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

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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?

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Language, Quiz questions 2 Comments

Klunen

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I learnt an interesting word from a Dutch friend today – klunen – which refers to the action of walking on the ground in ice skates, something you might do while you’re skating along a frozen canal and come to a bridge you can’t go under, either because it’s too low, or the ice under […]

Dutch, English, Language, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Flashcards

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At the moment I’m focusing on improving my Russian and Czech, and am trying to keep my other languages ticking over. I’ve starting using Anki to store and learn words and phrases, and am finding it very useful. For words that can be visually represented, I use pictures rather than translations on the flash cards […]

Czech, English, Language, Language learning, Russian Leave a comment

Zženštilý

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I came across the Czech word zženštilý yesterday among translations of soft and the pile up of consonants got me wondering whether it was a real word or a typo. I discovered that it is a real word and means: soft, epicene, girly-girly, namby-pamby, nance, effeminate, effeminize, emasculate, pansy, soft, softish, unmanly, womanish, womanlike, sissified […]

Czech, English, Language, Words and phrases 6 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

Vituperation

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When searching for a translation of a Czech song we’re learning in the Bangor Community Choir I came across the word vituperated. It’s not one I’d heard or seen before, see I had to look it up. It means “to abuse or censure severely or abusively, to berate; to use harsh condemnatory language”. It comes […]

Czech, English, Etymology, Language, Latin, Songs, Words and phrases 4 Comments

New Omniglot design

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Recently I have been working on a new design for Omniglot which should be better on all devices, including phones. I’ve built a drop-down menu using CSS Menu Maker and have tweaked the colours and a few other things. You can see the pages I’m working on in the telling the time section. I also […]

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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 2 Comments

What does it take to master a language?

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Today we have a guest post from Alex Sorin of Foreigncy featuring an interview with their Persian linguist, Matt Cheek. Those who have succeeded in turning their passion for languages into a career making a difference in the world know that mastering a language takes years of persistence and dedication. Turning your passion into your […]

English, Language, Language learning, Persian (FarsI) 1 Comment

French & English Language Exchange

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I went to the French & English Language Exchange group in Liverpool last night – a friend found it on Meetup, decided to see what it was like, and asked me to come along. They meet twice a month at Thomas Rigby’s, a pub in the centre of Liverpool, and last night there were 30 […]

English, French, Language, Language learning 2 Comments