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Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:14 pm UTC
by Mr. Beck
I can visualize inches, miles, centimeters and kilometers all pretty well. I have a good idea of a pound. For liters and kilograms I have a natural understanding, seeing as I use 1L Nalgene water bottles all the time. On the other hand, I'm useless at Imperial units of volume, even after growing up in the States. Even ask me how many pints are in a gallon and I'm useless- the only way I can deal is by converting to metric.
As for temperature, I may not have a intuitive understanding of Centigrade, but I know the conversions for enough important temperatures that I can make sense of weather reports.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:12 pm UTC
by Alpha Omicron
American Guide to Celsius:
(According to Southwestern Ontario weather)

>30 - Too hot
30 - Hot
20 - Warm
10 - Nice
0 - Cool
-10 - Chilly
-20 - Cold
-30 - Too cold.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:12 pm UTC
by Mr. Beck
Alpha Omicron wrote:American Guide to Celsius:
(According to Southwestern Ontario weather)

>30 - Too hot
30 - Hot
20 - Warm
10 - Nice
0 - Cool
-10 - Chilly
-20 - Cold
-30 - Too cold.

I do declare that you have induced in me a lol.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:17 pm UTC
by Vox Imperatoris
Maybe I wasn't clear on that, but I know all the conversion facts, e.g. that a kilogram is 2.2 pounds. What I meant by the "more than a pound" comment was that if I see, for example, someone's weight in kilograms, the instinctive part of my brain doesn't get it until I think of it as a weight in pounds. (Not that it's hard to multiply by two, or anything.) I guess it's similar to the difference between knowing Spanish vocabulary and grammar and speaking Spanish; for the former you still have to think of it in English first.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:39 pm UTC
by goedjn
" On the other hand, I'm useless at Imperial units of volume, even after growing up in the States.
Even ask me how many pints are in a gallon and I'm useless- the only way I can deal is by converting to metric. "

Well, most people aren't aware of it, but much of the english traditional volume system is base two:

Cup, pint, quart, {missing unit}, gallon, peck, {missing unit}, bushel.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:12 pm UTC
by goedjn
Dingbats wrote:I can pretty much instinctively picture an inch (although not as exactly as a centimeter). Feet, yards and miles I have to convert to metric (well, if someone says "X is 100 yards long" I just think "a little less than 100 meters"). I barely know how much a kilogram is instinctively, so definitely not a pound.


Well, a foot, strangely enough, is around the length of an adult male's foot.
Yards and meters are pretty much the same thing. Half a fathom...
why is this hard?
And a mile is a thousand paces. (Where a pace is two steps) So if you
start marching, and chant "left, left, left", when you've said "left" a
thousand times, that should be about a mile. If you're a roman centurion...

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:30 pm UTC
by Ieatsoap6
This is probably a really stupid series of questions, but for Asian people (Korean, Chinese, Japanese, etc), or those familiar with the languages, how similar are they, really? As your standard, Asian-language-ignorant dude from the south, they all look pretty much the same but I know they're different.

Is it easy to learn one knowing another?
Do they share any words that make sense (same character for the same word in different languages)?
Are there characters that look the same but mean different stuff (like how English, Spanish, French, and German are all written with Latin characters but I can't read any of those but English, or fluently at least)?
On a similar thought, do languages written in Latin characters all look the same?

I apologize if this is astonishingly stupid but it's one of those things I've wondered for a while.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:41 pm UTC
by |Erasmus|
Alpha Omicron wrote:American Guide to Celsius:
(According to Southwestern Ontario weather)

>30 - Too hot
30 - Hot
20 - Warm
10 - Nice
0 - Cool
-10 - Chilly
-20 - Cold
-30 - Too cold.


Australian Guide (for most people):

>30 - Too Hot
30 - Warm
20 - Nice
10 - Cold
<0 - Too Cold

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:07 pm UTC
by HadouKen24
Ieatsoap6 wrote:This is probably a really stupid series of questions, but for Asian people (Korean, Chinese, Japanese, etc), or those familiar with the languages, how similar are they, really? As your standard, Asian-language-ignorant dude from the south, they all look pretty much the same but I know they're different.

