Omniglot News (03/03/24)

Omniglot News

Here’s the latest news from the world of Omniglot.

There are new language pages about:

  • Ghomalaʼ (Ghɔmáláʼ), a Bamileke language spoken in the West Region of Cameroon.
  • Feʼfeʼ (Fèʼéfěʼè), a Bamileke language spoken in the West Region of Cameroon
  • Lengo, a Southeast Solomonic language spoken on Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands.
  • Lau, a Southeast Solomonic language spoken on Malaita Island in the Solomon Islands.

New constructed script: Fana, a syllabic script created by Brian Drake to write his constructed language, fana, which is based on Toki Pona, but with more phonemes, a more complex grammar, and a larger vocabulary.

Sample text in fana

New numbers pages:

  • Ghomalaʼ (Ghɔmáláʼ), a Bamileke language spoken in the West Region of Cameroon.
  • Lengo, a Southeast Solomonic language spoken on Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands.
  • Lau, a Southeast Solomonic language spoken on Malaita Island in the Solomon Islands.

There’s a new Omniglot blog post entitled Overflowing Vases about ways to say ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ and similar things in various languages, and there’s the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this language is spoken in New Caledonia.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Xong (Dut Xonb), a Hmong-Mien language spoken in southern China.

In this week’s episode of the Celtic Pathways podcast, entitled Bijou Fingers, we find Celtic fingers among French jewellery.

On the Celtiadur blog there’s a new post entitled Long Distance, about words for long, distant and related things, and I made improvements to the Fingers and Toes, Silver & Money and Streams and Currents posts.

I also made improvements to the Paicî and Huambisa language pages.

New song: Colourless Green Ideas – based on the sentence ‘Colorless green ideas sleep furiously’, which was coined by the linguist Noam Chomsky in his 1957 book, Syntactic Structures, to demonstrate that a sentence can be grammatically correct, but semantically nonsensical. I started writing it in May 2023, then forgot about. I came back to it in and finally finished writing and recording it in January / February 2024.

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

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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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Celtic Pathways – Bijou Fingers

In this episode we find Celtic fingers among French jewelery.

celtic wedding rings

The French word bijou means a jewel or piece of jewellry. It was borrowed from the Breton bizou (ring, jewel), which comes from biz (finger), which is ultimately comes from the Proto-Celtic *bistis (finger), from the PIE *gʷist- (twig, finger) [source].

Related words in the modern Celtic languages include:

  • bys [bɨːs / biːs] = finger (of hand/glove), toe, medium, agency, hand (of clock) or latch and byson = ring in Welsh
  • bys = finger, digit, and bysow = ring in Cornish
  • biz [biːs] = finger, hand (of clock), tooth (of tool), leg (of anchor), tentacle or tendril, and bizou [ˈbiːzu] = ring, jewel in Breton

Words from the same PIE roots possibly include kvist (twig, stick) in Norwegian and Swedish, and gisht (finger) in Albanian [source].

The French word bijou was borrowed into English and means a jewel, a piece of jewellery, a trinket, or a small intricate piece of metalwork, which are collectively called bijouterie / bijoutry [source].

Bijou in English can also mean small and elegant (residence), or something that is intricate or finely made. This sense comes via Sabir (Mediterranean Lingua Franca) from Occitan pichon (small, little), which possibly has Celtic roots: from Proto-Celtic *kʷezdis (piece, portion) [source].

In Polari, a cant used in the London fishmarkets, in the British theatre, and by the gay community in the UK, bijou means small or little (often implying affection), and a bijou problemette is a little fault or problem [source].

More about words for Fingers and Toes in Celtic languages.

You can find more connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur blog. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

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Omniglot News (25/02/24)

Omniglot News

Here’s the latest news from the world of Omniglot.

There are new language pages about:

  • Kwaio, a Southeast Solomonic language spoken on Malaita Island in Malaita Province of the Solomon Islands.
  • Gela (Nggela), a Southeast Solomonic language spoken in the Nggela (Florida) Islands in the Central Province of the Solomon Islands.
  • Arosi, a Southeast Solomonic language spoken on Makira Island in Makira-Ulawa Province in the east of the Solomon Islands.
  • Touo, a Central Solomonic language spoken in the south of Rendova Island in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands.

New constructed script: Thieṛian Hieroglyphs, which were invented by Kitsune Sobo as a script for the constructed language Thieṛian.

Sample text in Thieṛian

New adapted script: Tengwar Persian, a way to write the Persian (Farsi) language with Tolkien’s Tengwar script devised by Daniyal Motamedi (دانیال معتمدی نیا).

