A Dictionary of the Divine: The Gods and Goddesses Hiding in Our Words

Reading time: 10 – 15 minutes Whether or not you’re a believer, it’s undeniable that the idea of the divine has had a big influence on human history. Connecting our lives and our earthly home to higher realms and to those realms’ inhabitants, the gods, is an ancient preoccupation, which is often reflected in ourContinue reading “A Dictionary of the Divine: The Gods and Goddesses Hiding in Our Words”

*ABA – The Goodest Language Universal

Reading time: 5 – 10 minutes For this month’s blog post, what I’d like to offer is a brief piece about a fascinating universal property of languages, which you may well have never noticed! This apparent language universal is all to do with adjectives, and the way they are built as words. In English, theContinue reading “*ABA – The Goodest Language Universal”

Cheat Your Way to Czech II: Learning (and Loving) the Lexicon

Reading time: 10 – 15 minutes For many people, myself definitely included, the most difficult part of learning a new language is the vocabulary. There’s just always so much of it and, unlike grammar, I find it hard to condense down into learnable bites. The world is full of things, so language is full ofContinue reading “Cheat Your Way to Czech II: Learning (and Loving) the Lexicon”

Rockin’ Around Etymology

Reading time: 10 minutes Ho ho ho! A joyful Yuletide to you, language lover! Now here’s something new for the blog: my offering for this December and for Christmas 2021 is an etymological round — a journey of linguistic connections that begins and starts with the same word. This is not my original idea, IContinue reading “Rockin’ Around Etymology”

You Know More Than You Think About: The Wanderer

Last month, I offered the Internet an article about the Old English poem Beowulf and how familiar, despite its antiquity, its language can become with a little linguistic guidance. I’d say the article and the idea behind it were received quite well – so, here we go again, with the same format and another OldContinue reading “You Know More Than You Think About: The Wanderer”

From English to Greek in Two Rules

English and Ancient Greek are distantly related languages that descend from a common ancestor – this is the only theory capable of explaining their many similarities. Consequently, if you’re trying to learn one and already know the other, you can use these similarities to your advantage. In this piece, I’d like to tell you aboutContinue reading “From English to Greek in Two Rules”

The Un-mouthing of Sounds

This post is a brief introduction to the process of debuccalization, a sound change with the power to dispel confusion in various languages of Europe and beyond. With the help of some concrete examples taken from three languages, this is a concept that I believe might come in rather handy for language learners. As isContinue reading “The Un-mouthing of Sounds”

Walloons, Wales and Cornish Walnuts

The Wonderful World of *Walhaz (This article is an adaptation of one I wrote for the brilliant interdisciplinary magazine Porridge, which you can find out more about at porridgemagazine.com) I would like to tell you the tale of a headlong tumble down a rabbit hole of etymology and European history, that has at its centreContinue reading “Walloons, Wales and Cornish Walnuts”