an alien is speaking to you. 🙂

But it doesn’t work like that for people who are interested in foreign languages. Instead of listening to an alien speech, we try to understand some certain patterns, we give attention to syllable stresses, we try to find some lexical similarities between our own language and this “alien speech”. 🙂

So, I discovered an interesting website showing the similarities between languages. It does not go in detail and it only shows the percetages of the similarities in certain categories, but I’m sure you’ll want to check it up. 🙂

 

First, you select the language that you want to compare to other languages:

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Than you can see the similarities a certain language shares with others.

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Cactuses (Difficulty) indicate the relative difficulty of learning this language if you already speak Italian. The fewer cactuses/cacti, the easier.

Here is the website: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/e/languages/similarities/index.html

Enjoy! 🙂

 

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The Language of the Week: Fula

Maybe, most of the people is just interested in major languages which are English, French, German, Chinese etc. However, a translator is interested in ALL the languages no matter how many people speak it- or no matter if it is already dead or not. 🙂

Here comes another language in which you will be interested. I hope there are native speakers of this language among us and I hope they can give more information about it. 🙂  

The Fula or Fulani language is a language of West Africa. It belongs to the Senegambian branch of the Niger–Congo language family. It is spoken as a first language by the Fula or Fulani people from Senegambia and Guinea to Cameroonand Sudan.

Fulani is an official language in Senegal (Pulaar) and Nigeria (Fulfulde), an official regional language in Guinea (Pular), where many speakers are monolingual, and a national language of Mali (Maasina) and Niger (Fulfulde).

There are several names applied to the language, just as there are to the Fula people. They call their language Pulaar or Pular in the western dialects and Fulfulde in the central and eastern dialects.

It uses suffixes (sometimes inaccurately called infixes, as they come between the root and the inflectional ending) to modify meaning.

There are about 25 noun classes (the number may vary slightly in different dialects). Each noun class has a singular and plural form, and each form has a corresponding article, nominative pronoun, accusative/dative pronoun, demonstrative adjective and adjective agreement pattern.

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This is written in Fula language. It means:

One evening a judge found in a book that everyone who had a little head and a long beard was a fool. Now the judge had a little head and a long beard, so he said to himself, “I cannot increase the size of my head, but I will shorten my beard.” He hunted for the scissors, but could not find them. Without further ado he took half of his beard in his hand and put the other half into the candle and burnt it. When the flame reached his hand he let go, and all the beard was burned. Thus the judge felt ashamed, for he had proved the truth of what was written in the book.

P.S. Most of the information is taken from Wikipedia. I’ve just summarize the certain parts and have not included all the information there.

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Hilariously Wrong “Lord Of The Rings” Subtitles

I know you pay extra attention when you watch a movie because subtitle translation is one of the branches that we are involved in. Even when I watch an English movie, I like watching it with English subtitles because I can sometimes miss some parts. These subtitles are sometimes quite hilarious! Here is an article from Buzzfeed. They have chosen 20 funny The Lord of the Rings subtitles. I want to share the ones I like most. You can click on the link at the bottom for all those subtitle mistakes… 🙂

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More Natural Pronunciations for Online Language Learning

Finally, I found a website with natural sounding pronunciations for online language learners. I have introduced many websites before; however, the pronunciations all have a kind of mechanical sound. This one, although including only basic words, is more realistic if you want to try new languages in your spare time! I just tried Arabic and I already learned the numbers! 🙂

 

There are 11 language options. When you move your pointer over “French”, for example, you can see a brief info about the language and the flags of the countries where French is spoken.

 

When you select a languages, you see different types of conversations.

 

Let’s say you click on “My Home”. You see the whole plan of a home and you can click on any subject and hear the pronunciation.

 

You can also visit each room and click on anything! You can cook meal and see what’s in the fridge…

This is quite funny and exciting because you eventually learn some words and hear the exact pronunciations…

 

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That’s Why English is Hard to Learn

We’ll begin with box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.
Then one fowl is goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a whole lot of mice,
But the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be pen?
The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,
But the plural of vow is vows, not vine.

