Author Archives: Simon

I have worked in various parts of the UK, and in a few other countries, doing a variety of jobs in hotels, farms and offices. I currently make my living from my website, Omniglot, an online encyclopedia of writing systems and languages that makes money from adverts. I also play a variety of musical instruments, sing and write songs.

Building up gradually

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I often see that when starting a new project, such as learning a language, we often commit ourselves to studying of a certain amount of time every day or every week – it might be an hour a day or at least 10 hours a week, for example. There’s nothing wrong with this, and if […]

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English, Language, Language learning 1 Comment

Language quiz

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Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?

Language, Quiz questions 8 Comments

Beech Tree Lane

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This morning in Abergele I saw a road called Lôn Ffawydd. I know that lôn is the Welsh for lane, but wondered what ffawydd might mean as I hadn’t seen it before. Ffawydd can mean beech tree, fir tree, chestnut tree, pine tree or fir tree. It appears in such expressions as: – ffawydd Albanaidd […]

English, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 5 Comments

Twistles and forks

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There is a place in Lancashire in the north west of England called Oswaldtwistle [ˈɒzəl.twɪzəl], which a friend went to after visiting me yesterday. Naturally, as we’re linguists, we wondered where the name Oswaldtwistle came from and what it might mean. My friend thought it might have something to do with Saint Oswald, who was […]

English, Etymology, German, Language, Words and phrases 1 Comment

Happy languages

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I heard some people talking today in what I think was Nigerian English, which always sounds happy to me. These particularly people seemed to be very cheerful, but there seems to be something about Nigerian English that makes it sound very jolly, to my ears at least. I think it’s something about the sounds they […]

English, Language 5 Comments

Language quiz

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Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?

Language, Quiz questions 4 Comments

Talking about language and languages

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I love using my languages, especially the ones I speak well or at least fairly well. Even the ones I know bits of are fun to use. However, I also enjoy taking about language and languages. I like finding out where words come from and finding connections within and between languages. I’m fascinated by how […]

Language, Language learning 8 Comments

Schlittschuh laufen

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While listening to the German version of Radio Praha this morning I heard them taking about Schlittschuh laufen and wondered what this might involve. I guessed that it had something to do with sliding – Schlitt has a deliciously slidey sound and feel to it – and might be skating or skiing. It is in […]

English, German, Language, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Language quiz

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Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?

Language, Quiz questions 3 Comments

Multilingual romance

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If you come over all romantic today, for some reason or other, and wish to declare your love for another, this infographic will help you do so in a variety of languages. Source: http://www.justtheflight.co.uk/blog/18-how-to-say-i-love-you-around-the-world.html Note: the sign language referred to here is American Sign Language (ASL). For this phrase in other sign languages see: Spread […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 8 Comments