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.

How to you?

s

An interesting structure that came up in the Russian lesson I worked on today is Как тебе …? (Kak tebe …) or literally “How to you …”), which means “What do you think of …?”. The example in the lesson is Ну, как тебе пельмени? (Nu, kak tebe pel’meni?), which means “So, what do you […]

English, Language, Russian, Words and phrases 5 Comments

Language quiz

s

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?

Language, Quiz questions 6 Comments

Suo Gân

s

We are learning the traditional Welsh lullaby Suo Gân [sɨɔ ɡɑːn] in one of the choirs I sing in at the moment. It’s a lovely song that was first written down in 1800, but was probably composed around before then. When I first saw the words Suo Gân I thought they might be Mandarin Chinese […]

Chinese, English, Language, Music, Songs, Welsh, Words and phrases 3 Comments

In the cold light of day

s

An interesting expression I noticed recently is in the cold light of day. It is used to indicate that you are thinking about something calmly and clearly, and you might feel foolish, sorry or ashamed for thinking or doing that something. For example “The next morning, in the cold light of day, Sam realized that […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 1 Comment

Northern and Southern Korean

s

Today I found an interesting article about difference between the Korean spoken in North Korea and South Korea. Apparently the Korean spoken in North Korean has a different accent, archaic vocabulary, and lots of loanwords from Chinese and Russian, while in South Korea they have a lot of English loanwords. To South Koreans the Korean […]

Korean, Language 5 Comments

Language quiz

s

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

Dobbing in

s

If you heard or read that someone had been dobbed in, would you know what that meant? It’s an expression used mainly in the UK, Australian and New Zealand that means to inform on someone to the authorities – i.e. the police, parents, teachers, etc. For example, if a member of a criminal gang told […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 3 Comments

As pretty as a truck

s

An interesting French expression I learnt last week is beau comme un camion, which literally means “pretty as a truck/lorry”, and actually means pretty, cute or beautiful. Apparently this idiom appeared around the middle of the 20th century and was at first ironic, as few people find trucks pretty. However it came to mean graceful […]

Dutch, English, French, Language, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Words and phrases 2 Comments

French adventures

s

My trip to France last week with members of Bangor Community Choir and Coastal Voices choir from Abergele was fantastic, and though it was only five days, it felt much longer as we fitted so much into our time there. We left Bangor at 6am on Wednesday morning and travelled to Birmingham airport by coach, […]

Basque, English, Etymology, French, Language, Music, Occitan, Songs, Spanish, Travel Leave a comment

Language quiz

s

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
%d bloggers like this: