Monthly Archives: November 2015

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

Polyglot Pathways

If you’re a polyglot who learns languages for fun, you might choose languages from a particular family or region, or languages that have contributed to your mother tongue. Or you might choose ones that are completely unrelated to one another in order to challenge yourself. These are possible pathways a polyglot might pursue. Another possible […]

English, Language, Language learning 3 Comments

French and potatoes

I came across an interesting phrase in Scottish Gaelic today: Ith do bhuntàta beag mus dig na Frangaich!, which means “eat your small potatoes before the French come!” and it is apparently said to children picking at their food to encourage them to eat up [source]. Are there similar phrases in other languages, perhaps used […]

English, Idioms, Language, Scottish Gaelic, Words and phrases 8 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

Word of the Year

According to the Oxford Dictionaries the word of the year for 2015 is not a word at all but an emoji, specifically the ‘Face with Tears of Joy’: Do you use emoji(s)? Is the plural emoji or emojis? Do you think of them as words? What’s your word of the year?

English, Language, Words and phrases 3 Comments

La vie de baguette

The best-known type of French bread is the baguette, which was possibly introduced to France in the early 19th century by August Zang from Austria, though that’s another story. Baguettes only stay fresh for a day, so what do you do with them once they start to go hard? Here are a few possibilities: Here’s […]

English, French, Language 9 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 9 Comments

Free Language Podcast

Yesterday I did an interview over Skype with Chapman Woodriff, who runs FreeLanguage.org, which provides a variety of language-learning material and advice. Chapman made the interview into a podcast in which I explain how I got into languages, how I started Omniglot and how people can use Omniglot to learn languages.

English, Language, Language learning 1 Comment

Mandarin or Putonghua?

Today I received an email in which the writer tells me that Chinese should be called Putonghua and not Mandarin. Apparently, “People don’t know, and school teachers don’t care! obviously; leaving me to inform: The name ‘Mandarin’ has been obsolete 105 years now.” The name Mandarin was used for a ‘Manchurian high official’ who spoke […]

Chinese, English, Language 10 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 15 Comments
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