Archive for the Category: Identity

Moldovan or Romanian

Moves are afoot to rename the language of Moldova Romanian rather than Moldovan, according to this report. The Moldovan Prime Minister believes that the “Moldovan people speak in Romanian like Americans speak in English. The national language can be renamed in the future from Moldovan to Romanian”. While the main language they speak in Moldova […]

Also posted in Language 8 Comments

Manx language

I’m on the Isle of Man at the moment doing some research for my dissertation on the revival of the Manx (Gaelic) language. I’m staying in Douglas (Doolish), the island’s capital, and plan to explore other parts of the island – it’s partly a holiday for me as well as a way to collect data. […]

Also posted in Language, Language revival, Linguistics, Manx, Travel 16 Comments


A useful-looking website I heard about today is Lang-8, which describes itself as a a social networking service site for language exchange and international communication. Users can write journal entries in a language they’re learning, and get them corrected by native speakers of that language. There are also groups for particular language combinations, e.g. Japanese […]

Also posted in Language exchange, Language learning Comments Off on Lang-8

Origins of the British

A while ago I discussed a theory that Germanic languages were spoken in Britain long before the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons. Today I came across an article by Stephen Oppenheimer, author of The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story, in which he argues that many people in what is now England spoke Germanic […]

Also posted in Language 10 Comments

Which Mr Wang do you mean?

On the news this morning they mentioned that China is suffering from a chronic shortage of names, which leads to many cases of mistaken identity. They gave an example of one man who was arrested by mistake – it was one of his neighbours with the same name who the police were after. The ordinary […]

Also posted in Chinese, Language 17 Comments

In My Language I am Smart

Today I found an interesting piece about the differences between speaking your own language and speaking a second or foreign language by Dragan Todorovic, a Serbian writer and artist who lives in Canada. He tells us that: …my biggest problem was the sound of my English. Language is acquired with its sound, and the sounds […]

Also posted in Language 14 Comments

How many of me?

I came across an interesting website that tells you how many people there are in the USA who share the same name as you. I looked up my name and discovered that there are 38,996 Simons, but only 1,800 Agers. The number of people in the States called Simon Ager is zero. According to another […]


More on names

When you go to a language class, quite often the teacher will give you a name in the language you’re learning, which might be the equivalent of your name in that language, or a name with a similar sound. The French and German versions of my name are spelt the same but pronounced differently, while […]


The Seven Simons

In my class at school I was one of seven Simons, hence the title of this post. The name Simon seems to have been particularly popular in the UK in the sixties and seventies – not sure why – any suggestions? I was born in 1970 and often meet other Simons, quite a few of […]


What do you do for a living?

Continuing yesterday’s theme of identity, describing what you do for a living can be tricky if you don’t work in a well-known profession. If someone tells you they’re a doctor, teacher, lawyer or police officer, you have a pretty good idea what their job entails. However, if you work in such professions as web development, […]

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