Questions tagged [foreign-phrases]

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What is the natural usage of "quelle horreur" in English? (Is it different from the French?)

I have a vague recollection that if I read an English-language piece that contained "Quelle horreur!" it would imply a sarcastic feigning of disgust for something trivial, likely to be used ...
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5 votes
1 answer
231 views

How do I properly introduce non-English text in an English Essay?

I want to insert a quote from an Indian book in Sanskrit and I currently have it formatted like this: In this book, one verse goes "Vadhikaraste ma phaleshu" or "It is your duty to ...
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0 answers
122 views

When should Latinisms be Italicized? [duplicate]

Some Latinisms are usually italicized in English whereas some Latin loanwords are not, even in the same text. However, I cannot find any clear pattern. Are there clear rules or guidelines about it? ...
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0 votes
1 answer
73 views

Should "the" or "el" appear before a Spanish proper noun placed in an English text

I have a textbook that refers to the Spanish royal road that linked Mexico City and Santa Fe as "El Camino Real", though the full name in Spanish is "El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro&...
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-1 votes
1 answer
43 views

Message from seller

I recently did DM a seller for a product in the English language, I asked: "Hello, I'm interested in one of your products. Can you tell me the price of this item?" the seller is Chinese and ...
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0 votes
1 answer
57 views

How do you use foreign and English phrases together?

Writing in English, if I use a foreign phrase and wish to translate it, what's the standard way to go about it? In my example below I use a comma: "Ces't vrai, it's true!" he enthused. Is this ...
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0 votes
0 answers
107 views

Shortening of foreign phrases

The following sometimes happens in the development of English language. A phrase from a foreign language is imported into English. English speakers find the phrase useful, but long and cumbersome. ...
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1 vote
2 answers
257 views

Phrase for when there is no point in speaking because you'll be met with excuses or rebuttal

This question doesn't fit because the excuses/rebuttals may be valid, the point is the responder will immediately set about looking for them and doesn't really care if they're fixable obstacles or ...
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  • 286
0 votes
3 answers
289 views

How to use foreign words in English writing

Nonna is a word that means grandmother in Italian. If I italicize in the beginning like this: "Nine years ago, nonna (Italian grandmother), ..." then I don't have to continue italicizing the word ...
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1 vote
0 answers
37 views

Killing with Kindness?

Is there a name for the strategy of weakening your enemy via generosity, such that they become dependent upon your kindness and thereby unable to confront or disobey you? Taking that one step further,...
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10 votes
5 answers
17k views

What is the English pronunciation of "pain au chocolat"?

How do Brits and Americans pronounce pain au chocolat?
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-2 votes
1 answer
85 views

Are words from other languages(especially European ones) also appropriated in the English language, like they do in case of Hindi/Sanskrit?

I observe that there are many words in Hindi/Sanskrit, the pronunciation of which, are appropriated by the International(especially US) English speaking crowd, for example:- Yoga Avatar Ramayan ...
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25 votes
25 answers
10k views

English equivalent for Polish phrase meaning doing something fast and poor quality [closed]

The meaning of Polish 'doing something on knees' or 'on a knee' is completely different than English: https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/on-your-knees It is rather a metaphor to a ...
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1 vote
3 answers
385 views

Why do some people misspell "kernel" with an "a"?

Sometimes when working with servers, one may encounter a problem with the kernel. I have noticed many times when participating in support groups on IRC, that some people type "kernal" instead of "...
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6 votes
2 answers
5k views

How would you translate this Spanish saying "Sacar un clavo con otro clavo" to English?

Fellow English Speakers, I've been trying to translate this common saying from Spanish to English: Sacar un clavo con otro clavo. However, I cannot find any translation that satisfies my curiosity, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
79 views

Italicize foreign words if there are more than two in a sentence and it includes a definition next to it or not?

I know certain foreign words are to be italicized, but in the case where two are used in the same sentence, should they still be italicized or wrapped in quotes? Secondly, if a definition is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
107 views

Italicising common 'foreign' words [closed]

If a house style outlines that foreign terms should be italicised, how strictly should this be applied to common terms taken from, say, French that everyone is more than familiar with? Italicising ...
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0 answers
68 views

Is there any implied meaning betwwen "n + of all sorts" and "all sorts of + n"?

