Archive for the Category: Language

Polyglot contest

A challenge has been issued on the Omniglot fan club on Facebook to make a polyglot video of you speak all the languages you know well to see who can speak the most languages. Some have already taken up the challenge, others are seeing it as a bit of fun. What do you think of […]

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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

Sound instincts

According to an article I came across today, humans possibly have innate preferences for the sound patterns found in languages which might help babes to distinguish language from non-language and to acquire language. An experiment undertaken by the National Academy of Sciences found that even new born babies show a preference for combinations of phonemes […]

Also posted in Language acquisition, Linguistics 11 Comments

Attercop

In The Hobbit, Bilbo uses the words attercop, lazy lob, crazy cob, and old tomnodd as insults he’s attacked by giant spiders in Mirkwood. I guessed that they are alternative names for spiders, but I thought I’d check. Attercop is a word for spider from the Old English √°torcoppe, from √°tor/attor (poison) and coppe, from […]

Also posted in Danish, English, Etymology, Norwegian, Words and phrases 5 Comments

Towns, gardens and fences

Last week I went to Denbigh, a small town in the north east of Wales, to sing in a concert. On the way there there was some discussion about the origins and meaning of the name Denbigh. So I thought I’d find out more. The English name of the town doesn’t mean anything, but the […]

Also posted in Dutch, English, Etymology, German, Irish, Manx, Proto-Indo-European, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Words and phrases 6 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 5 Comments

Schrijfrichting / Scriptpath

Last week a visitor to Omniglot asked me whether there is a single word in English that means writing direction, i.e. the direction in which writing systems are written. The Latin alphabet, for example, is written from left to right in horizontal lines, as are many other writing systems, while writing systems like Arabic and […]

Also posted in Dutch, English, German, Words and phrases, Writing 8 Comments

One language per day

Last week I decided to try a slightly different language learning strategy. Rather than trying to immerse myself and learning bits of various languages every day, I am focusing on one language each day. This mainly involves listening to online radio and doing online lessons, and also having conversations with people when I can. At […]

Also posted in Dutch, English, Italian, Japanese, Language learning, Portuguese, Spanish 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 5 Comments

Smoking Funky Radio

The word radio is based on the verb to radiate, which comes from the Latin radius, which means stick rod; beam, ray (of light); shuttle (of loom); rod for drawing figures (in mathematics), radius of circle; long olive (plant); spoke (of wheel). Radio or radiotelegraphy, the wireless transmission of signals through space by electromagnetic radiation […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, German, Words and phrases Leave a comment