Is it easy to learn one knowing another?
Do they share any words that make sense (same character for the same word in different languages)?
Are there characters that look the same but mean different stuff (like how English, Spanish, French, and German are all written with Latin characters but I can't read any of those but English, or fluently at least)?
On a similar thought, do languages written in Latin characters all look the same?

I apologize if this is astonishingly stupid but it's one of those things I've wondered for a while.


I'm not Asian, but I know a wee bit about East Asian languages.

Korean and Japanese might be related. They have similar syntax, and a few words that sound somewhat similar. I know some Japanese, but I'm not even close to fluent. I find it hard to distinguish Korean and Japanese speech sometimes, depending on regional dialects. They are both more or less unique languages. There aren't really any major languages that either one is definitely related to. Korean is written with the Korean alphabet, while Japanese is written in a syllabary; every sound in Japanese can be related to a particular syllable composed of a consonant followed by a vowel, and the writing system reflects this. Japanese also uses a lot of Chinese ideograms. Much of its vocabulary is derived from Chinese. This is to some extent true of Korean as well, though they don't use the Chinese ideograms, to my knowledge. Korean and Japanese writing are both very idiosyncratic; once you've had some examples pointed out, it's hard to mistake either one for any other language.

Chinese is not so much a single language as it is a family of very closely related languages which share a common writing system. It is unrelated to either Japanese or Korean. Unlike Japanese and Korean, it is tonal language. The meaning of a word is dependent on the rising and falling of its pitch as pronounced. It does not have an alphabet, but an incredibly large set of ideograms which must be memorized to become literate. Fortunately, some words are formed by combining ideograms, rather than having an individual ideogram of their own. It's very easy to tell Chinese writing from the writing of any other language. If it looks like a bunch of very complicate symbols, most of which would require 7-10 pen strokes to complete, all in a nice straight row, then it's probably Chinese.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:41 pm UTC
by KingLoser
|Erasmus| wrote:
Alpha Omicron wrote:American Guide to Celsius:
(According to Southwestern Ontario weather)

>30 - Too hot
30 - Hot
20 - Warm
10 - Nice
0 - Cool
-10 - Chilly
-20 - Cold
-30 - Too cold.


Australian Guide (for most people):

>30 - Too Hot
30 - Warm
20 - Nice
10 - Cold
<0 - Too Cold


Irish Guide:
30 - Wha?
20 - Too Hot
10 - Warm
0 - T-Shirt Weather
-10 - Fuckin disraaaaaaaaceful!

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:25 am UTC
by JayDee
hermaj wrote:We have kind of given up a lot of our old national slang because we want to fit in, maybe.
I think it's more that you (and every other Australian that has replied to Felstaff as far as I can see) are from the city. In the country (particular back of Bourke, as you said) you hear a lot more. Sheila, Galah, and Dronga are all words I use, and that I heard plenty growing up.
cyberia wrote:No one really says 'flamin' galahs'
Except Alf.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:34 am UTC
by tmcfulton
Ieatsoap6 wrote:This is probably a really stupid series of questions, but for Asian people (Korean, Chinese, Japanese, etc), or those familiar with the languages, how similar are they, really? As your standard, Asian-language-ignorant dude from the south, they all look pretty much the same but I know they're different.

Is it easy to learn one knowing another?
Do they share any words that make sense (same character for the same word in different languages)?
Are there characters that look the same but mean different stuff (like how English, Spanish, French, and German are all written with Latin characters but I can't read any of those but English, or fluently at least)?
On a similar thought, do languages written in Latin characters all look the same?

I apologize if this is astonishingly stupid but it's one of those things I've wondered for a while.


To clarify:

Japanese and Korean are related languages, I believe they share about 40% of their vocabulary.

HadouKen24 is correct: Chinese is a group of languages that share their written components but pronounce their words differently, i.e. Mandarin and Cantonese speakers will be able to read the same text but will speak it completely differently.

Japanese took many of its words from Chinese several millenia ago, as such, many Japanese kanji are very similar or identical to Chinese characters, but the pronunciations will not be the

I'm not asian either, I just know a bit about the languages.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:53 am UTC
by Poochy
Ieatsoap6 wrote:This is probably a really stupid series of questions, but for Asian people (Korean, Chinese, Japanese, etc), or those familiar with the languages, how similar are they, really? As your standard, Asian-language-ignorant dude from the south, they all look pretty much the same but I know they're different.

