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.

La Journée internationale de la Francophonie

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Aujourd’hui est la Journée internationale de la Francophonie, une célébration de la langue et culture française dans les 70 États et gouvernements de l’Organisation internationale de la francophonie (OIF). Today is International Francophonie Day, a celebration of French language and culture in the 70 states and governments of the International Organization of La Francophonie. Here’s […]

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 8 Comments

Danish please

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The other day I received an email about how you say, or rather don’t say, please in Danish. The translation I had on my Danish phrases page was Vær så venlig, which apparently is only used to hurry people up, or urge them to do something in a passive-aggressive way. When making a request, for […]

Danish, English, Language 2 Comments

Šup!

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Last week I learnt a useful Czech word – Šup! – which can mean Whoosh!, Go!, Move!, Hurry up! and similar, and Šup šup! means Chop-chop! A more polite way to say the same thing is pojďme, which literally means “Let’s (do something)”. Here are some examples of usage: – Pojďme na procházku = Let’s […]

Czech, English, Language, Words and phrases 2 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 6 Comments

Embracing the other

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People who enjoy learning languages, travelling, learning about different cultures and/or meeting people from different countries tend to be more open to difference, and more tolerant. At least that is my experience. While other people might be more inclined to fear the different and the foreign. In UK schools the most widely-taught languages are French, […]

English, French, German, Language, Language learning, Spanish 3 Comments

Elephant flies

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An interesting Dutch idiom I came across today is van een vlieg een olifant maken or “to make an elephant out of a fly”, which is the Dutch equivalent of the English idiom to make a mountain out of a molehill. This comes from a post on the blog Stuff Dutch People Like. Other idioms […]

Dutch, English, Idioms, Language 1 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 4 Comments

The future of language learning

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A new article on Omniglot discusses the future of language learning. The writer (not me) suggests that improvements in technology will soon make it possible to use machine translation in everyday situations and as a result, learning languages will become unnecessary and something people do for mainly as a hobby. I don’t really agree with […]

English, Language, Language learning 7 Comments

Llongrats!

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In the comments on an article about Welsh literature I read today, I came across the word llongrats!, which appears to be a Welsh-English hybrid combining the Welsh word llongyfarchiadau and it’s English equivalent, congratulations. While it’s common for bilingual people to switch languages, often in mid-sentence, this is the first example I’ve seen of […]

English, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 2 Comments
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