Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2008 December 14

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December 14[edit]

Neo (conlang) materials[edit]

I have been searching on the Internet for some time looking for Neo (by arturo Alfandari) materials but searches yield only little materials. But The Library of Congress has the original Rapid Method of Neo - so, why doesn't somebody go there, borrow a book, have it scanned and posted here, on Wikipedia? I would have already done that, but I'm not from the US (in fact, I'm from Europe). so, if anybody could help me, thanks A LOT!*&PID=UiYWt5ukOI8jeCjL7yydwSi2ZEytV0v&SEQ=20081215183629&CNT=100&HIST=1 --ArkinAardvark (talk) 17:34, 17 December 2008 (UTC)


im looking for a word to go with puppet, print, food and ring to make a new word or phrase —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:04, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Finger. 03:05, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Nice. Indeterminate (talk) 01:17, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

English to Latin translation request[edit]

'It is right and honourable to die for your country' (or something like that) translates to 'dulce et decorum est pro patria mori'. I want a similar sentence that means 'it is right and honourable to study at oxford'. I guess it would start 'dulce et decorum est...'. Can anyone help me out? In case you're wondering it's for a bit of creative writing. (talk) 16:00, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

See Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.
My answer (with macrons) to your request is "Dulce et decōrum est Oxoniae studēre" (see Locative case#Latin).
With macrons, the other expression is "Dulce et decōrum est prō patriā morī".
-- Wavelength (talk) 19:33, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure that the Latin verb studere would have really been commonly understood by an ancient Roman as "to study", except in certain particular phrases and specific contexts, and Oxoniae would be liable to be understood as a dative object, giving a meaning more along the lines of "to occupy oneself with Oxford, to be enthusiastic about Oxford". Maybe doceri would be better than studere... AnonMoos (talk) 21:33, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Moreover, Latin takes things terribly literally, so that "Oxoniae" would be interpreted as referring to the town, not the university. I'd say "Dulce et decorum est in Universitate Oxoniensi litteris studere". —Angr 21:43, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
See Latin names of cities. -- Wavelength (talk) 19:35, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
"Dulce et decōrum est in Ūniversitāte Oxoniēnsī disciplīnus discipulus esse." [footnote 1]
-- Wavelength (talk) 02:10, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
How are you parsing that, Wavelength? Shouldn't it be discipulus? I can make no sense of disciplīnus.
¡ɐɔıʇǝoNoetica!T– 03:32, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Angr, studēns occurs in Pliny (c. 100 CE) meaning "keen student". Later forms that would do quite nicely (since Oxford is "later", and so are we all): scholāris, scholasticus, studiōsus (yes, as a noun). Less direct terms are also used, translatable as "citizens of the university", and so on.
¡ɐɔıʇǝoNoetica!T– 04:15, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Noetica, I was thinking absent-mindedly when I posted that with "disciplīnus" (an imaginative word from "disciplīna") and I realized my error afterward. I was hoping to correct my error before anyone else did, but I was delayed by circumstances. Yes, you are right, it should be "discipulus".
-- Wavelength (talk) 04:58, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
[footnote 1] I have corrected my second translation. -- Wavelength (talk) 05:19, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Noetica, I wasn't looking for a noun meaning "student". I was looking for a verb (phrase) meaning "to study" in the intended sense, and what I found in dictionaries is "litteris studere". —Angr 08:31, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
When I saw this I was trying to think of medieval authors who studied at the universities; why look to the classical authors who lived long before Oxford existed? William of Tyre never uses "studere" this way, but he does use constructions like "litterarum studiis dedicavimus". He often also says "vidimus" or "audivimus" some professor, or "eorum auditoriam ingressi sumus". Peter Abelard also says "in studio litterarum" or similar, but sometimes uses "studere" (in the Historia Calamitatum anyway). Those are the first two I thought of but there should be dozens of other authors (who may also have much poorer Latin and may be more inclined to use "studere" in a non-classical way). Adam Bishop (talk) 09:09, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks everyone that's a great help! (talk) 12:29, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I got my mojo working[edit]

What does this mean? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:10, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Mojo -- AnonMoos (talk) 22:21, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
To expand a bit; since the article does a poor job of explaining the evolution of the term; the original meaning may have been as a simple magic charm, but by the time Muddy Waters got his mojo working (and by the time Jim Morrison got his Mojo Risin') it had definitive sexual connotations; in Muddy Waters song it is definately a sexual magic... Jim Morrison was talking explicitly about his penis... 03:46, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm assuming you are referring to Austin Power's mojo? Then Jayron32's definition of sexual magic would be appropriate. -- (talk) 23:19, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

In 1960 it was "I got my mojo woikin', but it just don't woik on you" by Muddy Waters [1]. A Mojo is a Hoodoo magic charm. Edison (talk) 03:26, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Chinese measure words for candy, money, coffee, and food.[edit]

What are the measure words for candy (糖果 - táng guǒ), money (钱 - qián), coffee (咖啡 - kā fēi), and food (食物 - shí wù)in chinese? Also, what's the proper way to write the pīnyīn for these? Do I write, for example, táng guǒ (as I wrote above) or tángguǒ as one word? Does the measure word attach too? Yakeyglee (talk) 23:38, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm a first-year student of Chinese, so I'm hardly an expert. But I think we were told that you can use zhāng (张) for bills of paper money. [This page], which lists a bunch of measure words, says to use bǐ (笔) for large amounts of money. Maybe that page can help with the others too. As far as pīnyīn goes, even the Chinese textbooks I've read don't seem to have any consistent standard. Since Chinese is an isolating language, I don't think it really matters to Chinese speakers. I think it makes it easier for English (and other non-isolating language) speakers to read if you group the morphemes together into one word, though. The measure word is usually left separate, though, from what I've seen. Hopefully someone else will be more helpful. :) Indeterminate (talk) 01:16, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Please see our article Chinese measure words. That article is actually pretty good without having been rated. — Sebastian 02:46, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree, Sebastian. That's a good place to start. Yakeyglee, come back if you can't find all that you need from there and from the other linked material.
Yes, Indeterminate: zhāng is certainly used for paper money. 一张票 (yī zhāng piào) means "one ticket" or "one bank note". And indeed, pinyin treatment of two-character "words" is often indeterminate. Practice seems to vary by register, context, and individual preference.
¡ɐɔıʇǝoNoetica!T– 03:54, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Do you mean "a sum of money" and "a portion of food"? In those cases you’ll use 筆 and fèn 份 respectively. For candy and coffee, you just say "piece (kuài 块) of candy" and "cup (bēi 杯) of coffee", as you do in English.--K.C. Tang (talk) 07:43, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

In Taiwan, one speaks of "pieces" (kuai) of money, "cups" (bēi) of coffee and "bowls" (wan) of food. DOR (HK) (talk) 06:20, 16 December 2008 (UTC)