Archive for Topic: Language(s)

Learning my mother tongue

Born and raised in Birmingham, Lola is both British and Nigerian. As the oldest daughter, she started the first generation of British-Nigerian in her family. But to what extent can [...]

Special words that don’t exist in English (yet)

September 30 is International Translation Day - on this occasion, the BBC published a video about some languages that have words and phrases that English speakers never knew they [...]

‘Kindly adjust’ to our English

Indian English is a living, practical language, used by millions every day, writes Shashi Tharoor in The Week. Published on June 3, 2018.

The ‘untranslatable’ emotions you never knew you had

For our international audience: "From gigil to wabi-sabi and tarab, there are many foreign emotion words with no English equivalent. Learning to identify and cultivate these [...]

45 Ways to avoid using the word ‘very’

Amanda Patterson's (very) useful suggestions. Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it [...]

Hilarious direct translations and the real meanings

As in most languages (maybe not Esperanto), also German has idioms which, when translated literally, are totally wacky.

How the British say ‘no’ politely

Helpful and humorous English lesson with Benjamin.

John Oliver does Accents

A video compilation of humorous banter mimicking a variety of languages.

Make Me A German

BBC Two documentary about a young British family's move to Germany to find out how it is the Germans can work fewer hours than the Greeks and still live in Europe’s economic [...]

Europe’s Most Common Surnames

Czech artist and linguist Jakub Marian researched just how frequent European surnames are and created a colourful map. We were surprised to see so many Newman's listed!

Italian Language Guide

Absolutely essential: your hands - and no need to strain your vocal chords!

Britain’s Bizarre Place Names

Bishop’s Itchington, Westley Waterless: there is plenty to smile or snigger at on a map of the UK. But in fact, these names reveal a hidden – and fascinating – history. James [...]

Playing with Words

Language is a great tool that offers many fascinating possibilities beyond simple daily communication. Here, Kaiyum's playful way with words.

Pilao, Biryani, Chappati, Samosa

Indian language words flourish in East Africa’s lingua franca, writes Kul Bhushan.

The English Language in 67 Accents

Accents on video by young Brit.

The Rise of Singlish

Tessa Wong reports on BBC about this language phenomenon on August 7, 2015.

Homographs and Heteronyms

Homographs are words of like spelling but with more than one meaning. A homograph that is also pronounced differently is a heteronym.

How to ‘speak Australian’ in one easy step

A video gone viral: Two Australians give a simple YouTube lesson about mastering the Australian language.

How India changed the English language

Rahul Verma reports in BBC Culture on June 22, 2015

Origins Of Everyday Words and Customs

There are words in the English language that we use often without any idea how a particular word evolved. Here's some information of the origins of some of our strange customs.

Linguistic Family Tree

Where do all our many languages come from? There are roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world today yet about 2,000 of them are spoken by less than 1,000 people.

You Know, I Mean, It’s Like …

About the incessant use of filler phrases...

English and Hinglish

Published by the BBC, Craig Jeffrey writes on June 30, 2014:

Top 5 Ways to Spot a Liar

Published in Russia Today on February 1, 2014.

‘Selfie’ Word of the Year 2013

It is an odd word, that. I became aware of it for the first time a few months ago when a friend visiting from Australia coined the term which originated in Down-Under.

Indian English has Real Flavour

There is a conspiracy afoot to get us to speak perfect English.

German Compared to Other Languages

This will even make our German readers laugh!

Osho’s English

Q: What is your English – British or American?

British and American English

A helpful guide for those confused moments when English English and American English seem to be two different languages.

Language as a Window into Human Nature

Steven Pinker shows us how the mind turns the finite building blocks of language into infinite meanings.

The English Language In 24 Accents

24 different accents from UK and from other countries around the world