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.

Social aspects of language learning

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In a paper I read recently – The Contemporary Esperanto Speech Community by Adelina Solis – the idea that female language learners tend to prefer going to language classes, as this gives their studies a social aspect, and that male language learners are more likely to learn on their own, is discussed. This was based […]

Language, Language learning Leave a comment

Polyglot Gathering Berlin 2015

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I got back from the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin about an hour ago. I took the train all the way from Berlin to Bangor, via Cologne, Brussels, London, Crewe and Chester, leaving Berlin just before 7am this morning, and arriving in Bangor just after 9pm this evening. On the way there I also travelled by […]

Breton, Chinese, Cornish, Czech, Dutch, English, Esperanto, French, German, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Language, Language learning, Manx, Portuguese, Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Serbian, Sign language, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Taiwanese, Welsh 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? Like this:Like Loading…

Language, Quiz questions 2 Comments

Language Creation Conference

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Last weekend I went to the 6th Language Creation Conference in Horsham, near London. Although I haven’t created any languages, yet, I have invented a few alphabets, and I was invited to attend the conference by one of the people involved. The conference took place over two days, and there were about 50 or 60 […]

Conlangs, English, Language, Travel 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? Like this:Like Loading…

Language, Quiz questions 6 Comments

Five methods for improving your language level towards Mastery

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This is a guest post by Benny Lewis, of Fluent in 3 Months. He’s launching a series of beginner guides for Chinese, French, Spanish, German, English and Italian this week, but in today’s post he wanted to write some tips here for those of you working on your more advanced skills! If you’ve been studying […]

English, Language, Language learning 6 Comments

Blue eyes and black butter

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I discovered today that the French equivalent of a black eye is un œil au beurre noir (a black butter eye). It is also known as un œil poché au beurre noir (an eye poached in black butter) or un cocard (a rosette or lesion). According to L’Internaute.com, the expressions containing beurre noir date from […]

English, French, German, Language, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Closing out

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In the Czech lessons I’ve been working my way through I’ve noticed that the Czech host says (in English) at the end of each lesson “To close out this lesson, we would like to practise what you have just learnt.”. I would say finish rather than close out, and thought close out was a non-native […]

Czech, English, Language, Words and phrases 8 Comments

Language quiz

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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? Like this:Like Loading…

Language, Quiz questions 6 Comments

Carrying coals to Newcastle

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An idiomatic way to say a task is pointless is to say it’s like carrying coals to Newcastle – Newcastle, in the north east of England, used to be a major coal mining area. In French the equivalent is porter de l’eau à la rivière (to carry water to the river). In German they say […]

English, French, German, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 4 Comments
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