Monthly Archives: January 2007

Dialect quiz

Today we have a selection of recordings of people speaking English in a number of different dialects/accents. Can you work out which parts of the UK they come from? Clip 1, clip 2, clip 3, clip 4, clip 5, clip 6, clip7

English, Language, Quiz questions 10 Comments

Language quiz

Today we have a song in a number of different languages. Can you work out what they are? If you recognise the song, it’s not too difficult to find out the languages, but try to guess them first. Please note, the audio file is quite large – 3MB – so may take a while to […]

Language, Quiz questions 22 Comments

What shall we talk about?

Language exchange is a great way to practise languages you’re learning and to learn more. In my experience, it works best if those involved have reached a similar level in the language(s) they’re studying – ideally at least an intermediate level. Sometimes the conversation flows, other times it limps along like an ostrich trying to […]

Language, Language exchange, Language learning 13 Comments

Languages online

According to Internet World Stats, there’s still a majority of English speakers online – currently 327 million or just under 30% of total web users. The number of Chinese-speaking web users is catching up fast though – there are currently 153 million of them, or 14% of the total, a number that has grown 374% […]

Language 8 Comments

Number learning Chinese soars

According to an article on the BBC, the number of people outside China learning Mandarin Chinese has soared to 30 million over the past five years. The report mentions that in London the majority of kids learning Mandarin have parents who work in finance industry – they perceive that a knowledge of Mandarin will be […]

Language, Language learning 30 Comments

Podcast language courses

I came across an interesting article today about using podcasts to learn languages. It lists a number of useful sites for languages such as Spanish, French and Russian, and mentions that numerous similar podcasts are available on iTunes. I just had a search in iTunes and have found quite a few free podcasts for various […]

Language, Language learning 3 Comments

Talking for Britain

At the moment I’m reading a fascinating book about the English language in the UK called Talking for Britain – A Journey Through the Nation’s Dialects, by Simon Elmes. It draws on the BBC’s Voices survey and shows that regional English is very much alive and well, and constantly changing. Although many of the old […]

English, Language 13 Comments

Language quiz

Not sure what happened yesterday, but for some unknown technical reason, this blog was inaccessible. Fortunately it’s working again today. Anyway, today’s mystery language is a Native American one spoken mainly in Oklahoma and North Carolina.

Language, Quiz questions 12 Comments

Benefits of bilingualism

According to a report on ScienceDaily, speaking two languages may help stave off dementia by up four years compared to people who are monolingual. Being bilingual, along with physical activity, education and social engagement help to build “cognitive reserve”, which includes enhanced neural plasticity (the ability of nerve cells in the brain to change their […]

Language 7 Comments

Attitudes to languages

I came across an interesting article today which discusses, among other things, attitudes to Irish in Ireland. The writer is a native speaker of Irish from Connemara who bemoans the feelings of inferiority about their language felt by many people in the Gaeltachtaí (the areas where Irish is, in theory, the main language). Here are […]

Irish, Language, Language learning 9 Comments
%d bloggers like this: