Archive for the Category: English

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

Language acquisition

I spent Christmas with my family at my brother’s house in Devon in the south west of England. His daughter is now 20 months old and it’s fascinating to see how she’s acquiring language. The last time I saw her was at Easter this year when she was nearly a year old. At that time […]

Also posted in French, Language, Language acquisition, Linguistics, Russian 5 Comments

Merry Christmas

************************************************************** A multlingual Merry Christmas and happy language learning in the New Year! ************************************************************** Like this:Like Loading…

Also posted in General, Language Comments Off on Merry Christmas

Hedgehogs and Urchins

I discovered today that sea urchins (echinoidea) are known as zee-egels (sea hedgehogs) in Dutch, and that they used to be known as sea hedgehogs in English as well. They have similar names in other languages, for example, in German they are Seeigel (sea hedgehogs), in French they are oursins or hérissons de mer (sea […]

Also posted in Dutch, French, German, Language, Latin, Proto-Indo-European, Spanish, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Frost, Ice cream and Father Christmas

When I learnt a Russian word for frost – мороз (moróz) – this week I thought that the word for ice cream – мороженое (morózhenoe) – might come from the same root. According to Wikitionary they are related: мороженое comes from морозить (to freeze) from мороз, which comes from the Proto-Slavic *morzъ (frost). Related words […]

Also posted in Language, Russian 3 Comments
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