Episode 18 – Adventures in Polyglotland

In this episode I bring you news from the 2019 Polyglot Gathering, an annual get-together of polyglots and language lovers from all over the world. This year the Polyglot Gathering took place in Bratislava, Slovakia for the third time – it started in 2015 in Berlin, and was there for three years, then moved to Bratislava. The next Gathering will be in Teresin, near Warsaw in Poland from 26-30 May 2020.

I was planning to interview people at the Gathering, and to keep an audio diary, but was enjoying myself too much and decided to give you a flavour of the event after I got home. So this is the story of my Adventures in Polyglotland.

My badge from the Polyglot Gathering showing the languages I speak fluently, or at least fairly well:

My badge from the 2019 Polyglot Gathering

N = native language, C = advanced level, B = intermediate level, A = basic / elementary level, en = English, cy = Cymraeg (Welsh), zh = 中文 [zhōngwén] – (Mandarin Chinese), ga = Gaeilge (Irish), es = español (Spanish), de = Deutsch (German), eo = Esperanto, gd = Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic), ja = Japanese, gv = Gaelg Vanninagh (Manx Gaelic), ru = Русский [Russkij] (Russian), cs = český (Czech), sv = Svenska (Swedish), da = Dansk (Danish).

Information about polyglot events: http://www.omniglot.com/events/

Music featured in this episode

Bear With Me / Aros am yr Arth

See the score for this tune

Echoes on the Tongue / Atseiniau ar y Tafod

See the score for this tune

Episode 17 – Slang

Slang argot jargon patter cant patois lingo

In this episode we have a little natter about slang – what it is, where it comes from, and how it’s used.

Here are a few definitions of slang:

  1. language peculiar to a particular group: such as argot or jargon.
  2. an informal nonstandard vocabulary composed typically of coinages, arbitrarily changed words, and extravagant, forced, or facetious figures of speech.

Source: Merriam-Webster

  1. A kind of language occurring chiefly in casual and playful speech, made up typically of coinages and figures of speech that are deliberately used in place of standard terms for added raciness, humor, irreverence, or other effect.
  2. Language peculiar to a group; argot or jargon.

Source: wordnik (from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition)

  • colloquial words and phrases which have originated in the cant or rude speech of the vagabond or unlettered classes, or, belonging in form to standard speech, have acquired or have had given them restricted, capricious, or extravagantly metaphorical meanings, and are regarded as vulgar or inelegant.

Source: wordnik (from The Century Dictionary)

  1. very informal usage in vocabulary and idiom that is characteristically more metaphorical, playful, elliptical, vivid, and ephemeral than ordinary language, as Hit the road.
  2. speech and writing characterized by the use of vulgar and socially taboo vocabulary and idiomatic expressions.
  3. the jargon of a particular class, profession, etc.
  4. the special vocabulary of thieves, vagabonds, etc.; argot.

Source: Dictionary.com

  • language (words, phrases, and usages) of an informal register that members of particular in-groups favor (over the common vocabulary of a standard language) in order to establish group identity, exclude outsiders, or both.

Source: Wikipedia

The origins of the word slang are not known. It was first used in writing in 1756 to refer to the language of “low” or “disreputable” people, or the “special vocabulary of tramps or thieves”. It possibly comes from the same root as sling, from the Old Norse slyngva (to hurl) [source]

Links

Information about slang
https://www.britannica.com/topic/slang
https://www.alphadictionary.com/articles/what_is_slang.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Back_slang
https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-back-slang-1689156M
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verlan

Details of specific words: natter, chat, gob (English), gob (Irish), mush, fika

Slang dictionaries
Green’s Dictionary of Slang
A Dictionary of Slang (British English)
Cockney Rhyming Slang
The Online Slang Dictionary (American, English, and Urban slang)

Music featured in this episode

The Scampering Squirrels / Y Gwiwerod sy’n Prancio

See the score for this tune

The Unexpected Badger / Y Mochyn Daear Annisgwyl

See the score for this tune

Episode 8 – Polyglottery

This epsiode is about polyglottery and was partly recorded at the 2018 Polyglot Conference in Ljubljana in Slovenia.

I talk about what is a polyglot, how many languages you have to speak to call yourself a polyglot, and discuss what polyglots get up to, including the Polyglot Conference and other polyglot events, such as the Polyglot Gathering and LangFest. There are also some sound bites from participants in the conference in a variety of languages.

Definitions of polyglot:

Definitions of polyglottery:

Other takes on polyglottery

Websites of some of the people who took part in the episode

If you took part in this podcast and have a website, blog, YouTube channel, etc that you’d like to see included here, let me know in the comments.

