Omniglot News (23/01/22)

Here are details of the latest developments on Omniglot websites and blogs.

The new languages on Omniglot this week are:

  • Lambya (Ichilambya), a Bantu language spoken in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.
  • Chakhar (ᠴᠠᠬᠠᠷ), a variety of Mongolian spoken in the central region of Inner Mongolia in northern China.
  • Barin (ᠪᠠᠭᠠᠷᠢᠨ), a variety of Mongolian spoken in the southeast of Inner Mongolia in northern China.
  • Nusu, a Loloish language spoken in southern China and northern Myanmar/Burma.

There’s a new numbers page in: Tsakonian (τσακώνικα), a variety of Greek spoken in the Tsakonian region of the Peloponnese in Greece.

On the Omniglot blog this week there’s a post about druids or Oak Knowers, a post about Playing Around which looks at ways to say ‘to play’ in English, Portuguese and Welsh, and the usual Language Quiz.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Lambya (Ichilambya), a Bantu language spoken in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.

On the Celtiadur this week there’s a post about words for knowledge and related things in Celtic languages.

In the Adventure in Etymology we find out how the word dust is related to words such as dusk, dune and fume.

I wrote a new song about dust, which goes something like this:

I also made improvements to the Russian, Krymchak and Thai language pages, the Theban alphabet page, and the Ukrainian numbers page

For more Omniglot News see:
https://www.omniglot.com/news/
https://twitter.com/Omniglossia
https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/
https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Adventures in Etymology – Dust

Today we’re looking into the origins of the word dust.

Dust Storm 1585 and Milwaukee and Mailbox in Road

dust [dʌst] is:

  • earth or other matter in fine, dry particles.
  • a cloud of finely powdered earth or other matter in the air.
  • to wipe the dust from
  • to sprinkle with a powder or dust

It comes from the Middle English d(o)ust [du(ː)st] (dust, powder, dirt, grit), from the Old English dūst [duːst] (dust, powder), from the Proto-Germanic *dunstą [ˈdun.stɑ̃] (mist, haze, dust), from the Proto-Indo-European *dʰewh₂- (smoke, mist, haze) [source].

English words from the same PIE root include dew, dusk and dye (via Proto-Germanic), down (hill) and dune (via Proto-Celtic), and fume (via Latin) [source].

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly – an easy-to-use animated video creator [affiliate link].

I also wrote a song about dust this week, which goes something like this:

I also write about words, etymology, and other language-related topics, on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Omniglot News (16/01/22)

Here are details of the latest developments on Omniglot websites and blogs.

The new languages on Omniglot this week are:

  • Southern Qiang (Rrmearr), a Qiangic language spoken in the north of Sichuan Province in the south west of China.
  • Kumzari (لاغة كمزاري), a Western Iranian language spoken mainly in northern Oman, and also in southern Iran.
  • Weitou (圍頭話), a variety of Yue Chinese spoken in southern China, particularly in Shenzhen, and the New Territories of Hong Kong.
  • Alasha (ᠠᠯᠠᠱᠠᠨ), a variety of Mongolian spoken in Inner Mongolia in northern China.

There’s a new constructed script – Featural Lojban Abjad, which is an alternative way to write Lojban devised by Punya Pranava Pasumarty.

There are new numbers pages in: Monguor and Santa and Kumzari.

On the Omniglot blog this week there’s a post about Jargon, and the usual Language Quiz.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Eyak (dAXunhyuuga’), a Na-Dené language that was spoken in south eastern Alaska in USA, and which is being currently being revived.

The Celtiadur post this week is called Mysterious Secrets and looks at words for secret and related things in Celtic languages.

In the Adventure in Etymology this week we’re looking into the strange and unusual origins of the word bizarre.

I also made improvements to the Vietnamese language page.

For more Omniglot News see:
https://www.omniglot.com/news/
https://twitter.com/Omniglossia
https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/
https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Adventures in Etymology – Bizarre

Today we’re looking into the strange and unusual origins of the word bizarre.

Bizarre!

