Monthly Archives: November, 2013

A Tourist’s Top 7 Things to Do in South Africa

Can you hear the call? See the sun rising up over the savannah? Picture Rafiki raising a little lion cub in his arms above the animal kingdom? While you won’t necessarily feel like you’re on the set of The Lion King, I can safely say South Africa won’t disappoint. The country is a motley collection(…)

Top 6 Child-Friendly Places in Phuket

Phuket is a lovely island in tropical Thailand where sunshine and smiles are plentiful. It’s more laid back than Bangkok and offers loads of entertainment options for adults and children alike. Let’s take a look at the six best places to visit in Thailand if you have kids. 1. Elephant Rides – Chalong Area – From(…)

Does the Name Make the Man? A Look at Nominative Determinism

My high school physiology classes consisted of countless lessons involving the study of how the human body works, the ins out outs of it all, how things operate, how things don’t. Appropriate then, when you consider my teacher was a Doctor Payne, complete with a dentist for a daughter. True story. The question, however, is:(…)

Viva L’Italia: Italian Idioms and Expressions

Italian is a colourful language, as all the Latin languages are, and like every other language it has its own proverbs, expressions and idioms. Below are a few common Italian phrases to learn, so you can convince people you’re a real Italian. Non si puo avere la botte piena è la moglie ubriaca Literally translating(…)

Oh, English! (And Its Strangely Spelled Words)

English is a quirky language. Because it’s been constantly changing and borrowing from other languages for hundreds of years, it’s no surprise that the spellings of some words make little to no sense at all. From silent letters to vowel and consonant combinations that are pronounced differently despite looking similar, it can be quite confusing(…)

Speaking Ill of the Dead: Obituary Euphemisms

People often say, “You shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.” It’s seen as disrespectful to say anything bad about someone who can no longer defend themselves, or perhaps about someone for whom death is enough of a punishment for how they lived their life. On the other hand, if someone was an awful person when(…)

What National Dishes Say About a Nation

Food can say a lot about a country and its people. National dishes in particular can tell us about a country’s staple foods, how it’s been influenced by different cultures and even how important food is to its people. Unlike national birds, plants or animals, national dishes usually aren’t official in the sense that they’ve(…)

Rise of the Twitterbot: A Modern Language App for Good and Evil

Twitter is one of those things that you either get or you don’t. Some see it as a place where everyone spends their time telling people what they’ve eaten for breakfast and others hail it as a great forum for sharing ideas and connecting with people with similar interests. Twitter has been around for nearly(…)

Tongue Twisters: Spoonerisms and Freudian Slips

The mind and the tongue don’t always agree to co-operate with each other. In fact, your brain and mouth often don’t agree and this makes for a fascinating area of study. On the more serious end of things you have speech disorders like stammers, or brain traumas such as strokes affecting the communication between your(…)

Stop Making Excuses And Learn Another Language!

  If you’re reading this, chances are good that you’re a native English speaker. If you also happen to be an American, English is probably the only language you’re able to speak fluently as only one in four Americans are bilingual. If you’re sick of being a statistic representing the xenophobic nature Americans are sometimes(…)