 
And I speak of a foot, and you show me your feet,
But I give a boot… would a pair be beet?
If one is a tooth, and a whole set is teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be beeth?
If the singular is this, and the plural is these,
Why shouldn’t the plural of kiss be kese?
Then one may be that, and three be those,
Yet the plural of hat would never be hose.
We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
The masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine she, shis, and shim.
So our English, I think you will agree,
Is the trickiest language you ever did see.

 

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Once upon a Time English

I’ve recently discovered that there is a TV series titled “The Adventure of English”. It is a documentary indeed  but it is like 5 episodes. It is quite long, 5 hours total 🙂 However, it is very interesting, I strongly recommend you to watch it in your spare time or while you are having your breakfast or dinner 🙂 I have also begun watching and I wanted to share this valuable documentary with you. You can see the YouTube link at the bottom. Before watching, you may want to run over the short history of English. Thank you “Top Documentary Films” for sharing these videos and introduction with us! Here is their introduction and their explanation of English history besed on the documentary itself!

 

The Adventure of English is a British television series (ITV) on the history of the English language presented by Melvyn Bragg as well as a companion book, also written by Bragg.

The series and the book are cast as an adventure story, or the biography of English as if it were a living being, covering the history of the language from its modest beginnings around 500 AD as a minor Germanic dialect to its rise as a truly established global language.

In the television series, Bragg explains the origins and spelling of many words based on the times in which they were introduced into the growing language that would eventually become modern English.

1. Birth of a Language. The modern Frisian language is the closest sounding language to the English used approximately 2000 years ago, when the people from what is now the north of the Netherlands travelled to what would be the United Kingdom and pushed the Celts to the western side of the island. Words like “blue” can be recognized in the Frisian language.

2. English Goes Underground. Bragg discusses how class also affected the use of English, especially in the time of William the Conquerer and for approximately 300 years after his reign; during this period, only the French language and Latin were used in state affairs and by the aristocracy, while English remained in use with the lower peasant classes.

3. The Battle for the Language of the Bible. In the early to mid 1300s, English fought to be the language of the Christian Bible through the efforts of theologian John Wycliffe, who opposed the church’s use of a Latin scripture because it prevented most of the population from reading the bible for themselves.

4. This Earth, This Realm, This England. In Queen Elizabeth I’s time, English began to expand to even greater depths. Overseas trade brought new words from France, as well as the now popular swearwords “fokkinge,” (fucking) “krappe,” (crap) and “bugger” from Dutch, in the 16th century.

5. English in America. Upon landing in North America, settlers encountered Squanto, a native man who had been captured and brought to England to learn English and become a guide. After escaping, Squanto returned to his tribe, which happened to live near the place that the English settlers had created their small village.

6. Speaking Proper. The Age of Reason began, and English scholars of mathematics and science like Isaac Newton started publishing their books in English instead of Latin. Jonathan Swift would attempt to save the English language from perpetual change, followed by Samuel Johnson who would write the A Dictionary of the English Language, made up of 43000 words and definitions, written in seven years and published in 1755.

7. The Language of Empire. British trade and colonization spread the English language. In India, scholar William Jones finds some English words already present in Sanskrit. Convicts land in Australia, blending London criminal slang and Aboriginal words into a new dialect. Jamaicans reclaim patois.

8. Many Tongues Called English, One World Language. The globalisation of the English language in the 20th century owes most to the United States. Here we look at the predominance of American Black street talk, how the Second World War and American movies threatened to “infect” the mother tongue in Britain and how some nations are attempting to stamp in the invasion of English out – for example franglais in France and Singlish in Singapore.

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You Should Read These Books Just in Two Months!

 

Have you seen this project? If you do not read these books in 2 months, the words and sentences just fade away! So you have to read them right after you buy. It aims to increase the rate of reading books; however, I do not quite like it. I love collecting books and form my own library. It is a kind of legacy and I want my children to read the books I bought from New York, Virginia, Belgium or France… I know this feeling and it feels good 🙂 I, myself, have inherited many books from my grandad. I love even their smell. So in short term, this project is quite interesting but it is not for such big fans of books- like all the translators out there 🙂

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Do you Like Shopping on Amazon.com?

