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.

Pretending to speak a language

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In E. F. Benson’s book, Queen Lucia, two of the characters, Lucia and Georgie, speak bits of Italian to each other, which leads their friends to believe that they speak the language fluently, and impresses them, which is the point. When an Italian gentleman visits their village it soon emerges that Lucia and Georgie are […]

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English, Italian, Language, Language learning 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 4 Comments

Happy New Year!

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Bloavezh mat / 新年快樂 / Blydhen Nowydh Da / Šťastný nový rok / Gelukkig Nieuwjaar / Happy New Year / Bonne année / Einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr / Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh / Felice anno nuovo / 新年おめでとうございます / Blein Vie Noa / Feliz Ano Novo / С Новым Годом / Bliadhna mhath […]

Breton, Chinese, Cornish, Czech, Dutch, English, French, General, German, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Language, Manx, Portuguese, Russian, Scottish Gaelic, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Welsh 1 Comment

Language acquisition

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I spent Christmas with my family at my brother’s house in Devon in the south west of England. His daughter is now 20 months old and it’s fascinating to see how she’s acquiring language. The last time I saw her was at Easter this year when she was nearly a year old. At that time […]

English, French, Language, Language acquisition, Linguistics, Russian 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 7 Comments

Why Staying Motivated When Learning a Language is So Hard

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Have you ever got excited about learning to speak a language? I mean REALLY excited. Maybe you met a beautiful girl or a hot guy from another country. Maybe you heard a song in a foreign language that sounds so good it touches your soul. Or maybe you bought this new language learning book/program that […]

Language, Language learning, Motivation 4 Comments

Merry Christmas

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************************************************************** A multlingual Merry Christmas and happy language learning in the New Year! **************************************************************

English, General, Language 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 5 Comments

Hedgehogs and Urchins

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I discovered today that sea urchins (echinoidea) are known as zee-egels (sea hedgehogs) in Dutch, and that they used to be known as sea hedgehogs in English as well. They have similar names in other languages, for example, in German they are Seeigel (sea hedgehogs), in French they are oursins or hérissons de mer (sea […]

Dutch, English, French, German, Language, Latin, Proto-Indo-European, Spanish, Words and phrases 3 Comments

7000 Languages Project

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I heard about an interesting project today: 7000 Languages Project – the goal of the project is to create web- and mobile-delivered learning materials for the 7,000 languages beyond the top 100 or so that attract significant commercial support. The 7000 Languages Project involves creating Langscape, an online portal for learning about languages worldwide, that […]

Language, Language learning, Linguistics Leave a comment