Archive for the Category: Language

Learning multiple languages simultaneously

One of the talks at the Polyglot Gathering was about a way to learn several languages at the same time. The speaker, Elisa Polese, explained how she teaches up to 10 languages simultaneously by comparing and contrasting them. It sounds like this technique can work quite well for similar languages, at least at the beginning. […]

Also posted in English, Language learning 3 Comments

Reflections on the Polyglot Gathering

I got back from the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin late on Monday night. I travelled by train the whole way, which is a bit more expensive than the plane, and takes a few hours longer, but I prefer to travel this way, and you see more. The journey went smoothly, apart from the train from […]

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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? I don’t know what language this is. While waiting on Birmingham New Street station last Monday I saw a couple with a young daughter. They were talking this language and at first I thought based on […]

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Stammtisch

Stammtisch [ˈʃtamtɪʃ] is a German word I learnt yesterday which means “regulars table”. It usually refers to a group of people who get together for an informal meeting regularly, maybe in a local bar or café, and to the table where they sit. They might play cards, discuss politics or philosophy, or just chat. It […]

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Polyglot Gathering 2016

I’m currently at the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin. I arrived here on Wednesday evening and have been speaking and hearing lots of different languages. So far I’ve had conversations in English, French, Welsh, German, Irish and Mandarin, and spoken bits and pieces of Spanish, Italian, Russian, Czech, Portuguese, Toki Pona and Esperanto. I’ve also heard […]

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A Monkey’s Wedding

On an episode of The World in Words podcast that I listened to today I learnt the expression “a monkey’s wedding“, which is apparently what you call a day when rain falls while the sun is shining, at least if you live in South Africa or Zimbabwe. As this is quite a common phenomenon in […]

Also posted in English, Words and phrases 10 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 2 Comments

Will you be pernoctating?

If someone asked you if you were planning to pernoctate, would you know what they meant? This is a word I came across today in the blog A Linguist Abroad in a post about ‘Interesting’ Cambridge rules. It appears in the sentence: A Tutor (the pernoctating Tutor) is on duty every night and may stop […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, Latin, Words and phrases 1 Comment

Caledonian Antisyzygy

In the Alexander McCall-Smith novel I just finished reading, The Revolving Door of Life, the concept of antisyzygy, and particularly Caledonian antisyzygy, comes up. I had to look it up as I didn’t know what it meant or how to pronounce it. The term Caledonian Antisyzygy refers to the “idea of dueling polarities within one […]

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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 4 Comments
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