It has been almost 1.5 years since I started this blog and together with the Facebook page. We are more than 1000 people on Facebook and we share many funny posts and pictures about languages, translation and life itself. I have more than 200 daily readers on my blog. I want to thank everyone. To show how I’m glad, I have started a campaign on our Facebook page and Twitter account. You just tell why you love languages and you can win a $ gift card from Amazon. Every week I give a gift card to the most creative tweet! You can find the details on our Facebook page.

If you want to try it just send a tweet 🙂 But don’t forget to use #ilovelanguages and @aimtr

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Common Grammar Mistakes in Translation

There are certain words or phrases that most of the people use wrong. Spelling is also another issue considering such mistakes. For example, I always misspell “grammar” as “grammer”. I can only edit this mistake after proofreading. I do not know why, I am also confused when it comes to import and export 🙂 Whenever I work as an interpreter, I write these two words on post-its and put them somewhere close to me. I came across a good article explainingthe common grammar mistakes in translations. It is a column by JON GINGERICH, I want to thank him for this wonderful post. If you have more grammar mistakes in mind, please feel free to add 🙂

Who and Whom

This one opens a big can of worms. “Who” is a subjective — or nominative — pronoun, along with “he,” “she,” “it,” “we,” and “they.” It’s used when the pronoun acts as the subject of a clause. “Whom” is an objective pronoun, along with “him,” “her,” “it”, “us,” and “them.”

Which and That

This is one of the most common mistakes out there, and understandably so. “That” is a restrictive pronoun. It’s vital to the noun to which it’s referring.  e.g., I don’t trust fruits and vegetables that aren’t organic. Here, I’m referring to all non-organic fruits or vegetables. In other words, I only trust fruits and vegetables that are organic. “Which” introduces a relative clause. It allows qualifiers that may not be essential. e.g., I recommend you eat only organic fruits and vegetables, which are available in area grocery stores.

Lay and Lie

This is the crown jewel of all grammatical errors. “Lay” is a transitive verb. It requires a direct subject and one or more objects. Its present tense is “lay” (e.g., I lay the pencil on the table) and its past tense is “laid” (e.g.,Yesterday I laid the pencil on the table). “Lie” is an intransitive verb. It needs no object. Its present tense is “lie” (e.g., The Andes mountains lie between Chile and Argentina) and its past tense is “lay” (e.g., The man lay waiting for an ambulance). The most common mistake occurs when the writer uses the past tense of the transitive “lay” (e.g., I laid on the bed) when he/she actually means the intransitive past tense of “lie” (e.g., I lay on the bed).

Moot

Contrary to common misuse, “moot” doesn’t imply something is superfluous. It means a subject is disputable or open to discussion.

Continual and Continuous

They’re similar, but there’s a difference. “Continual” means something that’s always occurring, with obvious lapses in time. “Continuous” means something continues without any stops or gaps in between.

Envy and Jealousy

The word “envy” implies a longing for someone else’s good fortunes. “Jealousy” is far more nefarious.

Nor

“Nor” expresses a negative condition. It literally means “and not.” You’re obligated to use the “nor” form if your sentence expresses a negative and follows it with another negative condition.

May and Might

“May” implies a possibility. “Might” implies far more uncertainty.

Whether and If

Many writers seem to assume that “whether” is interchangeable with “if.” It isn’t. “Whether” expresses a condition where there are two or more alternatives. “If” expresses a condition where there are no alternatives.

Fewer and Less

“Less” is reserved for hypothetical quantities. “Few” and “fewer” are for things you can quantify.

Farther and Further

The word “farther” implies a measurable distance. “Further” should be reserved for abstract lengths you can’t always measure.

Since and Because

“Since” refers to time. “Because” refers to causation.

Disinterested and Uninterested

Contrary to popular usage, these words aren’t synonymous. A “disinterested” person is someone who’s impartial. For example, a hedge fund manager might take interest in a headline regarding the performance of a popular stock, even if he’s never invested in it. He’s “disinterested,” i.e., he doesn’t seek to gain financially from the transaction he’s witnessed. Judges and referees are supposed to be “disinterested.” If the sentence you’re using implies someone who couldn’t care less, chances are you’ll want to use “uninterested.”

Anxious

Unless you’re frightened of them, you shouldn’t say you’re “anxious to see your friends.

