Monthly Archives: January 2011

Language quiz

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

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Language, Quiz questions 29 Comments

Ear training

Most days I listen to online radio stations in a variety of languages – at the moment I listen mainly to Scottish Gaelic, Irish and Welsh, and also to French and Czech, and occasionally to Mandarin and Cantonese. This keeps these languages ticking over in my head, and helps me learn more of them. With […]

Japanese, Language, Language learning 12 Comments

Mysterious inscription

This photo was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot who would like to find out what the writing means. To me it looks like Devanagari or a related script. Can you decipher this?

Language, Puzzles, Writing 3 Comments

On the tip of my pyramid

Last night I spoke quite a bit of Mandarin with some people from China, and while I was able to have a good conversation with them, though there were some things I couldn’t remember or didn’t know how to say. Usually when this happens I try to find another way to express the same idea, […]

Chinese, English, Language, Words and phrases 14 Comments

Language quiz

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

Language, Quiz questions 18 Comments

Cat got your tongue?

The English idiom “Has the cat got your tongue?” is used when someone remains silent in situations where they are expected to say something. It could be glossed as, “Why don’t you say anything? Your silence is suspicious.” Possible origins of this phrase are discussed on this page. The French equivalent of this idiom is […]

English, French, Idioms, Language 15 Comments

Learning a New Language – How Easy (or Difficult) is It?

Today with have a guest post by Abby Nelson I have a friend who can speak four different languages; and he’s not the kind who gets by with a few strategic words and sentences, he’s fluent in them too. If at all I envy anything in him, it is this multilingual ability which I know […]

Language, Language learning 7 Comments

Pelf

Pelf noun, money or wealth, especially if dishonestly acquired; lucre. Also a slang term for money. Etymology: from the Old French pelfre (booty); related to the Latin pilāre (to despoil). [Source] I came across this word today in The Times in an article about a British supermarket starting a pawn broking service, or more specifically […]

English, French, Language 5 Comments

Language quiz

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

Language, Quiz questions 9 Comments