Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2009 November 26

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November 26[edit]

French translation[edit]

Seule héritière survivante de son père et des biens de la maison de Bourbon du Maine, Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon (+ 1821) apporta le château et le domaine de Dreux dans les biens de la maison d'Orléans, par son mariage avec Philippe Égalité. Elle fut la mère du futur Louis Philippe. Le domaine est aujourd'hui propriété de la Fondation Saint-Louis.

The only surviving descendant of her father and of the estate of the house of Bourbon du Maine, Louise Marie Adelaide de Bourbon brought the castle and the domain of Dreux into the estate of the house of Orleans, through her marriage with Philippe Egalite. She was the mother of the future Louis Philippe. Today, the domaine is the property of the Saint-Louis Foundation. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 01:51, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Looks good, except for the French spellings "Saint-Louis" and "domaine" left in the English. The "+1821" was omitted; the plus sign should be a dagger, and what it means is "died". In English we would usually write "(d. 1821)" (or "(?-1821)" if her date of birth is unknown, rather than if we just don't happen to know it). --Anonymous, 04:33 UTC, November 26, 2009.
1753-1821. See Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon, which answers a number of other questions (in English), either directly or through links. The hyphen (or dash) should be left in the Saint-Louis Foundation, I think, since it's a foreign proper name; it also helps to lessen the natural assumption among English-speakers that it refers to the largest city in Missouri. Also I'd prefer to leave the accents in Philippe-Égalité, otherwise his name looks as if it should be pronounced "Eagle-ite". Even better, explain who he was, perhaps with a different title. (And please sign your posts.) —— Shakescene (talk) 08:00, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
As to the date 1753 and adding explanations, we were asked to translate, not to write an improved text based on the translation. As to the name of the foundation, I say it should either be fully translated ("St. Louis Foundation") or fully untranslated ("Fondation St-Louis"), but going halfway is wrong. As to signing, please consider "--Anonymous" or "--Anon" followed by a manually generated date to be a signature; it's all I'm doing; sorry. --Anon, 21:20 UTC, November 26 27, 2009.
Perhaps the translation should begin something like

As her father's sole surviving heir, thus inheriting the fortune of the House of Bourbon-Maine...

—— Shakescene (talk) 08:27, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

What about this? Le comté de Dreux est un ancien comté de France, nommé d'après la ville de Dreux, sa capitale, située au nord du pays chartrain, sur les confins de la Normandie et de l'Île-de-France, et dépendait originairement du duché de Normandie.

Il fait partie des possessions des Robertiens. Au commencement du Xe siècle il était possédé par un certain Landry, dont la fille Ève le porta en dot à Gauthier, comte du Vexin. Il échut ensuite à Richard Ier, duc de Normandie (942-996), dont la fille Mathilde le reçut en dot pour son mariage en 1003/1004 avec Eudes II de Blois.

Après la mort d'Étienne Ier de Troyes en 1021/1023, le roi de France Robert II l'enleva à Eudes II de Blois, successeur désigné d'Étienne Ier, et le réunit à la couronne. Louis VI le Gros, le donna en 1152 à son fils Robert[1], qui devint le chef de la maison royale des comtes de Dreux.

The countship of Dreux is an ancient French countship named after the town Dreux, its capital, situated in the north of Chartres, between the boundaries of Normandy and Ile de France, and depending originally on the duchy of Normandy.
It was part of the possessions of the Robertiens. At the beginning of the 10th century it was owned by one Landry, whose daughter Eve took it as a dowry to Gauthier, count of Vexing. It fell then to Richard I, duke of Normandy, whose daughter Mathilde received it as a wedding gift when she married Eudes II de Blois in 1003/1004.
After the death of Etienne I of Troyes in 1021/1023, the king of Franche Robert II gave it to Eudes II de Blois, the designated successor of Etienne I, reuniting it with the crown. Louis VI le Gros gave it in 1152 to his son Robert, who became head of the royal household of the countes of Dreux. Silverfish70 (talk) 13:53, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Silverfish, but one error - enlever means to take away, not to give to. And there are a few other things I would word differently. My text would go:
The county of Dreux is a former French county named after Dreux, its capital, situated north of Chartres on the border of Normandy and the Ile de France. It originally came under the duchy of Normandy.
It was part of the possessions of the Robertiens. At the beginning of the 10th century it was the possession of one Landry, whose daughter Eve took it as a dowry to Gauthier, count of Vexin. It then fell to Richard I, duke of Normandy, whose daughter Matilda received it as a wedding gift when she married Eudes II de Blois in 1003/1004.
After the death of Etienne I of Troyes in 1021/1023, King Robert II of France took it away from Eudes II de Blois, the designated successor of Etienne I, and reunited it with the possessions of the French crown. Louis VI ("the Fat") of France gave it in 1152 to his son Robert, who became head of the royal house of the counts of Dreux.
If this is text for Wikipedia, there are many names that ought to be linked. Do you need any help looking them up? The formats of the names used in our articles on these personages, as well as our naming conventions, should guide the styles you use in this text. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:09, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

