Archive for the Category: English

Multilingual Manchester

I had a multilingual day in Manchester today – I spent part of it listening to choirs and other groups performing as part of the Manchester Day celebrations. They sang in English, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Maori, Hebrew and Yiddish, and I also watched the Manchester Day parade. I also went to the Polyglot Pub, a […]

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Suburban bans

In French the word banlieue [bɑ̃.ljø] can refer to: 1. Circonscription territoriale qui s’étendait à une lieue hors de la ville et dans laquelle un juge pouvait exercer sa juridiction. (Territorial division that stretched a mile out of town and in which a judge could exercise jurisdiction). 2. Territoire et ensemble des localités qui environnent […]

Also posted in Etymology, French, Language, Latin, Words and phrases Leave a comment

The elusive illusive

Sometimes you think you know a word, but when you check it, you discover that you’ve mixed it up with a similar-sounding word. That’s what happened to me this week with the words elusive and illusive. Without looking them up, do you know what they mean? When you’re searching for something but have trouble finding […]

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

Rowing your boat

The French equivalent of to go for a row (in a boat), is faire un tour en barque or faire de la barque, and to row (a boat) is ramer, which also means to stake, although if you’re rowing as a sport then it’s faire de l’aviron. A barque is a small boat or rowing […]

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

Micro-learning

I got an email yesterday from someone who is “developing a micro-learning program dedicated to language learning”. This was the first time I’d heard the term micro-learning so I wasn’t entirely sure what it meant. According to Wikipedia, microlearning “deals with relatively small learning units and short-term learning activities”. This sounds like the technique some […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 3 Comments

Peripatetic false friends

The English word peripatetic means “tending to walk about; constantly travelling; itinerant; nomadic”. It is also related to Aristotle, his philosophy, and the school of thought he founded. A peripatetic teacher is one who teaches in a number of different schools, and it’s common, at least in the UK, for music teachers and sometimes language […]

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In the Land of the Eagles

Yesterday I climbed Snowdon with other members of the Bangor Ukulele Society. We set off from Pen-y-Pass (The head/top of the pass) and took the Miner’s Track to the top, then went down the Llanberis Path. On the way up and the way down we stopped a number of times to sing a few songs, […]

Also posted in Etymology, Language, Latin, Proto-Indo-European, Welsh, Words and phrases 2 Comments

Do we have a moving forward position?

I often receive emails from advertisers and people who run advertising networks wanting to place their ads on Omniglot. Or as they put it, they want to “buy redundant inventory” or “buy website traffic”. They talk about fill rates, CPMs, passback options, DSPs, geos, volume impressions and monetization strategies. Recently one asked me to let […]

Also posted in Language 4 Comments

Soggy days

This morning the weather app on my phone told me that it would be a soggy day today. It wasn’t wrong – it rained all morning and much of the afternoon. When I saw the word soggy I started wondering whether days could be described as soggy in other languages. It seems you can talk […]

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

Earth apple in the garden dress

An interesting French expression I learnt last week was “pomme de terre dans la robe de jardin” or literally “apple of the earth in the dress of the garden”, which is apparently one way French speakers refer to a baked / jacket potato. Other names include: – pomme de terre au four = lit. “apple […]

Also posted in French, Language 4 Comments
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