Language Facts

36 facts tagged with Language Facts

  • 1
    When Washoe, the first chimp to use sign language, was told that her caretaker's baby had died, she signed "CRY."
  • 2
    The Chief Translator for the European Parliament can speak 32 different languages fluently.
  • 3
    Pokémon is Japanese for Pocket Monsters and Chinpokomon (the South Park parody) is Japanese for Penis Monsters.
  • 4
    The word "gorilla" comes from a Greek word that means "a tribe of hairy women".
  • 5
    In 1700s, the deer skin was a common medium of exchange between the trading settlers and the native Red Indians in America. This is how a buck became a slang for a dollar.
  • 6
    More people in Africa speak French than in France itself.
  • 7
    There is a 600 year old 240 paged book called the Voynich Manuscript, that’s written language is still completely unknown today.
  • 8
    Shakespeare invented over 1,700 words that we use today.
  • 9
    Switching letters is called spoonerism. For example, saying "jag of Flapan", instead of "flag of Japan".
  • 10
    Didaskalaeinophobia is the fear of going to school.
  • 11
    The equivalents of the English saying "That's Greek to me" are "This appears to be Spanish" (German), "This is Chinese to me" (Dutch), "It's German to me" (Philippines), "It's Hebrew" (Finnish), "It's Chinese to me" (Hebrew), "Sounds like Mars language/These are chicken intestines" (China).
  • 12
    Iceland has been so culturally isolated through history since the Vikings, that compared to other Scandinavian counties, people who speak Icelandic can still read the old Norsk sagas.
  • 13
    The word 'mile' is derived from the Latin word for 1,000 - the number of paces it took the average Roman!
  • 14
    The word 'mortgage' comes from a French law term that means 'death pledge'.
  • 15
    Thinking in a foreign language makes decisions more rational.
  • 16
    In Denmark, "Fart-kontrol" means "Speed check".
  • 17
    Borat, when supposedly speaking in Kazakh with his partner throughout the film, was actually speaking fluent Hebrew.
  • 18
    The Simpsons are responsible for popularizing the word 'meh'.
  • 19
    In Turkish, the bird we call a Turkey is called "Hindi" ("from India"). In India, it's called "Peru." In Arabic, the bird is called "Greek chicken"; in Greek it's called "French chicken"; and in French it's called "Indian chicken." The bird is indigenous to none of these places.
  • 20
    '⸮' is a punctuation mark that was first proposed in the 1580s to denote sarcasm or irony.
  • 21
    The United States does not have an official language.
  • 22
    The six official languages of the United Nations are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.
  • 23
    The word "listen" contains the same letters as "silent."
  • 24
    The words ‘racecar,’ ‘kayak’ and ‘level’ are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).
  • 25
    There are only four words in the English language which end in “dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
  • 26
    The Bible has been translated into Klingon.
  • 27
    Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards.
  • 28
    Floccinaucinihilipilification, the declaration of an item being useless, is the longest non-medical term in the English language.
  • 29
    WAS IT A CAR OR A CAT I SAW.. 'WASITACARORACATISAW'.. This is the only English sentence which even if we read in reverse, it'll give the same sentence.
  • 30
    "Goodbye" came from "God bye" which came from "God be with you."
  • 31
    The word "clitoris" comes from the Greek word meaning "side of a hill".
  • 32
    The Danish word for condom is 'svangerskabsforebyggendemiddel'.
  • 33
    TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.
  • 34
    'Go', is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
  • 35
    There are around 41,806 different spoken languages in the world today.
  • 36
    "Stewardesses" is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.