As a comment on a recent post points out, there are two cities called Frankfurt in Germany. One is in the west on the river Main and the other is on the river Oder. That river was part of the Oder- Neiße Line, as the post-war border between Germany and Poland was known before it was formally recognised.
When I lived in Offenbach am Main in the late 1970s I saw a train that was going from one Frankfurt to the other.
Frankfurt is the place where the Franks forded the river. The nightlife district if Frankfurt am Main is called Sachsenhausen. That’s where the Saxons had their houses.
A friend who lives in Hamburg writes on Facebook that he
ist heute seinen schnellsten Hamburger Marathon seit 2007 gelaufen.
I was taken aback by the sight of a transitive verb in the perfect aspect with sein (to be) as the auxiliary verb.
In German, as in French, some verbs use the verb be (sein, être) to make their perfect forms: Ich bin gegangen, Elle est arrivée. These are typically verbs connected with movement or change of state, for example werden and devenir, which mean become in German and French respectively. In German, though not in French, the verb be acts as its own auxiliary: Ich bin gewesen.
These verbs are by their nature intransitive but linguistic innovation and flexibility will overcome such a difficulty if efficient communication is facilitated by doing so. If you can run a company metaphorically, then there can be nothing objectionable in literally running a marathon. But it still looks odd to me to see a copular verb followed by a noun in the object case.
I know that French and German use the verb be to make the perfect forms of certain verbs but I don’t know of any other languages that do. In English people sometimes say things like He was already gone when I arrived but that kind of colloquialism hardly constitutes a rule. There is also the line I am become Death from the Bhagavad Gita, which is always quoted in that way.
J. Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist and director of the Manhattan Project, learned Sanskrit in 1933 and read the Bhagavad Gita in the original, citing it later as one of the most influential books to shape his philosophy of life. Upon witnessing the world's first nuclear test in 1945, he later said he had thought of the quotation "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds", verse 32 from Chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita.
The Institut Català de la Salut is the public health service in Catalonia. A visit to its website shows the home page in Catalan, which is what one would expect. But there is no link to a Spanish version of the site, as one would also expect, let alone English or any other language.
How can this be in a place that is, at least in theory, still bilingual? Investigation shows that there isa parallel site in Spanish and English. This site is not linked in either direction with the Catalan site, which will obviously come first in search engines. Can it be that the Spanish version is deliberately being kept away from people seeking health information in Catalonia and that they are being pressured to use the Catalan version whether or not they understand it easily? The idea is by no means bizarre in the light of this report in El País (Spanish) that the Catalan government is telling doctors to use Catalan only in consultations since they are not acting in a personal capacity but are representing the government, whose rules must be respected. The report continues:
The doctor “will always speak in Catalan whatever language the other person speaks.” If the patient is not comfortable with this, the doctor must ask whether he speaks the language and must continue speaking Catalan even if the patient has "certain difficulty" in understanding it. In that case, the rules allow the doctor to “use non-verbal resources and graphic support material” [i.e. sign language and little drawings, PH]. Only when communication in Catalan is impossible may the health worker speak in Spanish.
So perhaps it’s not all that strange that a simple Google search for Institut Català de la Salut does not lead to a site that offers any information in Spanish. Indeed, the Spanish language site refers to the body by its Catalan name only and a Google search for the Spanish name (Instituto Catalán de la Salud) offers only the Catalan version of the site.
And, needless to add, the English site offers the following linguistic gems:
The ICS is composed of 8 Hospitals and 470 Primary Care Units located along the whole catalan territory.
The ICS' budget to 2006 is 2.300 millions of euros, a 6'8% growth from last year.
The ICS carry out more than 50 millions health-care interventions:
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Trevor has some typically pungent comments about the Catalan government's decision to use Google Translate for the English version of its website. Artur Mas, the President of the Generalitat, comes out as President More, with Joseph and Mary Pilgrim for Josep Maria Pelegrí.
There was a time when the Generalitat did use competent, human translators. Me for example …
This splendid piece (of unknown origin) is copied here from the Language Log, where Geoff Pullum says it has a surf hit of eggcorns.
I am sorry to be the baron of bad news, but you seem buttered, so allow me to play doubles advocate here for a moment. For all intensive purposes I think you are wrong. In an age where false morals are a diamond dozen, true virtues are a blessing in the skies, and are more than just ice king on the cake. We often put our false morality on a petal stool like a bunch of pre-Madonnas, but you all seem to be taking something very valuable for granite.
So I ask of you to mustard up all the strength you can because it is a doggy dog world out there. Although there is some merit to what you are saying it seems like you have a huge ship on your shoulder. In your argument you seem to throw everything in but the kids Nsync, and even though you are having a feel day with this I am here to bring you back into reality.
I have a sick sense when it comes to these types of things. It is almost spooky, because I cannot turn a blonde eye to these glaring flaws in your rhetoric. I have zero taller ants when it comes to people spouting out hate in the name of moral righteousness. You just need to remember what comes around is all around, and when supply and command fails you will be the first to go.
Make my words, when you get down to brass stacks it doesn't take rocket appliances to get two birds stoned at once. It's clear who makes the pants in this relationship, and sometimes you just have to swallow your prize and accept the fax, instead of making a half-harded effort. You might have to come to this conclusion through denial and error but I swear on my mother's mating name that when you put the petal to the medal you will pass with flying carpets like it's a peach of cake.