Monthly Archives: October 2013

Wikitongues

I came across a very useful channel on YouTube this week: Wikitongues, which is a collection of videos of people speaking many different languages, including many lesser-studied/known languages and dialects such as Gullah, Luxembourgish and K’iche’ Mayan. The videos I’ve seen so far mostly seem to involve people talking about their native languages and cultures. […]

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Language, Language learning 4 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 9 Comments

Leeds and neglected languages

I’m in Leeds this weekend for an alumni reunion – it’s twenty years since I graduated from Leeds Uni with shiny new BA in Modern Chinese and Japanese Studies, and this is only the second time I’ve been back there since then. The East Asian Studies Department, where I studied, is also celebrating its 50th […]

Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Language, Travel 4 Comments

1,000 Words Challenge

According to an article I found today in The Independent, “Everyone in Britain should learn 1,000 words of another language, a new campaign is urging, amid concerns that people lose out on jobs abroad because of poor language skills.” The 1,000 Words Challenge is apparently designed to do something about the UK’s reputation for being […]

Language 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, Quiz questions 6 Comments

Do you cahoot?

When looking through one of my dictionaries today I came across the word cahoot, which I’ve only seen before in the form cahoots, as in the expression ‘in cahoots with’, i.e. to be in partnership or in league with. The dictionary entry has the s in bracketts – cahoot(s) – so it seems this words […]

English, Etymology, Language, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Szia

The other day I discovered that the Hungarian word szia [sijɑ], which is used as a informal hello and goodbye, like ciao in Italian and ahoj in Czech and Slovak, possibly comes from the English expression ‘see you’ / ‘see ya’, at least that’s what a Hungarian friend believes. I hadn’t noticed the similarity between […]

Hungarian, Language, Words and phrases 5 Comments

Frequently-used words

One piece of language learning advice that is quite widely preached is that you should concentrate on learning the most frequently -used words in a language at first, before learning less common words. By doing so you should have enough words to be able to understand and talk about everyday kinds of things. The advice […]

English, Language, Language learning 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 7 Comments

Attitudes of minority languages speakers to learners

A friend of mine posted an interesting question on Regional, Minority & Indigenous Languages group on Facebook: “Has anyone ever experienced rejection or hostility from a minority group for learning their language?” This generated a lot of discussion. Sometimes when I speak Welsh to people in shops in Bangor they will reply in English. I […]

Endangered languages, Language, Language learning 11 Comments