The language the government tried to suppress
Most of Singapore’s population speak the unofficial language or dialect known as Singlish. But why would the government rather it went away? James Harbeck takes a look.
By James Harbeck

An article about Singlish by James Harbeck, going into more grammatical detail than you typically get in a news article. Excerpt: 

Jerlyne Ong, a Singaporean now living in Canada, sends a message to a friend back home: “Cannot imagine sia. In Singapore, you strike, you lose your job. But ya, the postal service stopped liao. Cannot agree, buay song, so liddat lor. No postal service for now. Also dunno how long some more. So pek chek.”

Is that English or not? Most of Singapore’s 6 million people speak it, but they don’t agree either. What they do agree is that it’s Singlish. Singlish is the unofficial language – or dialect? or slang? – of Singapore, born out of the contact between the several cultures that make up the city state. It’s a living example of how languages can change and develop. It is also an expression of the Singaporean character and culture, a national treasure – or a detriment and danger to the country, depending on whom you ask. […]

All syllables have approximately equal length and stress. It sounds almost like a tone language in places. Some sounds are changed, and consonants at the ends of words are often dropped or reduced – “like that” becomes liddat. Conjugational and plural endings often disappear. There are quite a few loanwords, such as kena, ‘get something bad’; kiasu, ‘fear of losing out’; shiok, ‘very good’; sian, ‘boring’; buay song, ‘not happy’; pek chek, ‘annoyed, frustrated’; and sia, which is used as an emphatic rather as we might use ‘man’. […]

Lah is surely the most famous word in Singlish, and is emblematic of a whole class of words that set Singlish apart: pragmatic particles – a kind of verbal equivalent of an emoji. These words inserted at the ends of sentences are mostly borrowed from other languages (especially Chinese dialects), and they have to be said with the right tone, as if in Chinese. Lor (mid-level tone) expresses resignation (So liddat lor, “It’s just like that, what can you do?”); meh (high tone) expresses a proposition in need of confirmation (Cannot meh, “You really can’t?”); liao (low falling-rising) indicates a completed action (The postal service stopped liao). 

Even wut – which is to say, what – when said with a low falling tone at the end of a sentence expresses objection (if you are asked to buy something you have already bought, you might say Got already wut). And lah? It can be said with different tones to express different things; quite a bit of linguistic analysis has been done of just what it means – Jock Wong of the Australian National University has done a study teasing apart its different uses, which he boils down to “impositional”, “propositional”, and “persuasive”.

Read the whole thing.

Another article, in Unravel Magazine, looks at Singlish and food

My favorite thing about the internet is that sometimes you come across junk that’s not even in a language you understand but you can just take one look at it and be like “yeah. that’s relatable.”

List of irregular verbs in Finnish

The irregular verbs of Finnish are:

  • olla 
  • tehdä
  • nähdä
  • juosta 

Olla - to be

Minä olen - I am 
Sinä olet - You are
Hän on - S/he is
Me olemme - We are
Te olette - You are
He ovat - They are

Tehdä - to do

Minä teen - I do
Sinä teet - You do
Hän tekee - S/he does
Me teemme - We do
Te teette - You do
He tekevät - They do

Nähdä - to see

Minä näen - I see
Sinä näet - You see
Hän näkee - S/he sees
Me näemme - We see
Te näette - You see
He näkevät - They see

Juosta - to run

Minä juoksen - I run
Sinä juokset - You run
Hän juoksee - S/he runs
Me juoksemme - We run
Te juoksette - You run
He juoksevat - They run

winning-speed-ties  asked:

And another thing: when I took spanish in high school, our teacher told us the masculine of "this" is "este" and the feminine is "esta" and that's as far as we got. But I was listening to a podcast the other day, and they said that the masculine is "esto" and the general 'this' is "esto" as well. Cual profesor es verdad? No sé...

Both are correct.

