/pedant mode off




Apropos of nothing, one of the biggest universal reactions in the cinema in Barbie was

“Boligráfo. Bolígrafo” »dingding!«

I like the new Daily Practice for completed paths. Although, I would happily accept no longer having a gold owl in Latin if they were to expand it to include things like, oh, I don’t know, the past tense. I’d offer to help them do it, but I have no idea where to do so.


Ah, so I wasn’t the only one who noticed Duolingo remains firmly in the present. I haven’t seen the future anywhere, either. :wink:


Psittaci ebrii pontem delent. (Drunk parrots destroy the bridge)
Psittaci ebrii pontem delebant. (Drunk parrots destroyed the bridge)
Psittaci ebrii pontem deleverunt. (Drunk parrots have destroyed the bridge)
Psittaci ebrii pontem delebunt. (Drunk parrots will destroy the bridge)
Psittacos ebrios pons deletur. (The bridge is destroyed by drunk parrots)


I thought it was
Psittaci ebrii pontem delebant. Drunk parrots were destroying the bridge (imperfect)
Psittaci ebrii pontem deleverunt. (Drunk parrots destroyed the bridge) (perfect)
Psittaci ebrii pontem deleverint. (Drunk parrots will have destroyed the bridge) (future perfect)
Psittaci ebrii pontem deleverant. (Drunk parrots had destroyed the bridge) (pluperfect)

but duolingo doesn’t get that far.


So, I recently started working as a Japanese<>English interpreter at a major tech company, and it is like everyone is speaking a completely different language…the language of computer programmers!

I was interpreting in a meeting recently, and the speaker was talking in Japanese but using some programming-specific words that are loanwords from English. He kept saying the word “null,” which rhymes with “pull” in English (or at least my variant of English), but rhymes with “pool” in Japanese. (When English words are transliterated into katakana, sometimes it follows the actual English pronunciation and sometimes it follows the spelling. There is no rule for this; it is kind of just decided on an ad hoc basis when the word first enters the language.)

The thing is that the Japanese pronunciation of “null” sounds just like the Japanese word “塗る” (which means to apply a liquid or gel to a surface, such as painting a wall or buttering bread), so that’s what I heard due to my unfamiliarity with the programming terms being used. I was flabbergasted on how to interpret it, so I think that I just went with something like, “It’s either applied or not applied,” instead of, “It’s either null or non-null.” It was kind of embarrassing when I finally figured it out, but that’s interpreting for you.


Hmm, for me null rhymes with dull, as opposed to pull. But yeah, programming jargon can get pretty dense. I wonder what words get translated into Japanese as opposed to just being borrowed. Like the word “function” in coding has a completely different meaning than in normal English, so would the Japanese word for function be used or just a phonetic approximation of “function” (or “method”, which is a function in an object or in Ruby)


Where programming uses older words from mathematics, they usually have a Japanese word for that.

Function gets divided into different words in Japanese depending on the exact meaning. If it’s something that a program (or part of a program) does, then it’s 機能 (kinou). If it’s like a mathematical function, then it’s 関数 (kansuu). Since the code itself uses the alphabet, words that are part of the code tend to be transliterated, while words that describe what the programmer or the program does tend to be Japanese words. Of course, there are lots of acronyms, which are sometimes read letter by letter and sometimes not…in both languages.


My neighbors behind me are Vietnamese. We trade veggies and whatnot. Nice couple.

The elderly mother of the husband has flown in for a visit, and came over to look at my garden while her son picked out some peppers for dinner. She doesn’t speak much English so her son was doing a lot of translating as we sorted through the veggies. Every so often though I’d notice that I recognized what sounded like a french word here and there sprinkled throughout the Vietnamese, which makes sense given the country’s history, so I took a chance and asked “voulez vous un choux” (do you want a cabbage).

As it turns out she is fluent in French and so the three of us just switched over. My french is pretty darn rusty but I think she appreciated being able to help me along as I stumbled through bad grammar. And yes, she took a cabbage :slight_smile:


“I wonder if – even with his/her quality of not having been made unsystematized” why do you need that many words when one word is enough?



You know, that one time at an Eläkeläiset gig I stood behind a couple of not exactly sober middle school teachers who discussed theories about why Finnish in general - and Finnish grammar in particular - is so complicated. They agreed that it was intentionally - but one guy was of the opinion that it was to give people something to occupy themselves with during the long, dark winters, while the other guy suspected a government plot aimed at distracting the population from high rates of unemployment.
Anyway, compound languages for the win!


Sadly AFAIK their book Eläkeläiset: suuri suomalainen juopottelukirja (2000) [Pensioners: a great Finnish book on drunkenness] has never been translated.


Cool! I’ve been curious about Romansh for a long time.

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… ou, il faut que le voisin d’Alice achète des rideaux. Ou tous le deux.