Alex Rawlings, our Polyglot in Residence, delivers hist first guest post, “10 monolingual countries where you need to know the language”. Head over to our blog to read Part One, and let us know what you think!
Nothing worse than having a strong urge to learn a language but not being able to due to lack of resources
入乡随俗 - When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do
入乡随俗 literally means “Enter the village, follow the customs” but is usually translated into the more well-known English phrase, “When in Rome…” and is a useful phrase to keep in mind if/when you visit China.
入 (ru) - Enter
乡 (xiang) - Village/town
随 (sui) - Follow
俗 (su) - Custom
School Grade: 2nd (7 years old)
This character combines 辶 the walk/movement radical and 首 head/chief. Here 道 is acting phonetically to express “direct,” while still lending its meaning of “chief/main.” This gives “chief means of direct movement,” or “a main road.”
Country genders in Russian
A few explanations:
• Соединённые Штаты (United States) is plural, but Америка (America), which is feminine, is used most often outside of formal context.
• Перу (Peru) and Чили (Chile) are most often neuter when talking about the political entity, but feminine when talking about the physical country.
• Somalia seems to be in anarchy even in the Russian language. Сомали (Somalia) can be seen variously as masculine, feminine or neuter.
• There is a similar ambiguity with Тонга (Tonga) and other Pacific Islands; generally they are masculine by default.
• As someone has pointed out, Нидерланды (Netherlands) is the more formal name in Russian, which is plural. Голландия (Holland) is not incorrect, however, unlike in English; it is feminine.
• Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan are masculine by their official names, which are rarely used favor of the “-ia” feminine versions.
• For the UK, Великобритания (Great Britain, fem.) is the standard. Соединённое королевство (United Kingdom, neut.) is seldom used, and Англия (England, fem.) is inaccurate.
• The Dem. Rep. Congo and Rep. Congo are marked as feminine, which is correct when using the long names. “Конго” (Congo), however, is neuter.
More detailed info on gender patterns in Russian and plural countries here.
- 2. favorite language to write in? icelandic!!!
- 8. weirdest place knowing a foreign language has been useful? in pe class with a supply teacher i didnt know the answer to a question so i pretended to be an italian person who didnt speak english
- 13. weirdest language-related classroom memory? idk i think a lot in french so i often find myself responding in french instead of english
I like it how people describe something hard as “like learning a foreign language”, while I use that to describe something fun
DO YOU EVER REALISE HOW AMAZING IT IS TO KNOW A SECOND LANGUAGE
LIKE ANY OTHER LANGUAGE IS JUST GIBBERISH BUT SOMEHOW YOU UNDERSTAND THESE DIFFERENT WORDS AND THEY MEAN THINGS AND JUST
LANGUAGES ARE SO FREAKING FASCINATING HOW DO OUR BRAINS EVEN FUNCTION WHAT ARE LANGUAGES