Jump to content
Carol the Dabbler

The Language (and travel) Thread

Recommended Posts

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's an American company, in fact. But maybe I'm just assuming that because the products been available here roughly forever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh that's cool! Pyrex! Yeah, my mum's a huge Pyrex person, I think she has like 16 different sized bowls...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This question arose on another thread: How does one say BAMF? is it pronounced as the four separate initials, or as a single-syllable acronym -- or does it vary from person to person?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say it varies from person to person, there's no one way of saying it. I was just watching a Doctor Who- Vincent and The Doctor, about Vincent Van Gogh. Throughout the entire episode, they said Gogh (pronounced goff), when most people in America say Gogh (prounounced go). But I shall assume that the prior is the correct pronunciation and shall spend the rest of my life pronouncing it that way. It's the same with the pronunciation of Southwark....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In general English people tend to say it "goff" and Americans "go" however too much American TV has made me say it "go" so I guess it doesn't really matter.

Pronounce it whichever way FEELS best.

(Although sometimes this tendency annoys my friends when they don't understand what I'm talking about!)

 

'You know that painter guy, Van Go?'

'Who?'

'That painter who cut off his ear?'

'Ohhh! You meant Van Goff?'

*sigh*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The correct pronunciation of anyone's name is of course the way that person himself pronounces it. So in an absolute sense, the correct pronunciation of "Van Gogh" would be something like "Fan Gock" -- or at least, that's about as close as you can get in the English language.

 

But, as a friend of mine used to say, the purpose of language is to communicate. So in a practical sense, the "correct" pronunciation is the one that will be understood by the person you're talking to. This generally amounts to using the pronunciation that you're used to -- e.g., "Van Go" in the US and "Van Goff" in the UK. The tricky part comes when you're out of your bailiwick [good Heavens, the spellcheck knows "bailiwick"! -- but not "spellcheck]. If I ever find myself discussing said painter with a roomful of British people, I suspect I'd still say "Van Go" because I'd simply feel silly saying "Van Goff."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too right Carol, what I meant though was that it doen't really matter as long as the person your talking to can understand you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moved here from another thread:

... any sign of the apocalypse yet? :lol4:

The exhaust fell off my car earlier in the week, that was fairly apocalyptic. Otherwise, not a sausage.

This is the first time I've heard a real-life person say "not a sausage" -- though it seems to be a pretty common expression in British tv shows and books. Thanks, aely!

You've never seen/heard 'not a sausage' used in RL? Pleased to be of service!

There seem to be several categories of British expressions, as viewed from the US. There are some that have become part of standard American usage (e.g., "raspberry" in reference to the rude sound, which according to Wikipedia dates back only to the late 1800's, well after the two languages diverged). There are some that are well-known, and sometimes used by Americans, but still considered British (e.g., "bloody" in the non-literal sense, which is used here as kind of a "fake" swear word). There are others that we know about but do not use (e.g., "blimey"). Then there are still others that most Americans have never even heard of, and I'd say that "not a sausage" is one of those. (Apparently none of the British people I've known make much use of it, either.)

 

Next I shall tell you how I've been running around like a blue arsed fly (somewhat similar to a headless chicken, only worse).

There's another one that I've never heard of! Though we do use the "headless chicken" expression -- which refers, by the way, to the fact that a chicken relies less on its actual brain than we do, and really can run (aimlessly) about for a short while after being beheaded. I've seen it happen, years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be surprised if you had heard "blue arsed fly" as it is apparently a north western English thing. I hadn't realised this until I noticed a few of our southern and eastern doctors look puzzled when they heard the expression (we use it quite a lot in Liverpool) and when I got round to asking them they said they'd not heard it before coming up to our part of the country.

 

As for 'Not a sausage' Urban Dictionary has this to say...

 

Suggested origin is from the Cockney rhyming slang 'Sausage and mash' used to mean 'cash', or money. Hence 'not a sausage' to mean 'no cash' or 'nothing'.