ffrench and fforde[edit]

As ffar as I know, ffrench and fforde are the only 2 "English language" surnames that ever appear properly spelt without an initial capital. This site was informative, but didn't tell me why the f was doubled, or why the first f sometimes isn't capitalised. Can someone explain this quirk of spelling to me?

(Oh, in case anyone was going to mention "cummings", I'm going to spoil your fun and tell you that he didn't spell it that way.). -- JackofOz (talk) 07:56, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

There's also k.d. lang, although for cummings and lang it's a stylistic choice. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:55, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I've read that doubling the "ff" was an early way of capitalizing the F. Capital letters are a relatively new phenomenon. —— Shakescene (talk)
The "ff" was a way of writing a capital F, but this was after the distinction between capital and non-capital letters had been introduced. Thereafter it persisted as an affectation - a bit like "ye" is still sometimes used as an old-fashioned form of "the". -Ehrenkater (talk) 16:07, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Likewise. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:25, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Also the movie ffolkes. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:35, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Um, capital letters are older than lower case. THERE·S·A·REASON·ANCIENT·ROMAN·INSCRIPTIONS·ARE·WRITTEN·IN·ALL·CAPS, namely that lower-case letters weren't invented until the Middle Ages. +Angr 08:41, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I meant the distinction between capitals and what we now (post-Gutenberg) call lower-case, is a relatively-new phenomenon. (I was thinking of uncials, which don't have capital letters.) —— Shakescene (talk) 09:22, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
The Romans also had other forms of writing that included "lower case letters", at least in the sense that they weren't Roman square capitals (Roman cursive for example). Adam Bishop (talk) 15:45, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Also Audrey fforbes-Hamilton from To The Manor Born. --Richardrj talk email 08:52, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, like the long-time venue of the Pittsburgh Pirates, known as fforbes ffield. :) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:56, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
where they fought the ffiladelfia ffillies? —— Shakescene (talk) 09:24, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Maybe. Or was it the Φiladelphia Φillies? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:20, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
You weren't perchance alluding to the Φiladelφia Φillies, were you? Did the Φillies Φanatic dare to invade fforbes ffield? —— Shakescene (talk) 19:44, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Alas, the Φillie Φanatic did not make his first appearance until 1978, long after fforbes ffield was ffinished. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:49, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
See this page[1] Alansplodge (talk) 12:47, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Therefore typing in all caps is not shouting. Bus stop (talk) 16:25, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
It might just be that the Romans shouted a lot. That's part of how they got to be an empire. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:29, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
A popular misconception. Shouting a lot is part of how an ancient Roman got to be an umpire. —— Shakescene (talk) 19:57, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, baseball is much older than is generally believed.[2]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:06, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Which is why everything starts "In the big inning...". Matt Deres (talk) 02:50, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Nah, that's the wrong angle. They wrote in all caps because they hadn't come up with any alternative. If a Roman were around today, he'd wonder why writers are timidly whispering most of the time, but speaking the first letter of certain words at normal volume. It would probably look as odd to a Roman as tHIS dOES tO uS. -- JackofOz (talk) 19:36, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
That Roman might also wonder whatever became of the Christian figure called IESVS. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:42, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
What about Roman cursive - it may not be lower case as we know it, but didn't lower case evolve from it? BTW, the 1970s BBC TV series "I, Claudius" had the title written in Roman capitals; a common joke at the time was to call it "I Clavdivs" Alansplodge (talk) 20:35, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Jack and BBB, you got it backwards! ff stands for "fortissimo". — Sebastian 00:49, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

