The Origins of the Word ‘Gay’

It’s Pride Month and one of the most colourful words in the English language – with more makeovers than Madonna and more dramatic life stories than Liza Minnelli – is the word ‘gay’! Like every hero, ‘gay’ has an origin story, but even today, scholars are in disagreement over the precise journey it took to … Read more

Words That Have Circumnavigated the World

The Indonesian word for ‘dictionary’ (kamus) is almost the same as the Swahili word (kamusi) and is in fact an old borrowing from Arabic that somehow came from the Greek word for ‘ocean’. Confused? Here’s how multilingualism and trade spread three rather unusual words around the world. An ocean of words The Indonesian word for … Read more

Valentine’s Day Around the World

Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many wonderful ways around the world. uTalk’s Language guru, Brian, presents five countries and their colourful customs all done in the name of love! Argentina Argentineans are so passionate about love that in addition to Valentine’s Day, they celebrate an entire week in July called La Semana de la Dulzura … Read more

Women’s Words

If you’re a native English speaker, then you may not ever have noticed your gender affecting the way you speak – at least, in terms of the words you use. However, this is not true across all languages. In this blog post, uTalk’s Language Guru, Brian, set out to find some languages where women in … Read more