The demonstratives are used in accordance with what follows them.

este / esta / esto / estos / estas - “this/these”

With the demonstratives este/esta you’re talking about “this” which is the closest. But este needs a masculine noun to come after it (in general). There are other times when you might see este used as “this one”

este libro = this book

esta playa = this beach

estos libros = these books

estas playas = these beaches

An esto is using neutral gender, which exists in Spanish but is typically considered masculine-ish. But really it means the absence of gender, so you use it for an implied subject that isn’t stated, it can be a subject or a concept or an abstract statement… while este if used alone is a stand-in for a specific noun you’re thinking of.

por esto = because of this

esto no es cierto = that’s not true

este es mi favorito = this one is my favorite

este es mi deseo = this is my desire/wish

ese / esa / eso / esos / esas - “that/those”

Implies more distance, like mid-range but the same rules generally apply.

ese libro = that book

esa playa = that beach

esos libros = those books

esas playas = those beaches

por eso = because of that

And ese can in some countries can mean “dude”. Also ese can mean “the letter S”

aquel / aquella / aquello / aquellos / aquellas - “that one over there / those over there”

Even more distance here. And aquello shows up more in formal things. Like in an essay, if I were referencing something I already wrote use aquello… you also use it to convey a sense of distance or that time has passed like there’s a song aquello que me diste “that thing you gave me”

You sometimes use aquel with an accent (or at least it sometimes happens) aquél “him (over there)”… I don’t know how common that is anymore. Usually you see aquel without one; and in some proverbs you see aquel used like “whosoever” 

aquel libro = that book over there

aquella playa = that beach over there

aquellos libros = those books over there

aquellas playas = those books over there

por aquello = because of that [distance]

*Note: You don’t see estes used as “these” …ever? (to the best of my knowledge)… it’s always estos for “these”. Saying estes means “easts”… like more than one “east”. Same how eses really means “multiple S’s” not “those”… or sometimes “dudes”

You also used to see them with accent marks if you were being emphatic, but i think that’s mostly not used anymore. Older works might have it.

A list of basic Greek verbs :
  1. To be -  είμαι
  2. To have - έχω
  3. To do - κάνω
  4. To say - λέω
  5. To know - Ξέρω
  6. To speak - μιλάω
  7. To see - βλέπω
  8. To look - κοιτάζω
  9. To listen - ακούω
  10. To want - θέλω
  11. To go - πηγαίνω/πάω.
  12. To leave - φεύγω
  13. To arrive - φτάνω
  14. To stay - μένω
  15. To feel - νιώθω
  16. To learn - μαθαίνω
  17. To need - χρειάζομαι
  18. To ask -  Ρωτάω
  19. To try - προσπαθώ
  20. To take - παίρνω
  21. To come - έρχομαι
  22. To find - βρίσκω
  23. To work - δουλεύω
  24. To help - βοηθάω
  25. To play - παίζω
  26. To walk - περπατάω
  27. To run - τρέχω
  28. To write - γράφω
  29. To read - διαβάζω
  30. To eat - τρώω
Drawing a Gaelic map of Glasgow makes you a fascist
I’ve had a fun day on Twitter, blocking and muting Unionists. Over the past day or so I’ve discovered that I’m a demagogue, a blood and soil nationalist, and a fascist, all becaus…

“ In my spare time over the past four or five years I’ve been working on a wee project to produce some detailed Gaelic maps at a scale of 1:100,000. It’s involved a lot of research, trawling through place names books to discover the Celtic etymologies of Scottish place names, and translating English and Scots names, in order to turn them into a form of Gaelic that’s acceptable to modern speakers of the language……..

Most people who responded are interested and excited by the prospect of seeing Gaelic language maps of their own part of Scotland……. But not everyone. According to Tom Gallagher I’m a nat demagogue who is artificially Gaelicising Scotland in order to make a lot of money (I wish). Other Unionists have accused me of blood and soil nationalism, of fascism, of wasting time and money. They’ve demanded to know why anyone should waste time on a “dead language”…..

They’ve insisted that Gaelic was never spoken in places which have Gaelic names. But no one in Edinburgh / Fife / Dumfries ever spoke Gaelic, they say, oblivious to the fact that all of those places contain significant numbers of Gaelic place names which prove that Gaelic was indeed once spoken there……

Scotland’s languages belong to everyone in Scotland, irrespective of their political views. However maps are about possession and ownership, and by producing a Gaelic map you’re also saying that Scotland is its own country. You’re saying that Scotland can look at itself and discuss itself without reference to English. 

Scotland’s languages are the ground zero of the Cringe. The existence of Gaelic and Scots is an affront to those who claim that there is no basis to Scottish nationalism other than an atavistic hatred of the English. Gaelic and Scots prove that Scotland does have a culture and identity of its own, and therefore they must be diminished, disparaged, and destroyed. Their existence is a threat to the glorious unity of the UK, and any attempt to let them out of the folkloric box into which they’ve been confined is an insult to the sensibilities of our more zoomy Unionists. Don’t dare attempt to use them like proper languages. Only English is allowed that role in this perfect partnership of nations. “

Here are a few resources to learn the language of the Turkic family that is spoken in Crimea. Most of the resources available are in Russian. Note that Crimean Tatar ≠ Tatar, and that they are two separate languages.






