Category Archives: quirk

Hungarian and Polish: An Unlikely Language Alliance

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We know what you’re thinking. We’ve taken two of the, arguably, more difficult languages to master, and attempted to force them together like Mrs Bennett did with Elizabeth and the awful Mr Collins (Pride and Prejudice, folks), but we promise, there is a little more in common between these two languages than those two unfortunate(…)


The Key to Success? Talk to Yourself More Often

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How many times have you been walking around the grocery store talking to yourself? “Okay, John, don’t forget the milk,” you say out loud. Or sometimes you catch yourself debating on which colour shoes you want: “Alright, but if I get the blue ones, they’re not going to match anything I own.” Perhaps you’re even(…)


English: The Universal Language Obstacle Course

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Maybe we might have mentioned before the importance of being anything other than monolingual. That, not only does speaking a second language improve your work prospects, but that by embracing a new language and the culture that goes with it, language learning can, we feel, make us all better human beings. However, if you aren’t(…)


“Froyo” and Other Funky Words Added to the Dictionary this Year

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It seems that the words added annually to the Oxford Dictionary or Merriam-Webster get more and more interesting with each passing year. Last year, we were gifted with the popular acronym “YOLO” (a word so overused people simply stopped using it), and, weird shortened versions of words like “‘Merica”. Suffice it to say, new words(…)


The Many Sayings and Phrases to Cheers around the World

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When travelling the world one of the best ways to get to know locals and learn about their culture is to sit down at a table, break bread and share a drink. Likewise, it is one of the most forthcoming ways people all over the world welcome a stranger. This sharing of food and beverages,(…)


The Language, Lifestyle and Universality of Skater Speak

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Recently there appears to be an international outbreak of Thrasher T-shirts, hats, and hoodies on the streets from Kanchanaburi, Thailand to Hong Kong to Sunnyside, Queens. It’s doubtful that this retro skate apparel trend is isolated to just these varied places. Thrasher, if you don’t know, is one of two magazines that launched in the(…)


12 Untranslatable Words You Can Use on the Daily

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Have you ever just wanted to punch someone in the face? Like something about them just brings out all of your repressed anger? It’s probably because of their backpfeifengesicht, a German word for “a face asking to be punched”. The term is a combination of backpfeife (punch/slap) and gesicht (face) and is absolutely untranslatable. I(…)


4 Great Reasons to Learn Chinese

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You may have already heard that Chinese is taking over the world! With over a billion people speaking Chinese all around the globe, this is an incredibly widespread tongue. When even Mark Zuckerberg decides to try his hand at learning Chinese, you know there must be something to it. After all, Chinese is quickly becoming(…)


Clock Stoppers: Language and the Perception of Time

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Since not all of us are lucky enough to have access to a TARDIS or Bill and Ted’s telephone booth (…what is it about time travel and booths?), the rest of us mere mortals will simply have to use another method to traverse the passage of time. And for that, we can turn to languages.(…)


10 of The Weirdest Words in the English Language

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Becoming fluent in English is a tricky business, and even it is your native tongue it’s certain to surprise you again and again. Sure, you can talk with ease on topics such as religion, politics, and global warming, but do you know how truly strange the English language can be? Learn a little more about(…)