Monthly Archives: June 2007

Language quiz

Here is a recording of a mystery language. Can you guess or do you know which language it is? Clue: This language is spoken in parts of Europe.

Language, Quiz questions 17 Comments

The critical period

There’s a hypothesis that we have a critical period for acquiring languages during our childhood, and that learning a language in later life, roughly after the age of 12 or 13, is difficult because of this. As a result of this theory, it’s widely believed that the earlier you start learning a foreign language, the […]

Language, Language acquisition 9 Comments

Word of the day – moron

The Welsh word moron, which means carrots, is an example of a false friend (cyfaill anwir?). The word for carrot is moronen, one of a small group of Welsh words that become shorter in the plural. Confusingly, the English word moron, which comes from the Greek for ‘foolish, dull’, has been borrowed into Welsh and […]

Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 12 Comments


Hypercorrection happens when people try to avoid making one type of ‘error’ in speech or writing, but overcompensate and apply the corrections to too many words. For example, those who habitually ‘drop’ their h’s sometimes add an h an just about any word beginning with a vowel when trying to speak ‘proper’. One case of […]

English, Language, Pronunciation 13 Comments

Dropping letters

George Bernard Shaw once said: “It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman despise him” Shaw, an Irish man, was to some extent poking fun at the English, but there certainly is some truth in his statement. English speakers have been complaining about the way other people speak […]

English, Language, Pronunciation 26 Comments

Word of the day – mac tíre

mac tíre, noun = wolf (literally ‘son of the country(side)’). The tíre sounds roughly like cheer-uh. I came across this Irish word while searching for the Scottish Gaelic for word for wolf, which someone asked me today. Another Irish word for wolf is faolchú, while the equivalent in Scottish Gaelic is faol or madadh allaidh […]

Irish, Language, Scottish Gaelic, Words and phrases 5 Comments

Where in the world?

Here is a photo of mystery city somewhere in Europe. Can you work out which one it is and which languages are spoken there?

Language, Quiz questions, Travel 8 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a recording of someone talking in an obscure language. Can you work out which language it is? This language is spoken on one of the groups of islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Language, Quiz questions 8 Comments

Dyslecsia / Dyslexia

According to an article I came across today, dyslexic children tend to it easier to read and write Welsh, with its regular and consistent spelling system, then English, with its somewhat eccentric orthography. Similarly, few children have problems spelling other regular languages like Italian and Spanish. However dyslexic children who start by learning Welsh, then […]

Education, English, Language, Welsh 12 Comments
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