Monthly Archives: July 2012

Yn Chruinnaght

Tomorrow I’m off to the Isle of Man for Yn Chruinnaght (‘the gathering’) – a celebration of Manx and Celtic music and culture featuring performers and participants from the Isle of Man, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany. I’m really looking forward to it as it’s a great opportunity to see old friends and make […]

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Breton, Cornish, English, Irish, Language, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Travel, Welsh 3 Comments

True sisters

The word for sister in Irish is deirfiúr /dʲɾʲəˈfˠuːɾˠ/, and it has always puzzled me why this word is so different from the words for sister in the other Gaelic languages: piuthar /pju.ər/ in Scottish Gaelic and shuyr /ʃuːr/ in Manx. Yesterday I discovered that deirfiúr is in fact a combination of deirbh /dʲɾʲəv/ (true) […]

English, Etymology, Irish, Language, Proto-Indo-European, Scottish Gaelic, Words and phrases 10 Comments

Press

One word for cupboard used mainly in Hiberno and Scottish English is press. When I encountered it in one of my Irish courses as a translation of the Irish word prios it puzzled me somewhat as I’d never come across this word used to mean cupboard before. Today I spotted the term linen press in […]

English, Etymology, Irish, Language, Words and phrases 7 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 14 Comments

Le trac

An interesting French word I discovered the other day is trac /tʁak/, which means nerves, stage fright or performance anxiety. Some expressions incoporating this word include: – avoir le trac = to feel nervous; to get an attack of nerves; to have stage fright – j’ai le trac = I’m nervous; I have butterflies in […]

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

Wiradjuri

I came across an interesting article today about the Wiradjuri language and how it is being revived. In 1981 only three people spoke Wiradjuri and by 2009 no native speakers remained, however since 1988 the language has been revived, thanks particularly to the efforts of Stan Grant Senior, a Wiradjuri elder, who worked with a […]

Endangered languages, Language, Language revival 2 Comments

Obrigados / Obrigadas

According to someone who wrote to me today, the words obrigados/obrigadas are only used in Portuguese to mean ‘obligated’, and are not used to thank more than one person. However, according to João Rosa, who wrote the article Obrigado – how to express your gratitude in Portuguese, these words are used to mean ‘thank you’ […]

Grammar, Irish, Language, Manx, Portuguese, Scottish Gaelic, Zulu 14 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 6 Comments