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What concepts do not exist in the English language?

What concepts do not exist in the English language?
Carl Honoré (In Praise of Slow) says Canada's Baffin Island Inuit "use the same word—'uvatiarru'—to mean both 'in the distant past' and 'in the distant future.' Time, in such cultures, is always coming as well as going." In an essay by Louise Edrich (Two Languages in Mind, but Just One in the Heart), she writes about learning Ojibwemownin and how "nouns are mainly desginated as alive or dead, animate or inanimate...once I began to think of stones as animate, I started to wonder whether I was picking up a stone or it was putting iteslf in my hand." I'm fascinated by language reflecting culture and vice versa. Any reference you've run across in passing or even know about as a multi-lingual MeFite is welcome. Moreover, if English isn't your primary language, what words/concepts made you take pause?

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A NOT To Do List for Successful Language Learners To do lists seem like a good idea in theory, but they have one major disadvantage: there is an infinite number of potential to do items. With this in mind, Timothy Ferriss, best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek (and a speaker of 6 languages), recommends “not to do lists” instead. Since they isolate a finite set of behaviors that are getting between you and your goals, they are far more effective than traditional to do lists. This tool applies perfectly to language learning, where most learners waste a lot of time on ineffective methods and bad materials.

shorthand "Groote" The Dutch shorthand system "Groote" was introduced in 1899 by A.W. Groote, aide to a Dutch general. Apparently he needed a system that he could use to take down the general's words while riding a horse! None of the existing systems worked because of the use of diacritical signs like dots. Even while going slowly on a horse, dots transformed into stripes. This is why he devised a cursive system (site). 10 Curse Words You Don't Know That’s one version of what happened at Waterloo and it’s a load of old cambronne, but the fact is that no-one seems to know the truth. After-battle commentary included both Cambronne saying “Merde!” and Cambronne saying “La garde meurt et ne se rend pas!” (The Guard dies and does not surrender!)

20 Obsolete English Words that Should Make a Comeback Photo: Katherine Hodgson If we all start using them, these words can be resurrected. DURING MY UNDERGRADUATE studies as a Linguistics major, one of the things that struck me most is the amazing fluidity of language. New words are created; older words go out of style. Words can change meaning over time, vowel sounds shift, consonants are lost or added and one word becomes another. Living languages refuse to be static.

01.31.2006 - Language affects half of what we see UC Berkeley Press Release Language affects half of what we see By William Harms, University of Chicago, and Robert Sanders, UC Berkeley Media Relations | 31 January 2006 Lexicon Valley on the common perception that some languages are spoken faster than others Listen to Lexicon Valley Episode #18: The Rate of Exchange. We’ve all known people who are deliberate, even plodding, talkers, taking their time with seemingly every word. And then there are those who spit out their sentences with barely a breath in between. Such variation among individuals is understandable (and at times even cultural), but what about among languages themselves? In other words, is Spanish in general spoken faster than English?

10 Insulting Words You Should Know There is a crisis of insults on the Web. On one hand, the volume of flames is very high yet the quality is poor. Gone are the days of the razor-sharp wit of Oscar Wilde and Winston Churchill*, only to be replaced by a string of four letter words typed in ALL CAPS by n00bs (the latest of which is “FAIL”, itself a failure of coming up with a more scathing insult, if you think about it).

Write Your Name in Elvish in Ten Minutes Write Your Name in Elvish in Ten Minutes You want to write your name in Elvish, but every place you go seems to make it harder than it ought to be. Elvish writing looks beautiful and mysterious, but does it really have to be impossible to understand? Why doesn't somebody just spell out the alphabet so you can simply substitute the letters and get straight to the result? That's exactly what I've done here. Learn to write your name in Elvish in ten minutes. 20+ Ways to Learn a Language Online Earlier today we mentioned a plugin for AIM that would translate what you type on the fly into another language. That's an exceptionally useful tool, but the far more fluid and accurate way to speak to people in another language, is to actually learn the language. Thankfully, there are a wide variety of ways to learn languages online, many of them available for free. Below is a list of more than 20 ways you can go from knowing how to say "Hello" to fluency. Language Lessons

Should We Care About Grammar and Spelling on Twitter? Many people assume I am a guardian of grammar. The typical plane-ride conversation goes like this: “What do you do?”” “I am an English professor” “Oh! I better watch my grammar.” Their worries are unfounded. I wouldn't flinch if they were to split an infinitive, use the singular "they," or dangle modifiers.

10 Insulting Words You Don’t Know “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” That’s what we used to chant as kids when we got into name calling contests in the school yard. Of course, it’s untrue and it’s disingenuous. Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo The sentence's meaning becomes clearer when it's understood that it uses three meanings of the word buffalo: the city of Buffalo, New York, the somewhat uncommon verb "to buffalo" (meaning "to bully or intimidate"), as well as the animal buffalo. When the punctuation and grammar are expanded, the sentence could read as follows: "Buffalo buffalo that Buffalo buffalo buffalo, buffalo Buffalo buffalo." The meaning becomes even clearer when synonyms are used: "Buffalo bison that other Buffalo bison bully, themselves bully Buffalo bison." Sentence construction