https://www.duolingo.com/SamuelCristea

What are some fun facts about your language?

Hello everyone! What are some interesting facts about your language? What I want you to do is write at least 3 facts or MORE about your language. (It can be any language you want)

It's alright to do some research if you don't know any, but I thought it be cool to see each others facts in many different languages. So here is an example of what you can do:

English Language-

  1. Swims will be Swims even when turned upside down. (such words are called ambigrams)

  2. "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." (is a pangram which means that this sentence contains all the letters in the English alphabet)

  3. The shortest, oldest, and most commonly used word is "I".

Now you know what to do, let's have fun with it! Come up/find as many fun facts about your language as you can. Thanks!

October 10, 2017

39 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Justin7171

Some fun facts about Romanian!

  1. The word îmbrăţişând contains all the diacritical marks in Romanian
  2. The word for 5 (cinci) and 12 (douăsprezece) have the same number of letters as the word it represents
  3. The letter ţ occurs only in the Romanian writing system
  4. Nearly all the vowels, independently, are also words.
  5. It's grammar evolved differently from that of all other Romance languages in the entire Universe.
  6. It’s being taught as a second language in 43 countries.
  7. It's the only Romance language in the entire Easter Europe

If you want more fun facts about Romanian here is a video: https://youtu.be/J9kHdmynzF8

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SamuelCristea

This is really cool! I loved the video you shared, a lot of fun facts I love it! XD

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/tiramisues
  1. High German (Hochdeutsch) is an artificial language. It's the variant you learn on Duo and is seen as correct in Germany. It's there to unify the dialects spoken in German and was first only the written variation later it was decided that there should be a spoken variant - spoken exactly like the written version. That's also why German is so phonetic. The reason why the best High German is spoken around Hannover is because their dialect is basically extinct.

  2. To steal your example a German pangram: Zwölf Boxkämpfer jagen Viktor quer über den großen Sylter Deich.

  3. To steal Kyomice example: "Wenn Fliegen fliegen fliegen Fliegen Fliegen hinterher." Is a correct sentence. The variant "Wenn Robben robben robben Robben Robben hinterher." Is also possible. Not as cool as the buffalo one, but still...

October 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Bob20020

Wow! I didn't know Hochdeutsch is artificial! So the dialects are in fact separate languages?

What does "Wenn Fliegen fliegen fliegen Fliegen Fliegen hinterher" mean? Can you explain how it works?

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/tiramisues

Yeah, sort of. They don't count as separate languages, but I guess, if history played out differently Bavarian, Austrian, Swabian, Saxonian, Platt etc. could be separate languages just like the Scandinavian languages that are really close, but still different.

My ex from Northern Germany, couldn't understand what my Swabian grandma said. At all. According to him, she might as well have spoken Chinese. (She understood him fine, because of TV, but even if she tries to speak Hochdeutsch she just can't really do it. She's old and lived all her life in a small town with a population of about 600. And on top of pronunciation she also uses some dialect words.)

Fun video teaching Swabian to Germans speaking Hochdeutsch by Harald Schmidt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2XWfeknNtE (Yes, he is a comedian, but no, those examples are not exaggerated, but mostly literal "translations", despite everyone laughing. Some of the sentences are ridiculous, but that's also true in Hochdeutsch.)

Google also gave me this link to the history of German: https://www.thoughtco.com/hochdeutsch-germans-one-language-3862610

And your other question: It means when flies fly, flies fly behind flies. The verb to fly - fliegen is the same as the plural of the animal. The other sentence is the same, but with seals crawling behind other seals. :D

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SamuelCristea

It seems like no one has written any fun facts about French so I might as well do it.

French Language-

  1. The shortest French word with all vowels is oiseau (bird)
  2. There's only one French word with the letter ù, and that's où (where). Yet the letter still gets its own key on the French keyboard.
  3. Oeil (eye) is the only word that starts with a different letter when in plural yeux (eyes).
  4. French doesn't use the letter "W"
  5. French is also the only language, with English, that is taught in every country of the world, with 100 million students and 2 million teachers – 20 % of whom are outside of francophone countries.
October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Michael.Lubetsky

No “w” in French? The Walloons (French-speakers in Belgium) may disagree (https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallons)! :-)

You also have the word for train car (un “wagon”).

This said, it is admittedly a very rare letter in French.

October 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Minantcraft

I disagree (I'm Walloon though), the letter is used in French but a really few words: all "wagon"-like words, "wallon", cities: "Wandres", "Awans", "Aywaille", and all imports: whisky, kiwi, ... The main difference is that French people pronounce /v/ instead of /w/

April 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/EliasPitts

That was interesting, SamuelChristea. And there are fun facts of every language, of course, so also english. 1English is a mix of saxon, scandinavian and French 2It sounds very much like dutch, and also French 3Albert, a mostly English name, is a norman name and it means 'noble' or 'right'. It became popular in England when Queen Victoria married prince Albert. And here are fun facts for dutch: 1There are kinds of dutch, like dutch, flemish, afrikaans and frisian. 2 Flemish has a bit of French in it, which is quite clear

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/swingbeatnik7

Some fun facts about Hebrew!

