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?

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Language, Quiz questions 4 Comments

Vituperation

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When searching for a translation of a Czech song we’re learning in the Bangor Community Choir I came across the word vituperated. It’s not one I’d heard or seen before, see I had to look it up. It means “to abuse or censure severely or abusively, to berate; to use harsh condemnatory language”. It comes […]

Czech, English, Etymology, Language, Latin, Songs, Words and phrases 4 Comments

New Omniglot design

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Recently I have been working on a new design for Omniglot which should be better on all devices, including phones. I’ve built a drop-down menu using CSS Menu Maker and have tweaked the colours and a few other things. You can see the pages I’m working on in the telling the time section. I also […]

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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 2 Comments

What does it take to master a language?

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Today we have a guest post from Alex Sorin of Foreigncy featuring an interview with their Persian linguist, Matt Cheek. Those who have succeeded in turning their passion for languages into a career making a difference in the world know that mastering a language takes years of persistence and dedication. Turning your passion into your […]

English, Language, Language learning, Persian (FarsI) 1 Comment

French & English Language Exchange

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I went to the French & English Language Exchange group in Liverpool last night – a friend found it on Meetup, decided to see what it was like, and asked me to come along. They meet twice a month at Thomas Rigby’s, a pub in the centre of Liverpool, and last night there were 30 […]

English, French, Language, Language learning 2 Comments

Language and travel plans

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I’ve been thinking about my language and travel plans for this year and have decided to spend a few weeks in Russia – probably in July – at a Russian language school. Every year for the past ten years I’ve gone to Ireland to do courses in Irish language, singing and music in July, but […]

English, Language, Language learning, Russian, Travel 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 5 Comments

What makes a word “real”?

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I came across an interesting TED talk today about how words become real. Are they only real when they start appearing in dictionaries, or are they real if they are widely used, even if they don’t feature in dictionaries? The speaker, Professor Anne Curzan, looks at who makes dictionaries and how they decide which words […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Elvish linguistics learning tool

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Today we have a guest post by Juan Sandoval. Recently a few Tolkien linguists – inclining David Salo, the primary linguist from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films – came together and thought of a way to make Elvish a more accessible, learnable language to the many fans who strive but fail to […]

Conlangs, Language, Language learning 1 Comment