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Alien Languages Blog

Showing stories in Febuary 2013

Polish your language

2011 census data released last week revealed some interesting news about language in England. For the first time in its history, the second most widely spoken language is now Polish with a massive 546,000 speakers. Fantastycznie! The data comes from responses to the census question “what is your main language” and revealed that in fact 4.2 million residents of England and Wales have a main language other than English.  Coming closely in fourth behind English, Welsh and Polish are Indian and Pakistani languages followed by Arabic, French, Chinese and Portuguese.

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Stuff and Nonsense


“My brother has been observing the slugs since he got divorced”, “The mayor tried to circumnavigate the law and got many shower caps”, “Please signal with your nose hair when it hurts”

Are these the ramblings of a deranged mind?

Not necessarily.

They are in fact the work of Nakayama-san, otherwise known as @NICE_TOEIC, the creator of “Non-essential English Vocabulary: Words that will never come up in tests”. Nakayama has become a Twitter sensation, posting daily an array of lexically incongruous phrases for Japanese learners of English.  This is...

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Break a leg


My friend’s father tells an amusing anecdote about an unfortunate evening at a Parisian restaurant. Turning to his companion, an elegant French lady of some social standing, he asked her politely whether she would like some whisky, adding (perhaps a little unnecessarily) that it would “put hairs on her chest”. The father had been learning French and so, feeling brave, made his very polite request en francais. Sadly, far from smiling coyly and accepting his offer, the poor Parisian gasped in abject horror and fled from the table. Puzzled...

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