John Gordon Ross

A Man for All Reasons

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Language Stuff

Almost everyone uses language, so inevitably almost everyone thinks they are an expert in it. I don’t consider myself an expert, though most of my work requires at least language competence and sometimes actual skill, but I do follow the blogs featured on this feeds page.

(If you are wondering where the translation-related feeds have all gone, I have put them on their own page.)

Most of the blogs represented here are in English, most of the time, but don’t be surprised to find other languages used. Go with the flow – I occasionally find myself pleasantly surprised at how much I can grasp in languages I have never seen before.

Language On the Net

languagehat.com » Two Pronunciation Puzzles.

Sunday 31 December 21:18:33 UTC 2017

1) I happened on a mention of Wanaque, New Jersey, and of course wanted to know how to pronounce it. The Wikipedia article said “(/ˈwɑːnəˌkjuː/ or /wəˈnɒki/)”; I thought “that can’t be right,” but it turns out both are correct. From the references: 19. Hanley, Robert. “Full and Not at All: The Difference Between 2 New Jersey Reservoirs”, The New … [Link]

Language Log » News program presenter meets robot avatar

Sunday 31 December 16:02:52 UTC 2017

Yesterday BBC's Radio 4 program "Today", the cultural counterpart of NPR's "Morning Edition", invited into the studio a robot from the University of Sheffield, the Mishalbot, which had been trained to conduct interviews by exposure to the on-air speech of co-presenter Mishal Husain. They let it talk for three minutes with the real Mishal. (video clip here, at least for … [Link]

Language Log » Wireless Robert Johnson

Sunday 31 December 13:04:51 UTC 2017

Looking for something else, I stumbled on this unexpected Google Books description of Peter Guralnick's Searching for Robert Johnson: The description of another edition is more plausible: And likewise this one: The "unprecedented growth in wireless applications" blurb actually seems to belong to I.J. Bahl, Lumped Elements for RF and Microwave Circuits, 2003: I'll leave it to someone more versed … [Link]

Language Log » Greasiness, awkwardness, slothfulness, despondency — Chinese memes of the year

Sunday 31 December 9:07:10 UTC 2017

The first two conditions, along with eight others, are covered in this interesting Sixth Tone article: "An Awkward, Greasy Year: China’s Top Slang of 2017 " (12/28/17) by Kenrick Davis Davis's presentation is excellent, so let us begin this post with two montages accompanying his article. Here are the ten cultural memes in Language Log style (but following Davis' translations), … [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » come heavy

Sunday 31 December 8:24:39 UTC 2017

To walk in carrying a loaded weapon. From The Sopranos You shouldn't have lunch with a Russian drug dealer unless you come heavy. [Link]

Omniglot blog » Language quiz

Sunday 31 December 8:00:58 UTC 2017

Here are some recordings of New Year greetings in various languages. Do you know which languages they are? Happy New Year / Blwyddyn Newydd Dda / bonne année / Bliain úr faoi shéan is faoi mhaise daoibh / 新年快樂! [Link]

languagehat.com » The Influence of Translators.

Sunday 31 December 0:57:28 UTC 2017

Sam Leith interviews the publisher Christopher MacLehose, and has some good bits: In some cases an author acquires a translator-symbiote, so that it becomes near-impossible to read – or, to translate – Proust except through CK Scott-Moncrieff-shaped spectacles. Thanks to Scott-Moncrieff, for instance, Du côté de chez Swann is, pretty much indelibly, Swann’s Way in English (he nicked the usage … [Link]

Archive

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