Monthly Archives: September 2013

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 7 Comments

Glances, glimpses and peeks

This week I discovered that the French equivalent of a glance or a peek is un coup d’œil (‘a blow/stroke of the eye’), and to glance/peek is jeter un coup d’œil (‘to thow a stroke of the eye’) which I thought was an interesting way of saying it. Other ways of looking in French include […]

English, French, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 5 Comments

Cultural Immersion

When learning a language it helps if you can immerse yourself as much as possible in it. It also helps if you immerse yourself in the culture of the people who speak the language. One if the first things you learn might be the words to use to greet people, for example, but do you […]

Language, Language learning 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 2 Comments

Knowledge and seeing

I discovered today that there is a connection between the Gaelic word for knowledge, information, news – fios in Irish and Scottish Gaelic, fys in Manx – and the English words video and wit. Their roots can all be traced back to the Proto-Indo-European root woid-/wid- (to see/to know), which, according to the OED, is […]

English, Etymology, Greek, Irish, Language, Latin, Manx, Proto-Indo-European, Sanskrit, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Words and phrases 7 Comments

Avast, me hearties!

Illustration by Ghergich & Co. As I’m sure you’re aware, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, a celebration of the pirate dialect found in films and books and based on West Country English. This idea came from Dave Barry, a journalist and writing in Miami, who mentioned the idea is his newspaper column […]

English, Language 2 Comments

Cymraeg ar y trên

On my train back from London on Sunday evening the train manager started someone of his announcements Welsh. For example he said, “Croeso, welcome to this train”, and when checking tickets he said, “Diolch yn fawr, thank you very much” to everyone. I think this was the first time I’d heard Welsh being used on […]

English, Language, Welsh 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 7 Comments

Have you been bangalored recently?

I listened to an interesting programme of BBC Radio 4 this morning in which there was discussion of some of the new words that have entered the English language recently. One such word is the verb to be bangalored, which is defined on WiseGeek as follows: “To be Bangalored is to be unceremoniously replaced when […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 4 Comments

How does my language sound to you?

Yesterday I learnt that to Polish speakers Czech can sound cute, as quite a few Czech words sound like diminutives in Polish. For example cat is kot in Polish and kočka in Czech. Polish diminutives of kot are kotka and kociątko. A Czech diminutive of kočka is koťátko. What do closely related languages or varieties […]

Czech, Language, Polish 12 Comments