Here’s a recording in a mystery language.
Do you know or can you guess the language?
One of the interesting words that came up in my Finnish lessons recently is iloinen [ˈilo̞i̯ne̞n], which means happy, cheerful, glad or merry.
It comes from ilo (joy, happiness, delight, pleasure, love, lover) from the Proto-Finnic *ilo (joy, delight, happiness), and the adjective suffix -inen [source].
Some related words include:
Related words in other languages include: ilo (joy, happiness) in Ingrian, ilo (fun, joy) in Veps, ilo (joy, elation, happiness, celebration) in Votic, and illu (happiness) in Northern Sami, which was borrowed from Finnish [source].
A related word in Estonian, ilu, used to mean joy delight, happiness or glee, but now means beauty, splendor or ornament [source].
Incidentally, the word ilo (tool) in Esperanto is completely unrelated [source]. It’s a back-formation from the suffix -ilo, which means an instrument or a tool for performing the action of the root. For example, tondilo (scissors) comes from tondi (to shear), and komputilo (computer) comes from komputi (to count, compute) [source].
Ilo can be combined with other suffixes to make words such as ilaro (a set of tools), ilujo (toolbox), and ilarujo (a toolbox for a toolset) [source].
If you’d like to learn some Finnish, you could try FinnishPod101 [Affiliate link], which looks pretty good, and you can try it for free. Here’s a sample:
What links the words desk, dais, disc, disco, dish and discus?
The answer is, they share the same roots: the Latin word discus (a discus, quoit, dish-shaped object, disc of a sundial), but arrived in English via different routes [source].
Desk comes from the Middle English deske (a reading desk or lecturn), from the Medieval Latin desca, from the Latin discus [source].
Dais (a raised platform in a room for a high table, a seat of honour, a throne, or other dignified occupancy) comes from the Middle English deis (podium, dais, high table), from the Anglo-Norman deis (dais, high seat/table, table of honour), from the Old French deis/dois, from the Latin discum, the accusative singular of discus [source].
Disc (a thin, flat, circular plate or similar object; a gramophone record) comes from the French disque (disc, discus, record, disk), from the Latin discus [source].
Disco, is an abbreviation of discoteque, which was borrowed from the French discothèque (discotheque, nightclub), from disque (disc, record) and bibliothèque, (library). It originally it meant “a library of discs/records”. Disque comes from the Latin discus [source].
Dish comes from the Middle English disch (dish, plate, bowl, discus), from the Old English disċ (plate, dish), from the Proto-West Germanic *disk (dish) from the Latin discus [source].
Discus comes directly from the Latin discus, from the Ancient Greek δίσκος (dískos – disc, dish, round mirror), the origins of which are uncertain [source].
Disk is used interchangeably with disc, and means more or less the same things. However, it comes straight from the Ancient Greek δίσκος [source].
In an email I received yesterday the phrase “I teach school” appeared. Although I understand what it means, it sounds a bit strange to me. I suppose it’s a difference between American English and British English.
If I were a teacher, I might say that “I teach in/at a school”, “I’m a teacher” or just “I teach”, but not “I teach school” – that sounds to me like I teach a subject called ‘school’. You could also say “I teach languages/music/physics/[insert name of subject]” or “I teach school children [subject]”.
Would American English speakers, of speakers of other flavours of English, say “I teach college”, “I teach university” or “I teach kindergarten”, or is this structure just used with school? Is it used only in informal writing/speech, or also in formal writing/speech?
The French word chez [ʃe] is used to mean ‘to, at, in or into a home, office etc’. For example, chez moi means ‘at my house’, and chez le dentiste means ‘at the dentist’.
It can also mean ‘to, at or in a country or other place’, e.g. une spécialité bien de chez nous = ‘a true specialty of our country’. In the title of this post I use chez nous to indicate we are in the world of Omniglot.
Other meanings include: ‘in or among a group of people or things of the same type’, e.g. chez les chiens = ‘among dogs’, or ‘in the work of an author or artisit’ – chez Baudelaire = ‘in Baudelaire’s work’ [source].
It has been borrowed into English and just means ‘at the home of’ [source].
Chez comes from the Middle French chez (in the house/home of), from the Old French chies (house), from the Latin casa (hut, cottage, cabin, small farm, dwelling, house), the origins of which are uncertain [source].
The French word case [kaz], which means a box or a square in a board game, and used to mean a hut, cabin or shack, comes from the same roots, as do words like casino in English (via Italian), and casa, which means house in most Romance languages [source].
Another word for house in Spanish is hogar [oˈɡaɾ], which appeared in my Spanish lessons today and inspired this post. It also means fireplace, hearth, fireside, furnace, home, home life, family life, housekeeping, homeland or household.
Is it used more in some Spanish-speaking countries than in others?
It comes from the Old Spanish fogar, from the Vulgar Latin focāris, from the Latin focus (fireplace, hearth, brazier, house, family), the origin of which is uncertain [source].
Related words in Spanish include hogareño (home, family, fireside; (of a person) home-loving, stay-at-home), hoguera (bonfire, blaze) and hogaraza (large loaf, cottage loaf).
Related words in other languages include focus and foyer in English, words for fire in Romance languages, such as fuego in Spanish and feu in French [source], and a Greek word for brazier, φουφού [fuˈfu], via Turkish and Italian [source].
Recently I started learning Finnish – I have a few Finnish friends, and just like the sound of the language. I’m currently using Duolingo, and may try other apps and resources.
One of the words that comes up quite often in my lessons is kaunis [ˈkɑ̝u̯nis̠], which means beautiful, pretty, or fair (weather). For example, Hän on todella kaunis (She is really beautiful).
It comes from the Proto-Finnic *kaunis (beautiful), from the Proto-Germanic *skauniz (beautiful, shining) from the PIE *(s)kewh₁- (to perceive, pay attention) [source].
Related words include:
Words from the same Proto-Finnic root include kaunis (beautiful) in Estonian, kaunis (pretty, beautiful) in Karelian, and kauniz (red) in Votic [source].
Words from the same Proto-Germanic root include sheen in English, skön (fair, beautiful, comfortable, pleasurable) in Swedish, schoon (clean, beautiful) in Dutch, schön (beautiful, lovely, pretty, good, great, nice) in German, and שיין (sheyn – beautiful, pretty, cute, handsome, nice) in Yiddish [source].
Have you learnt any languages because you like the sound of them?