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  • Showing only topics with the tag "language". Back to normal view
    1. What is the horrible phrase my wife learned from her grandpa?

      Hello! My wife's grandfather would say the phrase "ʃɛkrɛplj jɛɽɛ" from what I can decode from the phonetic alphabet on Wikipedia, or my best English estimation "shikrepple yere" with a flipped r...

      Hello! My wife's grandfather would say the phrase "ʃɛkrɛplj jɛɽɛ" from what I can decode from the phonetic alphabet on Wikipedia, or my best English estimation "shikrepple yere" with a flipped r if that makes no sense. He would say this when he lost a hand in poker, when she repeated it as a kid got chewed out and told not to say it, and he died without having ever said what it meant. He was stationed in Germany during the Korean War, so our best guess is something Polish..? But we can't find much that matches.

      Tilderinos, can you translate what horrible phrase my wife has been casually repeating to people trying to figure it out and what language it's even in? Apologies if this is a slur or something... And thanks!

      71 votes
    2. News sources or other subtitled media in Traditional Chinese?

      So I recently got back from a very comforting trip to my motherland in Taiwan. I always joke that when I get back from Asia my Chinese gets better by a lot. One thing I kinda wish I was better at...

      So I recently got back from a very comforting trip to my motherland in Taiwan. I always joke that when I get back from Asia my Chinese gets better by a lot.

      One thing I kinda wish I was better at was reading Traditional Chinese, since it's one of the barriers I have for fully communicating with my family and dimishes my confidence when navigating Taiwan.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm fluent in speaking, I've had full on conversations with native Taiwanese and they're always surprised that I'm from America.

      At the same time I feel like I should be keeping up with the news and general day to day life in Taiwan, since I plan on visiting more often because my grandparents are getting older and I really miss the country a lot.

      I know we have a couple of people who are in East Asian countries/Taiwanese/Taiwanese-adjacent, I was wondering if y'all had any suggestions on things like news channels on YouTube or day in the life content that I can follow along with and match characters to practice my reading a bit. I can read at maybe a kindergarten level if that helps LOL.

      15 votes
    3. Recommendations for a grammar checker?

      I'm looking for a French grammar checker. I think I'm in that intermediate-level plateau where I just need to keep talking / chatting in French but I want to eventually get to a point where I have...

      I'm looking for a French grammar checker. I think I'm in that intermediate-level plateau where I just need to keep talking / chatting in French but I want to eventually get to a point where I have correct grammar, maybe even some suggestions for idioms.

      Some info for my use-case:

      • I don't expect to go past 100 "consultations" a month.
      • Would be nice if there was an extension that helps for email / Messenger / Telegram / WhatsApp.
      • Would be nice if it did help with idioms.

      I did my homework and found out that:

      • Grammarly does offer this but only in English.
      • Language Tool exists but it's 20 euros monthly or 60 euros per year, which are both steep prices for just trying it out.
      • Asking ChatGPT works most of the time, but it's a bit annoying to load up that website every time and ask. I'm open to coding something based on the API if that would be the most cost-effective option.

      Thanks in advance for all your suggestions!

      10 votes
    4. Seeking advice: German or Swiss German for moving to Basel

      I am planning a move to Basel and have no background in either German or Swiss German. My work language is English, in which I am already fluent enough, so I am exploring which language would be...

      I am planning a move to Basel and have no background in either German or Swiss German. My work language is English, in which I am already fluent enough, so I am exploring which language would be more advantageous for social integration and daily life in Basel. I am interested in understanding the benefits of each language in the context of non-professional interactions and community engagement. Additionally, I am looking for recommendations on effective learning resources for either language. Any shared experiences, advice, or information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

      8 votes
    5. Have you learned a foreign language as an adult? What did you find effective?

      I would love to know of your experiences. I do speak multiple languages, but was lucky to learn them through immersion as a child. I would be super interested to know how people learn languages...

      I would love to know of your experiences. I do speak multiple languages, but was lucky to learn them through immersion as a child.

