Monthly Archives: January 2007

Immigrant language learning

There was a interesting report on the radio this morning about helping immigrants in London to learn English. They interviewed a Bangladeshi woman who has lived in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, which has a large immigrant population, for over 20 years but who speaks very little English. She told the interviewer that on […]

English, Language, Language learning 18 Comments

Word of the day – Brekekekex (Βρεκεκέξ)

I came across the word brekekekex in a book I’ve just finished reading – A Time of Gifts, the first part of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s fascinating account of his epic journey on foot from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople (Istanbul), which he made in the early 1930s. He has a good ear for languages […]

Greek, Language, Words and phrases 13 Comments

Latin nearly extinct

According to an article I found on the BBC today, the Papal Latinist, Father Reginald Foster, fears that Latin is likely to cease to be used in the Catholic church before long. This is mainly because priests no longer have to study Latin at seminaries and are unable to read important theological texts. When bishops […]

Language, Latin 18 Comments

Language quiz

Can you identify the mystery language in this recording? It will probably sound familiar, though I doubt if many of you have heard it before.

Language, Quiz questions 13 Comments

Language quiz

Here is a recording of a number of phrases in a mystery language. Can you work out which language it is? This language is spoken in Europe.

Language, Quiz questions 10 Comments

Web resources

Here are a few online language-related resources that I came across recently: – A series of videos on YouTube showing how Chinese characters have developed from the original pictures: 漢字演變 汉字演变 History Change of Hanji_01 漢字演變 汉字演变 History Change of Hanji_02 漢字演變 汉字演变 History Change of Hanji_03 漢字演變 汉字演变 History Change of Hanji_04 and there […]

Chinese, Language, Language learning 5 Comments

Word of the day – Gaeilgeoir

A Gaeilgeoir is an Irish speaker or Irish language enthusiast. The plural is Gaeilgeoirí. So I could say Is Gaeilgeoir mé – I am a Gaeilgeoir (in both senses of the word). When Irish was the main language in Ireland, I doubt if there was a need for such a word, though I could be […]

Irish, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 9 Comments


Last night temperatures in Brighton plummeted to 0°C or possibly below. This morning the city was covered by a light dusting of snow, which had mostly melted by lunchtime. Snow is something I rarely see, so I still get excited about it. Brighton Pavilion with a light dusting of snow A snowman on Brighton beach […]

Brighton 26 Comments

Peculiar names

Today I came across a site, presented by Lady Fortune the Absurd of Greater Internetshire, that automatically generates silly aristocratic titles, such as The Very Reverend Omniglot the Random of Midhoop St Giggleswich or Milord Sir Lord Simon the Contrite of Much Moulding upon Carpet. Some of the names it throws up, such as Piddletrenthide, […]

English, Language 23 Comments

Language learning and music

Last week I bought a new Welsh language course – Cadw Sŵn – which uses a combination of classical music and stories to teach you the language. I think it’s based on the suggestopedia system. The course is being offered at half price and I want to brush up my Welsh, so I thought I’d […]

Language, Language learning, Music 7 Comments
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