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Apple



Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Posts: 1751



PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 3:23 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Politicians say a lot of things which set my teeth on edge  Wink


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Freyda



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 425



PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheRejectAmidHair wrote:
Bengalis are often surprised to find that aubergines are called … well, “aubergines”! They had always been taught that the English for that fruit they call “begun” (pronounced “bay-goon”, but with short rather than with long vowel sounds) was “brinjal”. Apparently, the word “brinjal” does exist, but it’s never used here for some reason.


How funny. Brinjal appears on UK "Indian" restaurant menus, doesn't it - for aubergine. I wonder who - or why anyone - thought brinjal was the English word?

I think curry is not an accurate or appropriate word, too. Anyone know any more?


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Freyda



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 425



PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

evilgiraffe wrote:

The explanation of time is something that confuses me - this seems to crop up a lot in Stephen King's books.  What exactly is meant when a character says "it's a quarter of four"?  Do they mean 4.15pm or 3.45pm?  Quarter to and quarter past make sense, but quarter of I cannot get my head round.



I've noticed this, too, and assumed "quarter of" was "quarter to", though now I think about it I have no idea why. Just my twisted logic.

I'm truck/lorry, blind: maybe that's a female thing - vehicles don't interest me at all. Trucks and lorries are just big threatening things I hate to encounter on motorways where they create their own microclimate of evil weather.


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MikeAlx



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 2108


Location: Seaford, East Sussex

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to add to the confusion, don't some languages have 'half to' rather than 'half past'?

Not sure about curry and its accuracy, but some menus have various dishes called korai, which is presumably the origin of the word. (Hmmm, next we can argue about the pronunciation of raita).



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Evie
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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have a problem with 'quarter of' - but I do get confused with the 'half' thing in German, where 'halb zwei' is 1.30, so yes, half before rather than half past.

I have noticed Americans say 'ten till' rather than 'ten to' the hour.  Such small differences, and yet they sound completely different!

I don't mind the 'a' thing Mike H was mentioning; I think it's as much for emphasis in speech as anything.  Like using the short version of  'the' before a vowel instead of pronouncing it 'thee' - I know that annoys some people.  For example, 'the end' with a short 'the' instead of 'thee end'.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MikeAlx wrote:
Not sure about curry and its accuracy, but some menus have various dishes called korai, which is presumably the origin of the word. (Hmmm, next we can argue about the pronunciation of raita).


"Korai" (or "karahi") is simply the large wok in which it is cooked.

As for the pronunciation of "raita", the first syllable ("rai") rhymes with "pie"; and in the second syllable ("ta") the "t" - is soft - there's no equivalent in English.


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MikeAlx



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 2108


Location: Seaford, East Sussex

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some Indians seem to pronounce it more like raa-ta (there's a hint of the i, but it's almost elided). Is the soft 't' a bit like you get in Greek, somewhere between an English 'd' and 'th'?

I never knew that about the wok. Isn't the same true of Balti - it's the type of pot it's cooked in?



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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose regional accents will vary - and I suppose you're right: ther's less of the "i" sound in the elided vowel sound than you'd get if you rhymed it with "pie". It's difficult to explain these things in writing!

And yes - the soft "t" sound is as you suggest. In Bengali, there are 4 different "t" sounds: the hardest is as in "table", and the softest as in "thigh", but there are two more in-between.

Similarly, there are 4 "d" sounds. Funnily enough, one of these "d" sounds is identical to the English sound "th" in words such as "the", "then", "there", etc. - but this sound is considered in Bengali to be closer to "d" than to "t".


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MikeAlx



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 2108


Location: Seaford, East Sussex

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do find this stuff fascinating. I wonder if I could tell the middle two apart. Unfamiliar vowels are even harder.

I heard recently that very young babies can differentiate between about 600 different basic sounds (phonemes) used in human languages, but by a few months they can only register the 40-odd that are used in their native tongue. Despite not being able to consciously distinguish the alien phonemes, brain imaging show that at some level their brain can still tell them apart.



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Marita



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 511


Location: Flanders, Belgium

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evie wrote:
I don't have a problem with 'quarter of' - but I do get confused with the 'half' thing in German, where 'halb zwei' is 1.30, so yes, half before rather than half past.



It's the same in Dutch: 'half twee' is 1:30. I had to get used to it that 'half two' meant half past two.

Marita



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