      I would be super interested to know how people learn languages (with a goal to speak them fluently) as an adult. What techniques worked? What techniques didn't? Do you have any funny stories (perhaps miscommunication anecdotes)? Was it worth it? Or your things generally in relation to language-learning!

      31 votes
    6. Are you currently learning a new language? Are there any languages that are on your wishlist to learn?

      I grew up semi-bilingual (English as my native language, Spanish spoken at least once a day at home), and went on to study Spanish as my language of choice in middle and high school. Despite this,...

      I grew up semi-bilingual (English as my native language, Spanish spoken at least once a day at home), and went on to study Spanish as my language of choice in middle and high school. Despite this, I would still like to further my Spanish language skills/knowledge with some self-paced coursework, as the Spanish I grew up hearing in the house was much more colloquial and then the Spanish I studied in school was the "from Spain" Spanish, rather than the Central American Spanish my family spoke. I grew up being better able to understand more than what I could speak or write myself.

      When I moved onto to college, I wanted to try studying a different language, so I chose French (bad idea; I could never really get the hang of it between the spelling challenges and the pronunciation being so different from the written word). I took one semester and passed just enough to get credit for the class but moved onto to German -- which was a little bit easier than French but more difficult than Spanish. Beginner classes in it were easy for me to learn, but I started to struggle when I got to upper-intermediate. Plus, I'm not always great at spelling in English, and French and German are not "speller-friendly" languages haha.

      Now as I approach my midlife, I am thoroughly enjoying my ASL for Beginners course through my local community college. I find it incredibly intuitive whenever I learn new signs ("oh, that makes sense, cool" when I see a new sign). My mother-in-law has known and taught ASL (as well as SEE) for over 20 years so she is very helpful with me practicing and being able to correct any small mistakes I make. I don't know anyone who is Deaf, but have had a few friends growing up who used hearing aids (I don't think they knew ASL).

      So what about you? Are you currently learning a new language? If so, what is it, how do you like it so far, and what led you to want to learn it? If not, are there any languages on your wishlist that you'd like to learn someday?

      For me, I wanted to learn ASL as a way to connect more deeply with my MIL in our relationship, as well as have some level of ability to sign with those who are Deaf/deaf. I also wanted to learn it because I wanted an alternative way to communicate with my spouse if we are at a noisy event/party/etc. without having to shout to be heard.

      41 votes
    7. Books about… books? More specifically, books about writing?

      Not too long ago, I came across a book that changed my life, or at the very least, my writing. While I have some trouble remembering specifics, I do remember it going deep into the world of...

      Not too long ago, I came across a book that changed my life, or at the very least, my writing. While I have some trouble remembering specifics, I do remember it going deep into the world of philosophy and psychology, exploring the intricacies of what makes a book, and what our writing really means. The book analyzed the craft of writing, discussing how humans perceive the differences between good and bad writing, the difference between a good speech and a dull monologue, and how good writing becomes great. This, as well as the nuances of human perception on language in general. Alas, I have since lost the book's title and author, but the captivating writing style and genre remains with me, and I’d really enjoy some recommendations of similar works. I don’t expect to ever find it, as my search has led me to other good books about this sort of writing.

      *Please forgive me if this is not the method I should be following when I post, this is my first post here. *

      16 votes
    8. Could a language learning model talk to whales? Or a human who speaks a language besides English?

      The New Yorker has a provocative article asking the question "Can We Talk To Whales?" It boils down to utilizing language learning models to process a dataset of sperm whale clicks, their codas,...

      The New Yorker has a provocative article asking the question "Can We Talk To Whales?" It boils down to utilizing language learning models to process a dataset of sperm whale clicks, their codas, and crossing one's fingers to see if "ClickGPT" can produce actual sperm whale language.

      Which makes me wonder if a language learning model been given a library of Chinese sounds and ideograms, without context, then communicated in workable Chinese?

      Using a language learning model to learn to speak to whales is an interesting idea, but I'm thinking any LLM assigned the task will wind up chunking out a word salad or something akin to Prisencolinensinainciusol. I'd like to learn more.

      24 votes