1: There were all sorts of industry in the uplands of Zurich 2: You shall have gold as well, and jewels of all sorts May I use "industries of all sorts" in the first sentence and "all sorts of ...
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2 votes
2 answers
177 views

Should a foreign phrase that modifies an English noun go before or after that noun in English?

I’m thinking of the placement of the Latin phrase, ad hominem as it is used in English, not as it is used in Latin. Should it precede or follow its noun? In other words, are both of these two ...
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Literary term for implied meaning

There is a mode in Arabic literary rhetoric (balāgha) for a statement that is true in itself, but the intended message is implied by the phrase "secondarily", but is not directly represented in the ...
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5 votes
3 answers
3k views

Meaning of 'quid pro quo': why does it diverge from its original Latin intention?

I am not a native English speaker; I am Italian. I am always puzzled when I hear the expression "quid pro quo" intended as "you scratch my back I scratch yours". In Italy we mean it as "...
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3 votes
1 answer
7k views

Does the phrase "per se" have to be italicized? [duplicate]

As far as I understand, the phrase "per se" comes from Latin. Yet, it has become to accepted in English and is used so commonly, that I was wondering if the phrase is still considered of foreign ...
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0 votes
3 answers
494 views

Term or phrase for attempting to gaslight a large group

Gaslighting or gas-lighting is a form of psychological abuse in which a victim is manipulated into doubting their own memory, perception, and sanity. -Wikipedia But gaslighting "a victim" implies ...
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6 votes
1 answer
920 views

Why the abbreviation "maitre d'"?

I have often seen the expression maitre d' in English texts. It obviously comes from the French maître d'hôtel, meaning more or less head waiter. I can understand that the î in maître would be ...
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25 votes
7 answers
4k views

Should foreign words used in English be inflected for gender, number, and case according to the conventions of their source language?

Is there a general rule for whether, for, example, foreign nouns and adjectives used in English should be inflected for gender, number, and case as they would be if the entire text were written in the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
177 views

Term for "the class of landlords"

I have heard in several spoken discussions a term (which sounds kind of French and is maybe related to the English verb "rent") for the class of landlords - people who live off renting out properties ...
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7 votes
1 answer
11k views

Why Cosmonaut, not Astronaut?

An American space traveler is called in English an astronaut. A French space traveler is called in English an astronaut (not l'astronaute). A Japanese space traveler is called in English an ...
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3 votes
2 answers
12k views

Word or phrase for the beauty in pain, tragedy, damage, etc?

I'm looking for either a single word or a very short (really, as short as possible) phrase that could be defined (literally or metaphorically) as: "beauty that is possessed due to or despite the ...
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  • 33
0 votes
2 answers
128 views

"To jog in stride with someone, particularly in silence."

Looking for a single word, or short phrase, in any language, that approximates to that concept: "to jog in stride with someone, particularly in silence." This - if our collective wisdom can find it - ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
995 views

What is a "tony shop"? [closed]

This appears to be an uncommon phrase. Google returns nothing. Perhaps it's a foreign transliteration. Here is the excerpt: The notice posted on Thursday said the embassy had received “information ...
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2 votes
2 answers
631 views

What is the equivalent of this Arabic expression?

In Arabic, when someone tells you "You look good today," or "Thank you for the flowers, they are beautiful," the polite answer is: It is not the flowers. Your eyes are so beautiful everything appears ...
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6 votes
1 answer
14k views

Origin of the term "top tucker"

In India, at least in the Southern part, there is a phrase "Top tucker" used to compliment/attribute someone for their exceptional qualities/achievements in a colloquial way. The entry Tucker in OED ...
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5 votes
1 answer
169 views

What is the stylistic form to use for including foreign text in an English article?

Academic texts often include translations of terms, and these are included in parentheses. Is there a standard to use when including foreign language text (e.g. Arabic, Russian, Chinese, etc.)? Let'...
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9 votes
4 answers
7k views

Origin of "How are you?"