A quick google yields several people with the surname de Bois, which strictly speaking, doesn’t have an initial capital. DOR (HK) (talk) 01:53, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes, true. There are many other examples of foreign names incorporating nobiliary particles and such like that now belong to citizens of the anglosphere. Thanks ffor the responses, fffolks. -- JackofOz (talk) 20:29, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Just for one more example, George Sanders's character in the movie Foreign Correspondent has the surname "ffoliott", which is a real name that you can find examples of on the Web -- but whoever did the lettering for the cast credits got it wrong and spelled it Ffoliott. --Anonymous, 21:25 UTC, November 27, 2009.

How fascinating. With a bit of historical licence, one could re-spell the F of Ffoliott as ff, and then you'd end up with fffoliott.  :) -- JackofOz (talk) 22:04, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Danish Translation[edit]

Hallo! My packet of chocolate coins has ingredients in English and Danish, but I don't entirely trust the translation into English: I'm worried there's some idiom involved. In Danish it says:

Kan indeholde spor af kornprodukter og tørret frug. Opbevares tørt og ikke for varmt.

The English says:

It may contain traces of dried fruits with husk and cereals. Store in a cool, dry place.

My particular concern is that the Danish kornprodukter og tørret frug might actually mean something to do with nuts or peanuts, since dried fruits with husk is not particularly natural English and suggests a strange translation.

Anyone have the skills? (talk) 14:46, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

kornprudukter=cereal products, tørret frug=dried fruit (see any Danish-English dictionary). No idea where the husk comes from, but it's clearly wrong. Having said that, if you have a peanut allergy, I would not trust random people on the internet to tell you whether it's safe to eat something.--Maltelauridsbrigge (talk) 15:38, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Well indeed. The English suggests it is safe, but I was concerned as to how well it translated the Danish. I have the dubious honour of being able to identify 'peanuts' in most languages that use the Latin or Greek alphabets, but wondered if some idiom was being used here. Thanks :) And don't worry: the risk assessment is not on you :P (talk) 15:53, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Bulgarian Scientist[edit]

We're discussing comments by a Bulgarian scientist reported in the English media on the Science desk. The discussion might be enlightened by the presence of someone who can read what was said in the original Bulgarian and compare it to what is reported in English. Google translate can only take you so far! (talk) 17:22, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Where exactly is the Bulgarian text? I'm a native speaker of Bulgarian and I can try to provide a translation, but possibly a bit later and from another computer since I will have to leave soon. -- (talk) 17:53, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
This Bulgarian article is as far back as I could trace the news story. I'm not asking for someone to translate the whole thing (it's huge!), just to comment on whether the English articles linked early in the thread on the Science desk accurately describe what he's saying in Bulgarian. (talk) 19:57, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
It's me again, the same guy who promised to translate it, but from another computer. Here comes the translation. But as I pointed out in the below question, I may not express myself in English in the best possible way, I'm just a learner. While translating, I was constantly consulting a dictionary, so I may not have used the most appropriate words everywhere. Should you fail to understand the idea somewhere, ask me, I will try to clarify it further. By the way, the interview seems quite empty of matter to me. Anyway, I hope it will help.

Professor Filipov: Reading the crop circles can protect us from earthquakes

There is not any information about an apocalypse in 2012, thinks the deputy director of the Institute for Space Research of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Lachezar Filipov was born on January 26, 1953. He graduated from the Faculty of Physics of the University of Moscow. Since 1995, he has been a deputy director of the Institute for Space Research of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. A few days ago he outraged the public with a publication in the "Novinar" newspaper, where he claimed to have participated in an experiment which included his asking questions to extraterrestrial intelligence.

- Professor Filipov, after you announced that you had participated in an experiment, in which you had asked questions to extraterrestrial intelligence, a conflict between you and the scientific community arose. Did this information have consequences on you?

