It’s been six years since I attended the polyglot conference for the first time. It was a refreshing experience. I listened to groups of people vividly discussing the subject of language difficulty; praising novels they had just read in the original (and sometimes extinct) languages; scribbling in the air in a writing script I had never heard about before. I got hooked.

In the end, no matter how many languages one speaks, anyone remotely passionate about languages is welcomed at the conference. I hope to participate in it once again.

In these six years I have met many polyglots. A…

By Victor Lavaud

The omnipresent verb

Hona (होना) is probably the most important Hindi verb. Similarly to its English counterpart — to be — it got grammaticalized and is used in multiple tense structures such as equivalents of the English present simple and present continuous. The characteristic sounds of huh and heh at the the end of sentences is Honain one of its conjugations

Since it’s so often used in the language it retained a relatively complex conjugation. Don’t worry too much though, it’s still simpler than to be in many European languages. Let’s dive into all its forms!


  1. (I) am — मैं हूँ — pronounced…


Javascript is eating the world

Javascript has been doing the same thing to the world of programming languages that English has been doing to the world of natural languages.

Nowadays, javascript is the only language with which you can code both backend and frontend (read more about scala.js ang gopherjs and others below). Besides, you can also code your native apps with javascript. One area in which it still lags behind is data science where python is still the king, But don’t underestimate javascript, you can still do lots of stuff with it in this domain.

It’s all about ecosystems, not languages

When a Scala backend developer jumps into the frontend…

First, can we actually measure the speed of programming languages?

In theory

It is very difficult to say which backend language is the fastest or the most scalable one. How could we test it? We should probably test something real, like a service running in production! For this, let’s take one thousand companies, tell them to write two versions of their flagship backend service in two backend languages and then compare the speed of both versions.

No one clearly does such tests. Even if some companies did, how would they decide when a given project is ready for speed tests? …

Here at we decided to use notion as our collaboration tool and we love it.

In every company I had worked at as a Software Engineer I had mostly used the Atlassian Jira. I was introduced to Notion recently, but I didn’t use it as the main collaboration tool, but merely as a wiki.

Tiengos is growing and I knew one thing, I didn’t want us to use anything even similarly looking to Jira. For a time, I thought Trello was enough. …

¿Eres hispanohablante y te molesta que a veces no sabes cómo recurrir a otras personas? ¿Debería ser Usted o ? En ocasiones ninguna de las dos opciones es buena. Si la persona en cuestión es la madre de tu novia y le tratas de tú puede sonar descarado. Pero si decides tratarle de Usted, a partir de ahora se crea creará una barrera que puede parecer artificial.

Sentí una enorme envidia cuando me di cuenta que para la gente de la habla inglesa, el problema mencionado casi no existía (“casi”, porque en casos de extrema formalidad se usa por ejemplo…

Flags of the countries where Big Romance Languages originate from

Number of unique verb forms

In the previous post we had a look at which of the Big Romance Languages has the highest number of grammatical tenses. This time we will have a look at another metric — number of unique verb forms.


The formal definition of number of unique verb forms is:

If for a given language X:

There exists a verb which can be conjugated into N different in writing forms


There is no other verb in the language X that can be conjugated into more than N different in writing forms

Then the number of unique verb forms of language X…

Flags of the countries where Big Romance Languages originate from

What does big mean?

By big romance languages I mean: Italian, French, Portuguese and Spanish, which according to wikipedia have 64, 77, 221 and 480 million native speakers respectively. There are many other Romance languages which we will not take into account in this definition, the next biggest ones would be Romanian (24 mln) and Catalan (4 mln).

Ephemeral complexity

It is very difficult to define what the most complicated grammar means. Even if we try to compare languages such as Hungarian (considered by many online bloggers to be one of the most grammatically complicated languages) and Bahasa Indonesia (considered to be one of the simplest…

Notorious Stacks

Stacks are everywhere. Even the most popular programming website has stack in its domain. Everyone seems to talk about stacks all the time. When we code in Java quite often our computers presents us with beautiful java.lang.StackOverFlowError.

When we do it in Javascript we are blessed with Maximum call stack size exceeded.

⚠️ In this article I assume you know how to type Chinese characters ⚠️

Inputting emojis and learning Chinese

  1. If you follow the trends, you have probably started using emoji in online communicators on a daily basis. Perhaps, you even use emojis in private documents and at work. Some apps, for example Whatsapp allow you to input emoji with smart shortcuts. For example by typing :happy you can get “😄”. You might’ve realized that it would be useful to have a quick way of inputting emojis anywhere, and not only inside Whatsapp desktop version.
  2. If you learn Chinese, and force yourself to text your Chinese…

Kamil Nguyen Van

Software engineer and language learning enthusiast. Currently building

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