Monthly Archives: August 2013

Schnick, Schnack, Schnuck

Last weekend a couple of couchsurfers from the USA stayed with me. When they’re not surfing from sofa to sofa they live in Leipzig in Germany and one of them speaks German fluently. When she discovered that I also speak German, we started chatting in German. Even after many years of neglect my German is […]

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English, German, Language, Words and phrases 15 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken? The speaker in the recording doesn’t seem to be speaking very clearly, or this might just be how this language usually sounds.

Language, Quiz questions 7 Comments

Math math

This week I discovered that you can emphasize adjectives in Scottish Gaelic by repeating them. For example: – bha e math math air faclan a chur ri chèile ann am bàrdachd (he was very good at putting words togther in poetry). Emphasis can also be indicated with glé (very) – bha e glé mhath – […]

Chinese, English, Language, Scottish Gaelic, Words and phrases 7 Comments

Petit chenapan!

Last night at the French conversation group we were discussing how to say rascal in French, because one of the beers being served last night is called rascal. I found quite a few possible translations, each of which has slightly different meanings: vaurien = good-for-nothing, scoundrel; (to child) petit vaurien ! = you little devil! […]

English, French, Language, Words and phrases 4 Comments

Gàidhlig

This month I am focusing mainly on improving my Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig). I’ve been listening to Gaelic radio, reading various things in Gaelic, writing and recording things every day in Gaelic on my other blog, and speaking and singing to myself in the language. I plan to make another animation in Gaelic sometime this month […]

English, Language, Language learning, Scottish Gaelic 6 Comments

Spollagyn son tey

Here’s a new song that I finally finished this week after fiddling with it for months. It’s a macaronic song in Manx (Gaelic) and English that I was inspired to write after seeing young herring gulls squawking away at their mothers. I wondered what they might be saying if they could speak, and this is […]

English, Language, Manx, Music 3 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 6 Comments

Mouth to mouth with the night

I discovered an interesting idiom in Scottish Gaelic today: beul ri beul na h-oidhche, which means near nightfall, or literally “mouth to mouth with the night”. Are there interesting expressions in other languages for different times of the day? The word beul /bial̪ˠ/ means mouth; beginning; opening; edge; gunwale, and in found in such expressions […]

English, Language, Scottish Gaelic, Words and phrases 5 Comments