- The moment when the information about the experiment I took part in was spread was quite delicate considering the arrogant behaviour of the Government towards the Academy. Likewise, I was tormented by my colleagues and the Bulgarian society, but at the expense of that I have about 15 e-mails from abroad. The Chinese Academy of Sciences is highly interested in my work, because these circles, which are supposed not to be made by humans, are of interest to them, too. (He is speaking of strange geometrical shapes in the corn fields, found in various parts of the world - note from the editor) This shows that this subject has not been anathemised anywhere else except in Bulgaria. After the leakage of information, all of the colleagues of mine from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences who worked together with me on this case fell away from me. As quickly as the next day after that happened they initiated a subscription list to my being removed from the post of a deputy director of the Institute for Space Research. They claimed I was a disgrace to science. And I could ask who is to investigate such phenomena if not scientists. I am the only one not to have withdrawn. Science should be made with boldness and not with fear. In the Academy there are not feudal old men, but there are people who are old by their mentality, there are cowards. Those people must go away from there.

- Could you tell us what exactly did this experiment include?

- Firstly, I would like to emphasise that neither the Institute for space researches nor the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences have taken up the circles in question. Three years ago I was offered to acquaint myself with Mariana Vezneva's elaborations. She is considered to be the first and, so far, the only woman who is able to read the information encoded in the circles and to carry out a dialogue with their creators. Circles like those appear all over the world and then, after a certain period of time, they disappear. About 150 circles appeared around the globe in May and June this year. There were circles even in Bulgaria - in the corn fields in Dobrudzha and Rila, but they were decided to be nothing more than grass which has been stepped on and mowed down. Vezneva is surrounded by a number of doctors, philologists, a strange society which is dealing with the subject. I was not interested in that. I was explained that she had been working on those circles for 6 or 7 years and found out that they contain symbols which carry certain information. It is alleged that some of this information bodes the end of the world in 2012, concerns the threat of the global warming and the threat of a hit by an asteroid. Those are things that are well-known in science. I was impressed by the fact that her ideas had been turned into a basic concept of several sects that prophesied the apocalypse. This encouraged me to enter this "game", lest this should fall entirely under the control of the sects because it is on the bound of religion. I offered to talk to some colleagues of mine - physicists, astronomers, who could participate in that group. At the end of the previous year I proposed that Vezdeva ask a few questions to the creators of these circles instead of read all these pictures that appear around the globe. We asked more than 30 questions and got 30 answers to them.

- How exactly does Vezdeva communicate with the creators of these pictograms?

- I am not acquainted with the phenomenon she represents. She falls into trance, she receives impulses from above or below, I do not know exactly. During her experiment it was announced that they had got such drawings in Worksheels. Nobody answered to us why they had appeared exactly there. She copied the circles and, while working, she obtained the ability to decipher the symbols they contained. One of them looked like an Indian [= Native American] head, which meant some kind of cataclysm would happen, and that cataclysm has actually been marked in the Maya calendar. One of the most interesting drawings symbolised "in vitro" children. By this symbol, it or they want to show us that this way of artificial insemination is unacceptable, because it is an interference in the biological processes and violates the connection between the child and the mother. One of the economists asked what should be done in order to prevent further economical crises. The drawing said weapons had to be abolished and people had to stop to be divided into rich and poor. This also concerns the new form of human progress, which includes humans starting to use both hemispheres of their brains.

- According to you, how reliable are the answers to those questions?

- Vezneva explained the answers to these questions as well. Her reading of them is individual to her. While writing the conclusion on that experiment, I recommended analysing the phenomenon objectively in the future, as Vezneva as an interpreter puts her own fantasy into the work and exaggerates a little. It was important for us that we received concrete answers to our questions in a particular place in England, where there is such a circle. Apart from analysis of these data, we have to make an investigation of the rest of the circles as well, because pictures are a means of communication when the two sides do not know the alphabets of each other and draw pictures for that reason. To me this is quite an early phase of a contact with another informational environment, about which we do not know whether it is a civilisation or not, whether it is near or far. The pictograms contain some information, but I cannot tell for sure where it comes from. I cannot tell if the affair in question is extraterrestrial intelligence, neither. Some colleagues even said to us: "You haven't drawn them yourselves, have you?"

- After all, is it possible that they have been made by humans?