Bizarre [bɪˈzɑː/bəˈzɑɹ] means:

  • markedly unusual in appearance, style, or general character and often involving incongruous or unexpected elements
  • outrageously or whimsically strange
  • odd

It comes from the French bizarre [bi.zaʁ] (odd, peculiar, bizarre), either from the Basque bizar [bis̻ar] (beard), or from the Italian bizzarro [bidˈd͡zar.ro] (odd, queer, eccentric, bizarre, weird, frisky), possibly from bizza (tantrum), from the German beißen [ˈbaɪ̯sən] (to bite) [source].

In French backslang (Verlan), bizarre becomes zarbi [source] and features in the expression On est tous un peu zarbi(tes) (We’re all a little freaky), or as they as in northern England, There’s nowt so queer as folk [source].

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly – an easy-to-use animated video creator [affiliate link].

I also write about words, etymology, and other language-related topics, on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Omniglot News (09/01/22)

Here are details of the latest developments on Omniglot websites and blogs.

The new languages on Omniglot this week are:

  • Bajaw (Bajo), a Sama-Bajaw language spoken in the southern Philippines, eastern Malaysia and eastern Indonesia.
  • Inabaknon, a Sama-Bajaw language spoken mainly in Eastern Visayas Region of the Philippines.
  • Baybayanon, a Central Bisayan language spoken mainly on the island of Leyte in Eastern Visayas Region of the Philippines.

There’s a new adapated script – Ermənbası (Երմէնբասը) – which is a way to write Azerbaijani with the Armenian alphabet devised by Lily Desputeaux.

There are new numbers pages in: Buryat and Daur, which are Mongolic languages, and in Khitan, an extinct Para-Mongolic language.

On the Omniglot blog this week there’s a post about Resolutions, and the usual Language Quiz.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Bajaw (Bajo), a Sama-Bajaw language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

On the Celtiadur blog this week there are posts about words for Knives and Forks in Celtic languages.

In the Adventure in Etymology this week we’re delving into the secret and mysterious origins of the word rune.

I also made improvements to the Pohnpeian, Lun Bawang, Maguindanao, Pinyin and Melanau language pages, thanks to Wolfram Siegel.

For more Omniglot News see:
https://www.omniglot.com/news/
https://twitter.com/Omniglossia
https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/
https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Adventures in Etymology – Runes (ᚱᚢᚾᛟ)

Today we’re delving into the secret and mysterious origins of the word rune.

Runic stone - National Museum, Copenhagen

Rune [ɹuːn] means:

  • any of the characters of certain ancient alphabets of Germanic languages, esp. of Scandinavia and Britain, from about the 3rd to 13th centuries.
  • something written or inscribed in such characters.
  • something secret or mysterious.

It comes from Old Norse rún (secret, rune), from Proto-Norse ᚱᚢᚾᛟ [ˈruː.noː] (runo – secret, mystery, rune, inscription, message), from Proto-Germanic *rūnō [ˈruː.nɔː] (secret, mystery, rune), possibly from Proto-Celtic *rūnā (secret, mystery) [source].

Words for runes in Germanic languages come from the same Proto-Germanic root, including rune [ˈrynə] in Dutch, rune [rʉːnə] Norwegian, and runa in Swedish [source].

Words from the same Proto-Celtic root include rún (mystery, secret, intention, purpose, love, affection) in Irish, and rhin (secret, mystery, enchantment, virute, occult) in Welsh [source].

In Irish a rún is used as a term of affection meaning “my dear/darling”. It appears in the traditional song Siúil a Rún:

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly – an easy-to-use animated video creator [affiliate link].

I also write about words, etymology, and other language-related topics, on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Omniglot News (02/01/22)

There are two new language pages on Omniglot this week:

  • Umiray Dumaget, a Philippine language spoken in the southern Luzon in the Philippines.
  • Klata (Bagobo-Klata), a Philippine language spoken in the Davao Region in the southern Philippines.

There’s a new adapated script – lshucid (Ⴇⴐⴊⴘⴓⴚⴈⴃ) – which is a way to write Salishan languages such as Lushootseed and Nuxalk using the Georgian Nuskhuri and Asomtavruli alphabets.

There are new numbers pages in: Xibe and Jurchen, which are both Southern Tungusic languages that are, or were, spoken in northern parts of China.

On the Omniglot blog this week there’s a post about the song Auld Lang Syne, and the usual Language Quiz.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Bhojpuri (भोजपुरी), a Bihari language spoken mainly in India.

The Celtiadur post this week is about words for Ladles and Spoons in Celtic languages.

