Archive for the Category: English

Mony a mickle maks a muckle

There’s a Scots saying Mony a mickle maks a muckle, or Many a mickle makes a muckle, which means “A lot of small amounts, put together, become a large amount”. The word muckle certainly means large, and also big, great; much, a great deal of, a lot of; grown-up, mature, adult; of great social consequence, […]

Also posted in Japanese, Language, Scots, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Please alight

I received an email yesterday asking about the Swiss German equivalent of Bitte verlassen Sie den Zug (Please alight from the train). Does anybody know? Are announcements on Swiss trains in Swiss German or Standard German (Hochdeutsch)? What other languages are they in? Or does it depend on where you are in Switzerland? This got […]

Also posted in German, Language, Words and phrases 5 Comments

Freshness

This week is Welcome Week at Bangor University when new students arrive for the first time, register, join clubs and societies, some of which they’ll actually go to, and so on. It’s also known as Freshers’ Week and the new students are known as freshers, though after this week, they’re generally known as first years. […]

Also posted in Etymology, Language, Proto-Indo-European, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Do you come here often?

I’ve started to put together a new page on Omniglot with translations of the phrase ‘Do you come here often?‘. I got the idea after finding a Cornish version of this phrase (A wre’ta dos omma yn fenowgh?) on Learn Cornish Now. Could you check the translations that are already on the page, and provide […]

Also posted in Cornish, Language, Words and phrases 3 Comments

A bit of a breeze

One of the words that came up at the French conversation group this week was brise (breeze), which appears in the following expressions: – pare-brise = windscreen / windshield – brise matinale = early breeze – brise insulaire = island breeze – brise de mer = sea breeze – brise de terre = land breeze […]

Also posted in Etymology, French, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 1 Comment

Omniglot app

There is now an Omniglot app for Andriod developed by علي الساعدي (Ali al-saaedi Ali shirpaz) from Iraq. It only works online at the moment, and is available here. Any comments or suggestions on how it might be improved are welcome. Many thanks to علي الساعدي for doing this.

Also posted in Language, Technology Leave a comment

Joskins, bumpkins and yokels

Last week a friend asked me about the origins of the word joskin [ˈdʒɒskɪn], which I hadn’t come across before. According to the Urban Dictionary it is defined as follows: North-Walian term used in both English and Welsh to describe anyone from a rural or farming background. It is used both affectionately and in a […]

Also posted in Dutch, German, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 2 Comments

World Museum

Last Sunday I went to Liverpool for a polyglot meet-up. Before the meet-up I went to the World Museum, which is fascinating and well worth a visit. Among the artifacts and exhibits, there are examples of languages and scripts from around the world, including Cuneiform tablets from Sumeria, a Mayan codex and other artifacts with […]

Also posted in Language, Travel, Writing Leave a comment

What is fluency?

There’s an interesting post on the lingualift blog today entitled “What is fluency in a language?”, which includes ideas and discussion of what it means to be fluent from various polyglots and language enthusiasts, including me. How do you define fluency? Which languages do you consider yourself fluent in, and which ones would you like […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning Leave a comment

Unions and alliances

While listening to Russian language radio yesterday I finally worked out the meaning of a word that kept on coming up: союз (soyuz) [sɐjˈʉs] , which is often used in the expressions Европейский союз and Евросоюз (European Union, EU). It was obvious once I realised they were talking about Europe, and the word Soyuz is […]

Also posted in Language, Russian, Words and phrases Leave a comment
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