10 episodes

Radio Omniglot is a podcast about language and linguistics, brought to you by Simon Ager, the man behind Omniglot.com, the online encyclopedia of writing systems and languages.

Radio Omniglot Simon Ager

    • Education
    • 4.7 • 3 Ratings

Radio Omniglot is a podcast about language and linguistics, brought to you by Simon Ager, the man behind Omniglot.com, the online encyclopedia of writing systems and languages.

    Omniglot News (23/01/22)

    Omniglot News (23/01/22)

    Here are details of the latest developments on Omniglot websites and blogs.

    The new languages on Omniglot this week are:



    * Lambya (Ichilambya), a Bantu language spoken in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.

    * Chakhar (ᠴᠠᠬᠠᠷ), a variety of Mongolian spoken in the central region of Inner Mongolia in northern China.

    * Barin (ᠪᠠᠭᠠᠷᠢᠨ), a variety of Mongolian spoken in the southeast of Inner Mongolia in northern China.

    * Nusu, a Loloish language spoken in southern China and northern Myanmar/Burma.



    There’s a new numbers page in: Tsakonian (τσακώνικα), a variety of Greek spoken in the Tsakonian region of the Peloponnese in Greece.

    On the Omniglot blog this week there’s a post about druids or Oak Knowers, a post about Playing Around which looks at ways to say ‘to play’ in English, Portuguese and Welsh, and the usual Language Quiz.

    The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Lambya (Ichilambya), a Bantu language spoken in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.

    On the Celtiadur this week there’s a post about words for knowledge and related things in Celtic languages.

    In the Adventure in Etymology we find out how the word dust is related to words such as dusk, dune and fume.



    I wrote a new song about dust, which goes something like this:



    I also made improvements to the Russian, Krymchak and Thai language pages, the Theban alphabet page, and the Ukrainian numbers page

    For more Omniglot News see:

    https://www.omniglot.com/news/

    https://twitter.com/Omniglossia

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/

    https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

    You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

    If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or a h...

    Adventures in Etymology - Dust

    Adventures in Etymology - Dust

    Today we’re looking into the origins of the word dust.



    dust [dʌst] is:



    * earth or other matter in fine, dry particles.

    * a cloud of finely powdered earth or other matter in the air.

    * to wipe the dust from

    * to sprinkle with a powder or dust



    It comes from the Middle English d(o)ust [du(ː)st] (dust, powder, dirt, grit), from the Old English dūst [duːst] (dust, powder), from the Proto-Germanic *dunstą [ˈdun.stɑ̃] (mist, haze, dust), from the Proto-Indo-European *dʰewh₂- (smoke, mist, haze) [source].

    English words from the same PIE root include dew, dusk and dye (via Proto-Germanic), down (hill) and dune (via Proto-Celtic), and fume (via Latin) [source].

    Here’s a video I made of this information:



    Video made with Doodly – an easy-to-use animated video creator [affiliate link].

    I also wrote a song about dust this week, which goes something like this:



    I also write about words, etymology, and other language-related topics, on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

    You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

    If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.



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    Omniglot News (16/01/22)

    Omniglot News (16/01/22)

    Here are details of the latest developments on Omniglot websites and blogs.

    The new languages on Omniglot this week are:



    * Southern Qiang (Rrmearr), a Qiangic language spoken in the north of Sichuan Province in the south west of China.

    * Kumzari (لاغة كمزاري), a Western Iranian language spoken mainly in northern Oman, and also in southern Iran.

    * Weitou (圍頭話), a variety of Yue Chinese spoken in southern China, particularly in Shenzhen, and the New Territories of Hong Kong.

    * Alasha (ᠠᠯᠠᠱᠠᠨ), a variety of Mongolian spoken in Inner Mongolia in northern China.



    There’s a new constructed script – Featural Lojban Abjad, which is an alternative way to write Lojban devised by Punya Pranava Pasumarty.

    There are new numbers pages in: Monguor and Santa and Kumzari.

    On the Omniglot blog this week there’s a post about Jargon, and the usual Language Quiz.

    The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Eyak (dAXunhyuuga’), a Na-Dené language that was spoken in south eastern Alaska in USA, and which is being currently being revived.

    The Celtiadur post this week is called Mysterious Secrets and looks at words for secret and related things in Celtic languages.

    In the Adventure in Etymology this week we’re looking into the strange and unusual origins of the word bizarre.



    I also made improvements to the Vietnamese language page.

