Archive for the Category: Chinese

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 […]

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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 […]

Also posted in Language 2 Comments

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

Eavesdropping

One day last week I was walking through town and saw a couple walking nearby – a Chinese woman with a Western man. I wondered what language they were speaking to each other, so I eavesdropped and heard that it was Mandarin. This surprised me as it’s rare, in my experience, to hear non-Chinese people […]

Also posted in Language 4 Comments

Archerien

An interesting word that came up in my Breton lesson today is archerien, which means police. It caught my attention because it has no obvious connection to the word police, and because it is completely different to the equivalent words in other Celtic languages: – Welsh: heddlu (“peace force”) – Cornish: kreslu (“peace host”) – […]

Also posted in Breton, Cornish, Danish, English, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Language, Latin, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, Welsh, Words and phrases 12 Comments

Seasons Greetings!

A multilingual Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

Also posted in English, French, Japanese, Language, Welsh 2 Comments

Mandarin in UK schools

According to an article I found today in The Independent there is a dire shortage of qualified teachers of Mandarin Chinese in the UK – only about 100 at the moment – and at the same time increasing numbers of schools want to offer Mandarin lessons. Apparently some 500 schools in the UK currently teach […]

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