The McGurk Effect

Is seeing believing? In the case of the McGurk effect, it very much is! Even if you know about the McGurk effect, it doesn’t lessen its effect. The McGurk effect changes how we hear sounds based on what we see. If we see what looks like a B, we will hear a B, even if no B was pronounced. Check this video for a demonstration of it. It’s so weird!

A german attempting to speak japanese

Japanese is actually pretty easy to pronounce. Unlike English, Japanese only has about 40 possible syllable in the language. All words in the language are made up of different combinations of these syllables. Once you are able to pronounce these syllables, you can pronounce everything in the language. Why not give Japanese a try 🙂

Phrases of 2015

Words and phrases come and go as society and culture changes. Have you pocketdialed anyone? Taken a few selfies? The word selfie was coined many years ago, but it took a while before it took off. It even made it into a word of the year award. What are some of your favourite new words or phrases?

15 Phrases invented by Seinfeld


Close Talkers and Double Dippers: 15 Phrases ‘Seinfeld’ Spawned Pictures | Rolling Stone

Shrinkage, spongeworthy, serenity now: check out the memorable terms that the popular sitcom have embedded into the culture


Are you a close talker or a double dipper? It is a real sign of the popularity of a show when it has begun to affect our very language. All shows can produce new phrases. People do it all the time. But it is when a show is this popular and produces new words and phrases so often that it can have a large effect on a language.

Languages of the world


Mapped: The 7,000 languages across the world – Telegraph

Many countries are home to hundreds of languages, sometimes despite having very small populations


There are about 7000 languages in the world, but only 200 of them are written (usually very large languages). Most languages in the world are spoken by a very small amount of people. Learning more about smaller languages is very interesting. Some of them are very different to any language you have encountered.

Swedish dialect and Arabic language challenge

Arabic is a widely spoken language in the Middle East and North Africa. What is interesting about this language is that it is in a similar situation to Latin, in that there is a form of Arabic called MSA (Modern Standard Arabic) which is used in media and in formal settings.

The colloquial language has moved on however, to the point that the different “dialects” of Arabic are now in many places mutually unintelligible. MSA is based on the language of the Quran which was written many many centuries ago and so reflects a much older form of the language.

What is the origin of the word “meme”?

The word “meme” has taken on a life of its own on the internet. Nowadays, it pretty much means funny picture with connotations of using some kind of oft used picture and text. Although the origin of the word was in a Richard Dawkins book where he talks about things that spread through cultural means, and since picture memes were the most popular form of memes out there, the word increasingly took on that connotation.

Evolution of Indo European languages

Most language in Europe are derived from a language called Proto Indo European which was probably spoken in the Russian steppes in about 6000 BC (I say probably since there are multiple theories about it). The Indo part of Indo European refers to a group of languages in India which also descend from Proto Indo European but were spoken in the Middle East and India.