Monthly Archives: August 2007

Word of the day – pachi pachi

Today’s word, パチパチ (pachi pachi) is an onomatopoeic Japanese word meaning: 1. pleasant clapping sound; 2. sound of something hot bursting open (i.e. popcorn); 3. incessant blinking It came up while I was chatting with some Japanese friends earlier today and is one of the many onomatopoeic words in Japanese. Here are some more examples: […]

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Japanese, Language 1 Comment

Shanghai Metro

There’s apparently a plan to train the staff of the Shanghai Metro in basic phrases in five major Sinitic languages in order to provide information about fares and directions to non-Mandarin-speaking domestic tourists and visitors, according to a blog post on the Shanghaiist. In response to this plan, the director of the Shanghai Language Works […]

Chinese, Language 2 Comments

Are you computarded?

When reading this blog today, I noticed a interesting word in the comments on one of the posts – computarded. It was used in the following sentence: “I made it up to the basic internet skills era (email! google search! social network site! PubMed! etc…) and beyond that I’m computarded.” This is an example of […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 6 Comments

Speaking with a foreign accent

I came across an interesting post today over on David Crystal’s blog about foreign accents. He believes that as long as other people can understand what you say in a foreign language, it doesn’t really matter if you speak it with a non-native accent. In fact your accent conveys your identity. He states that “it […]

Language, Language learning, Pronunciation 13 Comments

Language puzzle

Today’s language puzzle was sent in by Alan & Debbie Willis. It’s a clue for a Geocaching waypoint. Can you decipher it? It appears to be written in English using a Cyrillic-based cypher. Here’s what I’ve managed to work out so far: If you can read this you are on the right track congratulations. Stop […]

Language, Quiz questions 6 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a multilingual sign photographed in Waikiki, Hawaii by John Anderson. Can you identify the languages on it?

Language, Quiz questions, Words and phrases 10 Comments

Word of the day – corpus

A text corpus (pl. corpora) is a large and structured set of texts usually stored, processed and analysed electronically. They are used to do statistical analysis, checking occurrences or validating linguistic rules. They are also used by dictionary makers to find definitions of words. The word corpus comes from the Latin for body. According to […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Duxes and testamurs

Two words I came across recently that left me puzzled were dux and testamur. After some investigation, I discovered that dux is the title given to the top academic student in a graduating class of a school, and that it’s used in Scotland, Australia, New Zealand and Iceland. I understand that the US equivalent is valedictorian. […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 4 Comments

Word of the day – Bowser

Today’s word, bowser, has been mentioned a lot on the radio and on TV here recently. In the UK a bowser is a mobile water tank used to supply fresh water in emergency situations, such as the recent/current floods, where normal supplies have broken down or are insufficient. You can see some examples of water […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 8 Comments