Monthly Archives: September 2007

Language hotspots

The Enduring Voices Project, which I came across today on the National Geographic website, has the aims of documenting endangered languages and preventing language extinction by identifying the most crucial areas where languages are endangered and embarking on expeditions to: Understand the geographic dimensions of language distribution Determine how linguistic diversity is linked to biodiversity […]

Endangered languages, Language, Language revival 8 Comments

Being bilingual 有很多好處

The other day I found an interesting interview with Professor Laura-Ann Petitto, a cognitive neuroscientist who has spent the past 29 years seeking to uncover the biological and environmental factors that affect how humans acquire language and how language is organized in the brain. The main aim of her research is the find the biological […]

Language, Language acquisition 7 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a multilingual ingredients list from a packet of dried pineapples I bought while in the Czech Republic. How of the languages on it can you recognise? As we haven’t had any language quizzes for a while, I thought it was time for one. Also, I’m off to London this evening for a class in […]

Language 13 Comments

Back to Brighton

I arrived back in Brighton yesterday afternoon after a week in the Czech Republic and Germany, which was great fun. Prague was stunning and well worth another visit – the day and a bit I had there wasn’t really enough to take it all in. August is apparently a better time to visit, as it […]

Czech, German, Language, Travel, Welsh 16 Comments

Bohemia and Saxony by bike

Tomorrow I’m off for week’s holiday in the Czech Republic and Germany with Explore Worldwide. I’ll be flying to Prague early tomorrow morning, then cycling north along the Vltava and Elbe rivers to Meissen in Germany, via Mělník, Litoměřice, Děčín, Pirna, Dresden, and quite a few castles, churches, cathedrals and palaces. After that I’ll go […]

Czech, German, Language, Travel 9 Comments


Here’s a game similar to sudoku called LingDoku (illustration top right), which is designed for linguists. According to the Speculative Grammarian, the site where I came across it, “LingDoku simplifies the logical components of SuDoku, and introduces a thin veneer of linguistics which confuses outsiders while making linguists feel superior.”. The rules of LingDoku are […]

Language, Linguistics 9 Comments


Degrammaticalization, a word I stumbled across on this blog today, is the process through which grammatical affixes become independent words. A good example is ish, which started off as a suffix on words like longish, shortish, etc. Then became an enclitic – an affix that can be detached from the words it would normally be […]

English, Esperanto, Grammar, Language, Words and phrases 11 Comments

New Cantonese phrases

The Cantonese phrases page on Omniglot now includes quite a lot of new phrases with sound files. If you’re able to make recordings of any of the other phrases, do let me know. I also have new phrases and sounds files for Mandarin, Japanese and Thai, which I’ll be adding to the site soon. These […]

Chinese, Language, Language learning, Words and phrases 1 Comment

Is Russian losing ground?

Since the break up of the Soveit Union, Russian has been losing ground in many of the former Soviet Republics, according to an article I found the other day. The “Year of the Russian Language”, which was officially opened in Paris in August, is an effort to address this trend by promoting the Russian language […]

Language, Language learning, Russian 13 Comments

Esperanto in Ukraine

According to a report I came across today, the Ukrainian Department of Education has recommended that Esperanto be taught in all schools in Ukraine. It is currently taught as an optional subject in some schools, but the Minister of Education believes that “Esperanto can help to make Ukraine the centre of Europe”. A Ukrainian teacher […]

Esperanto, Language, Language learning 28 Comments
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