Archive for the Category: English

Toe cozy

How do you find something if you don’t know what it’s called or even if it exists? This is the problem that faced me yesterday when I started looking for something to cover the toes of my left foot that stick out of my plaster cast. I was using a sock, but it didn’t fit […]

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London’s Euston

Last week when I was waiting on Bangor station for the train to London, I heard announcements that referred to the London station that trains from Bangor go to as “London’s Euston“, rather than the usual London Euston or just Euston. I hadn’t heard it referred to in that way before so noticed it and […]

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Up North

After being discharged from St Mary’s Hospital yesterday, I took a taxi to Euston, with a Somali driver. I managed to get myself to the ticket hall and bought a ticket. Then asked for assistance to get to the train – I can’t put any weight on my broken ankle at the moment so have […]

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

Multilingual hospital

The staff and patients in the hospital are from many different places and speak a variety of languages. Yesterday I overheard a consultation involving a man from Afghanistan who spoke no English, so his relatives were interpreting. I couldn’t tell if he was speaking Dari or Pashto or another language, as I’m not familiar with […]

Also posted in Arabic, Language, Persian (Farsi) 1 Comment

Homeward bound

Yesterday I had a good time in London with a Russian-speaking friend. We talked mainly in English with a sprinkling of Russian from time to time. In the morning we went to the Design Museum and saw a special exhibition about Moscow, which was interesting. Then had a wander around Holland Park, which is beautiful, […]

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Languages of London

Last night I went to the first Languages of London meetup – it’s the same group I’ve been going to for a few months (the Polyglot Pub), but with a new name and venue, and more participants. The meetup was supposed to take place in the Institute of Education in UCL, which is a good […]

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Tuning into languages

Yesterday I did an interview on Skype with a student of linguistics in Germany who is writing a thesis about acquiring native-like pronunciation in foreign languages. I talked about the methods I used to try to do this – listening, mimicing, learning about the phonology of a language, recording my voice and comparing to native […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning, Music, Pronunciation 3 Comments

Just simply

A useful Russian word I learnt this week is просто [ˈprɔstə], which means easily, simply or just. Here are some examples of how it is used: – Нам просто надо выезжать немного раньше обычного. = We just have to leave, you know, a little earlier than usual. – я зашёл просто повидаться = I just […]

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Abounding in fish

I spent the weekend in Devon with my brother and his family. It was my nephew’s first birthday yesterday and I was there mainly to celebrate that. My journey, a long and meadering one, took me through some places with interesting names, such as Exeter, Teignmouth, Dawlish and Paignton. As well as admiring the scenery, […]

Also posted in Etymology, Words and phrases 4 Comments

Rollipokes, ronners and roudges

If I offered you a rollipoke, would you have any idea what it was or what to do with it? This is a word I came across while looking for something else in the Dictionary of The Scots Language / Dictionar o the Scots Leid today. It is defined as, “A sacking of loosely woven […]

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