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The language files


• "Do you understand this?" — A rude question in the wrong language...

Vocal fry and high-rising terminal pitch — American girl-talk....

No Spanish-language newspapers in Bend, Oregon... — 15 June 2011

• "Thanks a million" — an Irish-English expression, upgraded in translation from Gaelic...

• The bilingual are nearly useless to the student of their language....

Phonetic — I wouldn't want to have to learn English....

• "Simplified French" — the Dutch tend to believe that English is the easiest language to learn....

Learning words — Eating a language whole...

How to say "drunk" in Irish English...

De and het — two Dutch words for "the"...

De Nieuwe Spelling — the "new" spelling of the Dutch language...

• The Gaelic Irish language is in danger of extinction...

• The possibility that the English language will evolve a decent spelling system...

Overschakelen naar het engels — switching to English...

Eet smakelijk — the Dutch version of the pervasive European (sometimes compulsory) "enjoy your meal."...

English for kids...

• "Estoy pobre," — the difference between two Spanish words for "to be"...

• Dutch is notoriously difficult. But why?

My Dutch is bad, I know....

Sorry — "excuse me" in European English...

• "Alstublieft" — a hyper-polite word in the Dutch language...

• English, the global lingua franca...

Cursing in Ireland...

Cursing in The Netherlands...

Good Dutch words...
  • English for the Dutch — a few suggestions...

Good Romanian words...
  • English for Romanians...

• The rogue Irish comma...

Quitting English in Holland ...

Y'all — there's no plural "you" in normal English....

[To be] after; the Irish-English past tense...

• At the "nonstop" — drinking late in smalltown Romania...

• "Effort yourself" to learn some Spanish — working in a Mexican restaurant in Spain...


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