Monthly Archives: February 2008

Word of the day – pigan

Pigan, verb = to being to rain / to start raining Etymology: pigan comes from pig, beak, spout, to interfere Example of usage: Mae hi’n pigan = Mae hi’n dechrau bwrw glaw = It’s starting to rain Related word: piglaw – heavy rain, drizzle I came across this word the other day while searching for […]

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Birdsong and language

In the Indian state of Kerala, the Brahmin priests apparently chant their prayers in something that sounds utterly unlike language but quite like birdsong, according to a post on this blog. The prayers have been passed on from generation to generation for thousands of years and might even pre-date language, according to this article. Birdsong […]

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Language learning – finding that elusive catalyst

Guest post by Rajul Chande Having found it so tough to learn languages myself, I’ve always been fascinated by how others manage to do it. So I decided to interview people who have learned languages to find those seductive but elusive “short cuts”, if they exist at all! This project is now taking shape as […]

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Language quiz

This is a song that I learnt this week at one of the choirs I go to. Does anyone know what language it’s in and what it means? We were told that it’s a “gypsy song from Czechoslovakia” and that it’s a counting song. The words look like a mixture of Romany and Spanish – […]

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Where in the world?

Here’s a photo of a mystery city. Do you know or can you guess where it is and which language is spoken there?

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Sing that to me

Researchers in France have discovered that people tend to find foreign words easier to remember if those words are sung rather than spoken according to an article I found yesterday. The researchers repeatedly played a recording of number of made-up words made using a speech synthesiser to a group people. Then they played the words […]

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Verbotomy is an interesting site I came across the over day where you’re challenged to come up with words to fit the definitions that are published daily. The definitions usually describe an every day situation and are accompanied by a cartoon. Once you join the site, you can suggest words that match the definitions, and […]

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Norwegian (Norsk)

Learning Norwegian is apparently quite a challenge, according to an article I came across yesterday. Not only do you have two written forms of Norwegian to wrestle with, but also numerous dialects of spoken Norwegian. Most Norwegian language courses teach you to read and write Bokmål, the most widely-used of the two standard written forms […]

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Language and business

In a recent survey of British businesses, a quarter of them admitted that they had lost business contracts due to the lack of language skills among their staff. The survey of more than 500 companies in the UK also found that 1 in 10 of them needed to call in translators in order to understand […]

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Language quiz

Can you work out which language the following words are in, what they mean, and/or which is the odd one out?

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