Monthly Archives: February 2007

Websites that speak

The Welsh Language Board / Bwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg recently added a text-to-speech facility to their website which reads out the text in either Welsh or English. They are using a system called ReadSpeaker, which can make your website talk in various languages, including Japanese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English (US and UK), French, German, Dutch, […]

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Language, Technology, Welsh 5 Comments

Terracotta bureaucrats

According to a report I heard on the radio this morning, the British Museum is going to stage a major exhibition of the terracotta warriors who guard the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇), who unified China and was its first emperor from 221-210 BC. The exhibition will include not just some of the warriors, […]

French, General, Latin, Words and phrases 9 Comments

Welsh and Gaelic education

According to an article on Eurolang, education through the medium of Welsh is becoming so popular in Wales that there aren’t sufficient places in Welsh medium schools for all those who would like to attend them. As a result, the growth of Welsh medium education is being held up. Increasing numbers of parents are wanting […]

Education, Language, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh 3 Comments

Chinese and Arabic to be taught in UK schools?

According to British Education Secretary, Alan Johnson, UK schools should have more flexibility in the choice of languages they teach. He believes “it is right to vary the curriculum to add languages which might be economically useful or help community cohesion.” The languages he’s talking about include Arabic, Mandarin and Urdu. I wonder where they […]

Education, Language 9 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a recording of a mystery language. Can you work out which language it is? This language is spoken in Asia and has its own alphabet.

Language, Quiz questions 16 Comments

Language quiz

In which country might you find the following dishes on the menu, and which of them is the odd one out? Zupa ogórkowa Śledź w śmietanie Kurczak de volaille Sztuka mięsa w sosie chrzanowym Kasza gryczana z kwaśnym mlekiem Księgarnia Placki kartoflane Makowiec Bonus points if you can translate them into English as well.

Language, Quiz questions 18 Comments

How long does it take to learn a language?

There’s no single answer to the question posed by the title of this post. It depends on number of factors, including what hope to do with the language, how often and how intensively you study, which language you’re learning, and which language(s) you already know. Some language learners find it helpful to set themselves targets […]

Language, Language learning 26 Comments

Yiddish in Lithuania

According to an article on the BBC, Jews in Lithuania are trying to revive Yiddish, which was spoken by around 250,000 people before the Second World War. Today there are about 5,000 Jews in Lithuania and only a few hundred still speak Yiddish. Children at the only Jewish nursery school in Lithuania are being taught […]

Endangered languages, Language 18 Comments