- It is a fact that these are not footprints, as corn is always bent down by 45 degrees and grains never fall down from wheat-ears which continue to grow. Ten days later the circles disappear. It has been proved that humans do not draw them. This resembles a holographic image - you can draw and transfer information with a laser ray. We, however, do not know whether this is done by means of electromagnetic emission. Obviously there exist other types of information fields in the Universe. Some swindlers have tried to earn money in that way, but this is not the same. We even requested that Vezneva ask them whether such circles are likely to appear in Bulgaria so we can explore them.

- How can we be sure that we are interpreting that information correctly?

- We are not advanced enough to claim to understand all of the information. We have to extend the number of people who will read it and not rely only on Vezneva. We have something that is being given to us as information, but it remains unclear whether it is reliable. Already at that time I used warned my colleagues against frightening people with the information that the apocalypse will come in 2012. There is not any evidence that the planet of Nibiru is approaching the Earth. If it were as big as our planet is, we would be able to see it already. It is important that this information be understood in the way it should be understood.

- If the information from the circles is reliable, then can the disasters be prevented?

- Everything can be undone. If we use that information properly, we could prevent them. Some colleagues consider it impossible to predict an earthquake for example, but animals can feel it in advance, which implies that there is some form of field that predicts them.

- How would you, as a scientist, comment phenomena such as the prophet Vanga?

- Once in Russia there was a quite respected scientist - Vlail Kaznacheyev, who used to speak about the so-called neosphere, a wrapper of the Earth. The informational field, where one generates one's mental energy during one's whole life, accumulates in it. Such phenomena as baba Vanga have the ability to obtain information from the neosphere. In all probability, except for electromagnetical energy, there exists mental energy in the Universe as well, but it is unclear for us what exactly this is.

-- (talk) 03:23, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Wow! Thanks very much! You've really gone above and beyond the call of duty. I agree that what he is saying is bizarre: it's precisely because the media were reporting that he said such unlikely things that we needed to check his own words! When an English newspaper says that the deputy director of the Institute for Space Research of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences is talking about telepathic aliens, it's easy to assume they're just making it up or exaggerating.
Thanks again: you're a star. (talk) 05:14, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
A few questions:
What do you mean by the word Worksheels? Perhaps worksheets?
Where it says planet of Naribu, do you recognise Naribu as the name of a planet? Or is it something made up by one of these people?
Thanks very much for the link to baba Vanga: that's the sort of thing you need a smart human for!
Thanks again: this is really useful because it lets us see how much odd stuff he's really saying, and how much he is trying to be scientific about. Very strange O_o (talk) 05:25, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
As the original poster of the question on the Science Desk, let me thank you too, o hard-working 195.214-slash-62.204.May I suggest you create an account? It would enable us to keep track of your contributions and thank you in other ways. Are you in a position to comment on the general situation? For example, how would you characterise the Novinar newspaper: does it usually do silly stories? It appears, from my reading of your translation, that he is receiving wide-spread criticism or perhaps condemnaton. Has he been suspended from his job? Perhaps it would be more relevant for you to post on the Science Desk thread. Again, thanks! BrainyBabe (talk) 05:45, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
PS the phenomenon he is referring to is known as the crop circle. BrainyBabe (talk) 05:48, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
You are welcome, I'm very glad to have assisted a little to you and to Wikipedia, which has helped me so much since I started reading it.
Now about the questions by That word cannot be worksheets. In Bulgarian it is spelt as Уъркшийлс, which is a Cyrillic transliteration of an English name and is capitalised, so it is obviously the name of something, maybe an institute as I can understand from the context. The first part of that word - уърк - cannot be mistaken. It obviously stands for "work". The situation about шийлс is not that clear, however. It could be either an English word which is pronounced [ʃiːls], as "sheelce" would be, or the plural form of an English noun that is pronounced [ʃiːl], as "sheel" would be. My dictionaries don't list such entries. It is possible, of course, that they have made a typo and spelt that name incorrectly, originally intending to type it as either Уъркшийтс ("Worksheets") or Уъркшийлдс ("Workshields") or something else. I googled all those variants and there were a few results for "Worksheels" in Cyrillic, but all of them are quotations of that very same interview. The results for "Worksheets" in Cyrillic are merely instructions how the English noun should be pronounced, and for "Workshields" in Cyrillic there aren't any. What professor Filipov means is not understandable for me.
About the planet - I am very sorry, I have made a mistake. I misread the name of that planet as "Naribu" and the professor actually says "Nibiru". There is even a Wikipedia article about that - Nibiru collision. Yes, that is the name of the planet. He says: "There isn't any evidence that the planet [whose name is] Nibiru is approaching the Earth." I will correct the name in my translation to Nibiru; if this is against some kind of Wikipedia policy, please feel free to revert it.
I should have checked more carefully about the name of the phenomenon he is referring to. The Bulgarian interwiki of the Crop circle article is Житни кръгове - exactly the phrase that the professor uses in the interview.
The computer I am using at the moment is my personal computer and the one I used to submit the question below is a public one that everyone can use. I may consider creating an account, but I doubt if I would be able to contribute to the English Wikipedia as everything that I know has already been written here. I do contribute to the Bulgarian Wikipedia though, mainly with translations from here. -- (talk) 11:33, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I corrected the term "rings in the corn fields" to "crop circles". Again, if that is against the rules, please revert it. -- (talk) 11:58, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Chocolate Nibiru, 2012
Thanks. You've been amazingly helpful. I wish I could send you something tasty as a 'thank you', but all I can leave is a picture. I give you a giant chocolate egg on a collision course with Earth. The horror! (talk) 12:29, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks very much for the Bulgarian-to-English translation! Nimur (talk) 16:10, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Think the "neosphere" is probably Teilhard de Chardin's Noosphere... AnonMoos (talk) 00:46, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

