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日语灭亡时
所谓“英语世纪”,并不是说全世界的人都用起了英语。现地语在哪里都继续存在,但世界上大部分“追求睿智的人”把英语作为普遍语使用。日常生活中使用现地语,智力活动选用普遍语,这就是“英语世纪”。非英语圈国家面临三个选择:把国语改为英语,所有人都会两种语言,一部分人会两种语言。如今国语已定型,通常不再有把日语替换掉的想法,而是大力推行所有人都会两种语言(bilingual)的国策,人人“两把刀”。

国语不是自然所赐,而是人工的产物。作为made in Japan,国语怎样造出来的呢?按照水村的说法:“追求睿智的人”翻译普遍语,使原来只是现地语的语言具有了和普遍语同样的水平,不仅审美上,而且智力上、伦理上都担起达到最高水平的重任。这种语言和国民国家诞生的历史交织,成为国民国家的国民语言,这就是国语。所谓追求睿智的人是“二重语言者”,不是会说双语(bilingual),而是能阅读和自己的说话语言不同的外语。从历史来看,翻译并不是对称的行为,水往低处流,从普遍语向现地语搬运睿智。日语在翻译普遍语——汉文的过程中产生了书写语言,但没有成为国语,始终属于现地语。
book  japanese  english  language  21C  crisis  translation  chinese 
6 weeks ago by aries1988
Twitter
#今日法语 Haut la main,字面意思为“手抬高”,引申为“轻而易举”,原指骑士骑马时抬高手拉紧缰绳从而牵制和控制马儿。有趣的是,英语里表达同样引申义的短语hands down,“手放下”,字面意思刚好相反,但也是来自于马…
comparison  fun  english  français  expression 
january 2019 by aries1988
Why language might be the optimal self-regulating system – Lane Greene | Aeon Essays

Now we don’t often need a word for destroying exactly a 10th of something – this is the ‘etymological fallacy’, the idea that a word must mean exactly what its component roots indicate. But it is useful to have a word that means to destroy a sizeable proportion of something. Yet many people have extended the meaning of decimate until now it means something approaching ‘to wipe out utterly’.
language  research  english  pronunciation  evolution 
december 2018 by aries1988
Why I Taught My Son to Speak Russian | The New Yorker
As the psycholinguist François Grosjean stresses, language is the product of necessity. If a child discusses, say, hockey only with his Russian-speaking father, he may not learn until later how to say “puck” in English. But he’ll learn when he has to.

I see friends who came over at the same time as I did but didn’t keep up their Russian raising their kids entirely in English. Sometimes I feel sorry for them and all they’re missing; at other times, envious. They have finally liberated themselves from Russia’s yoke, just as their parents wanted them to. They are free to be themselves around their children, to express themselves with ease. They always know the words for scooter and goat and sheep.

Most of us were more comfortable in English than in Russian, and none of us had any wish to repatriate. Why, then, were we doing this? What did we want to pass on to our children, exactly? Certainly nothing about Russia as it is currently constituted. Perhaps it was fitting that we were listening to children’s songs.
english  russia  language  children  learn  story  memory  parents  angst  moi  music  gaijin  kid 
june 2018 by aries1988
Front or Back? /l/ – /ɫ/ and /n/ – /ŋ/
In English there are two pairs of consonants that present something of a problem for quite a few people - and what doesn't help is that very often, native speakers also don't pay a lot of attention to the difference in their own speech... First, let's consider the difference between the two L-sounds of English;…
english  explained  comparison  pronunciation 
march 2018 by aries1988
法语里的bon怎么发音? - 知乎
虽然中文里的“后鼻”发音位置也在“软腭”,不过从发生语音学来看有两大不同点:

1、普通话一般为两步(口元音或者轻度鼻化元音,然后再是鼻(塞)音),法语是一步到位(直接重鼻化元音)。中文国际音标:[sʊŋ]/[soŋ],法语[ɔ̃]。

2、音标其实也不一样,法语张口度大很多。
français  comparison  english  chinese  pronunciation 
january 2018 by aries1988
/ɕ/与/ʃ/有什么区别? - 知乎
上图是[ɕ],下图是[ʃ]。从图中我们发现它们两者的共鸣腔收窄位置大致都是在牙槽嵴(alveolar ridge)后,也就是所谓的postalveolar,而区别在于[ʃ]的收窄长度大于[ɕ],[ɕ]的收窄为舌叶(舌面前的三角区)与龈后硬颚穹(tongue blade contacts the roof)构成,而[ʃ]的收窄为舌叶与牙槽嵴后区域和舌面前与硬颚的连续收窄(the blade of the tongue behind the alveolar ridge, and the front of the tongue bunched up ("domed") at the palate)。因此我们也很好理解为什么从感知语音学上能发现其更随机湍也更尖锐,因为其收窄造成小管变长,高频放大,而且小管越长,湍流也越明显。而造成这种差异的重要一点是为了调节其接触面积,舌尖的位置是不同的,题主可以自己尝试一下。发[ɕ]的时候舌尖应抵住下齿,而发[ʃ]的时候并不会,这样,上图上也能看到。
explained  english  japanese  pronunciation 
january 2018 by aries1988
国际音标 [ɹ] 与 [ʒ] 的发音有何区别? - 知乎
[ɹ] 用于记写龈至龈后的近音。
[ʒ] 用于记写浊龈后擦音。
二者的关键差别在于前者表示近音,后者表擦音。或者说,[ɹ] 是比 [z ~ ʒ] 更「软」的音——舌头离上颚远了,于是没有了气流噪音。
chinese  comparison  english  pronunciation 
december 2017 by aries1988
A Year in a Word: Quite
The decline of gradable adverbs reveals we are rather too reluctant to express nuance
english 
december 2017 by aries1988
About the GSL
The General Service List (GSL) (West. 1953) is a set of 2,000 words selected to be of the greatest "general service" to learners of English. They are not the most common 2,000 words, though frequency was one of the factors taken into account in making the selection. Each of the 2,000 words is a headword representing a word family that is only loosely defined in West. Frequency numbers are given, derived from Thorndike and Lorge (1944). Frequency data is also given for the various meanings of words. This list has had a wide influence for many years, serving as the basis for graded readers as well as other material. Texts based on the GSL are still on sale, but the list itself is out of print. A fuller discussion of the GSL, and word lists in general, can be found in Nation (1990, pp 21-24) and Carter and McCarthy (1988, Ch. 1)
english  vocabulary  list  data 
december 2017 by aries1988
Macron’s global ambitions for the French language will fail
The pressure to learn English came from below: from parents who saw that the language was the way for their children to get ahead. In the 19th century, local leaders set up institutions such as the Hindu College in colonial Calcutta to provide an education in English and to cater for the most ambitious parents — the kind who, from Chile to China, still make sure that their children learn English.

They do not do it because the UK government encourages them to, although the British Council is today a leading provider of English lessons. They do it because English is the modern language of success. And that happened because the British empire was succeeded as global leader by its most successful colony, the US, which, after the second world war, dominated international business with multinational giants from Boeing to Google.
français  english 
december 2017 by aries1988
Grilled-cheese, cocktail among terms now deemed OK by Quebec's language watchdog - Montreal - CBC News
The OQLF, established in 1961 and strengthened under the 1977 Charter of the French Language, is mandated to protect the language and ensure its proper usage in the province.

It now has a staff of more than 230, including more than 20 linguists, and an annual budget of $24 million.

The OQLF's grand dictionnaire terminologique, a resource for translators, academics and everyday citizens, gets 19 million hits a year.

The office has, in some cases, been successful in introducing French alternatives to ubiquitous English words, such as courriel as an alternative to email and mot-clic as an alternative to hashtag.

Others, like the cumbersome sandwich au fromage fondant, haven't taken hold.

In the past, the office has been criticized for what some viewed as overzealous enforcement, such as when an Italian restaurant was targeted for using Italian words — including "pasta" — on its menu.
quebec  français  2017  english  government 
october 2017 by aries1988
The Anglo-Saxon is not American or British but a French alter-ego – Emile Chabal | Aeon Essays

when the French refer to ‘the Anglo-Saxon’ or use the term as an adjective, they are usually talking about themselves. The Anglo-Saxon is a mirror on Frenchness; it is France’s alter-ego and often its most feared enemy.

