The Hoovers both spoke Mandarin. In the White House they would speak in Mandarin to avoid eavesdroppers. To date, Lou Hoover is the only First Lady to speak an Asian language. They were also well versed in Latin; working together to translate "De Re Metallica" a 16th century mining textbook.โ€ฆ
Some indigenous people are known to have deciphered bird language and used it to locate predators that birds were warning other birds aboutโ€ฆ
The Rosetta Stone was not meant as a way to translate hieroglyphics, it was a government document containing three languages (Hieroglyphics, Greek and Demotic) so that all the people of Egypt at the time could read itโ€ฆ
Navajo was once in danger of losing a lot of speakers, but the Navajo nation set up programs to teach the language as well as many bilingual schools. Now there are even institutes, community colleges, and technical universities with classes in the Navajo language alphaomegatranslations.coโ€ฆ
J.R.R. Tolkien orginally set out to just create a language. Elfish. He then figured that that language needed a history. That history needed a world etc. Which eventually led to him writing LOTR in said world.โ€ฆ
The word "Walkman" became so popular in the German language as a generic term for a personal stereo that in 2002 the Austrian Supreme Court ruled that any brand, not just Sony, could use that word to describe such a device.โ€ฆ
In 2013 Star Wars was Translated Into Navajo Making it the first major film dubbed in a Native American languageโ€ฆ
In the 80s, deaf Nicaraguan children with no prior sign language (or any true language) exposure were brought together to a deaf school, & started spontaneously making their own sign language, developing complexity & syntax. This gave linguists rare insight into the birth of human language.โ€ฆ
In WW2, US used Native Americans for message encryption. They were called "code talkers" as they simply talked in their native language for transmitting the messages. This allowed fast communication over open channels as enemy was unable to break this code. Was crucial in winning the war.โ€ฆ
Donald Duck is an extremely popular pop-icon in Germany, where you can buy his comics at most newsstands. In their version, Donald uses a highly sophisticated level of language and "many Germans credit him with having initiated them into the language of the literary classics".โ€ฆ
Generally speaking, a Dane speaking Danish can understand and be understood by Norwegians speaking Norwegian, and Swedes speaking Swedish. This is because the languages of Scandinavia are considered "mutually intelligible".โ€ฆ
The originator of the popular saying, "It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission" was Grace Hopper, a United States navy Rear Admiral and pioneer of computer programming who popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOLโ€ฆ
"fart" is one of the oldest words in the English language, and can be traced back to its Proto-Indo-European roots through its cognates in other European languages and Sanskritโ€ฆ
In 1964 The Beatles were so popular that when "Sie liebt dich", a German language version of "She Loves You" that the Fab Four recorded to increase their German sales, was released in the US, it managed to reach the Billboard Top 100 chart.โ€ฆ
There's a school in India that teaches children to use both hands. Known as "The ambidextrous school". The students from this school can write six different languages and two different languages simultaneously.โ€ฆ
The verb 'egg' (i.e. egged on, to incite into action) has been in the English language longer than the noun 'egg'.โ€ฆ
Nim Chimpsky was a chimpanzee raised like a human child by a surrogate family as part of a controversial project on animal language acquisition. During his lifetime, Nim learned over 125 signs, including "stone smoke time now" which Nim used when he wanted to smoke marijuana.โ€ฆ
While French being extinct as a language is presented as joke in Futurama, in the French dubbing of the show, the extinct language is shown to be German instead.โ€ฆ
The Thai language is tonal, and has 5 distinct tones. So, when spoken with the correct tones, the phrase "Mai mai mai mai mai" translates to "New wood doesn't burn, does it?"โ€ฆ
It was Napoleonโ€™s army that discovered the Rosetta Stone. Which was the key to unlocking the code of Egyptian hieroglyphics, a language that had been dead for 2000 years.โ€ฆ
Scientists discovered a cypress tree in North Carolina that is at least 2,624 years old, which means the tree was alive for centuries before the advent of Christianity, the Roman Empire, and the English language.โ€ฆ
Leo Tolstoy, Jules Verne, and J.R.R. Tolkien all spoke Esperanto, a 'universal' language created in the late 19th century.โ€ฆ
Queen Victoria's first language was German, and she required two tutors to somehow reduce her German accent in English. Her children all spoke German too and they switched between English and German within the family.โ€ฆ
Today I learned about Yola, a language that developed from Middle English and was spoken in Wexford (Ireland). It went extinct in the 19th century and contained elements from Norman French, Welsh and Flemish.โ€ฆ
Finns werenโ€™t originally considered โ€œwhiteโ€ in the United States, they were linked to Mongols and called โ€œChina Swedesโ€ due to not speaking an Indo-European Languageโ€ฆ
The German Culture Council warned that German was in danger of dying as a scholarly language.โ€ฆ
Today I learned that the Icelandic band Sigur Ros felt so strongly that music was more than words they made up their own language for one of their albums.โ€ฆ
