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  #51  
Old 11-17-2019, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Linguistic miscellany

I'm curious about this, but I can't find it by searching that translation site, and image match shows that it just popped up on imgur on October 10 with no notes or anything. Is it based on services requested from that company, real time translators, census or some other data, some random online poll results, or what?

I can't remember ever encountering someone here who spoke German but not English, so maybe it's just something where they're counting "took German in high school." It's relatively easy for English speakers to pick up, so I think it's a popular choice among slackers.

And the Chinese thing is confusing to me too. Did they lump a bunch of mutually unintelligible languages in together, or are they just counting one? Because if they're counting ALL Chineses together, I am boggled that it's not the #3 here.

EDIT: So as soon as I posted, I found the original, but I still can't find anything about how they reached these conclusions.
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  #52  
Old 11-17-2019, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Linguistic miscellany

I subscribe to the "took German in high school" theory, mostly because I subscribed to slacking and taking German in high school.
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  #53  
Old 11-17-2019, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: Linguistic miscellany

Russian translators being more in demand tells you that there are more Russian speakers in Oregon with weak English skills, but not necessarily that there are more Russian speakers overall.

And as I mentioned, "Chinese" is not really a single language. Having a Mandarin Chinese translator won't help if the person you're translating for only knows Cantonese. Translators would need to be more specific than "Chinese". It's also possible that they requested translators for languages other than Mandarin and Cantonese and you didn't recognize the name as a variety of "Chinese" - if they say they want a Hakka or Hokkien translator without saying that it's Hakka/Hokkien Chinese I could see it not being obvious. Although I don't know how familiar you are with the names of Chinese varieties.

You could be right that Russian is more common than Chinese languages in Oregon though. There are apparently fewer Chinese people in Oregon than I expected.
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  #54  
Old 01-17-2020, 05:33 AM
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Default Re: Linguistic miscellany

Why not this thrad:

An interesting tweet thrad full of first nations people giving a blurb about their nation with many linguistic examples.

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  #55  
Old 04-09-2020, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: Linguistic miscellany

Unprecedented rise in the use of the word unprecedented.
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  #56  
Old 04-09-2020, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: Linguistic miscellany

INCONCEIVABLE.
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  #57  
Old 05-14-2020, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Linguistic miscellany

'La Covid': coronavirus acronym is feminine, Académie Française says | World news | The Guardian

Quote:
“Covid is the acronym for coronavirus disease and acronyms have the genus of the name that forms the core of the phrase of which they are an abbreviation,” the academy ruled
and they proceed to give examples, which suggest that this is all quite logical and consistent.

Quote:
And that is not all. Pas du tout: the AF is still not grammatically done with Covid-19, which it regrets is not referred to as “corona virus morbus” (presumably Covim for short).

“Coronavirus disease – it should be noted that one might have preferred the Latin name morbus, which has the same meaning and is more universal – means ‘disease caused by the crown-shaped virus’.”
OK no, they're just messing with us as much as they possibly can.
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  #58  
Old 02-27-2021, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: Linguistic miscellany

As we all know, you sometimes find what feels like it should be a simple subject but which turns out to be kinda complicated.

Today's was Yes and no.

I'll leave you to read about the three- and four-form systems, and whether Early English had a four-form system (with yes and yea, no and nay having distinct uses), and just highlight this:

Quote:
In December 1993, a witness in a Scottish court who had answered "aye" to confirm he was the person summoned was told by a sheriff judge that he must answer either yes or no. When his name was read again and he was asked to confirm it, he answered "aye" again, and was imprisoned for 90 minutes for contempt of court. On his release he said, "I genuinely thought I was answering him."
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  #59  
Old 03-01-2021, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Linguistic miscellany

There's the story of a linguistics professor explaining to his class that different languages may or may not have double negatives, and the meaning of a double negative might be different or ambiguous depending on the context: however, there are no such problems with double positives.

In response to which, one of his students shouted, "Yeah. Right."
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  #60  
Old 03-13-2021, 07:01 AM
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Default Re: Linguistic miscellany

Quote:
Originally Posted by ceptimus View Post
There's the story of a linguistics professor explaining to his class that different languages may or may not have double negatives, and the meaning of a double negative might be different or ambiguous depending on the context: however, there are no such problems with double positives.

In response to which, one of his students shouted, "Yeah. Right."
In some languages double negatives are normal and expected. In Afrikaans 'I am not going there' is "Ek gaan nie darheen nie." Literally I'm not going there not.
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