Monthly Archives: December 2008

Language barrier

According to an article in The Guardian, a man who planned to walk 9,000 miles to Mahatma Gandhi’s birthplace in India without money found the language barrier insurmountable when he arrived in France. His aim was to show that a world without money is possible, and he thought he could obtain food and shelter in […]

Language, Language learning, Travel Comments Off on Language barrier

Word of the day – flollop

Today’s word, flollop, is used in Douglas Adam’s book, Life, the Universe, and Everything, to describe the movement of a mattress: The mattress flolloped around. This is a thing that only live mattresses in swamps are able to do, which is why the word is not in more common usage. In the book it is […]

English, Language, Literature Comments Off on Word of the day – flollop

Christmas / Navidad / Weihnachten / Natal

A multilingual Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! Glædelig jul og godt nytår Καλά Χριστούγεννα και Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Ετος Bonan Kristnaskon kaj feliĉan novan jaron Танд кристмас ба шинэ жилийн мэнд хүргэе Chúc Giáng Sinh Vui Vẻ và Chúc Năm Mới Tốt Lành (A freylikhe nitl un a guter nayer yor) […]

Language Comments Off on Christmas / Navidad / Weihnachten / Natal

Language of the month

On a recent edition of Word of Mouth, the BBC Radio 4 programme about language, they talked about an interesting scheme at a primary school in London where over 40 different languages are spoken by the pupils. Each month one language is chosen as the language of the month, and a pupil who speaks that […]

Education, Language, Language learning Comments Off on Language of the month

Colours / Lliwiau

This week I’ve been gathering data for a project comparing the colour vocabulary of Welsh/English bilinguals and monolingual English speakers. The aims of the project are to find out which colour words people know, which order they name them in, and whether the bilinguals name different colours in Welsh and English. All I have to […]

Bilingualism, Language, Linguistics Comments Off on Colours / Lliwiau

Safeguarding German

Plans are afoot in Germany to add mention of the German language to the German constitution, according to this report. At their recent party conference, the ruling Christian Democrats voted to add the words, “The language of the Federal Republic of Germany is German” to Article 22 of the constitution. They hope this will help […]

French, German, Language Comments Off on Safeguarding German

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Do you know or can you guess which language it’s in?

Bilingualism, Language, Language acquisition 1 Comment


A useful-looking website I heard about today is Lang-8, which describes itself as a a social networking service site for language exchange and international communication. Users can write journal entries in a language they’re learning, and get them corrected by native speakers of that language. There are also groups for particular language combinations, e.g. Japanese […]

Identity, Language exchange, Language learning Comments Off on Lang-8

Bilingualism and Emotion 2

I just want to thank those of you who completed the questionnaire on bilingualism and emotion. There were 36 responses all together, and I’ll be giving a presentation about it tomorrow. The information collected was very interesting, and wasn’t entirely what we expected. For example, the number of people who preferred to use their first […]

Bilingualism, Linguistics Comments Off on Bilingualism and Emotion 2
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