Monthly Archives: April 2007

Language and time travel

A recent commenter on my post about learning Latin, Ancient Greek and other ancient/dead languages has suggested an interesting reason for learning such languages – it’s the closest thing we have to time travel. A knowledge of these languages enables you to explore ancient civilisations and gain insights into the thoughts and lives of people […]

Greek, Language, Language learning, Latin 12 Comments

Useful websites

Here are a couple of useful language-related websites I came across recently: Language Podcast Survey Discussion about and links to podcasts for learning a variety of languages. Free language A guide to free online resources for learning languages, such as online lessons, podcasts and so on. Includes details and reviews of resources for learning Arabic, […]

Language, Language learning 2 Comments

Turkish language in Germany

According to an article I came across today in Today’s Zaman, the number of Germans learning Turkish has been increasing recently. A Turkish graduate of a German university who was interviewed for the article mentions that he has been teaching Turkish in German schools for nine years, but that an ad he posted online seven […]

German, Language, Language learning, Turkish 13 Comments


Today I came across the term sushi-go-round for the first time. I’d been discussing Japanese restaurants with a Japanese friend and mentioned that I didn’t know what to call those sushi places where you sit a the counter and the dishes come round on a conveyor belt. He found the term sushi-go-round in a Japanese-English […]

Chinese, English, Japanese, Language, Words and phrases 13 Comments

Where in the world?

Here’s a photo from another mystery city. Can you identify the city and tell us which languages are spoken there? This city is apparently one of the oldest in Central Asia.

Language, Quiz questions, Travel 7 Comments

Where in the world?

Today’s quiz question is a bit different – can you identify the city in the photo below? Which languages would you be likely to hear spoken in this city?

Language, Quiz questions, Travel 3 Comments

In My Language I am Smart

Today I found an interesting piece about the differences between speaking your own language and speaking a second or foreign language by Dragan Todorovic, a Serbian writer and artist who lives in Canada. He tells us that: …my biggest problem was the sound of my English. Language is acquired with its sound, and the sounds […]

Identity, Language 14 Comments

Word of the day – wilfing

According to an article in the Guardian, the new national obsession in the UK is wilfing, or surfing the web without any particular purpose. The word wilf comes from the phrase “what was I looking for?” and in a survey of 2400 British internet users, more than two thirds admitted that they wilf from time […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 14 Comments

Language fossils

There are many interesting ideas about the origins of language being discussed on a blog I discovered recently called Babel’s Dawn. One recent post puts forward the idea that some short expressions we use, such as “What me worry?”, might be fossils of an early stage in the evolution of speech before the development of […]

Language 8 Comments

Rhythm and Memory

Recently I’ve been experimenting with using rhymes to memorise vocabulary. To learn things like days of the weeks, months, numbers, etc, I find that repeating them rhythmically, usually in twos or threes is quite a effective way to memorise them. I also try to make up little rhymes and stories using the words to put […]

Language, Language learning, Memory 18 Comments
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