Monthly Archives: June 2008


eduFire, a language learning site I heard about recently. It’s designed to bring together language learners and tutors via the web using what they call ‘live video language learning’. Tutors can set their own fees, a small proportion of which is retained by the eduFire people as service charge, and students can try sample video […]

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The face fits

Yesterday I was talking to a former colleague who grew up in the UK speaking Cantonese and English and whose family comes from Hong Kong. He told me that when he meets Mandarin-speaking Chinese people, they tend to assume from his appearance he will understand them when they speak to him in Mandarin. He doesn’t. […]

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Play and learn

A professor at Michigan State University has created a free online role-playing game that teaches you Mandarin Chinese, as well as introducing you to Chinese culture, according to this report. Within the game you inhabit a virtual version of China where you can visit markets, read newspapers, watch television, chat and trade with other players […]

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I’m currently in Bangor, Gwynedd in search of a new place to live – I plan to move here soon and will be starting an MA in Linguistics at Bangor University in September. Bangor is one of the smallest cities in the UK and is an attractive place with views across the Menai Strait to […]

Chinese, Language, Travel, Welsh Comments Off on Bangor

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Do you know or can you guess which language it is? Clue: this is a Native American language. By the way, I’m trying to find a solution to the problems on the forum, but have yet to find anything that works. Suggestions are welcome.

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The other day I heard about on interesting site called Worldle, which creates word clouds out of any text you enter into it. After creating your word cloud, you can tweak the layout, colour and font settings. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to handle text in alphabets other than Latin, Greek and Cyrillic. It isn’t really […]

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As dear as …

I came across an interesting simile in the Scottish Gaelic course I’m currently working my way through: cho daor ris an t-salainn (as dear as salt), which indicates that something is very expensive. Salt must have been a luxury when this one was coined. Other Scottish Gaelic similes (samhlaidean) used to indicate that something is […]

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Doctors and nurses

The words doctor and nurse in English aren’t gender-specific, however many people expect doctors to be male and nurses female. As a result, the terms female doctor or lady doctor and male nurse are used to specify the gender of those who don’t fit such stereotypes. In Welsh a doctor is meddyg and a female […]

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Name the language

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Any ideas which language it is?

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Writing systems and manuscripts

The other day I came across an interesting article about writing systems and manuscripts in which the author divides writing systems into a number of different types such as bilinear, trilinear and quadrilinear, and equates different characteristics to the cultures using each type. Bilinear scripts occupy all the space between notional upper and lower limits, […]

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