Monthly Archives: March 2008

Language quiz

Here’s a text in a mystery language sent in by Renato Figueiredo. Any ideas which language it’s in and where it’s spoken? Papa tumus su in kosao, E’los oal payi. Togusaï lalos tuku. Orok ma nu fwalu, ou elos oru in kosao. Kite kit len si ini ma kut mono misini: A nunok munas nu […]

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Accents and the brain

A researcher at University College London who is looking into how we come by our accents, among other things, has found that more of the brain is involved in speech than previously thought. An article in The Times explains how the brain of an impressionist was scanned while he was saying short phrases in a […]

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Irish language resources

Here are a couple of online resources I came across today for learning Irish: Everyday Irish – a series of Irish language lessons by Liam Ó Maonlaí, lead singer of the Hothouse Flowers, and offered for free by the Irish Independent. The lessons are in the form of mp3s with accompanying worksheets in PDF format. […]

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Emperors, antiquarians and elephants

What do the above have in common? Well, believe or not they’re different sizes of paper in the English Imperial system. An emperor is the largest size – 72 × 48 (all measurements in inches), an antiquarian is 53 × 31, and an elephant is 28 × 23. There are also double elephants (40 × […]

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Double letters in txt msgs

This is a guest post by by Siôn Jobbins. Wrth tecstio yn Gymraeg ar fy ffôn poced dwi’n ceisio osgoi defnyddio llythrennau dwbwl gan fod hynny’n cymryd gormod o amser. Mae’n hawdd peidio dyblu ‘n’ ac ‘r’ (a dweud y gwir, dwi ddim yn deall pam na wnaeth John Morris Jones gael gwared arnyn nhw […]

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Language quiz

Here’s a recording of a song in a mystery language. Any ideas which language it is and where it’s spoken? [Update] Here are the lyrics of the song: Ferðist eg í millum landa Síggi gleði sorg og stríð Men ein myndin bjørt man standa Minnir meg um bestu tíð Ja har heima í tí dali […]

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Phatic expressions

“Well”, “there you are then”, “Oh dear!” and “That’s life!” are all examples of phatic expressions, which are used as conversation openers, to establish and maintain contact with people, to show that you’re listening, and/or to give you time to think of something else to say. They don’t usually have much meaning in themselves. Greetings […]

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When I was at university I used flashcards quite a lot to learn Chinese characters and vocabulary in Chinese and Japanese. After I’d learnt each character, I stuck the cards on the wall and eventually they covered almost ever inch of wallspace. Since then however, I’ve rarely used flashcards. They are quite effective, if you […]

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Word of the day – timeboxing

I came across the term timeboxing today on this blog. When I first read it, it conjured up images of someone boxing with a clock. Now I know that it’s a technique for managing your time that’s often used for software development projects. It involves setting yourself set ‘boxes’ of time to do things, but […]

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Devanagari Ligatures in Sanskrit Fonts

This is another guest post by Marcis Gasuns. Namaskar, It’s been a problem ever since the first font was created and never truly solved until this day. The typefaces used to print Monier-Williams Sanskrit dictionary or MacDonnell’s Grammars have not been beaten by the PC fonts – they are much weaker. The god of typography […]

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