10 interesting language facts

1) Bulgarians shake their heads for ‘yes’ and nod for ‘no’.

2) It was a Welshman in India, William Jones, who paved the way for the discovery of the Indo-European language family when he noticed the similarities between Greek, Latin and Sanskrit.

3) A mix of Italian and Spanish, called Cocoliche, is spoken in Argentina, while a mix of Spanish and Portuguese, called Portuñol, is spoken along the Brazilian border.

4) The Dictionary of the Dutch language is the largest dictionary in print and took 147 years to compile.

5) To the extent that it can ever be measured, many believe that English has the largest vocabulary of all the world’s languages.

6) The expression ‘to run amok’ comes from the Indonesian verb ‘amuk’ meaning ‘to run out of control, killing indiscriminately’.

7) Despite attempts to merge them, Norwegian has two official forms: Nynorsk (new Norwegian) and Bokmål (book language), the latter being more heavily influenced by Danish.

8) Welsh, like Navajo, was used as a code language during World War II and the Balkan War.

9) Although considered a difficult language for Europeans to learn, Chinese has no verb tenses, meaning that there are no conjugations to practise.

10) German is known for its long compound words; one of the longest words in general use is Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz (Law on delegation of duties for supervision of cattle marking and beef labelling) with 63 letters.



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