Interesting facts about languages around the world

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Jan 14, 2011 17:33 book
Yesterday, I wrote that I came across a book that introduces the characteristics and distributions of languages around the world. I'm going to write about the facts I learned from the book.
This is going to be long.

Basque language is spoken by Basque people who live in the area between France and Spain. But this language is alike neither French nor Spanish. It is not even a part of the Indo-European languages.

Serbian and Croatian Languages are so similar that they used to be considered as the same languages. However, Serbian is written in Cyrillic alphabet while Croatian is written in Roman alphabet, because Serbian people believe in Eastern Orthodox Church while Croatian people believe in Cathorism.

Estonian language has 14 nounal cases.

India has 17 official languages. This is the most in the world. The second is 11 in South Africa.

"A hotel" in Indian English means "a restaurant."

In fact, Malaysian and Indonesian languages are the same.

In Indonesian language, repeating a word twice makes plural.
"Babi" means "a pig." To say "pigs," you say "babi-babi." "Barang-barang" means "baggages." If you repeat the verb "balik," which means "return," like "balik-balik," that means "go back and forth."

People in Arabic countries use two completely different written and spoken languages. The spoken languages differ depend on regions. The written language is based on the Koran and used in TV, Radio, lectures in colleges, political speeches, and festivals. They can communicate with this all across the Arabic peninsula through northern Africa.

In Caucasus region in west Asia, which is about 1.2 times larger than Japan, there are as many as 40 languages spoken.
Abkhaz language is one of them, and it has only 2 vowel sounds, while it has 60 consonant sounds.


Ahh! I'm tired! It took me 2 hours!
The book is written in Japanese, so I had to look up every single name of the language.

If you think these facts are not real, please let me know.
And if you know more interesting facts about languages, please let me know :)