What does the Romanian language sound like to a foreigner?

My prejudice going in, as someone exposed through Greek linguistics to written Aromanian language  (which I know is not quite the same thing):

  • Too many diphthongs
  • Central vowels? How odd
  • It’s Romance, it’s just got some odd sound changes

My prejudice on hearing this:

  • Too many diphthongs.
  • I can’t hear the Romance at all. I’m sure it’s there, but I can’t pick it up. Apart from the final Bună seara (bona sera!)
  • The intonation and phonology does sound Slavicish.
  • A lot more nasal than I expected (hence the Portuguese that other respondents are picking up on.)
  • They weren’t joking with that –lui suffix.
  • Yeah, central vowels. Gives it that Russian tinge.
  • Too many diphthongs.

Is the Chinese symbol for threat is the same as for opportunity?

The mantra has merited its own debunking on Wikipedia: Chinese word for “crisis”   . See there for links to debunkings on the non-Quora internet. The correct answer in the in-Quora internet is Feifei Wang’s answer to Is the Chinese symbol for threat is the same as for opportunity?  and Minghao Dai’s answer to Is the Chinese symbol for threat is the same as for opportunity? .

How did Greece manage to hold on to all of their islands throughout all of the wars?

Good answers from my fellow respondents. So:

  • For a long time, there was no Greece, so there was noone to do the holding on.
  • For a long time after that, Greece didn’t have most of the islands: it had to get hold of them:
    • The Cyclades and Euboea, and the Saronic Gulf islands, were part of the Greek state since 1832
    • The Ionian islands were ceded to Greece in 1864
    • Most of the islands of the Aegean were ceded in 1913
    • The Dodecanese were ceded in 1946

Greece did not get all the islands either: the strategic islands of Imbros  and Tenedos are now officially named Gökçeada and Bozcaada, because they remained part of Turkey. Their Greek population of the islands was not subject to the 1923 Population exchange between Greece and Turkey, but it has substantially diminished since. In fact, a fair proportion of them are my parents’ neighbours in Melbourne.

How can I translate “talent” into Ancient Greek?


Talent as is  in the ancient coin is τάλαντον, as Haggen Kennedy said. Talent as in being talented, not so much. The googles tell me that the modern sense is Mediaeval Latin, with an allusion to a parable in the Bible: Online Etymology Dictionary . As far as I know, that metaphorical extension did not happen in Mediaeval Greek—it’s certainly not given in Lampe’s Patristic lexicon; and the Modern Greek ταλέντο is a borrowing back from Italian.

So what of the modern sense of talent? English-Greek Dictionary is an online version of Woodhouse’s English-Greek dictionary: it gives:

  • δύναμις: capacity
  • δεινότης: cleverness
  • φρόνησις: mental powers
  • εὐφυής εἶναι εἰς..: aptitude for…

(But that is a secondary sense of εὐφυής, and in LSJ the corresponding noun εὐφυΐα still means “shapeliness; good disposition; fertility”.)

LSJ uses “talent” as a translation for:

  • δῶρα: (natural) gift
  • μεγαλοφυΐα: genius

Try some synonyms like “aptitude” on Woodhouse…