I enjoy finding out about things. Now I'm retired (I have been for 14 years), I have time to research subjects I find interesting. So I do!
The HPR project is going through a phase where the queue can get very low, so I thought having a subject where I could fire off short shows from time to time would help with this. Maybe we can make a series where others who like the idea can contribute when the mood takes them!
My plan is to keep details to a minimum and provide links to sources of more information if you're someone who likes to dig deeper!
TIL 1 - is it learnt or learned?
I discovered that both are acceptable. Both are the past tense (and past participle) of the verb "to learn":
- learnt is an older form which is more common in British English
- learned is more common in US English, and is becoming more popular in the UK
TIL 2 - the French word for piggy bank
I watch a YouTube channel from a Canadian woodworker who produces English and French versions of his episodes. His latest one is about making a wooden piggy bank, or tirelire in French.
I learnt French at school (though I wasn't much good at it), but have never come across this word. My questions are:
- Where does it come from?
- How do you say it?
The Wiktionary page below has answers to both.
- It's of onomatopoeic origin (representing the rattling of coins).
- There's audio on the page showing how to say it (as well as the IPA version [International Phonetic Alphabet], see below).
- YouTube channel - The Woodpecker:
- Wiktionary: tirelire
TIL 3 - how to pronounce IPA coded words
I actually learnt about this a while ago, but I thought now would be a good time to share.
The IPA form of tirelire is
included the enclosing slash delimiters which aren't part of the IPA but
have significance; see the IPA Wikipedia page for details). I have seen
these symbols for years but have never managed to decode them
A few months ago I wondered how to deal with them reliably (and easily). There are many sites offering to transcribe English (and other languages) to IPA, a few of which are free. I only found one that would attempt to speak IPA, and that is IPA Reader.
Paste the IPA into the form, select a reader voice, and click "Read". Some of the voices seem a bit odd. I settled on "Brian" for British English, and it seems fine.