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.

Language quiz


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

Language 4 Comments

Toe cozy


How do you find something if you don’t know what it’s called or even if it exists? This is the problem that faced me yesterday when I started looking for something to cover the toes of my left foot that stick out of my plaster cast. I was using a sock, but it didn’t fit […]

English, Language, Language learning, Words and phrases Leave a comment

London’s Euston


Last week when I was waiting on Bangor station for the train to London, I heard announcements that referred to the London station that trains from Bangor go to as “London’s Euston“, rather than the usual London Euston or just Euston. I hadn’t heard it referred to in that way before so noticed it and […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 2 Comments



After waiting all day yesterday, they finally came to take me to the operating theatre at 9pm last night. I’m not sure how long the operation took, but I woke up back in the ward at about midnight, feeling rather groggy, but otherwise okay. So my ankle now has some bits of metal in it […]

Language 2 Comments

Still waiting


My operation didn’t take place yesterday, but it might just happen today. I’ve been through the pre-op checklist and talked to the surgeon and anesthetist. They said they will try to fit me in today, but cannot guarantee it. I’m feeling very tired, hungry and thirsty as I didn’t sleep well last night, and haven’t […]

General Leave a comment

Up North


After being discharged from St Mary’s Hospital yesterday, I took a taxi to Euston, with a Somali driver. I managed to get myself to the ticket hall and bought a ticket. Then asked for assistance to get to the train – I can’t put any weight on my broken ankle at the moment so have […]

English, General, Language, Russian, Travel 2 Comments

Multilingual hospital


The staff and patients in the hospital are from many different places and speak a variety of languages. Yesterday I overheard a consultation involving a man from Afghanistan who spoke no English, so his relatives were interpreting. I couldn’t tell if he was speaking Dari or Pashto or another language, as I’m not familiar with […]

Arabic, English, Language, Persian (Farsi) 1 Comment

Language quiz


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

Language, Quiz questions 5 Comments

Slight mishap


Today I had a nice walk and lunch in Regent’s Park (see above), then went ice skating in Queensway (pictured below). The skating went well for the first hour or so. Then I fell awkwardly and dislocated and fractured my ankle. The staff at the ice rink helped me off the ice and called an […]

General, Travel Leave a comment

Homeward bound


Yesterday I had a good time in London with a Russian-speaking friend. We talked mainly in English with a sprinkling of Russian from time to time. In the morning we went to the Design Museum and saw a special exhibition about Moscow, which was interesting. Then had a wander around Holland Park, which is beautiful, […]

English, Film, General, Language, Russian, Travel, Words and phrases Leave a comment
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