Article 1 of the UDHR in Tengwar Persian

New phrases page: Duala (Duálá), a Bantu language spoken in Cameroon in West Africa.

New numbers pages:

  • Duala (Duálá), a Bantu language spoken in Cameroon in West Africa.
  • Kikuyu (Gĩkũyũ), a Bantu language spoken mainly in the Central Province of Kenya.
  • Gela (Nggela), a Southeast Solomonic language spoken in the Nggela (Florida) Islands in the Central Province of the Solomon Islands.
  • Arosi, a Southeast Solomonic language spoken on Makira Island in Makira-Ulawa Province in the east of the Solomon Islands.

There’s a new Omniglot blog post entitled Various Verses about words for the world beyond your screen, and there’s the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this language is spoken in southern China but isn’t related to Chinese.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Deg Xinag (Degexit’an), a Northern Athabaskan language spoken along the lower Yukon River in Alaska in the USA

In this week’s Adventure in Etymology, we look into the origins of the word Guide.

On the Celtiadur blog there’s a new post entitled A Bit of Bitterness about words for bitter, sour and related things, and I made improvements to the post about words for Honey, Sweet and related things.

New interview with me: https://www.twinkl.co.uk/blog/polyglots-why-languages-are-important

I also made improvements to the Duala 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

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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.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

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Adventures in Etymology – Guide

In this Adventure in Etymology we’re looking into the origins of the word guide.

Guided Tour

Guide [ɡaɪd] means:

  • Someone who guides, especially someone hired to show people around a place or an institution and offer information and explanation, or to lead them through dangerous terrain.
  • A document or book that offers information or instruction; guidebook.

It comes from Middle English gīde / gidde / guide (guide, pilot, helmsman), from Old French guide (guide) from Old Occitan guida (guide), from guidar (to guide, lead), from Frankish *wītan (to show the way, lead), from Proto-Germanic *wītaną (to see, know, go, depart), from PIE *weyd- (to see, know) [source].

Words from the same roots include druid, history, idea, vision, wise and wit in English, gwybod (to know) in Welsh, fios (knowledge, information) in Irish and veta (to know) in Swedish [source].

The English word guide has been borrowed into various other languages, including Japanese: ガイド (gaido – guide, tour guide, conductor, guiding, leading, guidebook) [source], and Korean: 가이드 (gaideu – tour guide, guidebook, user’s manual) [source].

By the way, there’s an episode of the Celtic Pathways podcast about the word druid, and there’s a post on my Celtiadur blog about words related to knowledge in Celtic languages.

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Podchaser, Podbay or Podtail and other pod places.

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

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

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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 blog.

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Omniglot News (18/02/24)

Omniglot News

Here’s the latest news from the world of Omniglot.

There are new language pages about:

  • Mono-Alu, a Northwest Solomonic language spoken on Mono, Alu and Fauro islands in the Solomon Islands.
  • Marovo, a Northwest Solomonic language spoken mainly in Marovo Lagoon in the Solomon Islands.
  • Nduke, a Northwest Solomonic language spoken on Kolombangara Island in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands.
  • Babatana, a Northwest Solomonic language spoken on Choiseul Island in the north of the Solomon Islands.

New numbers pages:

  • Nduke, a Northwest Solomonic language spoken on Kolombangara Island in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands.
  • Babatana, a Northwest Solomonic language spoken on Choiseul Island in the north of the Solomon Islands.
  • Hoava, a Northwest Solomonic language spoken mainly in New Georgia Island in the Solomon Islands.
  • Nishi (Nyishi / न्यिसि), a Western Tani language spoken in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in the northeast of India.

There’s a new Omniglot blog post entitled Fictile Dairymaids about the shared origins of the words fictile, dairy and lady, and there’s the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this language is spoken along the Yukon River in Alaska in the USA.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Santa / Dongxiang (Sarta kelen / لھجکءاءل), a Mongolic language spoken in Gansu and Xinjiang provinces in the northwest of China.

In this week’s Celtic Pathways podcast, Needles and Scythes, we discover some Romance scythes in a heap of Celtic pins and needles.

On the Celtiadur blog there are new posts entitled Pins & Needles and Muddy Mires, and I made improvements to the posts about words for Red and Blue / Black / Dark.

2,400 days on Duolingo

I also made improvements to the Mundari Bani script page.

In other news, my current streak on Duolingo reached 2,400 days this week, and I finished all the Scottish Gaelic lessons. I’m currently studying Japanese, Spanish and Irish, and sometimes dipping into other languages, particularly Dutch.

