Monthly Archives: July 2007

Urban Irish

According to some of the people I met in Ireland last week, Irish might become a mainly urban language in the future. At the moment the majority of regular Irish speakers live in remote, rural areas, the Gaeltachtaí. These areas are suffering from depopulation because there are few opportunities for young people, who tend to […]

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Endangered languages, Irish, Language, Language revival 1 Comment

Language quiz

Here’s a photo of a sign in a mystery language sent in by Lara, who took it while on holiday. Do you know or can you guess which language it is?

Language 16 Comments

Cathlab Multilingual Phrasebook

I received an email today from a nurse who works in a hospital in Melbourne, Australia and who is compiling a collection of multilingual phrases to assist communication with non-English speaking patients while an interpreter is being sought. He is looking for more translations and sounds files. Can you help? His contact details are on […]

Language, Translation, Words and phrases 4 Comments

Rivers of white and run arounds

Continuing yesterday’s theme of typography, here are a few more interesting typographic terms I came across today: River of white – a column of white space that occurs when word space in quite a few successive lines of type happen to end up below each other, as mentioned by P Terry Hunt in the comments […]

English, Language, Typography 5 Comments

Word of the day – knothole

The term knothole is used to refer to a block of stacked characters in a text that occurs when you have the same words or phrases repeated several times and the text is laid out in such a way that the words or phrases line up. This is apparently quite a frequent occurrence in encyclopedias, […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 4 Comments

Aural small print

Aural small print is apparently one name for the incredibly fast disclaimers you sometimes hear at the end of radio ads, and also as a good name for a band, according to a commenter on this blog. These disclaimers often contradict and undermine whatever the ad was about. Do you know if there is a […]

English, Language 5 Comments

Rapid Language Learning

Today I came across an interesting article entitled Rapid Language Learning, in which Konstantin Ryabitsev from Russia gives details of how he managed to learning enough French to pass TEF (Test d’Evaluation de Français). At the time he wrote the piece (2004), he was in the process of immigrating to Canada, where they favour applicants […]

French, Language, Language learning 20 Comments

Language quiz

Here is a recording of a mystery language. Can you guess or do you know which language it is and where it’s spoken? This language is written with its own alphabet.

Language, Quiz questions 5 Comments

Where in the world?

Here’s a photo of a mystery city somewhere in Asia. Do you know which city it is, which languages are spoken there, and which alphabet(s) they use?

Language, Quiz questions, Travel 12 Comments

Finger names

When chatting with some Japanese friends today, the subject of finger names came up for some reason – specifically what the different fingers are called in Japanese and English. It took quite a while to establish which finger corresponded to which name – to make this clear, I found a picture of a hand, added […]

English, Irish, Japanese, Language, Latin, Welsh 48 Comments