    For more Omniglot News see:

    https://www.omniglot.com/news/

    https://twitter.com/Omniglossia

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/

    https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

    You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

    If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.

    Adventures in Etymology - Bizarre

    Adventures in Etymology - Bizarre

    Today we’re looking into the strange and unusual origins of the word bizarre.



    Bizarre [bɪˈzɑː/bəˈzɑɹ] means:



    * markedly unusual in appearance, style, or general character and often involving incongruous or unexpected elements

    * outrageously or whimsically strange

    * odd



    It comes from the French bizarre [bi.zaʁ] (odd, peculiar, bizarre), either from the Basque bizar [bis̻ar] (beard), or from the Italian bizzarro [bidˈd͡zar.ro] (odd, queer, eccentric, bizarre, weird, frisky), possibly from bizza (tantrum), from the German beißen [ˈbaɪ̯sən] (to bite) [source].

    In French backslang (Verlan), bizarre becomes zarbi [source] and features in the expression On est tous un peu zarbi(tes) (We’re all a little freaky), or as they as in northern England, There’s nowt so queer as folk [source].

    Here’s a video I made of this information:



    Video made with Doodly – an easy-to-use animated video creator [affiliate link].

    I also write about words, etymology, and other language-related topics, on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

    You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

    If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.



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    Omniglot News (09/01/22)

    Omniglot News (09/01/22)

    Here are details of the latest developments on Omniglot websites and blogs.

    The new languages on Omniglot this week are:



    * Bajaw (Bajo), a Sama-Bajaw language spoken in the southern Philippines, eastern Malaysia and eastern Indonesia.

    * Inabaknon, a Sama-Bajaw language spoken mainly in Eastern Visayas Region of the Philippines.

    * Baybayanon, a Central Bisayan language spoken mainly on the island of Leyte in Eastern Visayas Region of the Philippines.



    There’s a new adapated script – Ermənbası (Երմէնբասը) – which is a way to write Azerbaijani with the Armenian alphabet devised by Lily Desputeaux.

    There are new numbers pages in: Buryat and Daur, which are Mongolic languages, and in Khitan, an extinct Para-Mongolic language.

    On the Omniglot blog this week there’s a post about Resolutions, and the usual Language Quiz.

    The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was Bajaw (Bajo), a Sama-Bajaw language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

    On the Celtiadur blog this week there are posts about words for Knives and Forks in Celtic languages.

    In the Adventure in Etymology this week we’re delving into the secret and mysterious origins of the word rune.



    I also made improvements to the Pohnpeian, Lun Bawang, Maguindanao, Pinyin and Melanau language pages, thanks to Wolfram Siegel.

    For more Omniglot News see:

    https://www.omniglot.com/news/

    https://twitter.com/Omniglossia

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/

    https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

    You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

    If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via a href="https://www.paypal.com/uk/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=aLjPfXL-vP_1gQ_U23Iz8_hSWLlhzLHPMFZrt32dIEfG8htoNFLYaPoWkv8&dispatch=5885d80a13c0db1f8e263663d3faee8def8934b92a630e...

    Adventures in Etymology - Runes (ᚱᚢᚾᛟ)

    Adventures in Etymology - Runes (ᚱᚢᚾᛟ)

    Today we’re delving into the secret and mysterious origins of the word rune.



    Rune [ɹuːn] means:



    * any of the characters of certain ancient alphabets of Germanic languages, esp. of Scandinavia and Britain, from about the 3rd to 13th centuries.

    * something written or inscribed in such characters.

    * something secret or mysterious.



    It comes from Old Norse rún (secret, rune), from Proto-Norse ᚱᚢᚾᛟ [ˈruː.noː] (runo – secret, mystery, rune, inscription, message), from Proto-Germanic *rūnō [ˈruː.nɔː] (secret, mystery, rune), possibly from Proto-Celtic *rūnā (secret, mystery) [source].

    Words for runes in Germanic languages come from the same Proto-Germanic root, including rune [ˈrynə] in Dutch, rune [rʉːnə] Norwegian, and runa in Swedish [source].

    Words from the same Proto-Celtic root include rún (mystery, secret, intention, purpose, love, affection) in Irish, and rhin (secret, mystery, enchantment, virute, occult) in Welsh [source].

    In Irish a rún is used as a term of affection meaning “my dear/darling”. It appears in the traditional song Siúil a Rún:



    Here’s a video I made of this information:



    Video made with Doodly – an easy-to-use animated video creator [affiliate link].

    I also write about words, etymology, and other language-related topics, on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

    You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

    If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.



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