Before she had her show โ€œTalk Sexโ€ Sue Johanson opened one of the first birth control clinics in Canada. She did weekly sex education segments from 1984-2008 and her show has aired in 25 different countries and five different languages.โ€ฆ
There is a book from the 15th century found in Italy that is written in a unknown language, with drawings that show unidentified things, and that nobody has ever been able to understand it.โ€ฆ
Aboriginal Australians have extremely intricate, multi-language 'songlines' - ancestor songs which guide/navigate them through extremely vast distances of Australian Terrainโ€ฆ
Due to its isolated location, the Icelandic language has changed very little from its original roots. Modern Icelandics can still read texts written in the 10th Century with relative ease.โ€ฆ
Floccinaucinihilipilification is the longest non-technical word in the English language. It refers to the habit of dismissing things as uselessโ€ฆ
Today I learned about the Lincos language, designed in 1960 to communicate with extra-terrestrial species, and based only on mathematics and logic and thus not requiring any knowledge about Earth or humans to understandโ€ฆ
The Hijra (transgender) community in India and Pakistan use a secret language called Hijra Farsi, which originated more than 200 years ago due to government persecution. The language is introduced to newcomers when they enter the community, together with the groupโ€™s other traditionsโ€ฆ
The 22 official languages of India use 13 different writing systems: เคฆเฅ‡เคตเคจเคพเค—เคฐเฅ€, เฆฌเฆพเฆ‚เฆฒเฆพ, เฐคเฑ†เฐฒเฑเฐ—เฑ, เฎคเฎฎเฎฟเฎดเฏ, เช—เซเชœเชฐเชพเชคเซ€, ุงุฑุฏูˆโ€Œ, เฒ•เฒจเณเฒจเฒก, เดฎเดฒเดฏเดพเดณเด‚, เจ—เฉเจฐเจฎเฉเจ–เฉ€, เฌ‰เฌคเญเฌ•เฌณ, แฑšแฑž แฑชแฑคแฑ แฑค, ๊ฏƒ๊ฏค๊ฏ‡๊ฏฉ ๊ฏƒ๊ฏŒ๊ฏฆ๊ฏ›, ุงู„ุนุฑุจูŠุฉโ€ฆ
Newspeak from "Nineteen Eighty-Four" is based on an actual language proposal - Basic English, a proposed easy-to-learn version of English with only 850 core words.โ€ฆ
Today I learned of Vedem, a Czech-language magazine produced in 1942 by boys aged 13-16 imprisoned at the Terezรญn concentration camp. The magazine featured things like poems, drawings, essays, and reviews, and was manually copied and distributed around. Around 800 original Vedem pages survived the war.โ€ฆ
There is a small town in South Africa established solely for the preservation of Afrikaans and the Afrikaner identity by keeping their language and culture alive.โ€ฆ
English is the most efficient languageโ€ฆ
Many languages from northwestern Europe all the way to southern Asia and India, including English, Greek, and Sanskrit, are all descended from a common language called Proto-Indo-European, which is believed to have been spoken in what is today southwestern Russia between 7500 and 4500 BC.โ€ฆ
During the apartheid era in South Africa some of the tests to decide ancestry of a person included pinching to see what language they would say "Ouch" in and putting a pencil in the subjects' hair to see if it would fall off.โ€ฆ
Enya is a recluse who lives in a mansion with her cats and makes music with an elderly couple, the lyrics to which she sometimes sings in Sindarin and Quenya - elven languages JRR Tolkien invented for Lord of the Rings.โ€ฆ
The Tarim Mummies (Which date from 1800BC to the first centuries BC) discovered in Xinjiang, China are Caucasian, likely speakers of Indo-European languages such as the Tochariansโ€ฆ
The Azerbaijani village of Qฤฑrmฤฑzฤฑ Qษ™sษ™bษ™ is the world's only all-Jewish town outside Israel and the USA, and is considered to be the world's last surviving shtetl. Alongside Azerbaijani and Russian, residents also speak Judeo-Tat, the traditional language of the Mountain Jewsโ€ฆ
Today I learned of the Windows on the World restaurant, which occupied the 107th floor of the world trade center north tower. More than 60 languages were spoken among the staff and it's kitchen was run by celebrity chefs. In it's final year it was the highest grossing fine dining establishment in the country.โ€ฆ
Ho Chi Minh could speak conversational Esperanto, a language constructed a Polish ophthalmologist with the intent to create a universal language that is easy for anyone to learn.โ€ฆ
Winnie-the-Pooh book was translated in latin in 1958 and that in 1960 became the first foreign-language book to be featured on the New York Times Best Seller List and the only book in Latin ever to have been featured.โ€ฆ
To call someone a monitor lizard in thailand is one of the worst insults or curses in the thai language. so much that people have been killed over it and a politician who called protesters this made front page news. it's so offensive its basically banned in broadcast media.โ€ฆ
Four times more people speak English as a second language (roughly two billion) than as a native one (approximately 350 million).โ€ฆ
When deaf people with schizophrenia 'hear voices', they hallucinate hands communicating using sign languageโ€ฆ
American Sign Language and British Sign Language are not mutually intelligible. While English speakers can understand each other across the Anglosphere, deaf people from different English speaking countries are unable to understand each other.โ€ฆ
Shakespeareโ€™s scripts contain over 2200 never-before-seen wordsโ€”a diverse collection of loan-words from foreign languages, compound words from existing English terms, nouns turned into verbs, and creatively applied prefixesโ€”many of which have entered into everyday language.โ€ฆ
Aramaic -the language spoken by the historical Jesus- is still being spoken as a mother tongue in a small village in Syria.โ€ฆ
Egyptian Arabic is the first language of 92 million Egyptians and the most widely spoken Arabic dialect. It is understood by almost all of the 300 million Arabic speakers in the world, thanks to the Egyptian cinema and media industry
