Tag: dialect

The usage of the so-called “quotative like” has been around for more than thirty years.

‘Like’, valley girls, and philosophy

It’s the most recognizable feature of the dialect called “Valley Girl”: the use of the word “like” to report a sentiment or an utterance. She said, “It’s the least I can do.” And I was like, “Yes, it’s literally the least you can do.” I was like, “Thanks, Dad. That is not helpful.” She’s like, […]

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While there are some similarities in dialect from town to town in Yorkshire, there are a few differences to be heard ‘an all’.

What I’ve learned since moving to Yorkshire

On the occasion that you offer someone a free – and perfectly fresh – slice of cake (it doesn’t happen very often, let me tell you), you half expect your hand to be very much snapped off. Or at the very least, an ‘It looks lovely ta, but I’m dieting’, accompanied with a sorry pat […]

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What does ‘bun’ mean to you?

A recent poll on OxfordDictionaries.com showed that 37% of our users would call a bread roll a bun, which makes it second only to roll as the most common way to say this. This is not, to me, what a bun would be, and so naively—with no concept of the can of worms I was […]

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Sharing infographic

Infographic: Chinese language facts

How much do you know about Chinese? Our handy infographic offers an overview to the Chinese language family, introducing you to key elements such as the number of native speakers worldwide, where different Chinese-speaking populations are located, the names of the major dialects, and the different types of logographs (signs or characters that represent words or phrases) that […]

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Is Arabic really a single language?

All language-learners face the difficulties of regional variations or dialects. Usually, it takes the form of an odd word or turn of phrase or a peculiar pronunciation. For most languages, incomprehension is only momentary, and the similarity – what linguists often refer to as the mutual intelligibility – between the standard language taught to foreigners […]

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Are you thinking of learning Arabic

Which Arabic should you learn?

If you have ever tried learning Arabic, you’ll know it is not an easy language to master. One of the first decisions learners are faced with is which type of Arabic to learn – the dizzying choice can give you flexibility, or confusion! Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) or fuṣḥā is said to be the common […]

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The language of Thomas Hardy

The language of Thomas Hardy

Writing about Hardy’s poetic language, Edmund Blunden, one of his most perceptive critics, noted that it is ‘sometimes a peculiar compound of the high-flown and the dull. If he means “I asked” he is liable to say “I queried” or rather “Queried I”; he is liable to “opine” instead of think. … He goes his road […]

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Dialect and identity: Pittsburghese goes to the opera

On a Sunday afternoon in November I am at the Benedum Center with hundreds of fellow Pittsburghers watching a performance of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” It’s the second act, and Papageno the bird-man has just found his true love. The English super-titles help us decipher what he is saying as he starts to exit the […]

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