Archive for the Category: Japanese

Fantastic octopus wiring!

The title of this post is an example of the English sentence that appear on tweets by a certain Mr Nakayama, who aims to introduce Japanese people to “Non-essential English Vocabulary: Words that will never come up in tests”. He makes up these useless but memorable phrases as an alternative to all the books and […]

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Seasons Greetings!

A multilingual Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

Also posted in Chinese, English, French, Language, Welsh 2 Comments

Best languages to study

According to an article I came across in the Daily Telegraph today, the best / most useful languages to study, for those in the UK, are: 1. German 2. French 3. Spanish 4. Mandarin 5. Polish 6. Arabic 7. Cantonese 8. Russian 9. Japanese 10. Portuguese The reasons why each language is useful vary quite […]

Also posted in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Language, Language learning, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish 6 Comments

Scottish adventures

I’ve been in Scotland since last Saturday, mainly at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic college on the Isle of Skye. I’m doing a course in Gaelic mouth music (puirt à beul) and waulking songs (òrain luaidh) with Christine Primrose, and am having a wonderful time. There are eight of us in the singing class – […]

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I thought that the word honcho as in head honcho (big leader / big cheese) came from Japanese. The OED and the Online Etymology Dictionary both say that it comes from the Japanese word 班長 (hanchō) or squad / team leader, and that it was borrowed by American servicemen in Japan and Korea in 1947-1953. […]

Also posted in Basque, English, Etymology, Language, Words and phrases 2 Comments


According to a report I found today, a textbook for Japanese people wanting to learn Welsh entitled ウェールズ語の基本 (Wēruzugo no Kihon – “Basic Welsh”) by Dr Yoshifumi Nagata (永田喜文) and Takeshi Koike (小池剛史) was recently published. Dr Nagata teaches Welsh culture at universities in Japan and developed an interest for the Welsh language through the […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning, Welsh 5 Comments

Ear training

Most days I listen to online radio stations in a variety of languages – at the moment I listen mainly to Scottish Gaelic, Irish and Welsh, and also to French and Czech, and occasionally to Mandarin and Cantonese. This keeps these languages ticking over in my head, and helps me learn more of them. With […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 12 Comments


Nadolig Llawen Joyeux Noël 聖誕快樂 Nollaig shona doibh ¡Feliz Navidad! Nollick Ghennal Bo Nadal Nollaig chridheil メリークリスマス Buon Natale Frohe Weihnachten Bon Nadal Veselé vánoce and Merry Christmas!

Also posted in Chinese, Czech, English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Language, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, Welsh 18 Comments

How to Learn a Foreign Language While Living Overseas

This is a guest post by Kenji Crosland, a writer for TeachStreet. TeachStreet is a website that provides online and local classes including Foreign Language Lessons in languages like Japanese, Spanish and many others. When I moved to Tokyo five years ago I expected to learn the language quickly. After all, it’s often been said […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 7 Comments


Yesterday I finally started work on my garden, and one of the first things I did was a bit of weeding. The large crop of dandelions and other weeds in my lawn will take quite a while to remove, but in the meantime I thought I’d look at the origins of a few garden-related words. […]

Also posted in Chinese, English, Etymology, French, Irish, Language, Latin 15 Comments
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