Videos from Polylgot events

More videos from the Polyglot Conference

More videos from the Polyglot Gathering

My photos and videos from polyglot events

Polyglottery

Tunes featured in this episode

Episode 7 – Manx (Gaelg)

In this episode I talk about Manx (Gaelg), or Manx Gaelic (Gaelg Vanninagh), a Celtic language spoken in the Isle of Man. I look at the history of the language, its decline and revival, and its current situation. I also talk about my own experiences with the language, and play a few Manx tunes, and a song I wrote in Manx and English.

Here are some of the bits of Manx featured:

Failt dys yn çhiaghtoo cur magh jeh’n podcreeley Radio Omniglot.
Welcome to episode 7 of the the Radio Omniglot podcast.

Mish Simon Ager, as bee’m laoyrt mychione y Ghaelg, ny’n Ghaelg Vanniagh, çhengey Cheltiagh ta goll er loayrt ayns Mannin.
I’m Simon Ager, and I will be speaking about Manx, or Manx Gaelic, the Celtic language spoken in the Isle of Man.=

Tra haink ny skibbyltee boghtey stiagh hie yn Ghaelg magh.
When the tourists came in, the Manx language went out.

Cha jean oo cosney ping lesh y Ghailck
You will not earn a penny from Manx

Gura mie mooar ayd son eaishtaght, as slane lhiat
Thank you very much for listening, and good bye

I mention that the Manx Tynwald (parliament), which is Tinvaal in Manx, comes from the Old Norse word Þingvǫllr (meeting place of the assembly), and that the modern Icelandic parliament has a similar name: Þingvellir (Thingvellir). The Icelandic parliament is in fact called the Alþingi (Althingi), and Þingvellir is the place south of Reykjavik where the parliament was held from 930-1798.

This is a photo I took of Þingvellir in Icelandic in October 2017.

Þingvellir

Information about Manx
http://www.learnmanx.com/
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/manx.htm
http://www.omniglot.com/language/articles/languagerevival.php
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manx_language
https://gv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaelg (in Manx)
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/k-david-harrison/manxs-surprising-revival_b_6725490.html

Information about the Isle of Man
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_Man
https://www.visitisleofman.com/<
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Isle_of_Man

A day in the life of the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh (Manx-medium primary school)

Brian Stowell and Adrian Cain talking about the revival of Manx

Cuchulainn – an animation telling Cuchulainn’s story in Manx

Brian Stowell and Adrian Cain talking about the native speakers of Manx

Manannan – an animation about Mannan beg mac y Leir, the Celtic sea god who is said to protect the Isle of Man with his mists

A conversation in Manx between Ned Maddrell and Tommy Lecce

Ruth Keggin – Irree ny greiney (Sunrise), a song in Manx written by Bob Carswell

Tunes featured in this episode

Episode 3 – Irish (Gaeilge)

This episode of the Radio Omniglot Podcast is about the Irish language, or Gaeilge, as it’s known in Irish. I talk about my own Irish learning journey and adventures. Then look at the history of the language and its current state, and talk a bit about the language itself, with examples to illustrate its structure. It features some Irish tunes, played by me, on the tin whistle, mandolin, low whistle and harp, and one of my own compositions, played on the melodica. It is mostly in English, with some bits of Irish.

You can find music for Sackow’s / Tripping Up The Stairs, the jig I play on the whistle at the beginning of this episode, here.

The slow air I play on the low whistle, Amhrán na Leabhar (The Song of the Books), was written by Tomás Rua Ó Súilleabháín (1785-1848), a school teacher and poet who lost all his possessions, including his books, in a storm when they were being ferried between Derrynane Bay to Valentia Harbour. He wasn’t in the boat at the time, and wrote this song afterwards. It is also known as Cuan Bhéil Inse [source]. You can hear it, with words, at:

The tune I play on the harp is John O’Conner / Seán ó Conchubhair, which was written by Turlough O’Carolan. It is also known as the Belfast Almanac or Plaxty O’Conner.

There is another, rather faster, version here:

You can music for it here.

The tune I play on the melodica is at end of the podcast, The Saturday Hornpipe / Cornbib Ddydd Sadwrn, is one I wrote a few years ago. You can hear a longer version at:

Information about Irish
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/irish.htm
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/ogham.htm
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/clogaelach.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Irish_language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primitive_Irish
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Irish
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_Irish

Here are some videos in and about Irish:

This is a silly little video I made in Irish based on songs:

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





Epsiode 1 – My Language Learning Adventures

In this first episode of the Radio Omniglot Podcast, I talk about my own language learning adventures. About the languages I’ve learned, and how and why I learned them.

You can also read about my language learning adventures on Omniglot.

If you would like to take part in this podcast, you can contact me via Omniglot.

The music in this episode is a tune I wrote in January 2018 called Apple Blossom / Blodau Afal, played on the cavaquinho:

See the score for this tune

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