We also use 'baldy' to say similar stuff - "Not a baldy clue", "not a baldy thing" which is apparently Irish in origin (not surprising in Liverpool) and it isn't just substituted for 'bloody' as you will also hear "not a bloody, baldy thing" I have no idea how widespread it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. My father-in-law is from Liverpool, but I've never heard him say any of those things. Of course, he moved away something like 60 years ago, and I'm sure language has changed noticeably since then (both the Liverpool dialect and his own personal amalgamation). Which reminds me -- I recently asked a former Londoner what his definition of "quite" is, and it was identical to mine -- so the "sorta" meaning has apparently arisen within the past 30-40 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Blue arsed fly" seems to have reached as far as Bristol at least, I hear it often around here, although my Dad's family comes from Yorkshire so that may be where my family at least picked it up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bristol is also a West Coast port, so maybe we can blame the Irish for that too...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To get back to that Reichenbach thing - as I'm from Germany I thought I might be able to help out a little :)

 

So. Bach means brook, that's true. Reich means rich, and reichen, well, it depends on the context of the sentence you're using it in. You could say: "Die reichen Leute", which can be translated to "the rich people", so reichen is the basically the adjective for describing a plural of things that is/are 'rich' . By the way, if you're talking about just a single object, like in 'the rich man', you also wouldn't say 'der reich Mann' but 'der reiche Mann'.

You see, 'Reich' is just the basic adjectiv, but in German you also have the 4 Fälle, Nominativ, Genitiv, Dativ and Akkusativ, in case you ever heard of those. Those Fälle are responsible for the fact that the same adjective has to be slightly altered depending on which noun it refers to. It sounds difficult, and probably is very confusing if you're not a native speaker but as things as Fälle don't really exist in english, you could say that Reichenbach can be translated to Rich Brook, yes.

Of course I'm not Sherlock enough to have guessed that the first time I heard the name Richard Brook, my mind is on english-mode rather than german-mode most of the time anyway, but I may say quite confidentially that no native speaker of german would object to that translation :)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, thank you, Alex! That's a very detailed explanation. I don't speak German at all, but I believe I understand you. "Reichen" means "rich" for a plural noun, but "bach" is singular, so if we really want to say "rich brook" correctly in German, it would be "reiche bach" -- is that right?

 

The English word for Fälle is case, and we used to have them a few hundred years ago, but nowadays we have them only in pronouns (he, his, him, for example). The English names for your four cases are nominative, genitive, dative, and accusative, but we don't use those words much except when we're studying certain foreign languages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost, but not quite. You could say 'DER reiche Bach', 'der' is basically 'the'. I fyou wanted to say it without a definite article, you'd have to go for 'reicher Bach', as well as you'd say 'reicher Mann' instead of 'der reiche Mann' .

There is basically a different form of the adjective for everything :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could say 'DER reiche Bach', 'der' is basically 'the'. If you wanted to say it without a definite article, you'd have to go for 'reicher Bach'. There is basically a different form of the adjective for everything

Good heavens! OK, what about "A rich brook"? Would that be "ein reiche Bach" or "ein reicher Bach" -- or something else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, 'A rich brook' would be 'ein riecher Bach', but only because Bach/brook is masculine. If you wanted to talk about a feminine noun, like girl/Mädchen, it would be 'ein reiches Mädchen'. I think those different forms of adjectives are one of the main reasons, why Germany is said to be 'hard' to learn. Of course it seems easy to me, but I actually think this is exactly what most of the non-native speakers have a lot of problems with... Especially if those cases and everything don't even really exist in your own language...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any idea how the Falls got the name "Reichenbach," if that's not grammatical?

 

It seems like every language has its unique pitfalls. English has borrowed words from so many different languages that our spelling is (as you may have noticed!) very irregular. I consider Spanish pretty simple, but that's only in comparison to Latin! (Like English, Spanish no longer inflects nouns.) Japanese seems very simple at first, because it doesn't inflect nouns or adjectives, and verb forms are pretty minimal -- but then there are a ton of different ways to say things like "I" and "you," depending on whether the person you're speaking to is older or younger than you, your boss or your employee, male or female, how long you've known each other, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, 'A rich brook' would be 'ein riecher Bach', but only because Bach/brook is masculine. If you wanted to talk about a feminine noun, like girl/Mädchen, it would be 'ein reiches Mädchen'. I think those different forms of adjectives are one of the main reasons, why Germany is said to be 'hard' to learn. Of course it seems easy to me, but I actually think this is exactly what most of the non-native speakers have a lot of problems with... Especially if those cases and everything don't even really exist in your own language...

 

Schade dass die Natur nur einen Mensch aus dir schuf, Denn zum würdigen Mann war und zum Schelmen der Stoff, eh Otterly? And further more, Wir sind gewohnt dass die Menschen verhöhnen was sie nicht verstehen.

