Archive for the Category: Language

Why Staying Motivated When Learning a Language is So Hard

Have you ever got excited about learning to speak a language? I mean REALLY excited. Maybe you met a beautiful girl or a hot guy from another country. Maybe you heard a song in a foreign language that sounds so good it touches your soul. Or maybe you bought this new language learning book/program that […]

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Also posted in Language learning, Motivation Leave a comment

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?

Also posted in Quiz questions 5 Comments

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, English, French, German, Latin, Proto-Indo-European, Spanish, Words and phrases 1 Comment

7000 Languages Project

I heard about an interesting project today: 7000 Languages Project – the goal of the project is to create web- and mobile-delivered learning materials for the 7,000 languages beyond the top 100 or so that attract significant commercial support. The 7000 Languages Project involves creating Langscape, an online portal for learning about languages worldwide, that […]

Also posted in Language learning, Linguistics Leave a comment

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 English, Russian 3 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?

Also posted in Quiz questions 3 Comments

Hebrew phrases

Yesterday I received an email telling me that there shouldn’t be Hebrew versions of Merry Christmas and Happy Easter among the Hebrew phrases on my site as, “the Hebrew language is a holy language” and that “if you say Happy Easter, or Merry Christmas in Hebrew you pretty much burn to death in the spot […]

Also posted in English, Hebrew 10 Comments

Haps and Mishaps

A mishap is “an unlucky accident”, according to the Oxford Dictionaries, and is often accompanied by the word minor – e.g. we had a few minor mishaps in the kitchen, but at least we didn’t burn the chicken. I happened upon the word mishap today and it got me wondering whether the word hap also […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, Old Norse, Proto-Indo-European, Russian, Words and phrases 2 Comments

Pufflings

The other day I discovered that a young puffin is known as a puffling, which I really like the sound of. There are a few other words that include the -ling suffix that are commonly used: sibling, duckling, underling, earthling, seedling, yearling (an animal that is between one and two years old) – can you […]

Also posted in English, Words and phrases 5 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?

Also posted in Quiz questions 8 Comments