After having done some Google search, I consider this is possible. The Bulgarian text contains the word "неосфера", which should be rendered into "neosphere", and not "ноосфера", which would give "noosphere". Professor Filipov mentions the Russian scientist Vlail Kaznacheyev (in Russian: Влаиль Казначеев, in Bulgarian: Влаил Казначеев) while talking about the neosphere. Here's what gives when you search for Влаил Казначеев неосфера. All of the results are either quotations of that very same interview or a few more publications, all of which refer to "academician Vlail Kaznacheyev, the author of the theory of neosphere". Let's see the results of for неосфера Влаиль Казначеев. It says that I may have meant "ноосфера" instead of "неосфера" and everywhere results for "ноосфера" have been given. And these are the results of for neosphere Kaznacheyev OR Kaznacheev (the latter being another possible way to transliterate the Russian name). It gives exactly one match - this one. No comment about it. In the interview, professor Filipov describes the neosphere as "обвивка около Земята". I'm not sure how exactly should I translate it so it can sound natural in English - "a wrapper of the Earth", "an envelope around the Earth", "a cover around the Earth" or something else. I'm just a learner, I'm not so fluent, I just aim to help you get the idea. -- (talk) 02:23, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Use of a negated auxiliary verb in English[edit]

I'm not a native speaker of English, but just a learner who is able to use it at an intermediate level. I'd like to ask about the meaning of the negated auxiliary verb may not. Let's take the following sentence as an example:

This may not happen.

What does that mean as said in that way? Could it mean:

(1) It is possible that this will not happen.


(2) It is impossible for this to happen.

or both?

Meaning (1) seems natural to me, since "This may happen." is equivalent to "It is possible that this will happen," and I have always regarded it as correct. This pattern could be seen in the text "Five facts about Wikipedia that you may not know", which occasionally appears on the top of Wikipedia articles. So meaning (1) must be correct.

As far as meaning (2) is concerned, I encountered a negated "may" while reading the article Microstates and the European Union. Here's what it says:

The Vatican City is the smallest state in the world. As a theocracy, it may not join the Union, even though it is in the heart of Rome, capital of Union member-state Italy.

The context here implies that the Vatican City will not join the EU because this is impossible (and so does my understanding of politics). So meaning (2) must be correct, too.

