Your linguistic disasters

Quasus

Civis Illustris
I’d say, my major linguistic disaster is that I can’t learn a foreign language to a satisfactory level, no matter what. At best, I get stuck at the ‘But you speak excellently!’ stage.
 

Serenus

Civis Illustris
It is, in fact, interesting that Chinese 小心 xiao3xin1 can be followed by either the desirable action or the event that should be prevented. They interpret it one way or the other depending on real world knowledge:

小心轻放。
xiao3xin1 qing1fang4
careful light-put
'Handle with care.'
(The interpretation "Make sure it's not handled with care", while possible, makes no sense.)

小心感冒。
xiao3xin1 gan3mao4
careful catch-cold
'Be wary of getting a cold.'
(The interpretation "get a cold carefully" makes no sense.)

Therefore,

小心坠崖。
xiao3xin1 zhui4 yai2
careful fall cliff
'Be wary of falling down the cliff.'
(The interpretation "fall down the cliff carefully" makes no sense.)
 

Dantius

Homo Sapiens
Staff member
I recently saw a similar thing with cave + subj., which usually means "be careful not to", but Apuleius used it in the sense "be careful to".
 

Terry S.

Quaestor
Staff member
How do you know he meant "be careful to"? What were the clues?
 

Dantius

Homo Sapiens
Staff member
L+S said so, but also just context and the other interlocutor's reply:
Speaker 1: "Heus tu," inquit "cave regrediare cena maturius."
...
Speaker 2: "metum etiam istum tibi demam maturata regressione."
 

cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
It is, in fact, interesting that Chinese 小心 xiao3xin1 can be followed by either the desirable action or the event that should be prevented.
The situation that I like is when people say it after they have bumped into you, or nearly knocked you over.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I’d say, my major linguistic disaster is that I can’t learn a foreign language to a satisfactory level, no matter what. At best, I get stuck at the ‘But you speak excellently!’ stage.
What do you mean by a satisfactory level, though? Could it be that you are a perfectionist that won't ever be satisfied until you sound thoroughly like a native speaker (which may never happen)?

English is your second language, right? I've never heard you speak, but I would say that you write it satisfactorily, at least — but then again maybe you and I don't have the same definition of satisfactory, hence my question above.
 

Quasus

Civis Illustris
What do you mean by a satisfactory level, though? Could it be that you are a perfectionist that won't ever be satisfied until you sound thoroughly like a native speaker (which may never happen)?

English is your second language, right? I've never heard you speak, but I would say that you write it satisfactorily, at least — but then again maybe you and I don't have the same definition of satisfactory, hence my question above.
Well, I think I’d like to feel myself at ease, which I hardly ever do. (Admittedly, this depends not only on the language proficiency.) I grope for words too much. I don’t aspire for a native’s level, but I wish I did better, and I’ve seen people achieving great results (while putting in more effort, perhaps).

English is a lingua franca for me, so I’m glad if I manage to write more or less acceptably, at least in some registers. :)
 

Iohannes Aurum

Technicus Auxiliarius
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Ham believed.png


That should have been "cured ham", I think. "Cru" in this context is an adjective meaning literally "raw" (crudus), but it looks and sounds the same as the participle of the verb "croire", "to believe", hence the machine's translation.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I just came across this ad and thought W-T-F.

View attachment 6373

And the headline of their website is no better: https://www.iberostar.com/fr/hotels-enfants-gratuits?cp=DPROSPECT&dclid=CKz697-Xlt4CFYQ54AodUQsCwg

While they mean that your child's room etc. will be free, it sounds as if they were giving out children for free.
That’s Google-translated from this Spanish title
“Disfruta de los hoteles con niños gratis.”

Still ambiguous though even “gratis” can be used as an adverb.

“Rest in the hotels with free children.”
?????
Wow that sounds like some sorts of dirty business going on there; just saying...

Their Portuguese translation makes much more sense(Desfrute dos hotéis gratuitos para crianças) Although it’s a Spanish company...
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I don't know if you have, but someone has.
 

Iohannes Aurum

Technicus Auxiliarius

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Eating customers.jpg
 
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