Sebastians weblog: Hør en bog

Sebastian har et indlæg på sin blog om lydbøger. Det mindede mig om Ric fra datalogi, som havde købt en maskine, udviklet til blinde, som kunne læse ASCII-filer på engelsk op med vilkårlig hastighed. Ric trænede så sig selv op til at forstå en meget høj hastighed, så han til sidst var i stand til at høre bøger hurtigere, end han kunne læse dem!

Wormsoapy cock poetry

I bought a passaverdura in Italy. In Italian, it reasonably enough tells me to “lavare bene prima dell’uso” – which in English has become “before first use, wash in wormsoapy water”.

That reminds me of a friend of my dad, Ötz, who wanted to buy a gasket for his tap. In German, a gasket is called a Dichtung, and Hahn means both tap and cock, so he reportedly asked for una poesia di gallo d’acqua!

I – a grandmother


The last meal
Originally uploaded by viralbus.

One of the really odd things about Georgian is the words for members of the family. It’s bad enough that “father” is mama and “mother” is deda, but to confuse matters further, most terms can be used both ways, i.e., mama can mean both “father” and “son/daughter” (when addressed by their father). This meant that because Caca bebo (whom I lived with in Georgia) adopted me as a grandson (she’s pictured here with her two real grandsons, my mates Lasha and Kakha), she would often call me grandmother. She sadly passed away years ago, so I doubt I will ever be called grandmother again! 🙁

Er man ondere på dansk end på engelsk?

Google Trends er en interessant måde at spilde tid på. Et af deres eksempler på forsiden er “good, evil“, hvilket tydeligt viser, at man på engelsk søger oftere efter det gode end det onde. Men hvis man prøver at søge efter “gode, onde” (ikke “god, ond”, da god jo også er et ord på engelsk), kan man se, at det onde er meget mere efterspurgt.

Pirahã

There’s an article in The Independent today about the Pirahã language. It is claimed the language has no words for numbers, colours, tense and other abstract concepts. Not only that, but the speakers of the language are said to be unable to learn it. If it’s all true, it would be truly sensational, but it’s hard to know what to believe when all I’ve read is an article written by a non-linguist interviewing a field-worker of unknown pedigree. I hope I’ll find something more reliable soon.

Update: There’s a good article about the language in Wikipedia. It confirms that most of the outlandish claims are due to Daniel Everett and have yet to be confirmed independently.