Posts Tagged ‘language’


January 20, 2012

Here’s an interesting way to learn the vocabulary for a variety of languages. The site uses flashcards supported by video clips, mnemonics and samples of how each word is used. Anyone can add to the site by creating flashcards, adding words or mems (anything that helps you learn a connection between a word and its meaning).

Inky Fool

January 9, 2012

This is rather a fun blog if you’re interested in words and (English) language.

There’s a particularly good entry on why prepositions at the end of a sentence aren’t a problem:

but there’s lots more to delight here as well.

a Chinese story

September 28, 2011

TOTD has long had a fascination with languages and this delight is a story in Chinese in which every syllable is prounced ‘shi’.  With different tones of course.  If any Chinese speakers would like to drop by the office and record the story – there’s a lolly or two left over from Freshers’ Fayre for you!

Save the Words

November 8, 2010

TOTD loves Blackadder’s line in Ink and Incapability, the second episode of Blackadder the Third – “Allow me to be the first to offer Dr. Johnson my most sincere contrafibularities! I am anaspeptic, frasmotic, even compunctuous to have caused him such pericombobulation”. OK, these aren’t real words, but if you like the idea of resurrecting words that have fallen out of normal usage then you might enjoy this site.


December 1, 2009

The International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA) is a collection of primary source dialect and accent recordings for the performing arts. You might want to submit your own recording if you have a dialect that’s not included on the site. Pompey, perhaps?

[Thanks to RW for this suggestion]

Learn to speak Māori

October 20, 2009

Te Whanake Animations is an excellent site if you too wish to learn Māori, the language spoken by the indigenous people of New Zealand.

This website contains 15 animated modules that will introduce you to different aspects of the Māori language.  You’ll meet some new friends in these movies, Te Hererīpene, Mīria, Eruera, Tarati, Wiremu and little Neihana. You are able to add the Māori text and the English translation to the movies so that you can understand and learn the new language you are hearing.

If you’d like to learn a little more about Māori culture then visit

hei konā rā

(thanks to RW for this suggestion)

Hanzi Smatter

October 7, 2009

This site, which has been around for several years, is dedicated to the misuse of Chinese characters in western culture. Most of the examples are in the form of tattoos, the owners of which are ignorant of what has actually been put on their arm, leg, neck etc.

[Thanks to LB for this suggestion]

21 accents

September 12, 2009

TOTD has long had an interest in languages and found that some can be harder just because of the accent required.  This tour-de-force is remarkable:


February 16, 2009

TOTD is discombobulated.

It maybe over a decade too late – certainly it can’t pass as ‘news’ any more, but apparently the Germans have thrown out their language.  Well, at least some of their spellings.  Makes the Library throwing out an old dictionary look positively trivial.

More worryingly having tried to learn some German in the past, this is the first time TOTD has happened across this bit of fairly useful information.  Time to unlearn some old knowledge and be reminded that once again, from Pluto being downgraded from a ‘planet’ to protons/neutrons not being as small as matter gets, that even ‘facts’ may not be ‘true’.

Looking on the brightside, wordlovers will be delighted to learn perhaps that formations with triple letters are quite feasible: Schlossstrasse (which the Swiss used in any case) and Schifffahrt for example.

French words missing in English

December 5, 2007

No word lover will want to miss this: