January 25th, 2005

On biking and ghosts.

I've got a fairly average ten-year-old boy making a trip by bicycle through a suburban area. As I know nothing of biking, I need to know how far away I can set his destination and how long it would take him to get there. I'd like for the trip to take as long as possible without making him keel over from exhaustion. How long would it take a typical van to make the same trip?

Also, I'd love any information on folklore that involves dealing with vengeful/malevolent ghosts. Thanks lots!
  • Current Mood: ditzy

A Matter of Taste

(...which I promise has nothing to do with Snape mpreg.)

So, I'm going over the list of senses, as well as the technical, scientific adjectives that go with them, and I come up with the following list:

touch - tactile
sight - visual
smell - olfactory
hearing - auditory
taste - ???

Is there just not a matching word in here, for taste? I've got a B.S. in Biology, and right now, those letters are sounding rather apt, because I can't even think of what word that might be on the tip of my tongue.

Possibly too esoteric question

Hello all! I am not a writer of original stories but a professional translator. I've encountered something I know to be a reference, but after extensive research I still cannot ascertain what it's a reference to. I think my only recourse at this point is to just ask a lot of people and see if it seems familiar to anyone.

The source text is Japanese, and the words are "Mintsaa no to," which should be something like "follower(s) of [a name that should sound like Mintzer or Muntzer or something similar]." The background of the reference is that this is someone who legend has it either (1) had his head cut off and then wandered around holding it, or (2) was burned to death and continued chanting prayers even after he'd begun to turn to ash. (It's not clear which of these two cases the person is associated with; nor is it clear the gender or even the number of the individual(s) in question.)

If anyone happens to recognize this, on the off chance, I'd be eternally grateful to be pointed in the right direction. I've got a guess, but a guess isn't as nice as knowledge.

Life of teachers...

Okay, I'm running smack into the time when state exams are being given at school (U.K.) and my main character is a teacher. What do teachers do while the GCSEs are being given? Is it a stressful time for them? Do students crowd them? Or are they sort of shunted off to one side while the government sends in the examiners?

Info on Peep Shows?

I've been searching online for info on peep shows, but am not having much luck with the kinds of concrete details that are actually useful when writing a scene.

cut to spare innocent eyesCollapse )

If you have any info (especially first-hand experience -- anonymous comments are your friend) about peep shows -- gay or straight, male or female, recent or not -- I would be extremely grateful.
  • Current Mood: curious

Native German speakers trying to speak English....

What problems do they run into?

Scenario: Character X immigrated to a big city in the US from Germany as late teen/early adult, but has now been in the US for a few years. They never got English instruction in Germany, and they moved to a close-knit immigrant neighbourhood in the US, where only German is spoken for day-to-day communication. They spend about half their time in this immigrant community, and the other half in the rest of the city. Their dialogue in this story is going to be in English so it's going to be fractured at best, and I'd like it to sound genuine.

When this person starts learning English, and starts speaking it, what type of speaking errors are they going to make? Can you point me to examples/list some here? I know about German-accented English (and pronounciation issues), but not a whole lot about grammatical/word usage/word order issues, especially in speaking vs. writing. I'm particularly interested in word order issues.

One example: I know some German speakers will say 'I want to become a car' for 'I want to get a car', as the German word for 'get' is 'bekommen'. I'd like others. (BTW, if any resources are in German, that's OK; I can read it a little bit.)

Thanks!

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Random question, but if I have a foreigner (a British, German or other nationality) speaking Japanese, would they have any strange accents? They're essentially fluent in that they can be understood pretty well, but would they say anything with any strange pronounciations?

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Couple of questions for a fic...

1. What's the typical July like in, respectively, London and Florida?

2. I have an upper-middle-class British family, the head of which needs to go to America for a week or so on business. What job might he have, and what city on the East Coast would he be headed for? ETA: not actually in Florida; I'm thinking something he could do in New York or Washington and then fly down to Florida for something else.

3. Is there a level of karate in which a normal-sized fourteen-year-old girl could kick the ass of a large but surprised 20-something guy? He's not going to fight back or anything, I just need to know what I can call her so she'll be able to take him down.

Thank you in advance! ::loves on this community::
  • Current Mood: curious