Monthly Archives: August 2011

Easy Languages Language Trip Giveaway

Today over on The Language Traveler they’re launching their first ever language trip giveaway. The grand prize is 2 weeks of French lessons, including accommodation, in Brussels in Belgium valued at €795 or approximately US$1,100. To participate, eligible visitors simply have to leave a comment on the announcement post. The winner will then be randomly […]

French, Language, Language learning Comments Off on Easy Languages Language Trip Giveaway

Language quiz

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

Language, Quiz questions 10 Comments

Crusts, hogwash and turnspits

On the BBC Four programme If Walls Could Talk: The History of the Home, that I watched last night, they discussed the possible origins of a number of expressions, including by hook and by crook, upper crust, hog wash, turnspit and so on. By hook and by crook – by whatever means necessary. In medieval […]

English, Etymology, Language, Words and phrases 1 Comment

Red herrings and white elphants

Today I came an interesting site called Phrases, Expressions & Sayings that provides information about the origins of sayings, proverbs and other expressions in English. Here are a few examples: Red herring Meaning: A false trail; something that provides a false or misleading clue. Example: The hounds followed the scent of the red herring rather […]

Language 3 Comments

Making friends around the world

The other day I met a fan of Omniglot from Spain who told me how much she loves Omniglot, especially the phrases section because it helps her make friends all round the world. It was wonderful and encouraging to hear this. Some other nice things people have said about Omniglot. The phrases section actually started […]

Language, Language learning 8 Comments

Language quiz

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

Language, Quiz questions 15 Comments

The Endangered Alphabets Project

Today we have a guest post by Tim Brookes The Endangered Alphabets Alphabets Project is expanding in several directions at once, and at times my head spins. The original exhibition of 14 carved version of Article One of the UDHR (thanks to Omniglot) is venturing farther and farther afield. It’s currently in the spacious and […]

Language, Writing Comments Off on The Endangered Alphabets Project

Peu profond

Last night I discovered that there doesn’t appear to be a separate French word for shallow, at least when you’re talking about shallow water, dishes or graves – the term peu profond (‘not very deep’) is used in these cases. If you’re talking about a shallow person, mind, writing, novel, film or conversation though, the […]

English, Etymology, French, Language, Latin, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Ingrown languages

In an interesting book I read recently, What Language Is by John McWhorter, the author discusses why some languages appear a lot more complicated or ‘ingrown’ than others. He gives the example of Persian and Pashto, two Iranian languages spoken in a number of countries in western and central Asia. Whereas Persian has more or […]

Arabic, English, Language, Language acquisition, Language learning, Spanish 7 Comments


This inscription, sent in by a visitor to Omniglot, appears on silver pendant which is apparently Tuareg. I think it might be South Arabian. Can you identify the script and/or decipher it?

Language, Puzzles 5 Comments
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