Some interesting studies about the impact of language on mental imagery appear here:


France levels up local video game slang with list of French terms to replace foreign words

France’s Commission d’enrichissement de la langue française* has decided to offer citizens new ways to describe video games in the language of the land.


On Sunday, the French ministry of culture therefore issued new guidance [PDF] about how to discuss video games in French.



They keep trying. And yet, the French people still say things like ‘le weekend’ and ‘le hotdog’.

New terms circumnavigate the globe almost instantaneously. They are never going to catch up.


Parents of young kids (aged 6-11 or so), have you found any language-learning app/website/TV show/etc that you recommend?

My kids have very basic Spanish, which they’d like to improve, and I’d like them to start learning beginner Italian as well.

Most ipad apps – heck, most beginner language learning – focuses on memorizing nouns, but I hate that, and I’d love for something that focuses on conversation from the start instead (hi, how are you, my name is, do you want to play?).

Any recommendations?


[Gallic shrug]

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No wonder AI development has problems with language, since we don’t completely understand how it affects humans:


This is unusual, considering spoken Danish is just a sludge of vowels while written Danish is not too different from the other Scandinavian languages. So usually, if you speak one of those you have no problem reading and are pretty list when listening.


Waiting for a scandal involving Bill Gates proposing a law to prevent openings in fences specifically in retaliation against a former Star Trek doctor.



I was recently made aware of a “untranslatable” poem

Der Werwolf

Ein Werwolf eines Nachts entwich
von Weib und Kind und sich begab
an eines Dorfschullehrers Grab
und bat ihn: »Bitte, beuge mich!«

Der Dorfschulmeister stieg hinauf
auf seines Blechschilds Messingknauf
und sprach zum Wolf, der seine Pfoten
geduldig kreuzte vor dem Toten:

»Der Werwolf«, sprach der gute Mann,
»des Weswolfs, Genitiv sodann,
dem Wemwolf, Dativ, wie mans nennt,
den Wenwolf, — damit hats ein End.«

Dem Werwolf schmeichelten die Fälle,
er rollte seine Augenbälle.
»Indessen«, bat er, »füge doch
zur Einzahl auch die Mehrzahl noch!«

Der Dorfschulmeister aber mußte
gestehn, dass er von ihr nichts wußte.
Zwar Wölfe gäbs in grosser Schar,
doch »Wer« gäbs nur im Singular.

Der Wolf erhob sich tränenblind–
er hatte ja doch Weib und Kind!
Doch da er kein Gelehrter eben,
so schied er dankend und ergeben.

–Christian Morgenstern

which makes use of the fact that German has four noun cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative)-- sort of like Latin, Greek, Russian, etc

English lacks these cases, so translators sometimes opt to conjugate “was” to approximate the joke.


One night, a werewolf, having dined/, left his wife to clean the cave /and visited a scholar’s grave/— asking, “How am I declined ?”

Whatever way the case was pressed / the ghost could not decline his guest/ but told the wolf (who’d been well-bred / and crossed his paws before the dead).

“The Iswolf, so we may commence,/ the Waswolf, simple past in tense, /the Beenwolf, perfect; so construed,/ the Werewolf is subjunctive mood."

The werewolf’s teeth with thanks were bright,/ but, mitigating his delight,/ there rose the thought,/ how could one be hypostasized contingency ?

The ghost observed that few could live, if were wolves were indicative; / whereas his guest perceived the role of Individual in the Whole.

Condition contrary to fact, / a single werewolf Being lacked/— but in his conjugation showed / the full existence, a la mode.


Clever, but perhaps this is closer

One night, a banshee slunk away / from mate and child, and in the gloom /went to a village teacher’s tomb, /requesting him: “Inflect me, pray.”

The village teacher climbed up straight / upon his grave stone with its plate /
and to the apparition said / who meekly knelt before the dead:

“The banSHEE, in the subject’s place; / the banHERS, the possessive case. /The banHER, next, is what they call / objective case–and that is all.”

The banshee marveled at the cases /and writhed with pleasure, making faces, / but said: “You did not add, so far, / the plural to the singular!”

The teacher, though, admitted then / that this was not within his ken. / “While bans are frequent”, he advised, / “A she cannot be plurized.”

The banshee, rising clammily, / wailed: “What about my family?” / Then, being not a learned creature, / said humbly “Thanks” and left the teacher.

Max Knight


An interesting quiz that can be done in multiple languages:

Will compare with other languages soon! :crossed_fingers:t4:


Wine Clink GIF

Your English Vocabulary Size is:


★★★ Top 0.01%

You are Shakespeare! You can even create new words that will expand the English dictionary.

(No idea how you were able to get the full image to copy! Guess I’m not so smart after all, huh?)


A 282 word advantage. I wonder how it could possibly measure that.


Just a screenshot! :wink:


A survey from Slack and Duolingo has confirmed that the witty emoji you like to drop into your messages could mean something entirely different to the recipient.



I wish Finnish used macrons so I could use Ǟ (ǟ) and Ȫ (ȫ).ǟ


:thinking: “‘The’ synonym or antonym of” ; I think that strained the meanings of those terms. Transposition was often only apposite absent more than just nuance, or opposition barely implied even when the words were from the same class.

Besides: the Dutch test used the same words, translated poorly, and there ain’t no way my Dutch is this good:

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I would really appreciate a rigorous explanation of how antonyms of verbs are supposed to work.