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.

You lucky sausage!

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According to a friend who lives in Manchester, a common expression there is “You lucky sausage!”, which is used when someone has some (unexpected) good luck. For example, if you won a prize in a competition, your friends might say, “You lucky sausage you!”. I hadn’t heard this expression before and neither has anybody else […]

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English, Language, Words and phrases 5 Comments

Merched Nadolig

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Last Saturday I was chatting with a Czech friend in Welsh and describing a recent trip to London. One of the things I mentioned was visiting the Christmas market in Hyde Park, although instead of saying marchnad Nadolig (Christmas market) I said merched Nadolig (Christmas girls/women), much to my friend’s amusement. I realised my mistake […]

English, Language, 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?

Language, Quiz questions 7 Comments

Snickerdoodles

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I came across an interesting word in one of the books I read recently – snickerdoodles. From the context I guessed that they are something you eat, but wasn’t sure what. I now know that a snickerdoodle is a type of cookie made with butter or oil, sugar, and flour rolled in cinnamon sugar that […]

Language 4 Comments

Noogies

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A interesting word that comes up sometimes in American books I read is noogie [ˈnʊɡi], which is used in the context of one person giving someone else a noogie. The people involved are usually kids, and it sounds like a somewhat unpleasant experience, though until I looked it up, I didn’t know exactly what the […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 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 4 Comments

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 9 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