Is it easy to learn one knowing another?
Do they share any words that make sense (same character for the same word in different languages)?
Are there characters that look the same but mean different stuff (like how English, Spanish, French, and German are all written with Latin characters but I can't read any of those but English, or fluently at least)?
On a similar thought, do languages written in Latin characters all look the same?

Well, I don't know about Korean, but I do know Chinese and Japanese, and they have a lot in common. Japanese borrows a lot of characters (kanji) from Chinese (both traditional and simplified), and many words are pronounced very similarly to their Chinese equivalents. This is especially prevalent in Mahjong game terminology - Chinese "tenhoo" = Japanese "tenhou", Chinese "tse mo" = Japanese "tsumo", Chinese "pong" = Japanese "pon", etc. For examples outside of Mahjong, the sun is called "tai yan" in Chinese and "taiyou" in Japanese; ramen is "la mein" in Chinese, manga is "man hua" in Chinese, and so on. However, Japanese also adds hiragana and katakana, for uses such as grammar (verb endings, particles, etc.), words not from Chinese, and spelling out words phonetically (instead of using the kanji).

If you were fluent in reading/writing either Chinese or Japanese but not the other, you could most likely get the gist of writing (though you might not fully understand it) that's in the other language, but you'd have considerably more difficulty understanding the other language when it's spoken.

Also, Chinese in itself has many dialects spoken dialects that sound considerably different from each other, though the difference is only in pronunciation and the occasional word usage (kind of like the American "elevator" versus the British "lift"). All dialects of Chinese share the same writing systems, traditional and simplified Chinese. Basically, the difference is only that simplified Chinese replaces some of the more complex characters of traditional Chinese with simplified characters.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 10:57 am UTC
by Freakish
Question for the USA. Does everyone there wear their shoes indoors?

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:05 pm UTC
by (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
Um, it depends on the house rules.
There are some houses where shoes are removed at the door. My mother's house, and Bakemaster's house, for example. But when I go to the homes of others, I most often do not take my shoes off unless they ask me to or their house is all about wall-to-wall-carpeting.
This could just be me and my incredible dislike of walking on hard floors barefoot though.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:39 pm UTC
by Vox Imperatoris
Freakish wrote:Question for the USA. Does everyone there wear their shoes indoors?

I always wear my shoes indoors, unless I just got up and am in my bedclothes or something.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:00 pm UTC
by Mr. Beck
I almost always wear my shoes at my house, but know a few folks who ask me to remove them upon entry. It used to be I never wore shoes indoors, but I've changed.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:12 pm UTC
by benjhuey
I'd prefer not to have to wear shoes in someone's house, but it all really depends on whose house it is and where they live.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:21 pm UTC
by LE4dGOLEM
Usually I will avoid shoes if I reasonably can, to the point of only wearing sandals if it is a short walk/footbasedjourney to a friends house even in bad weather.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:20 pm UTC
by 4=5
Freakish wrote:Question for the USA. Does everyone there wear their shoes indoors?

it's the default but I never wear shoes at home because it feels nicer not to.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:29 pm UTC
by the tree
Americans: do any of you, at all, not know how to drive?

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:52 pm UTC
by Sir_Elderberry
the tree wrote:Americans: do any of you, at all, not know how to drive?


I started driving on a small scale when I was twelve. This is easier in a rural setting. People in the cities might wait until later, but it's rare (as I understand it) to not know at all once you're old enough.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:28 pm UTC
by Alpha Omicron
4=5 wrote:
Freakish wrote:Question for the USA. Does everyone there wear their shoes indoors?

it's the default but I never wear shoes at home because it feels nicer not to.


Below the Snowline: Shoes indoors, so as not to look like you own the place, walking around in socks.
Above the Snowline (northern U.S, and all of Canada): Socks indoors, so as not to bring slush into house.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:29 pm UTC
by poprocks and coke
On shoes: At my house or a friends house, I won't were shoes. At a party or the like, I'll were shoes, unless asked not to. Also, weather affects it. If it just rained, and my shoes are wet/muddy, I'll not wear shoes.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:39 pm UTC
by benjhuey
the tree wrote:Americans: do any of you, at all, not know how to drive?

I'd say about 30% of drivers in American do not know how to drive. :x

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:52 pm UTC
by demonhats
the tree wrote:Americans: do any of you, at all, not know how to drive?


