Archive for the Category: English

Klunen

I learnt an interesting word from a Dutch friend today – klunen – which refers to the action of walking on the ground in ice skates, something you might do while you’re skating along a frozen canal and come to a bridge you can’t go under, either because it’s too low, or the ice under […]

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Also posted in Dutch, Language, Words and phrases 7 Comments

Flashcards

At the moment I’m focusing on improving my Russian and Czech, and am trying to keep my other languages ticking over. I’ve starting using Anki to store and learn words and phrases, and am finding it very useful. For words that can be visually represented, I use pictures rather than translations on the flash cards […]

Also posted in Czech, Language, Language learning, Russian 2 Comments

Zženštilý

I came across the Czech word zženštilý yesterday among translations of soft and the pile up of consonants got me wondering whether it was a real word or a typo. I discovered that it is a real word and means: soft, epicene, girly-girly, namby-pamby, nance, effeminate, effeminize, emasculate, pansy, soft, softish, unmanly, womanish, womanlike, sissified […]

Also posted in Czech, Language, Words and phrases 6 Comments

Vituperation

When searching for a translation of a Czech song we’re learning in the Bangor Community Choir I came across the word vituperated. It’s not one I’d heard or seen before, see I had to look it up. It means “to abuse or censure severely or abusively, to berate; to use harsh condemnatory language”. It comes […]

Also posted in Czech, Etymology, Language, Latin, Songs, Words and phrases 4 Comments

What does it take to master a language?

Today we have a guest post from Alex Sorin of Foreigncy featuring an interview with their Persian linguist, Matt Cheek. Those who have succeeded in turning their passion for languages into a career making a difference in the world know that mastering a language takes years of persistence and dedication. Turning your passion into your […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning, Persian (FarsI) 1 Comment

French & English Language Exchange

I went to the French & English Language Exchange group in Liverpool last night – a friend found it on Meetup, decided to see what it was like, and asked me to come along. They meet twice a month at Thomas Rigby’s, a pub in the centre of Liverpool, and last night there were 30 […]

Also posted in French, Language, Language learning 2 Comments

Language and travel plans

I’ve been thinking about my language and travel plans for this year and have decided to spend a few weeks in Russia – probably in July – at a Russian language school. Every year for the past ten years I’ve gone to Ireland to do courses in Irish language, singing and music in July, but […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning, Russian, Travel 2 Comments

What makes a word “real”?

I came across an interesting TED talk today about how words become real. Are they only real when they start appearing in dictionaries, or are they real if they are widely used, even if they don’t feature in dictionaries? The speaker, Professor Anne Curzan, looks at who makes dictionaries and how they decide which words […]

Also posted in Language, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Pretending to speak a language

In E. F. Benson’s book, Queen Lucia, two of the characters, Lucia and Georgie, speak bits of Italian to each other, which leads their friends to believe that they speak the language fluently, and impresses them, which is the point. When an Italian gentleman visits their village it soon emerges that Lucia and Georgie are […]

Also posted in Italian, Language, Language learning 3 Comments

Happy New Year!

Bloavezh mat / 新年快樂 / Blydhen Nowydh Da / Šťastný nový rok / Gelukkig Nieuwjaar / Happy New Year / Bonne année / Einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr / Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh / Felice anno nuovo / 新年おめでとうございます / Blein Vie Noa / Feliz Ano Novo / С Новым Годом / Bliadhna mhath […]

Also posted in Breton, Chinese, Cornish, Czech, Dutch, French, General, German, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Language, Manx, Portuguese, Russian, Scottish Gaelic, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Welsh 1 Comment