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 1 Comment

Interview from Novi Sad

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Here’s an interview I did at the Polyglot Conference in Novi Sad last month with Lindsay Dow of Lindsay Does Languages. I talk about how Omniglot came into being, and about learning languages, particularly Welsh.

English, Irish, Language, Language learning, Travel, Welsh Leave a comment

Mutual intelligibility

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This week I heard an interesting conversation about the mutual intelligibility between Czech and Slovak friends. They were talking in English, but said that when they can talk to each other in their own languages they’re able to understand everything. The Slovak lass said that she finds it strange for Czechs to speak Slovak to […]

Czech, English, Language, Norwegian, Slovak, Swedish 8 Comments

New Omniglot designs

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You might have noticed recently that various different designs are being tested on Omniglot. The idea is to improve user experience on the site, and to increase my revenue from the site. While the latter certainly is true – my income from Google ads has been up 200-300% since the changes were started a few […]

General Leave a 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

Muddling through

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to muddle through – “to succeed in some undertaking in spite of lack of organization” [source] – “to succeed in doing something despite having no clear plan, method, or suitable equipment” [source] – “to cope more or less satisfactorily despite lack of expertise, planning, or equipment.” synonyms: to cope, manage, get by/along, scrape by/along, make […]

English, Language, Language learning, Words and phrases 6 Comments

Reverse psychology and language learning

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Yesterday I met Aran Jones, the guy behind the website SaySomethingin.com, and we had a very interesting chat, in Welsh, about language learning. His site started as a Welsh language course, and now also offers courses in Cornish, Dutch, Latin and Spanish. You can learn all these languages through English or Welsh, and you can […]

Cornish, Dutch, English, Language, Language learning, Latin, Spanish, Welsh 4 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 5 Comments

English only in Lidl

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It’s been in the news recently that Lidl supermarkets in the UK have a policy that their staff should speak only English to customers, irrespective of their native language in order to ensure that staff and customers “feel comfortable”. Apparently this is “for the benefit of all our customers as well as our staff to […]

English, Language, Polish, Welsh 5 Comments

Paddling poodles and dibbling ducks

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Yesterday I discovered that poodles were bred to hunt ducks and other water fowl in Germany, and that the word poodle comes from the German Pudel, an abbreviation of Pudelhund (water dog), from the Low German Pudel (puddle), from pudeln (to splash about) [source]. The English word puddle is derived from the Old English word […]

English, Etymology, German, Language 3 Comments