Monthly Archives: September 2015

sina toki ala toki e toki pona?

Last week I started learning Toki Pona, the language consisting of just 120 words created by Sonja Lang in 2001. I’ve been thinking about giving it a try since the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin last year, when I went to talk about the language and met people who speak it, and Sonja herself. It’s an […]

English, Language, Language learning, Toki Pona 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 5 Comments

Custard sandwiches and pancakes

The Welsh word for sandwich is brechdan [ˈbrɛxdan], which comes from the Irish word brechtán (butter, fat), according to the Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru. However according to MacBain’s Dictionary, is related to the Scottish Gaelic word for pancake, breacag, which is related to breachdan (custard), which comes from the Middle Irish breachtán (a roll), which is […]

English, Irish, Language, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Words and phrases Comments Off on Custard sandwiches and pancakes

Retronym

I learnt an interesting word today – retronym – a new name for something that already existings that distinguishes the original from a more recent version. For example, ebooks are becoming increasingly popular, so there’s a need for a new word for non-ebooks. On the program I heard the word retronym, Word of Mouth, they […]

English, Language, Words and phrases 1 Comment

Waiter!

When you’re in a restaurant or café, how do you get the attention of a waiter/waitress? This cartoon shows how it can be difficult in France. The customer in the cartoon first says “Please”, then “Sir/Mr”, then “Waiter”, then ‘Can I order?’, then a hour later the waiter finally speaks to him and says, “Sir, […]

English, French, 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 4 Comments

A’a

One Hawaiian word that is used in English is a’a, which is defined as “a kind of rough-surface volcanic rock” [source]. However in Hawaiian it is written ʻaʻā, pronounced [ʔəˈʔaː] and means: 1. to burn, blaze, glow; fire; staring (eyes) 2. lava; stony, abounding with ʻaʻā lava 3. Sirius (the star) 4. young stage of […]

English, Hawaiian, Language, Words and phrases 4 Comments

Jenga

In the Bangor Community Choir last night we started learning a new song entitled Jenga by Juliet Russell. We were told that the song uses made-up words that don’t mean anything in particular, and it has no connection to the game of Jenga. One of my friends thought the word jenga might mean something like […]

English, Language, Music, Songs, Swahili, Words and phrases Comments Off on Jenga

Sniglets

I learned an interesting new word from the radio yesterday – sniglet – which is defined as “any word that doesn’t appear in the dictionary, but should”. It was apparently popularized by the comedian/actor Rich Hall while he was working on Not Necessarily the News, an HBO comedy series from the 1980s, who has also […]

English, Language, Words and phrases Comments Off on Sniglets

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
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