Monthly Archives: March 2007

Teaching Mandarin

With the recent increase in the number of people studying Mandarin, I’ve been wondering where all the teachers are coming from. Most are probably from China, but there are some non-Chinese teachers of the language. In the UK there are only a handful of training courses for those wanting to teach Mandarin: The School of […]

Chinese, Education, Language 4 Comments

Only joking!

Yesterday I stumbled upon a page containing jokes in Irish and was pleased to find that I could understand them and that I ‘got’ the jokes. Understanding humour in other languages can be quite difficult, especially when puns and plays on words are involved. When you can ‘get’ jokes in a foreign language, you know […]

Irish, Language, Words and phrases 12 Comments


Ddoe mi ddes i o hyd i wefan gydag enw lexicelt. Gwefan defnyddiol iawn ar gyfer y rhai sy’n dysgu’r Wyddeleg trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, neu sy’n dysgu Cymraeg trwy gyfrwng y Wyddeleg. Ar a gwefan hon, mae geiriadur Cymraeg Gwyddeleg, a llyfryn ymadroddion yn cynnwys brawddegau, geirfa ddefnyddiol a ffeiliau sain. Yn ogystal â […]

Irish, Language, Language learning, Welsh 4 Comments

Language quiz

Here are recordings of three closely-related languages. Can you work out what languages they are and which one is which? Recording 1 Recording 2 Recording 3

Language, Quiz questions 11 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a recording of a mystery language. Can you guess which language it is? This language is a member of a very widely-distributed language family.

Language, Quiz questions 9 Comments

Breed your way to linguistic security

There was an interesting discussion on Radio Cymru’s phone-in discussion programme, Taro’r Post, today. They were talking about comments made by a former major of Aberystwyth, Sion Jobbins, who is urging Welsh speakers to have more children in order to secure the future of the language. He’s not proposing that all families have a large […]

Language, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh 1 Comment

Word of the day – iqqanaijaaqajjaagunniiqtutit

Today’s word appears in an article on CBC Canada News which discusses a new policy that will require all senior government officials in Nunavut to speak Inuktitut by 2008. The language requirement will eventually be extended to other staff as well. The word iqqanaijaaqajjaagunniiqtutit roughly translates as ‘you won’t have any work anymore’ – the […]

Inuktitut, Language 21 Comments

How many speak Mandarin?

Whenever Mandarin or Chinese are mentioned in the news reports and other articles – something that seems to be happening frequently recently – the number of speakers is often mentioned and is usually given as over one billion. The assumption that the vast majority of people in China speak Mandarin is very common both outside […]

Chinese, Language 15 Comments

Languages in primary schools

There was some discussion on the radio this morning about a plan to make the teaching of foreign languages compulsory in primary schools in England. A review of languages policy has been undertaken by Lord Dearing and Dr Lid King, National Director for Languages at the Department for Education and Skills. They are recommending that […]

Education, Language 45 Comments

Language quiz

Here are recordings of people from different countries speaking French. Can you work out which countries they come from? Recording 1 Recording 2 Recording 3 Recording 4

French, Language, Quiz questions 13 Comments
%d bloggers like this: