Archive for the Category: Language

Matignon and other metonyms

Last night I discovered that the French equivalent of “Number 10”, which in the UK refers to the British Prime Minister, is Matignon or L’Hôtel de Matignon, the official residence of the French Prime Minister. Number 10 is shorthand for Number 10 Downing Street, is the official residence and office of the British Prime Minister, […]

Also posted in English, French, Words and phrases 9 Comments

Flan cupboards

A Welsh plygain song I’ve been learning recently with some friends (Carol y Swper) features the word fflangell in the line “Ein Meichiau a’n Meddyg dan fflangell Iddweig”. We weren’t sure what it meant at first, and guessed that it was some kind of container for a flan or a flan cupboard. A fflan is […]

Also posted in English, Songs, Welsh, Words and phrases 1 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 8 Comments

Big fun!

A friend of mine who is learning Welsh likes to translate Welsh expressions literally and then use them in English. One Welsh equivalent of goodbye is hwyl fawr [hʊɨl vaur], which he translates as “big fun”, which sounds quite funny in English. Do any other languages have a phrase used when parting that has a […]

Also posted in English, Translation, Welsh, Words and phrases 5 Comments

New Year’s resolutions for language learners

This is a guest post by Izabela Wisniewska Learning a new language is one of the more typical New Year’s resolutions we see and often, one of the most flippant. Though the desire to learn a new language is genuine actually getting motivated to do something about it is another thing entirely. If you are […]

Also posted in English, Language learning 2 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 7 Comments

How short is your pastry?

While eating one of my mum’s delicious mince pies yesterday, I asked what makes them different to the ones you buy in shops. Apparently it’s the pastry – my mum uses shortcrust pastry, and shop-brought ones use sweet pastry. This got us wondering what the short in shortcrust actually means. Shortcrust pastry is made with […]

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Why Weihnachten?

Have you every wondered where the German word for Christmas, Weihnachten, comes from? I have, as it is so different from words for Christmas in other European languages. So I decided to investigate. Weihnachten comes from the Middle High German wīhenahten ‎(Christmas), from a dative plural ze den wīhen nahten ‎(in the holy nights). The […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, German, Words and phrases 1 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 4 Comments

Christmas

A multlingual Merry Christmas and happy language learning in the New Year!

Also posted in General 3 Comments
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