Archive for the Category: Welsh

Yezhoù, kanaouennoù ha sonerezh

The Breton couchsurfers arrived yesterday, with an Austrian friend, and we’re having a great time. They’ve taught me a bit of Breton, we’ve also talked in French, English, Welsh, Irish and German – I love having opportunities to use my languages like this. I’ve learnt more about Brittany and Breton and have shown them round […]

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Omphaloskepsis

Omphaloskepsis /ˈɒmfələʊˈskɛpsɪs/ is an interesting word I came across today that refers to the practice of contemplating one’s navel as an aid to meditation. It comes from the Ancient Greek ὀμϕαλός (omphalos – navel) and σκέψις (skepsis -inquiry). Apparently omphaloskepsis is used in yoga and sometimes in the Eastern Orthodox Church and it helps in […]

Also posted in English, Greek, Language, Words and phrases 6 Comments

Labhair Gaeilge liom

I just watched a video of an interview in Irish that Benny Lewis did on Raidió na Life, the Irish language radio station in Dublin. Benny mentions that he has had a t-shirt made with “Labhair Gaeilge liom” (Speak Irish with me) on it and that people who see the shirt speak Irish to him, […]

Also posted in Chinese, English, Irish, Language, Language learning 25 Comments

Llongau gofod a selsig (Spaceships and sausages)

This is my latest little animation made using Xtranormal. It’s a silly little conversation between two robots which touches on such topics as the best way to get to the moon, a top secret Welsh spaceship, why vegetarians are at a disadvantage when it comes to local news and gossip, and ostrich sausages. The conversation […]

Also posted in English, Language 2 Comments

Bead houses

There’s a village near where I live called Betws-y-Coed [ˈbɛtʊs ə ˈkɔɨd], which means ‘prayer house in the wood’. I knew the meaning of the name, but hadn’t considered where the word betws might come from. Last night a friend told me that it comes from an English word ‘bead house’, meaning a prayer house […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, Language, Words and phrases 4 Comments

Scottish adventures

I’ve been in Scotland since last Saturday, mainly at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic college on the Isle of Skye. I’m doing a course in Gaelic mouth music (puirt à beul) and waulking songs (òrain luaidh) with Christine Primrose, and am having a wonderful time. There are eight of us in the singing class – […]

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Menhirs, dolmens and cromlechs

The word menhir come up in discussion yesterday and I posted it on Facebook today along with the the Welsh translation maen hir, which is what I found in this dictionary. This provoked further discussion about whether the two terms mean the same thing. So I thought I’d find out. A menhir is a standing […]

Also posted in Breton, English, Etymology, French, Irish, Language, Words and phrases 6 Comments

Gleann Cholm Cille

I returned to Bangor from the Isle of Man yesterday after a very enjoyable week at Yn Chruinnaght. I spoke and sang lots of Manx, and heard all the other Celtic languages, except Breton, being spoken and/or sung. I also spoke a bit of French and German, and even some English. I was even inspired […]

Also posted in Cornish, English, French, German, Irish, Language, Manx, Scottish Gaelic 5 Comments

Sonic the happy Manx hedgehog

Arkan sonney is a Manx expression I came across today that means hedgehog, or literally “happy sucking pig”. Arkan is a diminutive form of ark (piglet), and sonney means ‘affluent, lucky, fortunate, happy’, and sounds a bit like sonic, hence the little of this post. Another Manx word for hedgehog is graynoge, which is related […]

Also posted in English, Irish, Language, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Words and phrases 4 Comments

Yn Chruinnaght

Tomorrow I’m off to the Isle of Man for Yn Chruinnaght (‘the gathering’) – a celebration of Manx and Celtic music and culture featuring performers and participants from the Isle of Man, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany. I’m really looking forward to it as it’s a great opportunity to see old friends and make […]

Also posted in Breton, Cornish, English, Irish, Language, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Travel 3 Comments