  1. The letter ח (kha) is usually spoken softly, people learning it tend to emphasize it, as is natural with learning new languages, like I do when I try the Welsh 'll' sound lol.

  2. The letter ה means 'the' and you attach it to a word. אבא האבא Dad The Dad.

  3. When learning the language, one tends to learn niqqud נִקּוּד but is often omitted in modern-day writings.

  4. When learning Biblical Hebrew, niqqud is present but also trope signs in certain texts. These are used to sing and are typically learned around the age of 13 (Bar/Bat Mitzvah). Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMDbZiWTd1I

  5. There are 2 other languages (that I know of) that use the Hebrew script: Yiddish (Related to German, mixed with Slavic and Hebrew words) and Ladino (Judeo-Spanish).

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BeCreative__

Thanks for talking about hebrew

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Michael.Lubetsky

I think that the funnest fact about Hebrew is by far the most successful example (and, by some counts, the only true example) of an ancient language being revived.

October 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sbeecroft

Some fun facts about Klingon!

  • Klingon has more speakers than High Elvish, Mordorian Black Speech, and Romulan -- combined!

  • Due to the confusion of gutturals, the traditional proposal of marriage, "Will you marry me, beloved?" sounds identical to "I plan to slit your sister's worthless throat." Some posit this as a reason for declining Klingon fertility rates.

  • Klingons have no words for the verb "to be", the noun "Kool-Aid", or the adjective "bodacious".

  • Klingon opera, though beautiful, cannot be sung by a Klingon-only troupe because of the lack of true sopranos among Klingon women.

  • It is said that the purest and most correct Klingon is spoken only by men being disemboweled.

  • By common convention, any face-to-face Klingon conversation is interrupted every 90 seconds so the participants can wipe each other's saliva off their faces.

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.

This made me crack up. Thank you.

October 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jzsuzsi

Fun facts about Hungarian:

  1. Hungarian has the vowels a á e é i í o ó ö ő u ú ü ű. From these, ő and ű are only found in Hungarian. By the way, ö ü are prononunced just like in German, and ő ű are the long versions of these.

  2. We have double (triple) letters: cs, dz, dzs, gy, ly ny , ty, sz, zs. Makes life sometimes complicated. Ok, I thought of a 5-letter word....wait, you count sz as one or two letters in there?

  3. Polish people can get confused: s is pronoundes as sz in Polish (English sh sound), sz is prononuced as s in Polish (English s sound).

  4. We have 3 verb tenses: present, past, future. There used to be more but they died out.

  5. Linguistically, Hungarian is relatad to Finnish (both in Uralic family). However, if a Hungarian hears Finnish, he understands completely nothing. Not a word. There are some similar words though: kéz= käsi (hand) vér= veri (blood) hal= kala (fish)

  6. Hungarian shares some similar vocabulary with German, Slovakian and Turkish. More than with Finnish.

  7. Here is a long palidrome for you: Kis erek mentén, láp sík ölén odavan a bánya rabja: jaj, Baranyában a vadon élő Kis Pálnét nem keresik

October 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Fire-ergens

Dutch:

  • Dutch is the only language that classifies IJ as a single letter. While on the computer the I and the J are seperate, when writing by hand they are generally connected. (draw a U and draw a J over the right 'leg' of the U)

  • There is (technically) no limit to how many verbs you can put in a row. However, more than 4 verbs in a row can get confusing and at some point you will just blank out as the sentence doesn't make sense anymore. Example: Zou je me kunnen willen komen ophalen or: Ik zou jou wel eens hebben willen zien durven blijven staan kijken. Dutch is the only West Germanic (possibly even the only Germanic) language that does this to this degree. To compare: German has a hard limit of 4 verbs in a row. Apparently it's pretty rare.

  • Dutch has a daughter language named Afrikaans. It is fairly intelligible to Dutch speakers and considered a lot easier to learn as Afrikaans grammar is radically simplified. (no gender, verbs rarely conjugate)

  • Norwegian sounds like a more North Germanic version of Dutch. Or does Dutch sound like a more West Germanic version of Norwegian? Is suppose it is a matter of perspective.

  • Perhaps one of the biggest challenges a native Dutch speaker is faced with when writing Dutch is the DT issue. It is the bane of every people whose teachers neglected to teach them a certain handy little rule..... ('t kofschip)

  • What we call one of those 'handy little rules' is 'ezelsbruggetje' (little donkey bridge). One of them is TVTAS (television bag). Which stands for Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland, Schiermonnikoog: the names of the 'Waddeneilanden' (Frisian Islands in English)

Low Saxon:

  • It is spoken in both the Eastern Netherlands (barring the south) and Northern Germany by a few million speakers. However, it is generally not taught at schools.

