The Glossophile

Passionate about language

No hablo español: How I failed to learn Spanish. Twice.

Posted on May 22, 2015

You’ve probably heard the joke: A person who speaks two languages is bilingual. A person who speaks more than two languages is a polyglot. So what do you call a person who speaks just one language? Answer: An American. The joke is funny because it contains an element of embarrassing truth.

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Filed under: Introduction language learning portuguese spanish

Why there is no Portuguese word for "Sauerkraut"

Posted on May 12, 2015

Pardon my French Last week my brother was telling me a story that took place at his work. Somebody had, jokingly, insulted a coworker using a long string of profanity. “What did you say?” the recipient had retorted, pretending to be offended. “Oh nothing. That’s just the Portuguese word for ‘sauerkraut’.

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Filed under: etymology french german Introduction loanwords portuguese

Glossophile? Glossa-what?

Posted on May 7, 2015

Editor’s note: This article is also available in Spanish. Nota del editor: Este artícolo también está disponible en español. ¿Glosófilo? ¿Gloso-qué? As I was thinking about launching this blog, I knew I would need to come up with name. I wanted something short. Something memorable. Something meaningful. I spent several days brainstorming with my wife and some friends, and we had come up with a few ideas.

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Filed under: etymology faq greek Introduction latin neologism spanish