Browsing All posts tagged under »English«

Kernow a’gas dynnergh: The Tale of Cornish

June 10, 2011


Last month I spent a really fantastic week in the UK’s most south-westerly county – Cornwall. It’s a really special corner of the country – and has bags of history, much of it with little or no connection with its neighbour. Cornish pasties, scones with jam and (then) clotted cream, fish ’n chips, the Eden […]

The Circus of Life: A Tale of Rhotic Delight

May 22, 2011


I was walking out of the cinema recently having seen Water for Elephants, wondering whether or not one of the cast had been that guy who plays Bishop Brennan, who Father Ted famously kicked up the arse. To my unbridled smugness, it turns out it was him. I won’t ruin the plot for anyone – but […]

Numbers, Planets and One-armed Deities

May 3, 2011


You use them every day of your life, but did you know that every time you write in your diary, look at a calendar, arrange a date or look at a timeable, you’re opening up a world of numbers, mythology, celestial bodies and deities? This week I was on the Tube when I saw a […]

Ye Olde Englishe. A Thorny business, indeed…

April 4, 2011


I was at the British Library the other day, having a look at what turned out to be a rather interesting exhibition called ‘Evolving English‘. On display were a nice range of old texts – including some of the earliest examples of written English. They gave some ‘translations’ – showing how certain lines were meant […]

Call a spade a spade. And a trough a trough.

March 15, 2011


One of the joys of working where I do is that you are always having to explain idiomatic expressions, and work out the equivalent in the foreign language. If I looked up the history or etymology behind each one I’d never make it to the studio, but when my colleagues asked me for a translation […]

How Japan gave the world tsunamis

March 11, 2011


Today’s events in Japan will likely ricochet around the news for the next few days: as with events such as these, the death total will never be “final” as too many people will have been swept away – never to be found. The 8.8-magnitude (MW 8.8) earthquake hit just off the north-east coast, off Japan’s […]

Gesundheit! Yì Băi Suì! We all fall down.

February 28, 2011


One of the delights of moving to a new country is learning how to react to events in the local way, with all the things that come with learning a new language. What do you say, for example, if you stub your toe? Get a fright? Or smell something untoward? And my favourite, what you […]