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 Post subject: Re: The "Learning English" Thread
PostPosted: October 28th, 2009, 7:28 pm 
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I heard that US currency is also called "greenbacks".
Is that simply because of the color of the paper or have frogs and toads to do with it?
I'm curious because in German there is a slang word for money, "Kröten" (f., pl.), that translates as "toads", while the main antagonist in the Dangermouse cartoon - yes, a toad - is called "Baron Silas Greenback".

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 Post subject: Re: The "Learning English" Thread
PostPosted: October 29th, 2009, 12:52 am 
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42317 wrote:
I heard that US currency is also called "greenbacks".
Is that simply because of the color of the paper or have frogs and toads to do with it?
I'm curious because in German there is a slang word for money, "Kröten" (f., pl.), that translates as "toads", while the main antagonist in the Dangermouse cartoon - yes, a toad - is called "Baron Silas Greenback".


First, I LOVE Dangermouse, but I've only seen a few episdoes. My favorite was when Baron Greenback invented a ray to bring statues to life and was terrorizing England until Dangermouse borrowed a statue from France and hid it under a plaster version of someone else (Wellington?). The French statue was the guy who invented froglegs and when he came alive he chased the Baron off.

As for greenbacks, Investopedia has a brief story to explain, but essentially, it was because of the color of the paper- no frogs involved. I wonder why the creators picked a frog? We sometimes use frog as slang for the French, but I don't know that Silas Greenback sounds very French...

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 Post subject: Re: The "Learning English" Thread
PostPosted: November 3rd, 2009, 1:39 pm 
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"Stiletto!"
"Si baroni!"

PunkDaddy wrote:
My favorite was when Baron Greenback invented a ray to bring statues to life and was terrorizing England until Dangermouse borrowed a statue from France and hid it under a plaster version of someone else (Wellington?).

It was of course a DangerMouse statue. :lol2:

Thanks for the feedback so far.

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 Post subject: Re: The "Learning English" Thread
PostPosted: November 8th, 2009, 9:55 am 
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Since I have just seen the name again: How do you pronounce "Schofield"?
(You know, like the Hawaii barracks, or the gun of that name.)

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 Post subject: Re: The "Learning English" Thread
PostPosted: November 25th, 2009, 7:18 pm 
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42317 wrote:
Since I have just seen the name again: How do you pronounce "Schofield"?
(You know, like the Hawaii barracks, or the gun of that name.)


We'd probably pronounce it like "show-field."
How would it be pronounced in German?

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 Post subject: Re: The "Learning English" Thread
PostPosted: November 25th, 2009, 9:16 pm 
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Finally, someone with courage! :P2:

PunkDaddy wrote:
We'd probably pronounce it like "show-field."

"Probably"? :lol:
I'll ask someone from Hawaii then... there's a YouTube person that I know of.

PunkDaddy wrote:
How would it be pronounced in German?

Strange question.
Someone with less English proficiency would probably simply guess what you proposed, because the typically German "sch" consonant cluster amounts to the English "sh" combination.
So whenever you see a German term like that, say "Schule", or "schwarz", or "scheiße", or what have you, just forget that there's a "c" in the initial consonant cluster. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: The "Learning English" Thread
PostPosted: November 25th, 2009, 9:26 pm 
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Homonyms are tricky. You go to someone and say, "I got a pair" and you pull out a piece of green fruit, that leads to massive confusion. You'd then say, "D'oh, my bad. I meant, I got a pear", then the confusion is swept away. But if you say "I got a pair" while playing cards with your pals, there is no confusion.

Speaking of "away", obviously when someone says the anchor bit, it would be properly said as "Anchors aweigh". But when you say "I'm going away", now we're talking!


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 Post subject: Re: The "Learning English" Thread
PostPosted: November 25th, 2009, 9:45 pm 
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G-Core wrote:
Homonyms are tricky. You go to someone and say, "I got a pair" and you pull out a piece of green fruit, that leads to massive confusion. You'd then say, "D'oh, my bad. I meant, I got a pear", then the confusion is swept away.

The understood meaning is decided by context, not by what or how you say something (although there might be such cases). But "pear" and "pair" sounds perfectly the same to me, so your example would already be clarified by presenting the fruit, and not by just repeating the same speech sounds.

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 Post subject: Re: The "Learning English" Thread
PostPosted: November 28th, 2009, 6:17 pm 
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Read an article about the Western movie genre... and this might more be directed at people who speak Spanish. :sweat:
What exactly is a "desperado"?
What is the connection to the term "desperation"?

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 Post subject: Re: The "Learning English" Thread
PostPosted: November 28th, 2009, 6:27 pm 
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Given what i know, i think a "desperado" is kinda like a hero but only one whom the people turn to when they have no other option on how to resolve their situation. And a desperado usually doesn't do the job without getting paid so his help don't come cheap. Hope that helps...


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 Post subject: Re: The "Learning English" Thread
PostPosted: November 29th, 2009, 2:22 am 
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Desperado also has the connotation that the hero is a bit of a bad guy or bandit.

My guess is it has its roots in the dichotomy that several prominant national heroes of Mexico and the USA also could be seen as bandits. For example, Pancho Villa of Mexico was at one time a general and a governor of a state and also was known to rob trains to fund his army or sieze plantations for redistribution of wealth to peasants. Same idea as Robin Hood. The establishment and those with something to lose despise the bandit, but the people with nothing to lose and everything to gain love the hero...

Not exactly from the linguistic point of view- more of a pop-cultural POV.

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 Post subject: Re: The "Learning English" Thread
PostPosted: November 29th, 2009, 2:39 pm 
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Funny enough, if I enter the term "desperado" into an online Spanish-German/German-Spanish dictionary, I get the feeling that the expression has become a pseudo-Spanish term, a term that sounds Spanish but isn't (compare the German term "der Rowdy", which means "the hooligan"). SO... entering "desperado" I receive "el extremista" as the only translation, which is real Spanish as it seems. :sweat:

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 Post subject: Re: The "Learning English" Thread
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2009, 1:25 pm 
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Since there are no gender-related articles in English - "the" being a single child, so to speak - do you consider the sun being male or female?

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 Post subject: Re: The "Learning English" Thread
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2009, 4:52 pm 
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42317 wrote:
Since there are no gender-related articles in English - "the" being a single child, so to speak - do you consider the sun being male or female?

I never really thought of the sun having a gender. So therefore, i would always refer to the sun if not as "the", then as "it". Never gave the gender puzzle much thought in all my life. This actually is the very first time someone posed the question to me, it does seem like a very interesting riddle. I'll see what my mind tells me about that and come back with an answer to that question when i can.


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 Post subject: Re: The "Learning English" Thread
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2009, 11:31 pm 
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Personally, I don't assign a gender to the sun. "It" seems more appropriate than "he" or "she." In Spanish, it would be male (el sol), so my guess is that linguistically we would slant that way if we had to...

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