It was only in the 1860s that a new meaning began to appear in the wake of Napoleon III’s abortive attempts to extend the French empire into Latin America. In learned publications such as the Revue des races latines, founded in 1857, ‘Anglo-Saxonism’ was juxtaposed with ‘Latinity’ in an attempt to place France at the heart of a global Latin world that stretched from South America and the Caribbean to Madrid and Paris.

As has been the case ever since, the French both feared and admired the Anglo-Saxon at the turn of the 19th-century – and they used it as a vehicle for discussing their own national anxieties.

At times, English speakers can even fall into the same trap as their French counterparts when they lazily describe an idea or a way of thinking as ‘Anglo-American’ or ‘Atlantic’.
français  concept  uk  american  english  culture  identity  history  origin  instapaper_favs 
september 2017 by aries1988
Because I am Happy (hour)
Or, dear Mr. Lemoyne, les heures passées à picoler pas cher au bistrot ne sont pas « joyeuses » mais « pompettes », nous apprend le critique gastronomique John Mariani dans son Dictionary of American Food and Drink (Ticknor & Fields, 1983). Dans happy hours, happy est employé dans une acception américaine des années 1920 signifiant « un peu ivre ». L’US Navy – vite relayée par les civils assoiffés de la Prohibition – serait à l’origine de cette trouvaille linguistique qui fait aujourd’hui tanguer les clients des bars du monde entier dès 17 heures.
vocabulary  history  english  france  drinking 
august 2017 by aries1988
Science fiction translator Ken Liu on Invisible Planets: the first English language anthology of Chinese science fiction | South China Morning Post

I realised even though I was enjoying a lot of Chinese science fiction from my friends, very little of it was published in the West, in English, or any other languages. Since I was enjoying so many of these stories, I’m a fan, I love to share more of these works with my fellow readers – that’s what fans do, they discover things they enjoy and want to share them with everybody else they know – so I got into translation. I translated more short stories, I got them published, introduced more authors to readers here in the US and UK, and it’s been great.
scifi  chinese  book  english  leader 
august 2017 by aries1988
That’s the Way it Crumbles by Matthew Engel — the conquest of English
Words not indigenous to these shores subsequently flooded in, “like the beetle that killed Britain’s elm trees”. Now American words “are in danger of taking over” — and Engel’s comprehensive list includes cans (tins), goose bumps (goose pimples), autopsy (post-mortem), cars (railway carriages), fries (chips), cookies (biscuits), short pants (short trousers) and baggage (luggage).

We “testify” in court, where it used to be called “giving evidence”. People who should know better want employees who “think outside the box” and “push the envelope”. They talk about being mad when they mean angry, or of fighting when they mean having a verbal argument.
english  book  american  uk  culture  vocabulary  comparison  british 
june 2017 by aries1988
George Orwell: Politics and the English Language

But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely.
endogeneity
english  writer  language  opinion  origin  today 
april 2017 by aries1988
George Bernard Shaw - Wikiquote
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
George Bernard Shaw never said these words, but Charles F. Brannan did.[1]
quotes  english 
march 2017 by aries1988
第一章:起点 | 前言
第一章 起点 1. 我们有可能把外语用得比母语更好吗? 能。 过去我跟你一样不相信。但,现在我信了,因为我这些年教出了太多这样的学生。我亲眼见证了太多这样在别人看来是“奇迹”的平常事件。 所有的多语使用者(multilingual)都一样,最终,在他们所使用的多种语言之中,总是有一个“主导语言”(Dominant…
book  english 
march 2017 by aries1988
英文的ch,sh发音和普通话的翘舌音一样吗? - Jason 的回答 - 知乎
谢邀! 先说英文里的这三个音。 /ʃ/ 是一个清音,也就是声带不振动 舌尖上提、向后 嘴唇向前嘟,紧张,圆圈状 舌头不接触上齿龈,只有气流通过发出的摩擦声 /ʧ/ 是 /t/ 和 /ʃ/ 的快速组合 /t/ 的舌尖是抵住上齿龈的 /t/ 会对气流形成阻碍,/t/ 的…
english  pronunciation 
february 2017 by aries1988
美语世界: 【发音心得】关于“ch”和“tr”的发音区别,再贴一遍。 - 由beautifulwind发表 - 文学城

