Monthly Archives: December 2011

Language quiz

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

Language, Quiz questions 12 Comments

Word Association Study

Researchers in Belgium would like your help with a Word Association Study. It shouldn’t take too long and is suitable for any fluent English speakers. Like this:Like Loading…

Language Comments Off on Word Association Study

Dros ben llestri

The Welsh idiom, dros ben llestri (literally, “over (the) dishes/crockery”), means ‘over the top’, as in excessive, exaggerated or beyond reasonable limits. The phrase dros ben on its own means “residual, spare; extra, extremely, indeed, over”. I’m not sure how this phrase came to be associated with exaggeration. In French there are a number of […]

English, Etymology, French, Idioms, Language, Words and phrases 1 Comment

Tables, chairs, stools and cathedrals

The Russian word for table (the piece of furniture) is стол (/stol/) which sounds a bit like stool in English. In most other Slavic languages the words for table are simliar: стол (Belarusian), stol (Croatian), stůl (Czech), stolŭ (Old Church Slavonic = throne, seat), stół (Polish), сто (Serbian), stôl (Slovak) and стіл (Ukrainian). Although in […]

English, Etymology, French, Language, Latin, Proto-Indo-European, Russian 2 Comments

Free language learning ebook

Andrew Weiler, who runs the website Strategies in Language Learning is currently giving away a free ebook entitled “7 Mistakes to Avoid to successfully Learn A Foreign Language” at Language Learning Unlocked. To get a copy of the ebook, all you have to do is to fill in a questionnaire about language learning, which should […]

Language, Language learning Comments Off on Free language learning ebook

Language quiz

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

Language, Quiz questions 11 Comments

Promenades, walks and rides

In French the word promenade (f) /pʀɔm.nad/ can mean a walk: une promenade à pied; a drive: une promenade en voiture, or a (bicycle / horse / sleigh) ride: une promenade à velo / à cheval / en traîneau. You can also talk about going on une promenade en mer / en bateau (a boat […]

English, Etymology, French, Language, Latin 5 Comments

Striggles, sniggles and squiggles

I came across the word striggle /ˈstrɪg(ə)l/ – a wavy line, while looking for something else in the OED. It’s a portmanteau of straggle and wiggle, and it caught my attention because I hadn’t encountered it before, and because it appeals to me. Other words that look and sound like they’re related include squiggle (to […]

English, Etymology, Language 4 Comments
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