Monthly Archives: March 2013

Pantoufler

Yesterday I discovered the interesting French word pantoufler /pɑ̃.tu.fle/, which, according to Reverso means to “switch from civil service to the private sector (French elite jargon, usually to make more money)”. According to Wikpedia the related word pantouflage refers to high-level French civil servants, usually former students of the École Polytechnique or the École nationale […]

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English, French, Language, Words and phrases 6 Comments

Warming up

It’s generally a good idea to do a bit of warming up before physical activity, especially sport. It also helps to do some warm up exercises before playing a musical instrument – I usually play a few scales before launching into other pieces on the guitar and piano, for example – and vocal and physical […]

Language 6 Comments

Language learner/speaker finder

Today a friend told me about an app he’s developing that shows you where other language learners are in your vicinity and enables you to contact them to suggest a language exchange. You enter your details, including your native language(s) and the language(s) you’re learning, and it shows you if there’s anybody around who speaks […]

Language 5 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 5 Comments

Very short stories

Yesterday I came across an idea of writing very short stories in just six words. Here are some examples from Wired Magazine written by sci-fi, fantasy, and horror writers: Dinosaurs return. Want their oil back. – David Brin Lost, then found. Too bad. – Graeme Gibson Lie detector eyeglasses perfected: Civilization collapses. – Richard Powers […]

English, Language 7 Comments

Goel Peran Lowen!

Today is St Piran’s Day and a special day in Cornwall as Piran is regarded as the patron saint of Cornwall (and of tin miners), along with Saint Michael and Saint Petroc. Piran or Perran was an abbot of possibly Irish origin who lived in Cornwall in the early 6th century and later became a […]

Breton, Cornish, English, Language, Welsh 6 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 13 Comments

Potatoes from the same furrow

I discovered an interesting Welsh expression today – maen nhw’n datws o’r un rhych (‘they’re potatoes from the same furrow’), which is one equivalent of saying that they are as thick as thieves, i.e. they are close friends. Other Welsh equivalents of this expression include maen nhw’n gryn lawiau (‘they’re pretty (?) hands’); maen nhw’n […]

English, French, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 9 Comments