165 reputation
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bio website perl.com
location Boulder, CO
age 51
visits member for 2 years, 6 months
seen Aug 14 at 12:35

profile for tchrist on Stack Exchange, a network of free, community-driven Q&A sites

I’m Tom Christiansen, author of Programming Perl and Perl Cookbook from O’Reilly. I’m a freelance instructor giving courses in Perl programming, including Unicode and regular expressions. I’ve been using BSD Unix for 30 years now; like your maid, I don’t do Windows.

I’ve undergraduate degrees in Spanish and in Computer Science, and a graduate degree in compsci focusing on operating systems design and in natural language processing. I’ve studied Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Latin, and German, with a smattering of other languages thrown in. For the last few years I’ve been dabbling in computational linguistics.


May
29
answered What is the preferred way of saying “I have to go”?
May
29
comment What's the difference between “vamos” and “vámonos”?
¡Vámonos! is “Let’s leave”, since irse is “to leave”. Just plain ¡Vamos! is less restricted. Agreed? That is, you can use the simple form everywhere, but the reflexive one has a more restricted (although perfectly common) application.
May
14
comment Are there cases when I can mute last s?
When they drop the -s, this changes the preceding vowel, “opening” it up a bit.
May
14
comment Why is “agua” masculine in singular form and feminine in plural? “El agua” / “Las aguas”
Note that it’s el agua pura but la pura agua. This is just something that happens. It’s because of the articles that came from the Latin demonstratives, ille/illa. It’s like saying an apple but a big apple in English. I really think you should explain the history of how this came to be, but perhaps this is not the right place for that? Seems like it would be.
May
14
comment How should I translate “he is a pain in the ass”?
Gorro is “bonnet” for you? Really? What do you mean by bonnet? Isn’t that a fancy thing a lady wears? I should think un gorro is a hat while una gorra is like a baseball cap type of thing.
May
14
comment Is there a difference between cilantro and culantro in Spanish?
Is it just me, or doesn’t culantro sound like the punchline of some sort off-color pun/joke?
May
14
comment ¿Cómo se dice, “How's it going”?
You forgot ¿Qué hay?
May
14
awarded  Commentator
May
14
comment Translating “Slow down!” (in informal contexts)
Per my comment above, it makes perfect sense to say tranqui in Spain, too.
May
9
comment Forming a conditional clause in present and present tense
This whole 1st/2nd/3rd conditional thing is something of an unnatural stupidification that doesn’t actually work well on real English sentences in observed corpora. For more information, please read the most excellent paper “If only it were true: the problem with the four conditionals” by Christian Jones and Daniel Waller, published in ELT Journal Volume 65/1 January 2011 (Oxford University Press); doi:10.1093/elt/ccp101
May
9
comment ¿Cuál es la etimología de “al fin y al cabo”?
An English phrase that also has a doubled-for-effect content is “What all is said and done”.
May
9
comment Translating “Slow down!” (in informal contexts)
@Flimzy That one’s often just ¡Tranqui, tranqui! for cool it, calm down, take it easy, settle down, don’t worry be happy, like don’t have a cow man. It’s actually short for tranquilízate (< tranquilizarse), which is too darn long to say. This might be more of an Madrileñan thing, or a Northern Spanish thing, or a Spain-Spanish thing, or even an Iberian thing, than one heard throughout Greater Hispanophonia; maybe so maybe not, but I don’t have enough datapoints to say. Certainly it’s itself perfectly normal in the streets of Madrid, and I think probably also of Barcelona and Sevilla.
Mar
2
awarded  Autobiographer
Feb
27
comment Regional usage and literal meaning of “¡No manches!”
This begs the question of don’t stain what, or with what? ¿Tiene algo que ver con la leche? :)
Feb
27
comment Age range of niño, chico, muchacho, joven, etc
@rsuarez Note that the British English word chav (a word unknown in North America), which seems cognate to the commonly heard chaval/chavala of Spain, has a despectivo or pejorative aspect in English that chaval doesn’t have in Spanish.
Feb
27
answered Differences betwen “ahí”, “allí”, y “allá”
Feb
27
comment Translations of 'anyway'
Although I think bueno sounds best, pues has its uses, too.
Feb
20
awarded  Teacher
Feb
19
answered When is uppercase used in English but lowercase in Spanish?
Feb
19
comment When is uppercase used in English but lowercase in Spanish?
I might have chosen “el río Guadalquivir” instead of Mount Rainier for an example. And those aren’t exactly pure toponyms. It’s when it has a geographic feature attached to it, like “el mar Mediterráneo”, where the name itself is a proper name and thus capitalized, but the geologic feature is not.