Category: Other languages

Money talks not just in English but in other languages as well. Find out in which country people 'buy the pig in the bag' and other money idioms.

Cost in translation: money idioms around the world

Money makes the world go round – every day we use it, think about it, talk about it. It is therefore no surprise that English uses it in a number of idiomatic expressions as well, but money also talks in other languages. The people over at gocompare.com looked at some money idioms from other languages recently and came up […]

Read more »
different ways to say hello in other languages

15 ways to say ‘hello’ across the globe

The main use of hello is, of course, to greet others, and it has many other variants which also are used to greet others, such as hi or hey. The first written recording of this spoken utterance was in 1853 in New York Clipper, ‘Hello ole feller, how are yer?’ ‘Hello’ is also used to […]

Read more »
Is Polish the most difficult language to learn?

Is Polish the most difficult language to learn?

How ethical is it to start working in a country where you don’t speak the local language? Before I started teaching English in Poland, this question didn’t trouble me in the slightest. When I taught in Sardinia, I spoke enough Italian to get by; and nobody in Cambodia expected foreign teachers to speak any Khmer […]

Read more »
Finnish: an origin story

Finnish: an origin story

Despite being a Nordic country (Scandinavia consist only of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark) and sharing Europe’s longest border with Russia, the Finnish language is the tall blond stranger in this company. On the origin of Finns As many of you will know, the origins of a language are not necessarily the same as the origins […]

Read more »
English words of French origins, and how to pronounce them correctly

English words of French origin and how to pronounce them

On 14 July 1789, the storming of the Bastille prison in the centre of Paris marked the beginning of the French Revolution. It was a major watershed in the history of Europe and is today still celebrated as a public holiday in France. The event gave the country a national motto as well: liberté, égalité, […]

Read more »
George R. R. Martin’s invented language in A Game of Thrones

George R. R. Martin’s invented language in A Game of Thrones

This post includes spoilers for Game of Thrones and Harry Potter. This blog has hosted several pieces relating to the fantasy series Game of Thrones, including a guest post by the brilliant David Peterson, who created the fictional languages that appear on the television show. However, the blog has not yet discussed the invented words […]

Read more »
What do they call French toast in France?

What do they call French toast in France? (And other similar questions)

In English, many things are named after a particular country – but have you ever wondered what those things are called in those countries? Some things remain the same (Russians say Russian roulette, or rather русская рулетка, for instance) but plenty don’t. From French toast and Turkish delight to Brazil nuts and English breakfast – […]

Read more »
Funny food: translating Europe’s unusual food names

Funny food: translating Europe’s unusual food names

As well as its (unfair) reputation for being bland and stodgy, British cuisine is well known for its confusingly and often humorously-named dishes. Tourists are most likely to have heard of pub classics like toad-in-the-hole, a dish of sausages baked in batter, and schoolchildren never tire of tittering at ‘spotted dick’, a suet pudding containing […]

Read more »

Tweets