One could conclude that the negated auxiliary verb may not can be used to express both meaning (1) and meaning (2), thus making it possible to achieve ambiguity. Is it really that way? Thank you in advance. -- (talk) 17:45, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes. Meaning 2 uses "may" in the sense of "give permission". —Preceding unsigned comment added by TammyMoet (talkcontribs) 18:48, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
This can be a real ambiguity in English, especially when writing without the cues of spoken English inflections, so you are not raising a trivial question. The same problem comes up with "might not" ("The king might not have granted the pardon" — was he forbidden to do so or is it a matter of doubt whether he did?) but can be especially tricky if "may not" could be interpreted as a command:

"You may not see the famous royal bedrooms."

could mean you are being ordered to avoid them, or just that you might overlook them if you're not observant.—— Shakescene (talk) 19:22, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
A modern writer concerned about the clarity of their communication would use an alternative phrase such as "is not permitted to" instead of "may not" in this sense, but I think the "permission" usage was more common in the past, and sometimes the senses are difficult or impossible to distinguish. I would prefer to use "might not" for the "possibility" sense. Dbfirs 20:05, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I believe the ambiguity arises because 'may' has two different meanings, one deontic and one epistemic, which pattern differently with negation. So in the epistemic sense (observing events in the world) it patterns as "this may [not happen]", whereas the deontic sense (about obligations and constraints) it is "this [may not] happen". I'm not claiming that the deontic vs epistemic difference accounts for the syntactic difference (it clearly doesn't because 'must not' vs 'need not' show the same syntactic difference, though both are primarily deontic but can be used epistemically), but rather that this lets us plausibly regard 'may' as two homophonous auxiliaries with different grammar. --ColinFine (talk) 21:53, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
I take this last back. As I myself pointed out, 'must not' and 'need not' both have epistemic as well as deontic uses, so there's nothing special about 'may not' in that respect. --ColinFine (talk) 08:31, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
As in the notorious "No Irish need apply" ("Irish need not apply") or the "Latest Decalogue" of Arthur Hugh Clough:

Thou shalt not kill, but needst not strive
Officiously to keep alive.

—— Shakescene (talk) 08:45, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I read that as saying not that they need to not apply, but that they have no need to apply in order to know whether they would have been hired. So it's the usual sense of "need not", used euphemistically. --Anonymous, 21:41 UTC, November 27, 2009.
A bit like "Previous applicants will be considered and need not re-apply" (which is short for "Previous applicants were not good enough, which is why we're re-advertising, but if nobody better comes along we'll be reluctantly forced to salvage whatever we can from the pathetic applications we have so far"). -- JackofOz (talk) 22:00, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

APA Citation, More than six authors, same last name and year, but different article.[edit]

I'm trying to write the in-text citation for a journal article, which would typically follow the format of (LastName et al., Year), however I'm using two sources that has the same first author, and same year, but different articles. How would i cite this? (Sorry if this is answered in the APA manual, but i don't own one currently.)
In other words it'd look like this, for one piece of info,: (Nguyen et al., 2006; Nugyen et al., 2006) but the article titles are different. --Agester (talk) 17:54, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

I would use "Nguyen et al., 2006a" and "Nguyen et al., 2006b", the same as with two papers by a single author and published the same year. Either that or give up on the "et al." and list all the authors for each paper (assuming they're different), so "Nguyen, Smith, Jones, Williams, Hirschfeld, and Kranovitsky 2006" versus "Nguyen, Evans, Edwards, Collins, Stewart, and Sanchez 2006". +Angr 18:09, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Hi! Thanks for the quick feedback. I like the first one better, as it's easier to continuously cite throughout the paper, where as the second one can get quite tedious as some of my articles that does fall under into this gap has up to 14 authors which as you can see why I'd be reluctant to type out (especially if used more than once throughout my work). --Agester (talk) 18:44, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

And long strings would be tedious for the reader to read and distinguish. If the second author's different in every paper (which I suspect is not the case), then that second name could be useful (e.g. "(34) Rodgers, Hammerstein, et al., 1956; (37) Rodgers, Hart, et al., 1956"), but if you need three or more, I don't think that would help. I'm speaking here purely pragmatically as an informal reader of books about history and politics, and in ignorance of the actual formal rules of scientific citation. —— Shakescene (talk) 20:12, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
The convention in bioscience literature is to do as User:Angr suggested. You may wish to look at the "Instructions to Authors" at the journal's website to see if they have any more specific instruction. -- Flyguy649 talk 17:37, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Cyrillic Writing But Which Language?[edit]