English language accents are divided into Rhotic and non Rhotic accents. Rhotic accents such as Irish and American accents pronounce the letter R in words and non-rhotic accents such as English and Australian accents do not. The majority of England developed non-rhoticity around the 1700's.โ€ฆ
As the Japanese language does not have dental frictives, Mothra's name is pronounced 'mosura' in Japanโ€ฆ
In 1923 Illinois officially passed legislation replacing English with 'American' as their official language, making it the only state in the Union where people legally 'speak American'โ€ฆ
Today I learned of mother-in-law languages (also known as avoidance speech) which dictate that a new restricted speech style utilizing a different vocabulary, while retaining the normal phonology and grammar must be utilized in the presence of certain relatives (such a as mother-in-law) which are seen as tabooโ€ฆ
Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II had young infants raised without speaking to them in the 13th century to determine if there was a "natural" language imparted by God. His experiments proven unsuccessful because all the children raised this way died.โ€ฆ
Although the Korean and Chinese languages are not related in terms of grammatical structure, more than 50 percent of all Korean vocabulary is derived from Chinese loanwordsโ€ฆ
Certain languages lack any word for left/right and instead use the cardinal directions to express orientation on a small scale, e.g. "the cup is to the north of me."โ€ฆ
There are only 23 words that date back 15,000 years and are considered the oldest known words in the English language. They are: thou, I, not, that, we, to give, who, this, what, man/male, ye, old, mother, to hear, hand, fire, to pull, black, to flow, bark, ashes, to spit, and worm.โ€ฆ
English and Norwegian share not only the same syntax, but also have very similar pronunciation / sounds and even shared words (although usually with different meanings). English is classified as western Germanic but it fits all the characteristics of a northern Germanic language.โ€ฆ
There are up to 7,000 different languages spoken around the world today. More than half of the world's languages have no written form. It is estimated that 75% of the worldโ€™s population does not speak English.โ€ฆ
If his Foreign Language Film Oscar is counted, Bong Joon Ho is tied as the most awarded person in a single night in Oscar historyโ€ฆ
There is a man named Christopher who can speak sixteen languages - despite having non-verbal IQ scores between 40 and 70. He was diagnosed with brain damage six months after his birth, and is institutionalized because he is unable to take care of himselfโ€ฆ
There's a language in Turkey that's whistled
There are ten different indigenous languages still spoken today in the British Isles; English, Scots, Welsh, Gaelic, Irish, Cornish, Manx, Angloromani, Shelta and British Sign Languageโ€ฆ
Today I learned of the book โ€œFinnegans Wakeโ€. The book is written by James Joyce and is composed of composite words from sixty to seventy world languages. Written over a period of 17 years it is considered to be one of the most difficult works in the Western canon.โ€ฆ
Alexander Graham Bell, despite having a deaf wife, thought that sign language shouldn't exist and deaf people should be prevented from marrying each other because it would ultimately create a deaf raceโ€ฆ
12% of the worldโ€™s total languages are found in Papua New Guinea, which has over 820 indigenous languages. Papua New Guinea is the country with the most indigenous languages.โ€ฆ
"Cryptophasia" is a phenomenon where twins make up a language which they only speak with each other. Twin languages often consist of onomatopoeia, and new words twins create by simplifying the words used by adults around them. Up to 50% of young twins may develop their own twin language.โ€ฆ
There are more people who have learned English as a second language than there are native speakers.โ€ฆ
In the Hawaiian language, there are over 200 different words for rain, depending on the colour, intensity, duration, accompanying wind, time of year, the paths the drops fall in, the area it falls in, and even if it falls shortly after a loved one's death.โ€ฆ
The English language is the only language (of the most spoken languages in the world) that doesnโ€™t have a regulator body/institution.โ€ฆ
There was so much fruitless speculation about the origin of language that scholars now refer to silly theories by nicknames: the bow-wow, pooh-pooh, ding-dong, yo-he-ho, ta-ta and la-la theories.โ€ฆ
New York City is the most linguistically diverse city in the world, with an estimated 800 languages spokenโ€ฆ
The Parliament of New Zealand keeps an official list of "unparliamentary language", that is, insults/obscenities its members have used through the years that were not considered appropriate, such as "His brains could revolve inside a peanut shell for a thousand years without touching the sides"โ€ฆ
Tea is either a derivative of cha or chay in over 65 languagesโ€ฆ
โ€œlinguicideโ€ is an actual term that refers to the death of language. Through linguicide, a language goes extinct every two weeksโ€ฆ
JK Rowling attended Exeter University to study French with Greek and German. Her parents hoped that in studying languages, she would enjoy a career as a bilingual secretary. After completing her 3,000 word final essay in French, she graduated with a 2.2โ€ฆ
Someone revived the dead ancient Sumerian language in the form of a 4,100 year old poem. โ€œThe Epic of Gilgameshโ€ played on the Sumerian long neck gishgudi.