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

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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.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

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Celtic Pathways – Needles and Scythes

In this episode we discover Romance scythes in a stack of Celtic pins and needles.

Pins and Needles

The Proto-Celtic word *delgos means pin or needle. It comes from Proto-Indo-European *dʰelg- (sting) [source].

Related words in the modern Celtic languages include:

  • dealg [ˈdʲal̪ˠəɡ] = thorn, prickle, spine, spike, pin, peg or brooch in Irish
  • dealg [dʲal̪ˠag] = pin, skewer or knitting needle in Scottish Gaelic
  • jialg = needle, prick, quill, thorn or pin in Manx
  • dala [ˈdala] = sting or bite in Welsh

Words from the same Proto-Celtic roots, via Gaulish *dalgis (scythe) and Latin *daculum (scythe) , possibly include dall (mowing, billhook) in Catalan, dalle (scythe) in Spanish, and dalha (scythe) in Occitan (Languedoc) [source].

The English word dagger, and related words in other languages, such as daga (dagger) in Spanish, and Degen (rapier, épée) in German, might come from the same Celtic roots [source].

Words from the same PIE root include dálkur (spine of a fish, knife, dagger, newspaper column) in Icelandic, dilgus (prickly) in Lithuanian, falce (scythe, sickle) in Italian, and falcate (shaped like a sickle) and falcifer (sickle-bearing, holding a scythe) in English [source].

More about words for Pins and Needles in Celtic languages.

You can find more connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur blog. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

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Omniglot News (11/02/24)

Omniglot News

Here’s the latest news from the world of Omniglot.

There are new language pages about:

  • Iranun, a Danao language spoken mainly in the southwest of Mindanao island in the south of the Philippines.
  • Onhan (Inonhan​), a Western Bisayan language spoken mainly in the Province of Romblon in the Mimaropa region of the Philippines.
  • Southern Sorsogon, a Central Bisayan language spoken in the south of Sorsogon Province in the Bicol Region of the Philippines.

New numbers pages:

  • Onhan (Inonhan​), a Western Bisayan language spoken mainly in the Province of Romblon in the Mimaropa region of the Philippines.
  • Shompen, a Nicobarese language spoken in Great Nicobar Island, part of the Indian union territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

New phrases page: Gallo (galo), a Romance language spoken in parts of Brittany and Normandy in the northwest of France.

There’s a new Omniglot blog post entitled Mud Glorious Mud, which is about some mud-related words such as lutarious (of, pertaining to, or like, mud; living in mud), and there’s the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this language is spoken in the northwest of China.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Murrinh-Patha, an Australian Aboriginal language spoken on the west coast of Australia’s Northern Territory.

In this week’s Adventure in Etymology, we look into the marshy origins of the word Quagmire.

On the Celtiadur blog there are new posts entitled Through and Through and Betwixt and Between, and I made improvements to the Green & Verdant and Blue / Green / Grey posts.

JapanesePod101.com

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.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

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Adventures in Etymology – Quagmire

In this Adventure in Etymology we’re looking into the origins of the word quagmire.

quagmire

A quagmire [ˈkwɒɡ.maɪər/ˈkwæɡ.maɪr] is:

  • A swampy, soggy area of ground.
  • A perilous, mixed up and troubled situation; a hopeless tangle.
  • To embroil (a person, etc.) in complexity or difficulty.

The quag part is an obsolete English word meaning quagmire, marsh or bog, from Middle English quabbe (marsh, bog), from Old English cwabba (that which shakes or trembles, something soft and flabby) [source].

The mire part comes from Middle English mire (marshy or swampy land), from Old Norse mýrr (moor, swamp, bog), from Proto-Germanic *miuzijō (bog, swamp, moor), from PIE *mews-yeh₂, from *mews- (moss) [source].

The English word quaggy/quoggy (marshy, soft, flabby) is related to quag, and the Dutch words kwab (a weak, blubbery mass), kwebbelen (to chatter) come and kwebbelkous (chatterbox) from the same roots [source].

Words from the same roots as mire include moss and mousse and moist in English, mos (moss, lichen) in Dutch, Moos (moss, bog, fen, marsh) in German, and mýri (marsh, swamp, bog) in Icelandic [source].

You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Podchaser, Podbay or Podtail and other pod places.

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

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

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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 blog.

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Omniglot News (04/02/24)

Omniglot News

Here’s the latest news from the world of Omniglot.