Crimean Tatar




Other Languages

winning-speed-ties  asked:

I'm sure this has been asked before, but I don't quite know when to use "a" after verbs and when not to. Like, should I say "veo algo" or "veo a algo?" And what about mirar in the same scenario? Miro algo o miro a algo?

It really depends on the verb in question, and the function of a there.

Some verbs simply take a as their preposition: asistir, comenzar, empezar, parecerse a, ir a + infinitivo and so on

With a verb like ver it’s typically ver algo “to watch something” while ver a alguien is “to see someone”

In this kind of sentence, the a is used to show the direct object is a person. And this is very common; ayudar a alguien, decir a alguien, lastimar a alguien, as well as many others.

And mirar is a bit of a special case because it really depends on circumstance since there are times when a is used and some when it isn’t.

mirar algo is “to look at something” or “to watch something”

mirar a algo is “to look towards something”

So you see mirar la tele “to watch TV”, but also mirar al cielo “to look at the sky”, or mirar al suelo “to look at the floor”. 

You can say mirar el libro which is “to look at the book”, and then mirar al libro “to look towards the book / to look in the book’s direction” 

And even mirar a alguien “to look at someone / to watch someone / to stare at someone / to look towards someone”

Other times a is more adverbial and harder to explain like saying jugar a algo “to play something” like jugar al ajedrez “to play chess” or jugar a la rayuela “to play hopscotch”

Other adverbial ways are more like phrases like a solas “one-on-one / in private” or a escondidas “in secret”… like tenemos que hablar a solas “we need to talk privately” or hablar a espaldas de alguien “to talk behind someone’s back”




Fall/Autumn - φθινόπωρο (neuter)

Leaf - φύλλο (neuter)

Trees - δέντρα (neuter, pl)

Wind - Άνεμος (masc.)

Fireplace - τζάκι (neuter)

Boots - μπότες (fem. pl)

Hat (for cold weather) - σκούφος (masc.)

Scarf - κασκόλ (neuter)

Gloves - γάντια (neuter, pl)

Coat - παλτό(neuter)

Pumpkin - κολοκύθα (fem.)

Soup - σούπα (fem.)




It’s cold outside - Κάνει κρύο έξω

I love Autumn/Fall - Αγαπάω το φθινόπωρο

Do you want to go for a walk? - Θέλεις να πάω έναν περίπατο;

I can’t wait for Christmas - Ανυπομονώ για τα Χριστούγεννα

Please correct any mistakes.

[2016.9.27] ~ 3/100

It’s day 3 of the challenge! Been in my local Costa all morning getting some much needed grammar practice in. My grapes will only keep me going so long however, may have to head home to refuel soon.

It’s pretty grey in London today, hopefully it’ll brighten up for the Arsenal game tomorrow!

Have a wonderful and fruitful week everyone!

While language learning apps and websites such as are plentiful online, places to practice are less easy to find! Here’s a few you can try out, none of which are limited to just one or two languages:


HelloTalk (iOS/Android): an app with 100+ languages that lets you chat with native speakers of your target language from around the world with voice + text. It’s the one most geared towards just conversation!

WeSpeke (iOS/Android): an app and website with probably the largest variety of languages at 130, with text, audio, and video chat.

Conversation Exchange: this one’s a little different, as it not only allows you to get a pen pal and has text, video, and voice, but it also lets you meet up with native speakers in your area to practice!

Speaky (iOS/Android): a web and mobile app which is pretty much social media for language learners! It has 110+ languages and you can make video/audio calls and message from your browser.

HiNative (iOS/Android): not exactly for chatting with people, but instead you can ask native speakers about their culture/language in your target language!


Duolingo Immersion: lets you translate articles from your target language into your native language, or vice versa.

Readlang: read articles, books, and other texts online, with vocab support, and it will create vocab lists and flashcards based on the words you needed help with.

All You Can Read: a selection of magazines and news websites from 200 countries, offered in a wide variety of languages.

Worldpress: a directory of worldwide newspapers and magazines, sorted by country, region, and also political affiliation.


Live-Radio: a collection of thousands of worldwide radio stations in a multitude of languages.

Every Tongue: 7,000+ recordings of all different languages, readily available online.

Omniglot: a massive listing of online radio stations in languages from A-Z!

Global Recordings Network: search by language or country to listen to any of a wide variety of online recordings.