Monthly Archives: March 2017

Chut-chut

Yesterday I discovered an interesting resource for learning Russian – Russian Podcast, which includes a series of conversations in Russian with transcripts. There are also videos featuring conversations with various people, with subtitles in Russian and English. These are called vodcasts, which is a new word to me. Most of the material is free, but […]

English, Language, Language learning, Russian Leave a comment

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 1 Comment

Mug shots

When listening to the Answer Me This podcast today I heard some discussion of mug shots, which got me thinking about the origins of that name. According to Wiktionary, a mug shot (or mugshot) is: 1. A photograph taken of the head and shoulders, often from the front and in profile, usually taken in conjunction […]

Language Leave a comment

Special offer from Rocket Languages

This week Rocket Languges are celebrating their 13th Anniversary with a 4-day sale starting today and continuing until Friday 17th March, or until they’ve sold 1,000 courses. During this time you can get 60% off any of their online language courses, which include: French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese (Mandarin), German, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, Hindi, ASL, Korean, […]

Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Language, Language learning, Portuguese, Russian, Sign language, Spanish Leave a comment

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

How to become a language expert in no time

Today we have a guest post from Sebastien Marion As most expats would agree, the best way to learn a language is to go abroad. When abroad, you are immersed in the culture and are forced to speak the language. But whether you are abroad already or trying to improve your language skills from home, […]

English, Language, Language learning, Spanish Leave a comment

Protagonists and sidekicks

When listening to The Allusionist podcast today I learnt an interesting word – tritagonist, who was the actor who played the third role in ancient Greek drama. Tritagonist comes from the Ancient Greek word τρίτἀγωνιστής (triagōnistḗs), from τρίτ ‎(third) and ἀγωνιστής ‎(combatant, participant). The actors who played the first and second roles in ancient Greek […]

English, Etymology, Greek, Irish, Language, Latin, Proto-Indo-European, Scots, Swedish, Welsh, Words and phrases Leave a comment

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 8 Comments

Pull up a pew

One thing that came up in the French Conversation Group last night was church pews, and particularly how uncomfortable they are. We discovered that in French a pew is un banc (d’église). Banc also means seat or bench, and can mean other things in combination with other words: – banc de sable = sandbank – […]

English, Etymology, French, Language, Proto-Indo-European, Words and phrases 2 Comments

The white light of the world

An interesting and useful Russian word I came across today is свет [svʲet], which means light, and also lights, lighting, day, radiance, power, electricity, world and (high) society. It comes from the Old East Slavic свѣтъ ‎(světŭ – light; world), from Proto-Slavic *světъ ‎(light; world), from the Proto-Balto-Slavic *śwaitas, from the Proto-Indo-European *ḱwoytos / *ḱweytos […]

Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Etymology, German, Language, Norwegian, Polish, Proto-Indo-European, Russian, Slovak, Swedish, Words and phrases 2 Comments
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