Archive for the Category: German

La Saint-Sylvestre

As today is New Year’s Eve I thought I’d look at what this day is called in various languages: French:la (fête de) Saint-Sylvestre, which is celebrated with le Réveillon de Saint-Sylvestre, a feast which well involve champagne and foie gras, and a party, with kisses under the mistletoe at midnight. Saint Sylvestre was Pope between […]

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Nederlands

I’ve decided to learn Dutch this month and want to see how much I can learn in a month. I haven’t learnt any Dutch before, but can understand it a bit as I speak English and German. I’m using online resources, including courses on Babbel and any others I can find. I will also be […]

Also posted in Dutch, English, Language, Language learning 6 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 Chinese, English, 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 Chinese, Esperanto, French, Irish, Japanese, Language, Language learning, Manx, Scottish Gaelic 2 Comments

Docent

I came across an unfamiliar word today in a book I’m reading – docent. From the context I guessed it referred to someone who leads guided tours, but according to my English dictionary it means ‘(in the U.S.) a lecturer in some colleges and universities’, and it comes from the German word Dozent (associate professor, […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, Language, Latin, Words and phrases 11 Comments

Back in Bangor

I’m now back in Bangor after a very enjoyable and interesting week at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. We learnt 15 songs during the week, so the course wasn’t as intensive as the one I did last year when we learnt twice as many songs, and we learnt about the background of the songs, and even saw […]

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Schnick, Schnack, Schnuck

Last weekend a couple of couchsurfers from the USA stayed with me. When they’re not surfing from sofa to sofa they live in Leipzig in Germany and one of them speaks German fluently. When she discovered that I also speak German, we started chatting in German. Even after many years of neglect my German is […]

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Gleann Cholm Cille

This week I’m in Gleann Cholm Cille in Donegal in the north west of Ireland taking part in the summer school in Irish language and culture at Oideas Gael. There are about 100 people here for the summer school and we have Irish language classes in the mornings and can choose from a variety of […]

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Dialing a telephone

An email arrived today from Phil S, who has been wondering about the quirkiness of the phrase “to dial a telephone”, which is ubiquitous and exclusive in its meaning and yet has, of course, become totally divorced from the original physicality of the phrase. He would like to know: – What idioms do other languages […]

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