Site Map - skip to main content

Hacker Public Radio

Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

New episodes every weekday Monday through Friday.
This page was generated by The HPR Robot at

hpr4002 :: Today I learnt - 2023-11-24

Some odds and ends I learnt today

<< First, < Previous, , Latest >>

Thumbnail of Dave Morriss
Hosted by Dave Morriss on 2023-12-05 is flagged as Explicit and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
learning, learned, learnt, TIL, English, French, phonetics, IPA, tirelire. (Be the first).
The show is available on the Internet Archive at:

Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. Play now:

Duration: 00:07:57

Today I Learnt.

A series where hosts speak about recent discoveries they have made which they consider might be of interest to the HPR Community.

What's this?

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).

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 /tiʁ.liʁ/ (I 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 reliably.

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.


Subscribe to the comments RSS feed.

Leave Comment

Note to Verbose Commenters
If you can't fit everything you want to say in the comment below then you really should record a response show instead.

Note to Spammers
All comments are moderated. All links are checked by humans. We strip out all html. Feel free to record a show about yourself, or your industry, or any other topic we may find interesting. We also check shows for spam :).

Provide feedback
Your Name/Handle:
Anti Spam Question: What does the letter P in HPR stand for?
Are you a spammer?
What is the HOST_ID for the host of this show?
What does HPR mean to you?