In Tanzania, there are seven schools for the deaf, and each uses its own sign language, with no known connection to any other languageโ€ฆ
Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, Sacagawea's infant son who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition, later befriended a German Duke, lived for a decade in his palace, learned a dozen languages fluently, became mayor of a California city, struck gold, and made a fortune on buffalo tongues.โ€ฆ
Almost nothing is known of the social organization or religious beliefs of the people who erected tens of thousands of menhirs (large upright stones) across Europe, Asia and Africa. There is not even any trace of these people's language.โ€ฆ
That, in Irish parliament, after Paul Gogarty responded to Emmet Stagg with "Fuck you, Deputy Stagg! Fuck you!", the incident was brought to the Dรกil committee, where it was discovered that the word "fuck" wasn't actually in the list of unparliamentary language.โ€ฆ
The languages with the highest number of words are Korean, Finnish, Swedish, Icelandic, English, Italian, Japanese, Lithuanian, Dutch, and Tamil. Korean has ~300,000 more words than Finnish, more than double the number of words in English, and more than triple the number of words in Germanโ€ฆ
Young children develop "theory of mind" earlier if they know two languages, and in older people, bilingualism can postpone the onset of dementia. Researchers say the statement that learning languages makes people smarter has a sound scientific basis.โ€ฆ
Portuguese, not Spanish, is the predominately spoken language on the continent of South America. (by a small margin)โ€ฆ
Estonian, despite being an finno-urgric language thatโ€™s closely related to Finnish, borrowed about 1/3 of it vocabulary from Germanic language (german and low Saxon)โ€ฆ
The Voyager I and II space probes, which are currently racing through interstellar space, each include a golden record with 115 analog-encoded photographs, greetings in 55 languages, a 12-minute montage of sounds on Earth and 90 minutes of music (including Chuck Berry's 'Johnny B. Good')โ€ฆ
That the West Country Dialect is the closest form of English to the original Saxon languageโ€ฆ
When US-born giant panda twins arrived in China, they struggled with local food and language. Mei Lun & Mei Huan were confused by "have you eaten up" in Chinese but responded to English "come here". They preferred "Western fast food" biscuits instead of local "wowotou" (steamed corn bread).โ€ฆ
The last US President who was fluent in a language other than English is Franklin D. Roosevelt, who spoke good French and German. Roosevelt died in office in 1945โ€ฆ
In the Aymara language, the past is considered to be in front while the future is behind. Linguists believe this is a visual conception, as you are able to see what is in front like you are able to know the past, but you are unable see what is behind like you are unable to know the future.โ€ฆ
The history of the Cantonese, or Yue, language is more than 2,000 years old, making it older than Mandarin, the official language of China, which only has 700 to 800 years of historyโ€ฆ
Today I learned about the sci-fi novel "Across the Zodiac" by Percy Greg published in 1880, notable for being the first instance of an alien language in an English novel, the first recorded instance of "astronaut", and the progenitor of the "sword-and-planet" genre of science fiction.โ€ฆ
A majority of Los Angeles County residents speak a language other than English at home including 38% that speak Spanish and 11% that speak an Asian or Pacific Islander languageโ€ฆ
โ€œhuhโ€ is a universal word, existing in almost every language across the worldโ€ฆ
The equivalents of the idiom โ€œItโ€™s all Greek to meโ€ in world languages use other kinds of languages other than Greek.โ€ฆ

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