Different Than and Different From

This is a tough one. Words like “rather” and “faster” are comparative adjectives, and are used to show comparison with the preposition “than,” (e.g., greater than, less than, faster than, rather than). The adjective “different” is used to draw distinction. So, when “different” is followed by a  preposition, it should be “from,” similar to “separate from,” “distinct from,” or “away from.” e.g., My living situation in New York was different from home. There are rare cases where “different than” is appropriate, if “than” operates as a conjunction. e.g.,Development is different in New York than in Los Angeles. When in doubt, use “different from.”

Bring and Take

In order to employ proper usage of “bring” or “take,” the writer must know whether the object is being moved toward or away from the subject. If it is toward, use “bring.” If it is away, use “take.”

Impactful

It isn’t a word. “Impact” can be used as a noun (e.g., The impact of the crash was severe) or a transitive verb (e.g., The crash impacted my ability to walk or hold a job). “Impactful” is a made-up buzzword, colligated by the modern marketing industry in their endless attempts to decode the innumerable nuances of human behavior into a string of mindless metrics. Seriously, stop saying this.

Affect and Effect

Here’s a trick to help you remember: “Affect” is almost always a verb (e.g., Facebook affects people’s attention spans), and “effect” is almost always a noun (e.g., Facebook’s effects can also be positive).

Irony and Coincidence

“Irony” is the incongruity in a series of events between the expected results and the actual results. “Coincidence” is a series of events that appear planned when they’re actually accidental.

Nauseous

Undoubtedly the most common mistake I encounter. Contrary to almost ubiquitous misuse, to be “nauseous” doesn’t mean you’ve been sickened: it actually means you possess the ability to produce nausea in others. e.g., That week-old hot dog is nauseous. When you find yourself disgusted or made ill by a nauseating agent, you are actually “nauseated.” e.g., I was nauseated after falling into that dumpster behind the Planned Parenthood. Stop embarrassing yourself.

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Orange: The Fruit or The Color?

This is a never ending discussion. It is actually similar to the relation between egg and chicken 🙂 But, today we will put an end to it with this article! 🙂

Anyway, let’s be serious 🙂 Last week, we had a discussion about the names of colors. For example orange. Did our ancestors name the fruit after the color, or the color after the fruit? At first, my friends claimed that the fruit was named after the color; however, I disagreed. I gave the violet example to prove it. In my opinion, the color violet was named after the flower. When people saw similar colors to violet itself, they just named this color as violet. When it comes to orange, the situation is the same. I also found an article supoorting my discussion. It is a very funny one so I strongly recommend you to visit the website itself. I want to thank DAVEN HISKEY for this funny article.:

Today I found out the color orange was named after the fruit, not the other way around.   Before then, the English speaking world referred to the orange color as geoluhread, which literally translates to “yellow-red”.

The word orange itself was introduced to English through the Spanish word “naranja”, which came from the Sanskrit word nāraṅga, which literally means “orange tree”.  The English dropped the leading “n” and eventually we got the word “orange”.

In the early 16th century, the word orange gradually started being used to not only refer to the fruit, but also what we now know of as the color orange.

Bonus Factoids:

  • There is an orange tree in Europe called “Constable” that is estimated to be almost 500 years old.
  • Lightning kills more orange trees annually than any disease.
  • Temple Oranges and Murcott Honey Oranges are actually hybrid oranges, being crossed with tangerines.
  • Over 25 billion oranges are grown in the United States every year.  That’s enough oranges for every American to eat about 83 oranges a year.
  • Christopher Columbus brought the first orange seeds to the New World on his second voyage in 1493.  On this same voyage, he also brought seeds for lemons and citrons.
  • Navel oranges are named for their belly-button-like formations on the opposite side from the stem.  As a general rule, the bigger the navel in the orange, the sweeter it will be.
  • There is no single English word that rhymes with orange.  There are however half rhymes such as “hing”, “syringe”, “sporange”, etc.  There are also proper nouns that come very close to being a perfect rhyme with it, such as “Blorenge”, which is a mountain in Wales, and “Gorringe”, which is the last name of the US Naval Commander who discovered and named Gorringe Ridge in 1875.

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