ch 发的类似汉语拼音q (as in 秋,qiu)的音,我的体会是介于汉语拼音的ch和q之间,一定不要卷舌。

所以,即使后面是u,比如chew,它的音和true是绝对不同的。除了舌尖位置不同外,刚才小薇也指出,:true刚开始时嘴还要向前突出,而 "chew"就没有”。

change似乎不难发错,是因为,发完ch,舌尖往下滑到mouth floor准备发a了。

tr 其实是ch+r的音。所以有舌尖从前向后滑动的过程。
english  tips  pronunciation 
february 2017 by aries1988
我们究竟需要多大的词汇量?
从统计图中可以看出,《经济学人》的36万多词文本中,只有 92.57% 的单词落在BNC词表中前8000词区间中。也就是说,假如你的词汇量是8000,那么你只能读懂《经济学人》文本的92.57%,按照上面的词汇覆盖率标准,这样的覆盖率并不能保证顺利理解文本。如果你的词汇量达到了10000,那么你大概可以读懂 95.05%的《经济学人》,基本可以理解文本内容。如果词汇量达到了15000,你的词汇覆盖率会上升到97.92%,基本达到了充分理解的程度。

由此看来,“掌握几千个单词就够用”这种说法在阅读中并不靠谱。即使你词汇量达到8000,读起野生外刊仍然会捉襟见肘。如果想要比较舒服地读懂外刊,那么你的词汇量最好不要低于12000。

那么,熟练掌握几千个单词对听力够用吗?答案也是否定的。认真听过BBC以及VOA的同学应该会留意到,这些听力材料的难度并不比原版外刊低多少,要听懂它们仍然需要10000以上的词汇量。
vocabulary  study  english  tool  to:things  numbers  question  howto  data  analysis 
december 2016 by aries1988
Why the Word ‘Fiancé’ Is Falling Out of Fashion - The New York Times
Why I hate it: It sounds silly, feels pompous and even precious. It’s the verbal equivalent of wearing a monocle, or using an encyclopedia when Wikipedia is at your fingertips. During my yearlong engagement, I never managed to say the word without feeling, somehow, like a jerk.

“I think this generation as a whole is less concerned with labels,” she said. “Millennials are getting married later in life, and many are cohabitating before saying ‘I do.’ As a result, I think the change from boyfriend or girlfriend to fiancé doesn’t feel like a huge shift, despite the intended commitment.”
usa  english  marriage  couple  fun 
october 2016 by aries1988
Big bad modifier order
This is a quote from Mark Forsyth's book The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase . And Nicholas Feinberg asks This claim seems iffy to…

The reason for Tolkien's mistake, since you ask, is that adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you'll sound like a maniac. It's an odd thing that every English speaker uses that list, but almost none of us could write it out. And as size comes before colour, green great dragons can't exist.
ff  language  english 
september 2016 by aries1988
Why is English so weirdly different from other languages? – John McWhorter | Aeon Essays

almost all European languages belong to one family – Indo-European – and of all of them, English is the only one that doesn’t assign genders that way.

There is no other language, for example, that is close enough to English that we can get about half of what people are saying without training and the rest with only modest effort.

Crucially, their languages were quite unlike English. For one thing, the verb came first (came first the verb). But also, they had an odd construction with the verb do: they used it to form a question, to make a sentence negative, and even just as a kind of seasoning before any verb. Do you walk? I do not walk. I do walk.

Old English had the crazy genders we would expect of a good European language – but the Scandies didn’t bother with those, and so now we have none. Chalk up one of English’s weirdnesses. What’s more, the Vikings mastered only that one shred of a once-lovely conjugation system: hence the lonely third‑person singular –s, hanging on like a dead bug on a windshield. Here and in other ways, they smoothed out the hard stuff.

