Aug 19, 2014 / 24 notes


So I decided to read a sociolinguistics textbook.
These were my reactions to the mention of Portuguese and then to the lack of proofreading. COME ON MAAAAN. COME ON RONALD, BRO!!! WE AIN’T USING NONE O THAT Ñ THING!!!! WE USE NH, BUD!!! GET.IT.TO.GE.THER!!!!

Aug 15, 2014 / 219,430 notes
  • Satan: [appears]
  • Satan: You can have anything you wan--
  • Satan: What?
  • Satan: What the--?
  • Satan: Wouldn't you rather have love or money?
Aug 10, 2014 / 19 notes

needkpop said: Hi. I'd like to just say that there's this really good app/website called memrise. Where you can do language courses and they have a lot of them it's really good you should check it out.


Aug 9, 2014 / 246 notes


TEDxTalks - Barry Mosses “Preserving Endangered Languages”

I’ve been doing some research […] and I’ve found some of the most amazing untranslatable words in the non-American speaking world. Here they are, in no spectacular order.

1. Mamihlapinatapei
This is one of the first words I learned about as an untranslatable word. It’s spoken by using an ancient and primitive language from Chile, in Tierra del Fuego. (Tierra del Fuego, by the way, means “Fire, Having Land/Earth/Dirt, Which Land/Earth/Dirt Is Being This Land/Earth/Dirt”.) The word, mamihlapinatapei, is unfortunately untranslatable.

2. Toska
This is a Russian word. It means… uhhh… it’s sort of like… hm. Well it’s a cool meaning, but you have to know Russian to understand it.

3. Iktsuarpok
The Inuits only have one word for this, and therefore although we can’t know what this word means, we do know that iktsuarpok is neither important nor familiar to the Inuits, otherwise they would have 231 words for it.

4. Shlimazl
This Yiddish word is often used next to schlemiel, both of them meaning something related to each other. The meaning is something close to… uhhhh… dammit this article is hard to write.

5. Friolero
No idea. Looks Spanish.

6. The
You might recognize this word, but there is no English translation of it. It is similar to a and an but it has a nuanced meaning that those two words just don’t quite capture.

7. Tartle
Scots talk funny, don’t they?

8. Torschlusspanik
Germans use this word. You might notice it has the word panik in it which is close to English panic but those other parts mean some other sorts of things.

9. Wabi-Sabi
In Japanese culture, you have… there are these… ummm… It rhymes with itself. Like that other untranslatable word Oingo Boingo.

10. Hwæt
This Old English word used to be English when English wasn’t yet old. Once it became old, hwæt became impossible to use.

11. Cafuné
Not even speakers of Portuguese from Portugal can understand this word. Only speakers of Portuguese from Brazil know what it means.

12. L’appel du vide
There’s no single English word that captures the full meaning of this French phrase. The French have one translation of it that they have shared with us (the call of the void), but they have recently given it another more interesting meaning that they are keeping from us.

13. Schadenfreude
This weird German word roughly translates into the English word, schadenfreude.

Aug 9, 2014 / 333 notes
Jun 23, 2014 / 1 note

dontbesoevil said: Hello, I'm a French girl speaking English (I'm going to uni in the UK in September. Hell yeah!) and learning German (let's say B1+ in the CECRL). I would like to begin to learn Hebrew this summer. There are some exercises on Livemocha but I can't begin to learn even how to ask the time if I don't know how to read the characters. Any idea of a good place to start (French -> Hebrew or English -> Hebrew)?

sorry friend, none. :(

Apr 14, 2014 / 2 notes

Anonymous said: Hey, probably not a q you can necessarily answer: I'm currently pretty good at french/going to continue in college, and I've done some spanish on the side... However I really want to do Arabic, farsi, or turkish as well, but I can't decide which!! Any advice??

When in doubt, toss a coin. Go with what you catch yourself expecting the coin’s result to be. 

works like a charm if you’re really unsure of what to do and the consequences aren’t catastrophic whether you choose A, B or C. 

