Monthly Archives: March 2013

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

New server

Currently I’m in the middle of moving Omniglot to a new web server provided by Kualo. This is going smoothly so far, but if you notice any error messages of other strangeness, don’t panic! The new server is managed, so any problems that might occur should be fixed quickly. My current server is ‘managed’ by […]

General Comments Off

Feeling at home in a language and culture

The other day a friend of a friend asked me whether I’d found a language and/or culture in which I felt ‘at home’. She told me about someone she knows who has studied many languages and is always looking for a language community (other than his native one) where he fits in and feels comfortable […]

Language, Language learning 1 Comment


In an email I received today the word visitants jumped out at me. The email is from a someone keen to exchange links with Omniglot as apparently their site “could be a helpful resource for your visitants”. The email is from a German speaker, I think, who seems to have coined this word, or got […]

English, Language 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

Emergent con-scripts

A while ago I had an idea for trying to construct a script with symbols based on representations of natural phenomena – animals, birds, plants, features of the landscape, etc – which would be linked to the sounds via acrophony. Then to simplify the images a number of times until I have a set of […]

Writing 3 Comments


I learnt a new word in French today: bouder, which means to sulk; to pout; to avoid; to turn one’s nose up at (sth); to refuse to have anything to do with (sb). Related expressions include: – boudant = sulking; pouting – bouder son plaisir = to deny oneself a good thing; to sulk one’s […]

Breton, English, French, Language, Words and phrases 10 Comments

Royal turkeys and other birds

Last night I discovered the Spanish word pavo real, which means peacock, or literally ‘royal turkey’, and which conjured up an image of a turkey in ermine robes wearing a crown. It also reminds me of the Mandarin Chinese word for swan, 天鵝 [天鹅] (tiān’é), which could be translated as ‘heavenly/celestial goose’. The Mandarin word […]

English, Language, Spanish 12 Comments

Iban alphabet

I thought that almost all the world’s writing systems were on Omniglot, but today I discovered another one: the Iban alphabet, which was invented in 1947 by Dunging Anak Gunggu. It’s a partly syllabic, partly alphabetic script that never really caught on, mainly because there was no tradition of writing among the Iban-speaking community. During […]

Language, Writing 3 Comments

Language quiz

Your challenge this week is to identify the con-scripts on these signs, all of which appear on Omniglot, and to decipher each one. Do you also know what the original texts were on these signs? Or can you suggest amusing alternatives? Three of the signs are in English, the other one is in Chinese.

Language, Quiz questions, Writing 14 Comments