English got hit by a firehose spray of words from yet more languages

One result was triplets allowing us to express ideas with varying degrees of formality. Help is English, aid is French, assist is Latin. Or, kingly is English, royal is French, regal is Latin – note how one imagines posture improving with each level: kingly sounds almost mocking, regal is straight-backed like a throne, royal is somewhere in the middle, a worthy but fallible monarch.

Clip on a suffix to the word wonder, and you get wonderful. But – clip on an ending to the word modern and the ending pulls the accent ahead with it: MO-dern, but mo-DERN-ity, not MO-dern-ity. That doesn’t happen with WON-der and WON-der-ful, or CHEER-y and CHEER-i-ly. But it does happen with PER-sonal, person-AL-ity.

What’s the difference? It’s that -ful and -ly are Germanic endings, while -ity came in with French. French and Latin endings pull the accent closer – TEM-pest, tem-PEST-uous – while Germanic ones leave the accent alone. One never notices such a thing, but it’s one way this ‘simple’ language is actually not so.

What English does have on other tongues is that it is deeply peculiar in the structural sense. And it became peculiar because of the slings and arrows – as well as caprices – of outrageous history.
comparison  language  english  history  linguist  culture  scandinavia  origin  vocabulary  instapaper_favs 
august 2016 by aries1988
Being Bilingual Changes the Architecture of Your Brain | WIRED
When I speak Spanish, it’s not an effortless cognitive switch. My brain needs to actively choose Spanish every time I say a word or construct a sentence. Even after years and years of speaking Spanish every day, I can often feel that work happening. It’s tiring, and switching to English can be a relief.

Every time I choose washing machine over lavadora, or vice versa, my brain gets a little stronger. Kroll thinks this constant cognitive challenge that bilinguals face may be responsible for an observed improvement in what’s called executive function, or the ability to filter out unnecessary information and make decisions.
story  bilingual  language  brain  espagna  english  research 
july 2016 by aries1988
Which is the best language to learn?

When you understand how beautifully Arabic fits together – why the root meaning west leads to the words for sunset and strange – the sense of illumination is sublimely satisfying. No mere French subjunctive or Russian instrumental can do that. And the pleasure will never dim. Fluency may long elude you, but there will always be a fascination in picking your way through Arabic’s intricacies.
language  list  english  comparison  learn 
july 2016 by aries1988
Confusing words: travel, a journey, a trip, a voyage - SpeakspeakSpeakspeak
The noun travel is a general word, meaning to move from place to place, usually over long distances.

A journey means moving from one place to another, especially in a vehicle. It is a single piece of travel. A journey can also be a regular thing.

A trip describes the whole process of going somewhere and coming back. (It is more than one journey.)

Voyages are less common nowadays. A voyage is a very long trip, usually at sea or in space
english  language  explained 
december 2015 by aries1988
word choice - What is the rule for using "a" or "an" in a sentence? - English Language & Usage Stack Exchange
user (yoozer)
uniform (yooniform)
ubiquitous (yoobiquitous)
And so on.

Now think of words you pronounce that begin with "y": a youth, a yew — you wouldn't say "an youth" or "an yew".

So we say "a user" but "an understanding" — just that simple.
english 
september 2015 by aries1988
工科生怎么看懂《经济学人》(The Economist)? - 金融 - 知乎
“国外有人做过统计,受过良好教育的英语母语人士词汇量普遍在30000左右,而且会随着年龄增长而不断提高。所以在积累词汇量的路上是永无止境的。我们的目标应该是追求更多。”

“一般词汇量在8000左右就可以开始读经济学人了。这里要说一下词汇量的问题,多大的词汇量才够用?我的理解是,越大越好。是的,两三万算凑合,四五万也不嫌多。”

“举个例子,刚才那段节选文章里有一句: The pre-modern marauders of Islamic State (IS) rampaged between Iraq and Syria, and Russian forces dismembered Ukraine, as if borders were elastic lines rather than fixed frontiers. 读到这里有没有一种“哇,写得真牛逼“的感觉?是的,最后一句的比喻写得太棒了,把国家的边界比喻成橡皮筋,可进可退,可伸可缩,借此来讽刺IS和俄罗斯随意入侵别国的行径。”

“关键是要找到适合自己的学习材料。理想的学习材料应该满足“i+1”的原则,即你的英语水平为i ,选取的阅读材料难度为”i+1”,阅读材料不能太简单也不能太难。”
english  learn  tips  magazine  reading 
september 2015 by aries1988
Parenthetical Commas – Dr. Mark Womack
Extra information, extra commas; needed information, no commas.

