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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Today’s quiz is a bit different. The question is, what do you call the (red and black) canvas canopies over the windows in the photo? I could easily google the answer, but just want to see if any of you know it without googling. If you don’t know, why not make something up? I don’t […]

Language, Quiz questions, Travel 8 Comments

Les chuchoteuses

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On Rue Staint-Paul in Vieux Montréal there’s a statue of three women having a gossip. It’s known as ‘Les chuchoteuses‘ or ‘The whisperers’. It’s also known as the “fat ladies talking statue”. It’s by Rose-Aimée Bélanger, a sculptor from Ontario, and was installed as part of a 2006 initiative to highlight some of Old Montreal’s […]

Dutch, English, Etymology, French, German, Italian, Language, Latin, Portuguese, Spanish, Travel, Welsh, Words and phrases 2 Comments

Stuck in Paris

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I had a pleasant wander around Montreal yesterday morning, and a nice lunch in Vieux Montréal, then headed to the airport. It wasn’t very busy, so I got through security in no time, and didn’t have too long to wait for the plane. On the flight from Montreal to Paris I was sitting between two […]

Language Leave a comment

Book hunting in Montreal

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Yesterday I spent the morning hunting for interesting language books with Lindsay Dow, of Lindsay Does Languages, Benny Lewis, of Fluent in 3 months, Steve Kaufmann, of lingq, and Josh Koehn from California. The first book shop we went to had a good selection of books in and about a wide variety of languages, including […]

English, Language, Linguistics, Travel 1 Comment

Multilingual Montreal

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Yesterday was the second and final day of the symposium. Although it was only two days, it felt like more as we packed a lot into those days. There were some very interesting talks, including one about raising children multilingually, one about being a polyglot in Latin America, and another about the linguistic diversity of […]

Language Leave a comment

Polyglotting in Montreal

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Yesterday was the first day of the North American Polyglot Symposium in Montreal. It’s taking place at Concordia University, which has two campuses – one downtown, and one quite a way out of town. I went to the out of town one by mistake, and walked a few miles to get there from the nearest […]

Chinese, English, Esperanto, French, Japanese, Language, Portuguese, Russian, Scottish Gaelic, Travel Leave a comment

Montreal

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Tomorrow I’m off to Montreal for the North American Polyglot Symposium, which takes places on Saturday and Sunday (23/24) at Concordia University. I’m giving a talk on the origins of language. This is a subject that we can only really speculate about, unless someone invents a time machine, so I’ll discuss the various theories that […]

Language, Travel 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 3 Comments

Are you sturggled?

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You may think I have misspelled the title of this post, and in a way I have, but I did so deliberately. The other day when typing struggle I accidentally typed sturggle. I thought that it looked like an interesting word, and wondered what it might mean. Apparently I’m not the first person to come […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 1 Comment

Pauchle

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I came across an interesting Scots word yesterday – pauchle [ˈp(j)ɑxl] – which I needed to look up, although from the context you can get an idea of its meaning: They’re hoping that they can pauchle the party rule book in order to insist that Corbyn must gain the support of at least 51 of […]

English, Language, Scots, Words and phrases 3 Comments
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