December 9th, 2010

I own an almanac.
  • trinker

Hiding in plain sight

In English, it's a common ruse for parents to spell out words they don't want their pre-literate children to understand: "Hey, were you planning on taking the K-I-D-S to the P-A-R-K tomorrow?"

I got asked what Japanese parents do, and I had no idea. In fact, I have no idea whether this practice is common in any other language.

What say you, linguaphiles?
PV=nRT snoopy


When English speakers mean to say that something will never happen, they sometimes say it will happen "when pigs fly".  And I've heard the somewhat dark  "כשיהיה שלום במזרח התיכון " ("When there is peace in the Middle East") used plenty by Israelis.  I'm curious to find out what the equivalents - and their translations into English - would be in other languages and regions.  Thanks!
100 doire, font
  • doire

database of endangered languages

An open database of endangered languages has been launched by researchers in the hope of creating a free, online portal that will give people access to the world’s disappearing spoken traditions.

More information in this announcement from Cambridge.

I haven't looked into this yet, but it might be of interest to people.


I am really pleased to have come across a Livejournal community that is both updated regularly and exciting in its content!

My name's Agne, I live in London (where I am working on a Literature BA). My mother tongue is Lithuanian and I speak fairly good English. At school I had five years of Russian and failed to learn anything but some basic sentences. It seems to be a common problem, many fail to learn Russian because Lithuanian teachers (having lived in the Soviet times) assume that students would have 'a feel' for the language and therefore teach it more like a native language than a foreign one. Currently I am trying to teach myself French, starting from the very beginning. In regard to English, my main mistakes are connected to punctuation, articles and pronunciation.
I really struggle with phonetics, so I guess learning French will be a right challenge!

I'd love to learn British Sign Language because it requires thinking outside the box, creativity and flexibility. Scots, a Gaelic language, a Scandinavian language, an African language..the list is truly endless. And whereas my time is limited, hopefully this community will help me to understand the underlying links between different languages and therefore make learning them easier. Or at least satisfy my curiosity. If anyone happens to be interested in Lithuanian, I'd be happy to help.