Thursday, August 16, 2012

With a Silent Q

So my husband came home and told me he needed to get a 'shenjen' visa. I thought he meant for some part of China, but no, he explained that this is a European thing. Later I saw the word, which is spelled Schengen and I guessed that the g would be hard, like the g in 'girl'. So what's a web-savvy girl to do but Google the pronunciation. And I found this:

Pretty cool. So I click the other videos that come up. Pronunciations for adobe, guacamole, brasserie.
And quickly I'm in a parody youtube channel.

I don't know about you, but this cracks me up.
If you have some time to spare (never kill, as Tock told us), try a few.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Burning Roots

After spending many years actively learning Slavic languages, I'm now working on learning Kannada. A bit of Hindi comes along with that. My friend Katya is learning Indian languages as well. She pointed out a connection among words I hadn't noticed before.
agni - Hindi.
огонь - Russian
ogień - Polish
All of these mean fire. Of course we can find a cognate in the English word ignite.

According to the appendix of Indo-European Roots in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, all of these come from the Indo-European root egnis 

For the very curious, check this out:

Of course since looking this up, I can't get this song out of my head

Monday, August 6, 2012

I'll trade you my apple for your Twinkie. And I'll take your apostrophe too.

I pass by these businesses on my way to work. And the humor here cracks me up almost every day.

I wonder if the owners planned it. On the left: Cool Thing's; on the right: Sams Lounge.
We have the right number of apostrophes - just they traded them.