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? Like this:Like Loading…

Language, Quiz questions 8 Comments

Little donkey bridges

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I learnt an interesting word in Dutch today – ezelsbruggetje (“little donkey bridge”), which means a mnemonic, which associates words and other things you want to remember with images. A number of possible origins for this word are given on ezelsbrug.nl, my favourite of which is that when donkeys were commonly used in the countryside […]

Dutch, English, Language, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Quatschen

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I came across an interesting German word today – quatschen – which means to gab; to piffle; to talk rubbish; to chew the fat; to shoot the breeze; to blab; to yak; to squelch; to squidge [source]. It appears in a blog post in the sentence: Aber da fragt auf dem Gathering auch niemand mehr, […]

English, German, Language, Words and phrases 6 Comments

Ceceando (lisping)

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Last night there was some discussion between some of my Spanish and Colombian friends about why the letters z and c (when followed by e or i) are pronounced /θ/ – like the th in thin – in most of Spain, apart from in Andalusia and the Canary Islands, and as /s/ in the rest […]

English, Language, Spanish 5 Comments

Jacob’s join

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Yesterday I discovered a term for a potluck meal (one at which each guest contributes some food or drink) which I hadn’t heard before – Jacob’s join. My mum used it, and told me that it’s commonly used in Lancashire, where she lives. I don’t remember hearing this when I was growing up there, but […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 6 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 6 Comments

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
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