I never thought I'd ever ask something like this, but, here goes. I was playing a game recently and someone on the other team was sending messages in what I presumed was Russian, but couldn't understand much of it, just words here and there. However, at one point, he wrote 'йанипонимайу' (exactly like that and with no spaces). I understood this to be 'я не понимаю', but couldn't understand why he'd spelt it in such a way. Is it actually Russian and it's the 'in-thing' to write it this way, or was he actually speaking a different language? --KageTora - SPQW - (影虎) (talk) 20:44, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

I can't be absolutely certain but I'm pretty sure there's no language which has that phrase and spells it that way. I'm sure it's Russian. I've no idea whether this was a private game or whether there is a fashion to do this (cf Oll Korrect) --ColinFine (talk)
See Translit for a possible explanation. I will speculate that the user concerned typed Russian in Latin characters "ja ne ponimaju" or perhaps "ya ni ponimayu". Then the chat software, knowing the user was based in Russia etc, transcribed the input into Cyrillic on a per character basis. The software expected "ya"/"yu" and didn't know the meaning of "ja"/"ju". Or vice versa. Sussexonian (talk) 22:32, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
That's interesting, and may be a possible explanation, but that would mean that everyone from Russia typing in Latin characters during the game would have everything transliterated into Cyrillic and this has not been the case up until now. Basically, it's a wargame, and we have a very large number of Russian players online, and I've never noticed this before. Thanks. --KageTora - SPQW - (影虎) (talk) 23:28, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Maybe it was purposely mispelled, apparently a common Russian internet meme? Adam Bishop (talk) 04:40, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
That's what I was thinking, but didn't get the chance to ask him, and a Google search with the phrase 'as-is' came up with exactly zero results, and without the spaces I got 152,000, but not with the same phrase or exactly the same spelling. Thanks. --KageTora - SPQW - (影虎) (talk) 12:46, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
As well as Russian, there are several other languages that are written in Cyrillic (see the first pargraph in that article). Unfortunately, Google Translate was not much help with any of the ones that it is able to translate. Astronaut (talk) 17:59, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it's the Russian phrase "я не понимаю" ("I don't understand"). There are quite a few languages using Cyrillic, but it would still be too great a coincidence if even one of them contains this word, which in Russian is pronounced exactly in the same way as "я не понимаю". It has been typed in that way on purpose. We do the same in Bulgarian - we intentionally misspell or mispronounce words or phrases in order either to make fun of this ("многу" or "мноу" for "very", should be "много"; "ненам" for "I don't know", should be "не знам"; "любоф" for "love", should be "любов") or to express our disregard or even hatred for what we are referring to ("цецка" and "лефски" for CSKA and Levski respectively, the two major rivalling football clubs in Bulgaria, they should be "ЦСКА" and "Левски" respectively). -- (talk) 19:32, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Are there any languages written in the Cyrillic alphabet which use the letter sequences “йа” and/or “йу”? -- (talk) 14:01, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanksgiving irony[edit]

Kind of a strange one, but is there anyone out there who would be willing to translate "happy Thanksgiving" to some form of Native American? I'm looking for something ironic for use today... Not trying to be down on Thanksgiving or anything, but you know. -- (talk) 21:46, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Also: I realize that it is exceedingly unlikely that a word exists which would translate directly to "Thanksgiving", but I would imagine that a bastardization mash-up of "thanks" and some variation of "give" would have the same effect? -- (talk) 21:50, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
"thanksgiving" simply means "being grateful for some gift", no? It might be easier to translate "grateful". --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 22:25, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
There's a classic Art Buchwald column about Kilometres Deboutish and the "Jour de Merci Donnant"[sic]. Spanish uses "Día de Acción de Gracias". I bet that the currently more widely-spoken American Indian languages in the U.S. and Canada (such as Navajo, etc.) have conventional fixed translations for "Thanksgiving day"... AnonMoos (talk) 22:57, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
This site [3] has examples of Navaho thanksgiving greetings, but I don't know how reliable it is. Steewi (talk) 00:00, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
It's from the wrong side of the continent (hey, you wanted irony...), but a somewhat similar kind of feasting custom was the potlatch. A... tenuous connection at best, but might be useful to you. Matt Deres (talk) 02:53, 27 November 2009 (UTC)