I took driver's ed but I never got my license. So I guess I know how to drive, I just do not.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:54 pm UTC
by sje46
Okay, I went through the thread quickly, so these may have already been asked or answered.

1. What is the perception/stereotypes of New Hampshirites/New Englanders out there?

2. I get annoyed when I hear people say Obama won't win "because of the South". Just how racist is the South? And besides, there are a lot more black people down there than up north; won't that overwhelm the amount of racists? I know that not all blacks will vote for Obama, but a significantly higher percentage will.

3. What is the Basically Decent term for black people in English-speaking countries that aren't the US? Are they "African Canadians"? OI know that technically Canadians are Americans, but I doubt that they would call them African Americans.

4. Someone said something about circumscicion. Why is that identified as such a Jewish thing? What's with all the Jewish circumsision (I CANT SPELL THAT) jokes? I understand that only Jews were circumscized in Nazi Europe, but in America, they are all circumscised now.

k, thanks.

EDIT: Took driver's ed too, but also never got my license. It's been 3 years.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:59 pm UTC
by Alpha Omicron
sje46 wrote:3. What is the Basically Decent term for black people in English-speaking countries that aren't the US? Are they "African Canadians"? I know that technically Canadians are Americans, but I doubt that they would call them African Americans.

You sometimes hear "African Canadian", but usually we say "black". Race relations aren't nearly as a big a deal here though.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:10 pm UTC
by Kag
benjhuey wrote:
the tree wrote:Americans: do any of you, at all, not know how to drive?

I'd say about 30% of drivers in American do not know how to drive. :x


Ba-dum tish

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:13 pm UTC
by LE4dGOLEM
sje46 wrote:2. I get annoyed when I hear people say Obama won't win "because of the South". Just how racist is the South? And besides, there are a lot more black people down there than up north; won't that overwhelm the amount of racists? I know that not all blacks will vote for Obama, but a significantly higher percentage will.


"won't the black people outnumber the racists?"

what.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:20 pm UTC
by sje46
LE4dGOLEM wrote:
sje46 wrote:2. I get annoyed when I hear people say Obama won't win "because of the South". Just how racist is the South? And besides, there are a lot more black people down there than up north; won't that overwhelm the amount of racists? I know that not all blacks will vote for Obama, but a significantly higher percentage will.


"won't the black people outnumber the racists?"

what.

What do you mean by that "what"?

I guess that maybe I should rephrase it to be "Will the amount of racists in the South greatly affect Obama's chance, or is this just a stereotype?"

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:21 pm UTC
by LE4dGOLEM
The "what" was directed at the whole "I assume all black people will vote for Obama" thing.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:30 pm UTC
by sje46
LE4dGOLEM wrote:The "what" was directed at the whole "I assume all black people will vote for Obama" thing.

Please look closer at my post. I said specifically that I know that not all black people will vote for Obama. I said that most will.

I heard on CNN that 90% of blacks will vote for Obama.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:38 pm UTC
by Shadic
Here's another question about language:

What do people think of how people from the West Coast of the US (Specifically, Northwest) speak, accent-wise? As far as I can tell, most pronunciation is spot-on with Dictionaries and whatnot.

Re: Questions For The Whirled! Arf!

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:47 pm UTC
by Felstaff
sje46 wrote:4. Someone said something about circumscicion. Why is that identified as such a Jewish thing? What's with all the Jewish circumsision (I CANT SPELL THAT) jokes? I understand that only Jews were circumscized in Nazi Europe, but in America, they are all circumscised now.

It's a 'Jewish' thing because it's part of the religion for boys to be bris'd. (And the Rabbis get to keep the tips, badum-tish). It's also a Muslim thing, although not a religious prerequisite (although 'recommended' by Islamic scholars). This is due to it being a health-related option in many close-to-the-equatorial-line parts of the world, i.e. the Middle East. So [insert large percentage here] of Arabs get circumstanced for both health and religious reasons. But about 50% of the manworld has been snip'd; 100% of Jewish boys, [big%] of Arabs and a good, hefty chunk of the Western world that fits into neither of those categories. Also, I've just learnt, much of South East Asia. And it's 'a hit in Japan' too, a bit like Shakin' Stevens, only less painful.

And I'm not sure what you mean by the 'only Jews were circumcised in Nazi Europe...' bit.