  • Historically speaking, there is no such thing as seperate words for 'he' and 'she'. This is still not the case in many dialects.

  • Speaking about dialects: there is a lot of variation. The differences between town A and town B loocated about 15 km from each other can be quite significant.

  • There are some pretty great comedians and great bands that perform in Low Saxon. Many of them are from either the Achterhoek or Twente.

  • You may not want to say that you 'would like to look at motorcycles' to people in the East. It does not mean what you think it means......

Bonus fact:

  • Dutch from the Randstad (the big city area) can be quite difficult to understand for a while if you've listened to Low Saxon for a few days.
October 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ister14

Some fun facts about Polish language:

  1. "Wydrze wydrzę wydrze wydrze wydrze wydrzę" is a correct Polish translation (not as long as Buffallo ... but still)
  2. 3 standard Latin letters aren't part of Polish alphabet (q, v, x) yet they are acceptable in the loan words (xero, video, requiem are some examples). It is however allowed to replace those letters with their Polish equivalents (x -> ks, v -> w, qu -> kw) so you can see also ksero, wideo and rekwiem.
  3. Despite 9 diacritics (ą, ć, ę, ł, ń, ó, ś, ź, ż) and the existence of Polish keyboard layout (which is QWERTZ and has Polish letters in the right part, where normally are punctuation characters), standard US is widely adopted with AltGr used to obtain Polish diacritics (it's extremely rare to see those Polish)
  4. While using US you need to combine AltGr + X to achieve "ź". This is due to the facts that AltGr + Z already produces ż (which is much more popular than "ź") and X is the only neighboring letter that does not have a respective diacritic
  5. Words żółw (a turtle/a toortoise) and łódź (boat, it's also a name of third largest city) contain 3 Polish letters with just one latin. Łżę contains no Latin letters, but 3 Polish
  6. ch, cz, dz, dź, dż, rz, sz each produces just one sound despite 2 letters to depict it. There is a city called Chrzczonów - try to spell THAT!
  7. There is no difference in pronunciation of following sounds: ch - h, ó-u, rz - ż. Yet there are strict rules which one should be used when.
  8. Applying i after c, dz, n, s, z changes pronunciation making them sound the same as (respectively) ć, dź, ń, ś, ź
  9. "Daj ać ja pobruszę a ty pocziwaj" is the oldest written sentence in Polish
  10. "Zażółć gęślą jaźń" is the shortest phrase containing all Polish diacritics
  11. Konstantynopolitańczykowianeczka is the longest Polish word
  12. When counting something you use 3 different declension - one singular and two plurals. In the past there used to have one more form (dual) but it was elided from the language
  13. tnę is a regular form of ciąć. Yes, they do not share a single letter.
  14. "Pchnąć w tę łódź jeża lub ośm skrzyń fig" contains all alphabet letters and each only once (ośm is the old version, currently replaced by osiem)
  15. No word begins with "ą", "ę" or "ń"
  16. Only loan words start with "y"

Well, there's probably a lot more than that. These are just some I remember.

October 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ermeni-1915
  1. My language-Armenian has 39 letters. 2.Armenian has a story about 6000 years. 3.We are the first Christian country in the world. 4.We can speak in all the languages because we have too many sounds.
October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Lemniscatarum

You even have r-colored vowels and dental fricatives?

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Lemniscatarum

More facts about English.

1) Set has the most definitions of any word - a whopping 21, to be exact.

2) The longest word without any vowels is rhythms, and a runner-up is syzygy.

3) Zyzzyva is the last word in the dictionary.

4) There's no b in any number until 1 billion.

5) E is the most used letter (11% of the whole English alphabet!) and Q is used the least.

6) In any word with Q, u follows it (except for acronyms, Qatar, Iraq, and loan words).

7) The only plural suppletion in English is cow - kine.

Serbo-Croatian

1) Montenegrin has added 2 new letters to their alphabet (or diphthongs): sj and zj.

2) There is no q, w, or x letter.

3) It has several diphthongs: lj, nj, c with an acute, c with a hacek, s with a hacek, z with a hacek, dj (or d with line through it), and dz (the z has a hacek).

4) J sounds like a y sound in "yam".

French

1) They don't use QWERTY.

2) Uses cardinal numbers for dates instead of ordinal.

DUTCH

1) Only uses x in loan words.

2) Has four yous: jij, je, jullie, and u.

Source: my own knowledge!

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sbeecroft

If you're going to list Qatar, shouldn't you include Iraq? Fwiw, Scrabble allows qi, qat, qaid, qai, qadi, qoph, qanat, tranq, faqir, sheqel, qabala, qabalah, qindar, qintar, qindarka, mbaqanga, and qwerty, along with their plurals (such as qats and sheqalim).