There are new language pages about:

  • Nishi (Nyishi / न्यिसि), a Western Tani language spoken in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in northeastern India.
  • Khengkha (ཁེངས་​ཁ་​), an Eastern Bodish language spoken in southern Bhutan.
  • Jumli (जुम्ली खस), an Eastern Pahari language spoken mainly in Karnali Province in northeastern Nepal.

New constructed script: Wiqa, which was created by Scott Printz to write his conlang of the same name. It was inspired by Korean Hangeul, Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics and human speech anatomy.

Sample text in Wiqa

New numbers pages:

  • Khorasani Turkic (Xorasan Türkçesi) a Turkic language spoken in northeastern Iran.
  • Kumandy (куманды) a Kipchak Turkic language spoken in the south of the Russian Federation.
  • Khengkha (ཁེངས་​ཁ་​), an Eastern Bodish language spoken in southern Bhutan.

There’s a new Omniglot blog post entitled Gatekeeping / Geatóireacht, which is about how some people can be very precious about what they consider ‘correct’ language, with particular reference to Irish, and there’s the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:

Here’s a clue: this language is spoken in the Northern Territory of Australia.

The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Kabiye (Kabɩyɛ), a Southern Gur spoken in Togo, Benin and Ghana.

In this week’s Celtic Pathways podcast, Swampy Cauldrons, we discover the Celtic origins of the name Paris, and also Britain and Brittany.

On the Celtiadur blog there’s a new post about words for Cauldrons and Kettles and related things, and I made improvements to the posts about words for Houses and Dwellings and Time & Weather.

I also finally worked out how to get Tibetan text to display correctly, at least in the browsers I use. For example, the native name of the Khengkha language is ཁེངས་​ཁ་, and without the relevant styles, it looks like this ཁེངས་​ཁ་. Do you see a difference?

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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.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

Celtic Pathways – Swampy Cauldrons

In this episode we discover Celtic roots of the name Paris.

Pont des Arts, île de la Cité

Paris is the capital of France and the centre of the Île-de-France or Paris Region. From about 250 BC, the area, particularly the Île de la Cité (see above), an island on the River Seine, was home to the Parisioi, part of the Gaulish Senones tribe.

After the Romans conquered the area in 52 BC, they set up a town on the Left Bank of the Seine which they called Lutetia Parisiorum (“Lutetia of the Parīsiī”). This later became Parisius, and eventually Paris [source].

The Gaulish name of the tribe, Parisioi, which was Latinized as Parīsiī, possibly comes from the Gaulish word *parios (cauldron), from Proto-Celtic *kʷaryos (cauldron) from the PIE *kʷer- (to do, make, build) [source].

Related words in the modern Celtic languages include:

  • coire [ˈkɛɾʲə] = large pot, cauldron, boiler in Irish
  • coire [kɔrʲə] = kettle, corrie, cauldron in Scottish Gaelic
  • coirrey = cauldron, boiler, maelstrom in Manx
  • pair [ˈpai̯r] = cauldron, large pot, boiler in Welsh
  • per [ˈpeːr] = cauldron in Breton

Words from the same Proto-Celtic roots, via Gaulish and Latin, include paiolo (copper cooking pot, cauldron) in Italian, perol (cauldron) in Catalan, perol (cauldron) in Spanish, and pairòl [pai̯ˈɾɔl] (kettle) in Occitan (Languedocien) [source].

Words from the same PIE root include Britain, Brittany and karma in English, cruth [kɾˠʊ(h)] (shape, appearance, state) in Irish, pryd [prɨːd] (sight, appearance, aspect) in Welsh, and काम [kɑːm] (work, task, job, function) in Hindi [source].

Britain and Brittany come from Middle English Britayne/Breteyn (Britain, Brittany), from Anglo-Norman Bretai(g)ne (Britain, Brittany), from Latin Brit(t)ānnia ([Great] Britain, [Roman province of] Britannia), from Βρεττανία (Brettaníā – Brittania, Great Britain), ultimately from Proto-Brythonic *Pritanī (Briton(s)), from Proto-Celtic *Kʷritanī/*Kʷritenī, from the PIE *kʷer- (to do, make, build) [source].

So the name Paris has Celtic roots. How about Lutetia? That comes from Gaulish *lutos (swamp), from Proto-Celtic *lutā (dirt, mud), from PIE *lew- (dirt, mud), which is also the root of lutulent (pertaining to mud, muddy) in English, and lodo (mud, muck, mire) in Spanish [source].

More about words for Cauldrons and Kettles and related things in Celtic languages.

You can find more connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur blog. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

Radio Omniglot podcasts are brought to you in association with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, a great place to host your podcasts. Get your first month free with the promo code omniglot.

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