Monday, August 27, 2012

Going Goo-Goo Gaga for Baby Talk (How adults speak to babies)

Want some wawa?
Does baby want num-num?
Time for beddy bye.

If you don’t have children or you’ve never interacted with any, then you won’t understand that these sentences simply translate to asking a child if he wants some water (wawa), if he is hungry and wants food (num-num) or that it is time to sleep because it is time for bedtime (beddy bye).

These are examples of baby talk, the oversimplification and other nonsensical words that adults often use when speaking to young children.

Baby talk

Baby talk is a language all of its own, something that many child development experts have recognized and parents have been using for ages. It is a way that adults exclusively speak to babies and young children that simply can’t be avoided at times. After all, it’s hard to keep a serious face when an adorable baby is cooing and ahhhing to your every word.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Go Amok with Tsunamis and Tycoons (English Words of Asian Origin)

Whether it’s Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese or Korean, the many Asian languages seem vastly different from the English language. Many English speakers can’t even read, much less pronounce many words in the various Asian languages.

However, it may be surprising to realize that the English language has also been influenced by many Asian languages, such as Malay, Cantonese and Japanese. After all, English itself attributes as much as 80% of its vocabulary words from other languages, including the different Asian languages!

Many know that a lot English words have their roots in Latin words, but few realize that some words in Cantonese, Mandarin and even Japanese have found their way into the English vernacular. Chinese words have also become part of the English language through other languages such as Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean. This is similar to how Latin words found their way into the English language through French, Spanish and Italian.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Demystifying the Language of Yoga

Yoga in the Sivananda Yoga Tradition in La Mesa, Colombia

Many people unfamiliar with the practice associate yoga with some weird and body bending poses. However, the ancient practice of yoga has been finding itself in the limelight in modern times. Not only has it been credited for transforming some bodies into svelte and toned figures, it has also been credited for helping millions of people find peace, focus, relaxation and clarity of thought. After all, the practice of yoga involves more than the physical aspect.

What is yoga?

Yoga is the Hindu practice that involves the harmony of the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of a person. The practice originated in ancient India, making it more than 5,000 years old. Today, the word is also used to refer to meditative practices that have roots in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, although the practice and discipline of yoga can be performed by anyone from any religious belief. Through concentrated meditation, the yoga practitioner is able to attain a state of tranquility and gain deep spiritual insight.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Now Serving: Enchilada and Guacamole (Tracing the Spanish Origin of Some English Words)


These are just some Spanish words that English speakers have become familiar with, as these have become part of the language.

The English language is based on a number of other languages in the world. There are many commonly used words in English that have Spanish origin, such as fiesta or party, desperado, meaning desperate or amigo, meaning friend. Around the home, there is the patio or you may even live in a ranch, which is from the Spanish noun rancho. Even the weather patterns are described as El Niño or La Niña. There is also the word hurricane, which stems from the Spanish word huracan.

From romance languages
Many of these words can be traced to the romance languages, but it is widely thought that these words found their way into the vernacular, mainly through the Spanish language, rather than French or Italian. It is this similarity with Spanish that makes it quite easy for English speakers to learn Spanish.

Some of the words have become used too often; it is easy to forget that we have to thank the Spanish language for its contribution to the evolution and development of the English language.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Love Words? Then Call Yourself a Logophile!

A logophile is a person who loves words, a word buff if you please. But whether you are a logophile or not, you will surely learn a new word or two from this next installment of Little Known Words and More. So, buckle up because it's time to add more words to your treasure chest of English words.

Helping women give birth is not solely done by midwives. There are male midwives, too. These mid-men are referred to as accouchers.

Suffering from this condition will not allow you to enjoy the smell of roses and many other things around you. Anosmia can be a temporary or permanent olfactory disorder where a person is unable to perceive odors.

Life can be bland for people who cannot taste anything at all (sour, bitter, sweet, salty and savory or umami). This inability of the tongue to detect taste is ageusia. But if only partial loss of taste is present, the right term to use is hypogeusia.

Do you know where your tear and sweat glands are in your eyes? They are in the caruncula. This is the pink flesh that you find in the inner corners of your eyes.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

All About the Summer Olympics 2012: Ancient Meets Modern in a Multiculturalist World

London Olympics 2012 Logo
The Summer Olympic Games have officially started and everyone is now rooting for their respective countries in frenzied excitement, all hoping to win so that they can make their nations proud. Around 10,500 athletes and millions of spectators including the media from more than 200 countries are all meshed up in London, the rich and colorful capital as well as the largest metropolis of the United Kingdom.
Fireworks ignite over the Olympics Stadium during the Opening Ceremony