I'm currently researching different greetings for a linguistics project and I'm having trouble finding information as to the history of the phrase, "How are you," or those of equivalent structures. I ...
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0 votes
1 answer
143 views

Does the indefinite article "an" apply to vowel sounds from foreign languages?

When adding an indefinite article to English nouns, you either select a or an depending on the sound of the first letter of the noun that it precedes. In some languages vowel sounds occur that do not ...
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2 votes
3 answers
635 views

How do I treat foreign words after its English counterpart?

I'm formatting a Bible study that includes Hebrew and Greek Words. The PDFs of so many Bible studies were created long ago, and will be available as downloads on the site I'm REbuilding. I'm ...
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15 votes
2 answers
20k views

When citing a French citation in the original, should the guillemets (angle quotes) be changed? What about punctuation order?

I’ve come across a puzzling punctuation problem! I’m working on a document in US English. It includes a citation of a French text in the original French, and this citation includes a citation (all in ...
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0 votes
2 answers
899 views

How would an English speaker pronounce "valid" with a circumflex over the A?

My branding department (read my friend from work) has suggested the word "vâlid" with a circumflex over the A as a way to brand my product. He just likes the way a lowercase a looks in typography. ...
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1 vote
4 answers
2k views

Name of a foreigner from Earth?

Someone from Mars is called a Martian. Someone from America is called an American. Someone from Europe is a European. Someone from Hyrule is a Hyrulean. We are not far from colonizing other planets, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does one call this kind of Japanese toilet in English?

This was a warning notice placed near a Japanese toilet, containing one of those inimitable Japanese Engrish expressions. But as these toilets start to become popular in western countries, what is ...
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16 votes
4 answers
8k views

When using the French word "sans" in an English sentence, should I use italics?

In the sentence, below, I am using the French word sans to mean without. Should sans be italicized? Or, should all of "sans human civilization" be italicized? Planet Earth sans human civilization ...
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0 votes
1 answer
139 views

Singaporean Makan <Hoken???> Centre <<transcript question / listening question

Can anyone who is familiar with Asian cuisine help me with a food word? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYFe2-hqA2Q "One thing unites all Singaporeans; food. It’s the national obsession. For an ...
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4 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does "B-grade" mean in the context of Japanese food?

In movies, "B-grade" refers to lower-budget movies: When Hollywood studios were at their height -- and before television was available -- it was common for people to spend an entire evening ...
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0 votes
1 answer
460 views

How should I arrange a foreign word and its translation in middle of sentence?

I'm having trouble with this sentence: "I possess what in spanish we call ganas, the desire, to attain a graduate degree." I think it's clear what I'm trying to say, but it sounds wrong. It feels ...
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32 votes
1 answer
6k views

Is there a term for a foreign word that looks like an English word but has a completely different meaning?

examples: Gift (German) = poison poisson (French) = fish embarazada (Spanish) = pregnant sauce (Spanish) = willow triviale (Italian) = vulgar parentes (Portuguese) = relatives slim (...
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14 votes
3 answers
6k views

What's another phrase for "word for word"? [closed]

It's a sudden random question I have but I distinctly remember there being another phrase, probably of another language, which means exactly the same as "word for word". What is it?
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  • 143
0 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the correct way to properly quote and cite a foreign language resource? [closed]

Should I provide my own translation? If so, where? It is important for this particular quote to appear directly: it is the crux of the argument.
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0 votes
1 answer
2k views

*Deja vu* all over again [closed]

"Deja vu all over again" is an example of either a semi-literate (when the speaker does not know what deja vu means) or a jocular use (when the speaker tries to be funny). Can you give similar ...
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  • 289
1 vote
2 answers
16k views

Italicizing foreign language words in an English Essay

I am writing an essay about German history, and I'm unsure whether German words should be italicized or not. The essay is in English, but I use words like Reichstag (German Parliament Building), ...
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12 votes
4 answers
7k views

Etymology of Sleep like a Top

An explanation for the English expression "sleeping like (or as sound as) a top" is here. Apparently case closed. It derives from the Italian expression Ei dorme come un topo with topo being wrongly ...
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