When I put together a page about a language on Omniglot, I discover small parts of other worlds, as each language is a kind of world unto itself. As well as learning a little about the languages , I also learn about the people who speak them, the places they live and bits and pieces of history, politics, and other topics.
Today, for example, I put together a new page about Bassari (o-niyan), a Senegambian language spoken in parts of Senegal, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau. While doing this I found out about the language, how it’s written, the people who speak it, and the geography of these countries. I sort of knew where Senegal was, but couldn’t have reliably pointed to Guinea or Guinea-Bissau on a map, and didn’t know anything about them.
It may not be much, but I find these glimpses into other linguistic worlds very interesting, and this is one of the reasons why I enjoy working on Omniglot. Although I’ll probably never meet people who speak many of the languages I write about, or visit places where they’re spoken, at least I can know something about them and visit them virtually.
In other news, I have been thinking about making several different programmes under the umbrella of Radio Omniglot. So far I’ve been making one longish podcast more or less every month. Then a few months ago I started a new series – Adventures in Etymology – a weekly dive into the wonderful world of word origins.
Originally I made some audio versions of Omniglot blog posts, then I made them into videos. This took quite a bit of time, so I decided to make shorter ones more often. At first I posted them just on Instagram and Facebook, then I added them on YouTube and Radio Omniglot as well.
I have a few ideas for other short podcasts, such as Omniglot News, which would be about recent developments on Omniglot, and language-related news. Maybe I will also make something about Celtic words I find while putting together posts for my Celtiadur, and even some language-related comedy.
Do you have suggestions for topics I could cover on Radio Omniglot?