Monthly Archives: December 2012

Language quiz

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

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Language, Quiz questions 15 Comments

Scripts and alphabets

I tend to use the words script and alphabet fairly interchangeably – I might talk about the Arabic script or the Arabic alphabet, for example. However I just noticed today that Wikipedia has one page on the Cyrillic script, which focuses mainly on the history of the script/alphabet, and separate pages for Cyrillic alphabets as […]

Language, Writing 9 Comments

Selective attention

The other day an English guy who has lived in Wales for many years and who doesn’t speak Welsh told me that when he listens to people speaking Welsh, he hears lots of English words, words derived from English, and words from French or Latin, so he believes that Welsh is made up mainly of […]

French, Irish, Language, Latin, Welsh 8 Comments

Seasons Greetings!

A multilingual Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Language, Welsh 2 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 8 Comments

Origins of hard-to-pronounce sounds

According to an article I came across today, hard-to-pronounce sounds in languages might have developed to show who belongs to particular groups and who doesn’t. Apparently ancient tribal groups recognised that such sounds are a good way to identify ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’, something they considered very important, as the sounds can only be made properly […]

Language 9 Comments

Ithkuil

Here’s an interesting article in the New Yorker about conlangs and specifically about Ithkuil, which, according to its creator, John Quijada, is “an idealized language whose aim is the highest possible degree of logic, efficiency, detail, and accuracy in cognitive expression via spoken human language, while minimizing the ambiguity, vagueness, illogic, redundancy, polysemy (multiple meanings) […]

Conlangs, Language 5 Comments

Blue stones

An interesting Breton word I came across today is mein-glas, or slates (literally, ‘blue stones’). The French equivalent is ardoises, which I had to look up as it’s not a word that crops up every day, unless you’re a roofer or builder. The Breton word is made up of mein (stones – singular maen) and […]

Breton, English, French, Language 12 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 17 Comments

Zizolo

I came across a word that particularly appealed to me in my Breton lesson today – zizolo (discovering) in the sentence Ar vro a zizolo bemdez en doare-se (He discovers the country every day in this way) – referring to Gwennole who goes cycling a lot. It is a mutated form of dizolo (to discover), […]

Breton, English, Language 5 Comments