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Lemniscatarum

I forgot about Iraq, I'll add it.

October 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/scarcerer
  • The Finnish alphabet has 29 letters, the standard English ones + å, ä, ö (and sometimes š, ž)
  • b, c, f, q, w, x, z, å are only used in loan words (as well as š, ž if you include them)
  • Finnish has 15 cases, no gender, no future tense and only one truly irregular verb (olla = to be)
  • Finnish is a Uralic language, closely related to Estonian and Karelian, very distantly to Hungarian and not at all to other large European languages.
  • Finnish is 99% phonetic
  • Instead of using diacritics to mark long vowels and consonants like Slavic languages do, we double the letters. tule, tulee, tulle, tullee, tuulee, tuulle, tuullee are different conjugations of two verbs and all sound different (to a native speaker)
  • sauna is the only commonly used English word of Finnish origin
  • hääyöaie (a wedding night intention) contains seven consecutive vowels. Also, y is a full vowel in Finnish (equivalent to German ü).
  • The longest (compound) word in Finnish is lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas
  • saippuakivikauppias (a soapstone vendor) is the longest single word palindrome in the world
  • Kokko, kokoo kokoon koko kokko! Koko kokkoko kokoon? Koko kokko kokoon. is a short discussion only using three letters.
October 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kiyomice
  1. This is a grammatically correct sentence: Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

  2. Read rhymes with lead, and read rhymes with lead, but read doesn't rhyme with lead, and lead doesn't rhyme with read.

  3. Can't think of anything else.

October 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SarahK7174

My favorite palindrome is 'a man, a plan, a canal, Panama.' (A palindrome is a word or sentence that reads the same backwards and forewards.)

October 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Lemniscatarum

Madam, I'm Adam.

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BeCreative__

That is cool

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/FrenchByte

Cool!

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.

English language:

1: It is known as the second hardest language (Chinese, of course, is first)

2: If you turn ''Go hang a salami'' you get ''I'm a lasagna hog''

3: English is spoken* in the US, Britain, Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa, Myanmar, Canada, Afghanistan, Ghana, Nepal, Australia, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Bulgaria, Sierra Leone, Papua new Guinea, Serbia, Ireland, Singapore, Finland, New Zealand, Liberia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Wales, Jamaica, Botswana, Namibia, Republic of Macedonia, Lesotho, Slovenia, Gambia, Kosovo, Trinidad and Tobago, Swaziland, Fiji, Bhutan, Guyana, Solomon Islands, Montenegro, Malta, the Bahamas, Belize, Vanuatu, Barbados, Samoa, Saint Lucia, Channel Islands, Micronesia, Kiribati, Tonga, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Marshall Islands, Gibraltar, Cook Islands, Palau, Tuvalu, Nauru, and Niue.

4: I doubt you read every country I wrote and I don't expect you to :D

*By spoken I mean it is either an Official, National, regional, or in a few cases, important language. It is not in all of these countries the official language.

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/tiramisues

to 1. - as someone who learned English as their third language I still don't believe that statement, but even if it's true I'd guess it's only concerning the pronounciation? The rest is veeeery easy compared to other languages. And if you had a source with all the reasons why I'd love to read it!

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Windrammer

Gif as reaction to no. 1

2: I'm a lasagna hog.

3: Not listing stuff in alphabetical order... It's 2017 ffs

4: Post it in alphabetical order and people would perhaps care to at least check.

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.

1: Number one is true

2: Thanks for the correction.

3: I was posting it in order of speakers.

4: Why does the order matter so much?

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/tiramisues

Can you please give a source that says English is the second most difficult language? Since my experience was basically the opposite, I'd really like to read about it.

I can't find anything on the web though, except for this list (apparently by UNESCO) https://polyglotclub.com/help/language-learning-tips/hardest-language but English didn't appear in the top 10.

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BeCreative__

English as the second hardest language? This does not say what the first most difficult is, which is important. And try arabic...

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/scarcerer

Define "an important language". Finland (but no other Nordic countries) and most of the Balkans being on the list strikes me as odd. There are others as well but I know more about European countries than about most Asian and African countries.

And like others have said, there is a 0% chance English is the second hardest language.

October 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ister14

Isn't English an official language in India, that is missing on your list?

October 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Hermesianax

"The shortest, oldest, and most commonly used word is "I"."

not shorter than 'a', and what do you mean with 'oldest'? And I highly doubt actually that it is the most commonly used word.

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SamuelCristea

Medieval manuscripts reveal that some of the oldest words in English are “I,” “we,” “two,” and “three.” This makes “I” one of the shortest and oldest words in the English language. It is also the most commonly used word in English conversations.

October 11, 2017
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