When Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell said the famous line, “Houston, we have a problem,” the words triggered alarm throughout NASA and around the world. If Apollo 13 had been manned by […]
Have you ever been at a loss for words because of the bad driving skills of another motorist? The Germans have come to the rescue with deppenfahrerbeaugung. It literally translates as “moron […]
The Siamese cat originated in Siam — modern day Thailand. In the Thai language, that most-easily recognizable breed is known by another name: Wichien Maat. It translates as “Moon Diamond.”
We’ve all seen them. They tend to show up at supermarkets, airports, and movie theaters, and they make life miserable for everyone else. I’m speaking, of course, of the parents who do […]
It is commonly said that no word in the English language rhymes with orange. This amuses the people in Wales who live near the hill named Blorenge.
English is a language of exceptions, with few concrete rules. When it comes to adjectives, however, there is a very specific hierarchy most English speakers know, instinctively, must be followed to avoid utter confusion. […]
Although English is not the hardest language to master (see this post for ten languages that are even harder), it frequently presents problems, even for its native speakers. Consider the problem with […]
The Vatican Bank (officially known as the Institute for the Works of Religion) is the only bank in the world that allows the user to select “Latin” as the language of choice. […]
There is one word in the English language that changes its meaning and pronounciation, depending on whether it is capitalized: polish. Uncapitalized, polish refers to a substance used to give something a smooth and […]
A Spanish delegate to a diplomatic conference turned on his microphone and said, “Estoy constipado, perdónadme.” Ordinarily this would translate as, “Please excuse me; I have a cold.” The French interpreter, instead, translated his […]
Reposted from Unbabel Blog Learning a new language is never an easy thing to do, but there are ways to make it easier. There are also ways to make it more […]
When a fake sign language interpreter managed to get the job of interpreting during the funeral for Nelson Mandela, President Jimmy Carter must have had flashbacks to a time that his life was […]
Photo credit: By me (w:User:pfctdayelise) (Image taken by me using Casio QV-R41) [CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons source
English: No Suspicious Alien Activity Here! Welsh: Oes estron weithgaredd amheus yma! Klingon: pagh pIH nov activity naDev!
When Welsh Assembly Member Darren Millar asked Economy Minister Edwina Hart about unidentified flying objects, he got a surprising answer. The official response from the Welsh Government was, “jang vIDa je due […]
If you speak two languages, you are said to be bilingual. A polyglot can speak up to to six languages. When you get much beyond six, the term is hyperglot. So what […]