Archive for the Category: Chinese

Differently polite

I discovered the other day that in Chinese families it is considered impolite to say the equivalents of please and thank you, as this is seen as distancing yourself from other members of the family, so within a family such words are apparently rarely used. Is this correct? Does it vary between families? Although I […]

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Oideas Gael

I’m having a wonderful time in Gleann Cholm Cille learning to play the harp and speaking plenty of Irish. The course is going really well – we started with basic techniques, and have learnt a number of tunes, including some from the Bóroimhe / Brian Boru suite by Michael Rooney. I’ve videoed our teacher, Oisín […]

Also posted in Dutch, English, French, German, Irish, Language, Language learning, Music, Poetry, Serbian, Swedish 1 Comment

Extreme Polyglottery

The Polyglot Gathering in Berlin last week was fantastic and I enjoyed everything about it. The organizers did an excellent job and everything went well, with only minor hitches. Many other people helped things to run smoothly, and gave talks and/or arranged discussions and language practise sessions. Venue The venue was a huge hostel/hotel near […]

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Polyglot Gathering

I arrived in Berlin yesterday for the Polyglot Gathering, which starts today. I flew here on KLM via Amsterdam, and unfortunately my luggage stayed in Amsterdam. It should arrive today though, and I’ve coped without it so far. This is only the second time this has happened to me – the last time was when […]

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Learning varieties of Chinese

The other day I was talking with a lad from Hong Kong. We were speaking mainly in Mandarin, with odd bits of Cantonese thrown in from time to time – I speak Mandarin fluently, but only know a little Cantonese. I asked him how he had learned Mandarin, and he said that he had just […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 3 Comments

Leeds and neglected languages

I’m in Leeds this weekend for an alumni reunion – it’s twenty years since I graduated from Leeds Uni with shiny new BA in Modern Chinese and Japanese Studies, and this is only the second time I’ve been back there since then. The East Asian Studies Department, where I studied, is also celebrating its 50th […]

Also posted in English, German, Japanese, Language, Travel 4 Comments

Polyglot chat

Last night there were three of us at the polyglot chat group, which I’ve renamed Bangor Language Learners and which now at different times in a different venue. When I set up the group earlier this year my idea was that it would give me and other polyglots a chance to get together to chat […]

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Which language next?

As today is the 1st October it’s time to change my focus to a different language on my Multilngual Musings blog – but which one? During the past three months I’ve focused on Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx – a different one each month – and have found the exercise of writing something and recording […]

Also posted in Esperanto, French, German, Irish, Japanese, Language, Language learning, Manx, Scottish Gaelic 2 Comments

Mandarin in China

An article on BBC News reports that according the the Chinese Ministry of Education, some 30% of the people in China don’t speak Mandarin, of the 70% who do speak it, “many do not do it well enough”. As a result the Chinese government has apparently “launched another push for linguistic unity in China”. They […]

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Math math

This week I discovered that you can emphasize adjectives in Scottish Gaelic by repeating them. For example: – bha e math math air faclan a chur ri chèile ann am bàrdachd (he was very good at putting words togther in poetry). Emphasis can also be indicated with glé (very) – bha e glé mhath – […]

Also posted in English, Language, Scottish Gaelic, Words and phrases 7 Comments