What fascinates me about languages is the complete differentness of them all. As the great linguist Steve Martin once said about the French, “They have a different word for everything!” I have a collector personality, so I want one of each of them. (“Get your first foreign language today, collect all 7,000!”). 1
Highlights (for those who don’t feel like reading the whole thing):
- Italian doesn’t use the letter s to make things plural.
- The s is used at the front of a word to mean the opposite.
- There are 7 ways to say “the.” Seven!
- Google is working on a brain USB port
It’s not a secret that I’m fluent in French, pretty good in Spanish, and have dabbled in Portuguese, Italian, German, Greek, Turkish, Bengali, and Fon. (Yeah, that last one is a real language, spoken by about 2 million people in Africa and 25 returned peace corps volunteers when they’ve had too much to drink and start to reminisce about showing up at an African market and freaking out the locals with their authentic accents.) 2