In the Adventure in Etymology this week we look at the origins of the words new and year.

I also made improvements to the Manchu numbers page, and separated the Georgian pages into one about the Georgian language, and others about the Asomtavruli, Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli alphabets.

For more Omniglot News see:
https://www.omniglot.com/news/
https://twitter.com/Omniglossia
https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/
https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Adventures in Etymology – New Year

As today is New Year’s Day, I decided to look at the origins of the words new and year. Happy New Year, by the way.

Happy New Year in various languages

New [njuː/nu] means:

  • recently made, or created
  • additional; recently discovered

It comes from the Middle English newe [ˈniu̯(ə)] (new), from the Old English nīewe [ˈni͜yː.we] (new), from Proto-Germanic *niwjaz [ˈniu̯.jɑz] (new), from Proto-Indo-European *néwyos (new), from *néwos (new). [source].

Other English words from the same root include innovate, novice and novel [source].

Year [jɪə/jɪɹ] means:

  • the time it takes any astronomical object to complete one revolution of its star

It comes from the Middle English yeer/yere (year), from the Old English ġēar [jæ͜ɑːr] (year), from the Proto-Germanic *jērą [ˈjɛː.rɑ̃] (year), from the Proto-Indo-European *yóh₁r̥ (year) [source].

Words from the same root, via the Latin hōra (hour, time, o’clock, season), include: hora (hour, time, period) in Spanish, ora (hour, time) in Italian, heure (hour, time, o’clock) in French, and hour in English [source].

Here’s a video I made of this information:

Video made with Doodly – an easy-to-use animated video creator [affiliate link].

I also write about words, etymology, and other language-related topics, on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Omniglot News (26/12/21)

The new language pages on Omniglot this week are:

  • Ratahan (Toratán), a Philippine language spoken in the Southeast Minahasa Regency in the North Sulawesi Province in Indonesia.
  • Tiruray (Teduray), a Philippine language spoken in the Mindanao Region of the Philippines.
  • Tobian (ramarih Hatohobei), a Micronesian language spoken in the Hatohobei and Koroi states in Palau .

There are new numbers pages in: Rejang, Ratahan, Bhojpuri.

On the Omniglot blog this week there’s a post about Perspective, and the usual Language Quiz.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Tokelauan (Gagana Tokelau), a Polynesian language spoken in Tokelau and New Zealand.

There are two Celtiadur posts this week: about words for heat and steps in Celtic languages.

I made a new video featuring Christmas greetings in 16 of the languages I know:

For more Omniglot News see:
https://www.omniglot.com/news/
https://twitter.com/Omniglossia
https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/
https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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Episode 50 – Solstice

As I recorded this episode 21st December, I decided to look at the meanings and origins of some seasonal words.

Solstice [ˈsɒl.stɪs/ˈsɑl.stɪs] – from Old French solstice (solstice), from the Latin sōlstitium ((summer) solstice), from sōl (sun) and sistō (to stand still) [source].

Winter solstice

Sāturnālia [ˈsɒl.stɪs/ˈsɑl.stɪs] – an ancient Roman holiday honouring Saturn, the Roman of fertility and agriculture. It began on 17th December and was originally a one-day celebration. That was extended to three days during the 2nd century BC, and later extended to seven days [source].

During this time work stopped, and businesses, schools and courts were closed. Slaves were given time off and were served by their masters. People wore colourful clothes, decorated their houses with green branches and other things, gave each other gifts, and spent time with their families and friends eating, drinking, singing, making music, gambling and generally having a good time [source].

In Germanic-speaking cultures Yule originally lasted for whole of December and January. After the arrival of Christianity, the 12 days of Christmas became the main focus of the celebrations. The word yule comes from the Middle English yol (Yuletide, Christmas), from the Old English ġēol/ġeōl (Yuletide, Christmas midwinter) [source].

December is the 12th month of the year, but in the Roman calendar it was the tenth month, and the word December comes from the Latin decem (10) [source].

In Irish December is Mí na Nollag, or literally “the month of Christmas” [source]. In Scottish Gaelic it is an Dùbhlachd, which means “the darkening” [source]. In Welsh December is Rhagfyr, which means the “foreshortening”, referring to the short days [source].

Theme tune

Friday Afternoon / Prynhawn Dydd Gwener

If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

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