Re: Questions For The Whirled! Arf!

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:56 pm UTC
by sje46
Felstaff wrote:
sje46 wrote:4. Someone said something about circumscicion. Why is that identified as such a Jewish thing? What's with all the Jewish circumsision (I CANT SPELL THAT) jokes? I understand that only Jews were circumscized in Nazi Europe, but in America, they are all circumscised now.

It's a 'Jewish' thing because it's part of the religion for boys to be bris'd. (And the Rabbis get to keep the tips, badum-tish). It's also a Muslim thing, although not a religious prerequisite (although 'recommended' by Islamic scholars). This is due to it being a health-related option in many close-to-the-equatorial-line parts of the world, i.e. the Middle East. So [insert large percentage here] of Arabs get circumstanced for both health and religious reasons. But about 50% of the manworld has been snip'd; 100% of Jewish boys, [big%] of Arabs and a good, hefty chunk of the Western world that fits into neither of those categories. Also, I've just learnt, much of South East Asia. And it's 'a hit in Japan' too, a bit like Shakin' Stevens, only less painful.

And I'm not sure what you mean by the 'only Jews were circumcised in Nazi Europe...' bit.

I see thanks (you actually researched this?!)

I meant that apparently the only people circumcized in Europe in the 30s/40s were the Jews, because that's how they checked if someone was Jewish or not.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 10:14 pm UTC
by Quadropus
Ieatsoap6 wrote:A question:
To me, an American, a British or Australian accent sounds really weird. It also sounds like other Americans have no accent. Is this true in other countries? Do all other British people sound pretty much the same? Probably a stupid question, but still...

Far from it, as I am British, I can safely say this.
There are countless accents here, some of which I just can't understand....
There are some I like, some I don't mind, and others I loathe with such a passion I feel like burning the cities or origin to the ground.....

But really... just start in Somerset, then fly straight to Newcastle and then ask your question again.....

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:28 pm UTC
by Dingbats
tmcfulton wrote:Japanese and Korean are related languages, I believe they share about 40% of their vocabulary.

I'm necroing the question, but I need to point this out: Japanese and Korean are not related, that is, they do not share a common ancestor. Sharing a lot of vocabulary does not make them related.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:37 pm UTC
by Ieatsoap6
Thanks all for the Japanese/Chinese/Korean comparison!

the tree wrote:Americans: do any of you, at all, not know how to drive?

In general, only if you grew up in the heart of a city that has good public transport would you not know how to drive. Otherwise, apart from the disabled, elderly or young, the vast majority of people know how to drive. That's not to say, as has been alluded to in this thread, that the people that know how to drive know how to do so well, but just that they know the general concept.

sje46 wrote:Just how racist is the South?

In the city or anything within a decent distance, not at all. Once you get in to the country, though, it can get worse. It's not uncommon to see people driving around with confederate flags on their cars or houses. I think a good rule of thumb is that as population per unit area decreases, racism increases. While this means that a (relatively) large area is "racist", it's not densely populated. The ratio of people that wouldn't vote for Obama because he's black to people that wouldn't vote for him is pretty low.

This is from a city boy's perspective, though.

Re: Questions For The World

Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:48 pm UTC
by crowey
Freakish wrote:Is it really that hard adjusting to driving on snow in places where you don't see it often?


Oh yes. In Cornwall we had the first snow in 20 years (or 25 depending on who you ask) it was less than .5 inches, seriously it was nothing. Yet, busses crashed, cars were abandoned, I know a guy who fractured his skull going down a hill on his surfboard. People went mad. It melted within 6 hours of the first flakes falling, I'm pretty sure that's the only reason no one died :lol:

AngrySquirrel wrote:Oh and for those of central Europe and Britain: Would you find it strange to have to take an airplane to get to a location within your own country? (Overheard a conversation about this on the subway in London, got me a bit curious).

In the UK I think it's seen as a bit odd (in most parts of the UK, if the traffic is clear you can drive pretty much anywhere in a few hours). It's getting more common with super cheap ariways, and certainly where I live it's very common, since it's the arse end of nowhere, it's quikest by a long way to fly.

To people in the US, do you think brits do really bloody love the queen? Similarly, bad teeth? Terribly terribly polite? Is this just another dumb movie stereotype?