 

I think we especially agree with the second one. I know I do. So, what do you think? Shall either of us translate those for them? Or shall we leave it an enigma? I mean, I know I was the one who put them up so it would be the natural thing for me to give the translations. But I've never been inclined to the natural thing. I thought you, though, might like to translate both since it is your natural dialect. See, John, I'm being considerate.

 

Oh, this is rather interesting and still pertains to the subject! In Doctor Who with the 11th Doctor, most of you may or may not know that there's a companion named Rory Williams; husband of Amelia/Amy Pond. 'Rory' is actually Cockney slang for door. So she's The Pond and he's The Door. Also as a point of interest, Benedict Cumberbatch played a character named Rory. In Forty-Something, those of you that know that. Let's see...Petrol is British for gasoline, jumper means sweater, braces means SUSPENDERS (There, I fixed it. Happy?) , 'get off' in the instance John Watson uses it means start a relationship. Sometimes it also means start a SEXUAL relationship. He and Sarah DID have a conversation about the bed...Hmm... I'll have to think about anything else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

braces mean overalls

braces in English does not mean overalls where I come from

 

Apart from any slang, Rory essentially means 'Red King' as it is the Anglicised form of the Goidelic (Scots and Irish Gaelic) Ruarídh which comes from rua(dh) meaning red and rígh meaning king (which also gives us the surname MacArdry - meaning 'son of the high king'). The Welsh (Brythonic) form is Rhodri.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

braces in English does not mean overalls where I come from

No, but I can see more or less how the confusion arose: I believe that braces (British) means suspenders (American) -- removable shoulder straps that hold your trousers up. Overalls (American) are denim trousers with shoulder straps. So overalls (American) are like bluejeans with built-in braces (British).

 

To continue the confusion, braces (American) are torture devices that dentists attach to children's teeth in order to gradually straighten them. Suspenders (British) means garters (American) -- things that hold your stockings up. And considering that the UK has an Order of the Garter, I'm guessing that doesn't mean the same thing over there, either.

 

The American word overalls is always plural, like trousers and jeans. An overall (singular) in the UK is a loose shirt-like garment worn over one's regular clothing to protect it, like a smock in the US.

 

- - - - -

 

Oh, and a jumper (American) is basically a sleeveless, collarless dress meant to be worn over a blouse. Regarding the British use of the word (already mentioned by CSI) -- I've noticed that the word cardigan seems to be used the same way in both countries (a long-sleeved sweater that buttons up the front). In the UK, is a cardigan considered to be a type of jumper, or does jumper only refer to the kind that pulls on over one's head?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, American overalls are English dungarees (dungaree being an Indian loan word) or bib and brace. To me overalls generally mean an all in one boiler suit effort (like Lestrade's paper suit) as a smock wouldn't cover everything (therefore wouldn't be over all), I've never heard it used in the singular as 'an overall' but that doesn't mean it isn't somewhere else in the country.

 

You can have jumpers with buttons, but as soon as the front opens completely, it morphs into a cardigan. So yes, a jumper goes on over your head which is why it's also called a pullover.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use the word dungaree as well, but I've never been real clear as to what it means. Some people use it to mean regular bluejeans, and other times it seems to mean overalls. So I tend to avoid it!

 

I'm sure you're right about the British use of overalls, since my knowledge comes from a book. Over here, Lestrade's paper suits would be called coveralls, by the way.

 

We also use the word pullover, but it can refer to just about any type of "top" or dress that doesn't open. Also, the term sweater does include cardigans. So the most accurate American translation for what you call a jumper would be a pullover sweater. I'm oddly pleased to hear that cardigans aren't considered to be jumpers -- somehow, the word jumper just sounds more like a pullover. I wonder if that could be the common link between American jumpers (which do tend to be pullover garments) and British jumpers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any idea how the Falls got the name "Reichenbach," if that's not grammatical?

Probably just the last name of some person, tried to look it up but there's only Sherlock stuff showing up in google :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To continue the confusion, braces (American) are torture devices that dentists attach to children's teeth in order to gradually straighten them...

 

We call this device a brace. (singular) So instead of saying "My orthodontist made me wear braces" we often say "My orthodontist made me wear a brace"

 

Who was it who once said (of the UK and America): "We are two countries divided by a common language?" :lol2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of UseWe have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.Privacy PolicyGuidelines.