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.

Say Something in Manx

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There’s a new course on the SaySomethingin website: Manx (Gaelic). There are currently 10 free lessons in this introductory course, which follow the same format as the other languages on the site, as far as I can see, and 8 more lessons will be available soon. I heard about this course at the Polyglot Gathering […]

Cornish, English, Language, Language learning, Manx 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 9 Comments

Magrangs

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Does anyone know if there is a word for words that have the same length and constituent letters, but are not anagrams, such as bee and ebb, and aloof and offal. I received an email from Peter Hewkin today who suggests the word magrang (a magrang of anagram) for such words. Do you have other […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 4 Comments

Savouring sapient and savvy saphiophiles

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An interesting new word I came across recently is sapiophile [seɪpɪofaɪl/sapiofaɪl]. When I first saw it I wasn’t sure what it meant, but as soon as I looked it up it made sense. It means “someone who is (sexually) attracted to intelligence / intelligent people” [source]. It comes from the Latin sapiō and the Ancient […]

English, Etymology, French, Greek, Language, Latin, Proto-Indo-European, Words and phrases 2 Comments

Language quiz

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Here’s a multilingual sign I saw on a café at Oxford Road station in Manchester yesterday. Can you identify and translate the languages on it? Click on the photo to see a larger version. This should be an easy one.

Language, Quiz questions 6 Comments

Multilingual Manchester

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I had a multilingual day in Manchester today – I spent part of it listening to choirs and other groups performing as part of the Manchester Day celebrations. They sang in English, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Maori, Hebrew and Yiddish, and I also watched the Manchester Day parade. I also went to the Polyglot Pub, a […]

English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Language, Language learning, Portuguese, Russian, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, Swedish, Welsh Leave a comment

Suburban bans

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In French the word banlieue [bɑ̃.ljø] can refer to: 1. Circonscription territoriale qui s’étendait à une lieue hors de la ville et dans laquelle un juge pouvait exercer sa juridiction. (Territorial division that stretched a mile out of town and in which a judge could exercise jurisdiction). 2. Territoire et ensemble des localités qui environnent […]

English, Etymology, French, Language, Latin, Words and phrases Leave a comment

The elusive illusive

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Sometimes you think you know a word, but when you check it, you discover that you’ve mixed it up with a similar-sounding word. That’s what happened to me this week with the words elusive and illusive. Without looking them up, do you know what they mean? When you’re searching for something but have trouble finding […]

English, Etymology, Language, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Interview with Mango Languages

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A while ago I did a interview with Mango Languages in which I talk about Omniglot and how and why I learnt my languages. If you’re interested you can hear it here: There’s a related blog post here: https://blog.mangolanguages.com/an-interview-with-the-omniglot

General, 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 4 Comments
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