Monthly Archives: July 2010

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you guess the language and where it’s spoken?

Language, Quiz questions 17 Comments

Government Opposition to Esperanto

Today we have a guest post by Alexis Bonari Although Esperanto arguably has the potential to serve as a unifying linguistic force, not every government has been convinced that such unification would be a good idea. Here are a few historical examples, by country, of oppression faced by Esperanto speakers: Russia From 1895-1905, the Tsar […]

Esperanto, Language 16 Comments

In-laws once removed

The other day I started wondering there are terms to describe your relationship with your in-law’s relatives. For example, my sister’s husband is my brother-in-law, but is his sister some kind of in-law to me? She is my sister’s sister-in-law, but as far I can work out, there is no particular term to describe my […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 15 Comments

Arabic pendant

Can anybody decipher the writing on this pendant, or identify the symbol on the right, which comes from the Wikipedia logo? Both were sent in by visitors to Omniglot.

Language, Puzzles, Writing 20 Comments

Conseil de l’Union européenne

If you would like to work for the Conseil de l’Union européenne (Council of the European Union, aka Consilium) or other EU institutions, you have to take the entry examinations in a second language. According to an article I came across today, the British government believes this is unfair for Brits and has arranged that […]

English, Language, Language learning 10 Comments

Name the language

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you guess the language and where it’s spoken?

Language, Quiz questions 18 Comments


One of the things we discussed last night in the French conversation group was the origins of the word poubelle (bin / trash can). Fortunately one of us had an French etymological dictionary and we discovered that such receptacles are named after Eugène Poubelle (1831-1907), a lawyer, administrator and diplomat who was préfet of the […]

English, Etymology, French, Language, Words and phrases 15 Comments