Wednesday, 26 January 2011


Find out more about contemporary culture in the UK :


MyWordBook | Learn English | British Council

MyWordBook | Learn English | British Council

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Learn with Mr. Lex

 A new post - The English Idiom - has been published:

You might ask why I keep posting lists of idioms. Because you want your English to sound more native-like. You'll never find yourself losing track in a conversation when you are among native speakers. Even businessmen use idiomatic expressions in negotiations. You don't understand the meaning? You'll feel frustrated, discombobulated, flummoxed, dumfounded... Next time, you might need a lesson on synonyms: another beauty of the English language.

Saturday, 15 January 2011


RĂ©union  is a French island (one of the 26 regions of France) located in the Indian Ocean. It is the outermost region of the European Union. As an overseas department of France, Reunion is part of the Eurozone.
Population: ≈800,000
The ethnic groups present include Europeans, Africans, Indians and Chinese. Those who are born on the island are called Creoles. The Portuguese are thought to have been the first Europeans who visited the island in 1635 and found it uninhabited. In 1671 there were 90 inhabitants on the island and then in 1777 (35,100 people), in 1860 (200,000) and in 1967 (416,525).                                                                 
Language: French is the official language. Reunion Creole can also be heard in administration, but not in education. Tamil is taught in some schools. Mandarin, Hakka, Arabic, Urdu and Cantonese are also spoken by different communities.                                                                                        
 Location: east of Madagascar, south of Mauritius                                                               

Capital: Saint-Denis

Geography: Reunion - 63 kilometres long, 45 kilometres wide – is situated above one of the hotspot ( volcanic regions) of the Earth’s crust. The Piton des Neiges volcano is extinct, while the Piton de la Fournaise has erupted 100 times since 1640. The slopes of both mountains are heavily forested. The West coast is ringed by coral reef                                                                            

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Living, constructed, endangered, extinct, dead and resurrected languages

How many languages do we speak?
The Ethnologue (encyclopedia of the world’s known languages) quotes 6909 living languages, that’s one language for every 862,000 people on Earth.
As economic and cultural globalization continue, many languages will become endangered and eventually, extinct. People find it easier to communicate and conduct business in the dominant languages of world commerce: English, Chinese, and Spanish.
In the next 200 years, half of the 6,000 currently spoken languages will be lost.
94% of languages are spoken by only 6% of the World’s population, which tells us that there are hundreds of languages with just a few thousand or hundred speakers. Let’s look at some more figures:
·        In the late1990s English was the second most-common native tongue in the world, trailing only Chinese.
·        By 2050, Chinese will continue to be the first, followed by Hindi-Urdu of India and Arabic and English, and Spanish – as third and fourth.
·        Europe has 234 languages spoken on a daily basis
Less is known about the constructed languages (conlangs). Some were intended to foster communication such as: Esperanto, Europanto or Ido. Creation of mixed languages intended to promote international peace and tolerance, Esperanto was named from the word esperanto, which translates "one who hopes”.
Others are associated with fictional worlds: Na'vi (the language from the film Avatar) or Star Trek languages (Klingon and Romulan).
Just for fun, hodgepodge variations of English can also be mentioned here. Some examples include     Czenglish (from Czech), Denglish (German), Franglais (French), Greeklish (Greek), Spanglish ( Spanish) etc. One of the most interesting creations is Chinglish (written or spoken ungrammatical or nonsensical English that is influenced by Chinese). Sometimes delightful, some other times bizarre, Chinglish contain errors that are fun. For an interesting collection of Chinglish,go to:

More about endangered, extinct, dead and resurrected languages in our next post.