Archive for the Category: Language

Mug shots

When listening to the Answer Me This podcast today I heard some discussion of mug shots, which got me thinking about the origins of that name. According to Wiktionary, a mug shot (or mugshot) is: 1. A photograph taken of the head and shoulders, often from the front and in profile, usually taken in conjunction […]

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Special offer from Rocket Languages

This week Rocket Languges are celebrating their 13th Anniversary with a 4-day sale starting today and continuing until Friday 17th March, or until they’ve sold 1,000 courses. During this time you can get 60% off any of their online language courses, which include: French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese (Mandarin), German, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, Hindi, ASL, Korean, […]

Also posted in Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Language learning, Portuguese, Russian, Sign language, Spanish 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

How to become a language expert in no time

Today we have a guest post from Sebastien Marion As most expats would agree, the best way to learn a language is to go abroad. When abroad, you are immersed in the culture and are forced to speak the language. But whether you are abroad already or trying to improve your language skills from home, […]

Also posted in English, Language learning, Spanish Leave a comment

Protagonists and sidekicks

When listening to The Allusionist podcast today I learnt an interesting word – tritagonist, who was the actor who played the third role in ancient Greek drama. Tritagonist comes from the Ancient Greek word τρίτἀγωνιστής (triagōnistḗs), from τρίτ ‎(third) and ἀγωνιστής ‎(combatant, participant). The actors who played the first and second roles in ancient Greek […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, Greek, Irish, Latin, Proto-Indo-European, Scots, Swedish, Welsh, Words and phrases 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 8 Comments

Pull up a pew

One thing that came up in the French Conversation Group last night was church pews, and particularly how uncomfortable they are. We discovered that in French a pew is un banc (d’église). Banc also means seat or bench, and can mean other things in combination with other words: – banc de sable = sandbank – […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, French, Proto-Indo-European, Words and phrases 2 Comments

The white light of the world

An interesting and useful Russian word I came across today is свет [svʲet], which means light, and also lights, lighting, day, radiance, power, electricity, world and (high) society. It comes from the Old East Slavic свѣтъ ‎(světŭ – light; world), from Proto-Slavic *světъ ‎(light; world), from the Proto-Balto-Slavic *śwaitas, from the Proto-Indo-European *ḱwoytos / *ḱweytos […]

Also posted in Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Etymology, German, Norwegian, Polish, Proto-Indo-European, Russian, Slovak, Swedish, Words and phrases 2 Comments

Разговорник

I came across a useful Russian word today when searching for Chechen phrasebooks – разговорник (razgavornik) [rəzɡɐˈvornʲɪk] – I guessed it meant phrasebook from the context, and also because разговаривать (razgavarivat’) means to talk (to). It is a combination of разговор (razgavór – conversation, talk) and the suffix ник (nik), which usually denotes a profession, […]

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

Language quiz

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

Also posted in Quiz questions 6 Comments
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