wildernesscat: (good)
Studied with my eldest son for his school test (in Bible), and encountered this enchanting remark in 1 Samuel 9,7-9:

וַיֹּאמֶר שָׁאוּל לְנַעֲרוֹ, וְהִנֵּה נֵלֵךְ וּמַה-נָּבִיא לָאִישׁ - כִּי הַלֶּחֶם אָזַל מִכֵּלֵינוּ, וּתְשׁוּרָה אֵין-לְהָבִיא לְאִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים: מָה, אִתָּנוּ. וַיֹּסֶף הַנַּעַר, לַעֲנוֹת אֶת-שָׁאוּל, וַיֹּאמֶר, הִנֵּה נִמְצָא בְיָדִי רֶבַע שֶׁקֶל כָּסֶף; וְנָתַתִּי לְאִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים, וְהִגִּיד לָנוּ אֶת-דַּרְכֵּנוּ. לְפָנִים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל, כֹּה-אָמַר הָאִישׁ בְּלֶכְתּוֹ לִדְרוֹשׁ אֱלֹהִים, לְכוּ וְנֵלְכָה, עַד-הָרֹאֶה: כִּי לַנָּבִיא הַיּוֹם, יִקָּרֵא לְפָנִים הָרֹאֶה.

Or in English:

[7] Then said Saul to his servant, But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man of God: what have we?
[8] And the servant answered Saul again, and said, Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way.
[9] (Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer)


The biblical writer actually does a little bit of diachronic research here, and publishes his findings as a side note :)

wildernesscat: (kfaryona)
The name of my town in Chinese: 科法尔.尤纳

(via [livejournal.com profile] linguaphiles)

wildernesscat: (Default)
Following an offline remark on my previous post (by [livejournal.com profile] mad_troll), here is a funny video that shows the stereotypical trait of the Florentine pronunciation: saying 'h' instead of 'c'. The girl in the video is saying the Italian sentence "voglio una coca cola con la cannuccia corta corta", which translates as "I want a coca cola with a short short straw" :)

wildernesscat: (Default)
Today I learned (TIL) that my younger son is not capable of uttering the 'h' sound. I was helping him read a passage from his 1st graders' language book, and there was a sentence about the lion sleeping in the forest on top of a mountain (האריה ישן ביער על ההר, ha-ariyeh yashen baya'ar al hahar). This last 'hahar' just didn't come out right, no matter how hard I tried. The kid would always say a'ar (as if with an aleph), and all my efforts to explain the difference were in vain. The elder son has no such trouble, as he has an 'h' in his name, but as for the younger generation ... It's a consonant we're bound to lose eventually I'm afraid.

wildernesscat: (Default)
Without searching the net, can you guess what the word "תשנית" (tashnit) means?

wildernesscat: (Default)
It was a long shot, but I guessed it :)

(reposted from http://wildernesscat.greatestjournal.com)

wildernesscat: (danny_and_daddy)
Yesterday we saw a documentary about an Israeli woman, who works as a sign language interpreter. Once she had to interpret during a court hearing. The defendant was very agitated, and spoke in the sign-language equivalent of yelling - "you idiot, son of a bitch, you don't know shit", etc. She had to mimic his exact tone and say the words that he signed. She was held in contempt of court.

wildernesscat: (from_israel)
http://commtechlab.msu.edu/Sites/aslweb/I/W1888.htm

"Israel" in American Sign Language.

(There's a lot more).

wildernesscat: (tailwag)
I know it's hard to believe, but I found a commonly used Hebrew word in Finnish!

wildernesscat: (vanatoomas)
http://www.filosoft.ee/gene_et/

Just a little something to help me with Estonian grammar. It's a female dog.

wildernesscat: (Default)
Hebrew: הפוסל, במומו פוסל
English: it takes one to know one
Russian: ? (сам такой?)

wildernesscat: (bwface)
Okay, so what happened during this week of writing in Palestinian Arabic? First of all, no lj-friend left me. That's a good thing. It means that people had faith in me coming back to my senses eventually. Some eyebrows were raised, but all in all, people showed understanding. On the other hand, nobody befriended me, even though I made a brief appearance in [livejournal.com profile] arabic towards the end. No Arabs commented on my blog. Instead, I had an unusually high comment-rate by a certain religious Jew from Haifa :) I guess, he too, needs some practice for his rusty colloquial Arabic. The writing was difficult. I had to say what I could, instead of what I wanted. Many personal things happened during that week, and they became kind of an open secret (security by obscurity). The bottom line is this - it's difficult to learn a spoken language without having a native speaker to converse with. I'll go on studying from my books, but I have no illusions of becoming another Zvi Yehezkeli. Ma3aleish!

wildernesscat: (danny_and_daddy)
I wonder, suppose Olmert and Mubarak are having a meeting one-on-one. What language do they speak? English? Or do they use interpreters for simultaneous translation?

wildernesscat: (Default)
נוצר הדין = ناصر الدين = keeper of the faith? One fine keeper of the faith he is.

wildernesscat: (bwface)
L-aħħar aħbarjiet - the latest news in Maltese. What a horrible mix of Arabic and Italian! This is the only semitic language that uses the Latin script, [livejournal.com profile] veryty says. (+ another sample in the Language Museum)

wildernesscat: (Default)
יידיש לערנבוך )

Found this Yiddish handbook in my uncle's house in Miami. Now please, can someone explain, why the "lamed" is written upside down? This is a consistent "feature" of this booklet.

א זעלבשטענדיק בראָך )

wildernesscat: (wildcatdr)
It turns out that different cultures use different sentences to strike up a conversation; not just different along the lines of "how are you?", "how are things?", "what's up?", but even stranger stuff. In Fijian, for example, it's common to say "where are you going?" as an ice-breaker. To which, the answer might be "I'm going this way". In Thai or Chinese, you might great someone with "have you eaten?", and he'd answer "I have eaten". Imagine a Westerner taking these questions literally, and thinking the other person is a policeman, or, in the second case, inviting them to have dinner :)

wildernesscat: (Default)
Seth Lerer says that the wedding vows « to be your lawful wedded partner, to love, honor and cherish » were written this way, so that everyone in 15th century England understood what the priest was talking about - the English speaker (love), the Latin speaker (honor) and ... the French speaker (cherish).

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Danny Dorfman

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