Apr 14, 2014 / 21 notes

So I’m reading an article for an exam…

… and it talks about bilingualism in Inuit children, language shift and so on… and Allen quickly mentions that people who have been living in Inuit communities for years still haven’t learned Inuktitut (Imho because they’re lazy douchebags) because  Inuits are usually bilingual and accommodate non-Inuits, switching to EN/FR when around them. 

So just for the record:

If you wanna learn Inuktitut, it seems to me that Tusaalanga is a good option, as well as Pirurvik.

It is very very very possible that I’ll start with this. 

Also, article reference: 

Allen, Shanley. The future of Inuktitut in the face of majority languages: Bilingualism or language shift?. Boston University. 2004. 

Mar 21, 2014

Anonymous said: For the Tagalog question, I think tumba is visayan or some other dialect, cuz the Tagalog word for fall down is hulog(at least that's what I use). I don't really hear the root verb (ex: sabit) with no prefix/suffix used in sentence. If you want intransitive of sabit in present tense, it would look like: Nagsasabit siya (siya=he/she).

and nagsasabit siya would mean he/she is suspended? so it is a passive? o-o’ 

(also, sorry for the language mistake, I was following my teacher’s slides). 

Mar 21, 2014 / 3 notes


hello fellow polyglot!

I’m working on syntax right now and of course there’s a few examples on Tagalog because it’s a super rich language and pretty much everyone talks about its syntax at some point. 

I have a few doubts about your transitive/intransitive lexical causatives. My professor says “tumba” is intransitive and means something like “fall down”, but pagtumba is transitive and it’s more like “knock down”. She also says that tumba has no agent but has a theme, but pagtumba has agent and theme. I understand pagtumba, but how come tumba doesn’t have a doer? or sabit/pagsabit? 

how come verbs that look like action verbs don’t have doers????? 

*brain collapses in confusion*

thanks a whole bunch

Mar 14, 2014 / 1 note

nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno said: is this blog dead :c

feels like it… I just don’t feel inspired to post anymore. :s

Feb 1, 2014 / 4 notes

theirrelativity said: As a freshman in highschool taking a German 2 course and is at the very least decent in it, would you recommend starting to take Spanish? I would love to be a polyglot, but should I stick to online resources for now?

I recommend you don’t just stick to online resources if you have the chance not to. I mean, ok, it’s practical and you do it in your own time. But it’s easier (for me at least) to stay focused on learning when it is a mandatory part of my routine. 

Sweetheart followers, it would be cool if you could be friends with theirrelativity. Go speak German and Spanish and be cute to each other. 

Feb 1, 2014 / 26 notes

clockworkteaparty said: Hey! English/ Español/ 日本語 speaker and aspiring Italiano/한국의 learner here! I just found your resource list for each language, and I'm so excited to check those links out!! Now that I have those to reference, the only question I want to ask is if you or your followers have any important rules/tips I should know about Korean or Italian before diving in head on (all I know so far is hangul!) Thanks so much, and I absolutely ADORE your blog!! ヽ(* ´ ▽ ` *)ノ♡ --Kate / ケイト

Tips for learning Italian… I’d say that with your Spanish basis you’re already fairly priviledged! :) Dig into grammar (I once used a book that is pretty clear in their explanations called Italiano Plus by Claudio Manella. The exercises are exhaustive, and it helped quite a bit.), find a version of your favourite book in Italian and read the shit out of it. Then go for real Italian stuff (Le città invisibile by Calvino wasn’t hard to read. It’s small and straight forward and easy to find.).

Regarding Korean… I don’t know how hard it would be for you to learn it on your own. I sure don’t have the tits to do it. I suggest you try with the resources you can find, but don’t rule out looking for a Korean Community Center in your city. It is probably the best way to practice the language and get in contact with the culture at the same time.

Best of luck, cutie pie! :)

Dec 23, 2013 / 208,915 notes



11 Untranslatable Words From Other Cultures

Follow the link for the source

(via gracielikescats)

Nov 21, 2013 / 72 notes