Monthly Archives: November 2006

Mystery language

You can identify the language in the following audio clip? This language is part of a language family that spans several continents.

Language, Quiz questions 18 Comments

Name the language

Here’s a short sound clip in a mystery language. Can you work out what language it is? This language is spoken mainly in one country and has no close relatives.

Language, Quiz questions 11 Comments

Climbing mountains

My studies of Czech are progressing slowly. So far I’ve only really got to grips with the first lesson of Colloquial Czech, and am working on lesson 2. Yesterday I had a quick look at the later lessons and wondered whether I’ll ever get that far. I know I shouldn’t let this put me off, […]

Czech, Language, Language learning 7 Comments

Whistle This!

Today I came across a website for (tin/penny/Irish) whistle players called Whistle This! which is based on an interesting idea: every two weeks a new tune is posted on the site with the sheet music, whistle notation and a recording. Visitors are invited to learn the tunes, record themselves playing them, and to send in […]

Language, Language learning, Music 9 Comments


When writing posts on this blog I’m never sure whether anybody will comment and how many comments there will be. Yesterday’s unresearched, ill-thought-out little post has stirred up plenty of discussion, which, to some extent, was the idea. You could say I was playing devil’s advocate. Other posts that I spend hours crafting from nothing […]

General 16 Comments


It struck me today that many polyglots and hyperpolyglots are male. I wonder if this has something to do with the instinct to collect things and the tendency to get a bit carried away with particular subjects, traits that seem more common in males than females. Perhaps it might also be a result of the […]

Language, Language learning 17 Comments

Books books books

If, like me, you have a large collection of books, trying to put them in some sort of order is can become quite a time-consuming task. In fact, just trying to fit them all on your shelves can be a real challenge. Every so often I go through my books and try to decide which […]

General 22 Comments

Mystery symbols

Where might you see symbols like these, and what do they signify? No clues today. Good luck!

Language, Quiz questions 10 Comments

Mystery language

Can you identify the language of this recording? This language is a member of a widely-scattered language family, most of the members of which are spoken by relatively few people.

Language, Quiz questions 16 Comments

Postilions and lightning

There’s an urban legend that sometime during the 19th century a phrasebook was published that including the extemely useful phrase “My postilion has been struck by lightning”. There seems to be various theories about the origins of this phrase, and a number versions of the phrase, including “Our postillion has been struck by lightning!”, or […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 3 Comments
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