Monthly Archives: July 2008


In my Irish language class this morning we learnt some of the abbreviations used in texts messages in Irish. Here are a few of them: grma = go raibh maith agat (thank you) cgl = ceart go leor (ok) n8 = anocht (tonight) 7n = seachtain (week) R y leat = ar mhaith leat (do […]

Irish, Language, Words and phrases 14 Comments

Iron horses

I came across the term gearrán iarainn the other day while looking for something else in my Irish dictionary. The literal meaning is ‘iron horse’ and the actual meaning is bicycle. It sounds similar to one of the early words for car – horseless carriage – and just appealed to me. I’m fairly sure it […]

Irish, Language, Words and phrases 28 Comments

Gleann Cholm Cille

I arrived in Gleann Cholm Cille in Donegal yesterday evening after a long but trouble-free journey by train, ferry and bus. The Irish Sea was very calm and the crossing was so smooth that if I hadn’t been looking out of the window, I wouldn’t have know that I was on a boat. It was […]

Language, Travel 1 Comment

Long journey

Tomorrow morning I’m off to Ireland for a week of Irish language and culture at Oideas Gael in Donegal. After this I’ll be going to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic college on the Isle of Skye, for a week of Gaelic song, and should have plenty of opportunities to speak Scottish Gaelic there as well. […]

Irish, Language, Music, Scottish Gaelic, Travel Comments Off on Long journey

Television and stinky badgers

What does television and stinky badgers have in common? Well, there’s a kind of stink badger (Mydaus javanensis) that lives in Java, Sumatra, Borneo and the North Natuna Islands of Indonesia and which called teledu /teledu/ in Malay; sigung in Indonesian. The word teledu /tɛ’lɛdɨ/ just happens to be the Welsh word for television. This […]

Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 12 Comments

Literary translation

Have you ever wondered what kind of challenges you might encounter when translating Asterix? It’s not just about translating the dialogues – there are also numerous names, verbal and visual puns, songs and accents to deal with, and you have to fit the translated text into the speech bubbles. An interesting site – Literary Translation […]

Language, Translation 11 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Do you know or can you guess which language it is, and where it’s spoken?

Language, Quiz questions Comments Off on Language quiz

Mystery songs

Today we have two questions from visitors to Omniglot. The first question comes from someone who cares for a women in the end stages of Alzheimer’s disease. She doesn’t communicate much, but when she does she usually sings a song that seems to be in Ukrainian or possibly Slovak (she is an American woman who […]

Language 16 Comments

Language teaching in primary schools

Over the past six years the number of children in primary schools learning foreign languages has doubled, according to a report in The Times. So it appears that the UK government might just achieve its aim that all primary school pupils are learning a language by 2010. The most popular language by far is French, […]

Education, Language Comments Off on Language teaching in primary schools

Word of the day – Crychydd

Today’s word, crychydd (‘krəx.ɨð) is one of the Welsh words for heron. Other words for heron include crëyr, crehyr and crŷr, which appear to be immitations of the sounds herons make. The Irish word for heron is similar – corr. Whenever I go for a walk by the sea here in Bangor, I often see […]

Language, Welsh, Words and phrases Comments Off on Word of the day – Crychydd
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