The distinction between extra and needed information can be a subtle one. When in doubt, try deleting the word or phrase to see whether the information it provides is merely supplemental or truly necessary to the sentence.
english  punctuation 
august 2015 by aries1988
English for Swedes
cheap vs. sheep (also: cheat sheet, chit-chat)
Yale vs. jail
line but linear (/layn/ but /li-ne-ar/, not /layn-ar/)
variable and variance have the stress on the first syllable.
analysis has the stress on the second syllable.
magazine and all other words with a z, which is generally not pronounced as an s.

in Swedish the verbs are not conjugated.

Avoid assigning actions to inanimate objects:
This thesis investigates algorithms. → In this thesis, I investigate algorithms.

In Swedish, no difference is made between opening and closing quotes. However, in most other languages a different glyph is used for the two. In English the opening quotes are inverted.
scandinavia  english  language  writing  advice  latex  comparison 
august 2015 by aries1988
Ethics vs Morals - Difference and Comparison | Diffen

Ethics and morals relate to “right” and “wrong” conduct. While they are sometimes used interchangeably, they are different: ethics refer to rules provided by an external source, e.g., codes of conduct in workplaces or principles in religions. Morals refer to an individual’s own principles regarding right and wrong.
english  language  ethic 
august 2015 by aries1988
20 misused English words that make smart people look silly

Imply vs. Infer

To imply means to suggest something without saying it outright. To infer means to draw a conclusion from what someone else implies. As a general rule, the speaker/writer implies, and the listener/reader infers.
language  english 
august 2015 by aries1988
Language Log » French vs. English
Is the greater length of the French an artifact of its being the language into which the translation has been made? I rather doubt this, since my impression is that the length of French compared to English tends to be greater no matter where I encounter them together.
comparison  english  français 
august 2015 by aries1988
Johnson: The influence of English: Deep impact | The Economist
In many of the cases, the English version is simpler: ich erinnere das nicht is shorter and more straightforward than ich erinnere mich daran nicht. But even fairly complex grammar is usually easy for native speakers; the mind is a miracle that way. So the change to English betrays not simply a preference for simpliclity; it shows that speakers of German or French find themselves thinking rather a lot in English, so much so the English patterns spring to mind as readily as the German.
language  deutsch  mind  people  english  français 
july 2015 by aries1988
white-hot - definition of white-hot by The Free Dictionary
white-hot (hwtht, wt-)
adj.
1. So hot as to glow with a bright white light.
2. Zealous; fervid.
english  chinese  language 
november 2014 by aries1988
The key to China | Prospect Magazine
For although British presses seem fixated on publishing novels, the talents of Chinese writers are far better showcased by their short fiction. China today is not the kind of place that encourages the professional dedication to literary craft essential to successful long fiction. Writers rarely revise; editors barely edit; they are too busy blogging, filmmaking, or chasing after the next big literary trend. The short story is the ideal literary form for a country suffering so acutely from attention deficit disorder: long enough to capture a meaningful fragment of this confounding country; (usually) brief enough to prevent authors reaching for melodramatic plot hinges or slack description. To understand how China’s literary minds are making sense of their country, then, read their short stories, not their novels. Chutzpah and Pathlight’s selections are a good place to start.
literature  chinese  today  english 
october 2014 by aries1988
《看客》第333期:被刹车的英语
高考加速了英语的普及,引入了外来文化,也改变了国人的思想。1992年,政府出台“支持留学、鼓励回国、来去自由”12字方针,中国留学生数目随之大幅上涨。图为1993年2月21日,广州越秀区,一小学门前的摊位上张贴的留学培训广告。周国强/CFP
from:rss  education  today  english 
may 2014 by aries1988
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