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so this is how the greek phrase for cotton candy was created!
(for those of you who don’t know, in Greek, the word for cotton candy is ‘μαλλί της γριάς’ which literally translates to grandma’s/an old lady’s hair) 

for more! 

(via minutiae)

Spider

English: spider

Swedish: spindel

German: Spinne

Dutch: spin

Finnish: hämähäkki

English:

Swedish:

German:

Dutch:

Finnish: what

lol can’t believe they named a whole autonomous community of Spain after the Instagram effect Valencia

"A British person would be likely to make [the Chinese sign language gesture for ‘father’] with the fingers relaxed [rather than tensed], and that would be noticed by a Chinese deaf person as a foreign accent."

- A Little Book of Language by David Crystal, page 116. (via linguaphilioist)

(via linguisticsyall)

yamaharfang:

seagullsong:

So it turns out you can be dyslexic in one language but not another, depending on the kind of linguistic processing problem you have. For example, if you have trouble with phonemes, if can be hard to learn alphabetic writing systems like English, but easier to learn logographic writing systems like Chinese. China has dyslexic people obvs, but they seem to have different stuff going on in their brain than English dyslexic people. Huh.

WoooooOooooOoooOooooOoooh.

(via parksanddeserts)

The Most Common Arabic-origin Spanish Words

spanishskulduggery:

linguitleteis:

aceite — oil
adobe — adobe
aceituna — olive
aduana — customs (as at a border)
ajedrez — chess
Alá — Allah
alacrán — scorpion
albacora — albacore
albahaca — basil
alberca — tank, swimming pool
alcalde — mayor
álcali — alkali
alcatraz — pelican
alcázar — fortress, palace
alcoba — bedroom, alcove
alcohol — alcohol
alfil — bishop (in chess)
alfombra — carpet
algarroba — carob
algodón — cotton
algoritmo — algorithm
alquimia — alchemy
almacén — storage
almanaque — almanac
almirante — admiral
almohada — pillow
alquiler — rent
alquimia — alchemy
añil — indigo
amalgama — amalgam
arroba@ symbol
arroz — rice
asesino — assassin
atún — tuna
ayatolá — ayatollah
azafrán — saffron
azar — chance
azúcar — sugar
azul — blue (same source as English “azure”)
barrio — district
berenjena — eggplant
balde — bucket
burca — burqa
café — coffee
cero — zero
chivo — billy goat
cifra — cifra
Corán — Koran
cuscús — couscous
dado — die (singular of “dice”)
espinaca — spinach
fez — fez
fulano — what’s-his-name
gacela — gazelle
guitarra — guitar
hachís — hashish
harén — harem
hasta — until
imán — imam
islam — Islam
jaque — check (in chess)
jaque mate — checkmate
jirafa — giraffe
laca — lacquer
lila — lilac
lima — lime
limón — lemon
loco — crazy
macabro — macabre
marfil — marble, ivory
masacre — massacre
masaje — massage
máscara — mask
mazapán — marzipan
mezquita — mosque
momia — mummy
mono — monkey
musulmán — muslim
naranja — orange
ojalá — I hope, God willing
olé — bravo
paraíso — paradise
ramadán — Ramadan
rehén — hostage
rincón — corner, nook
sandía — watermelon
sorbete — sherbet
sofá — sofa
rubio — blond
talco — talc
tamarindo — tamarind
tarea — task
tarifa — tariff
tártaro — tartar
taza — cup
toronja — grapefruit
zafra — harvest
zanahoria — carrot
zumo — juice

Very important; though I will say that some of these have other versions that are more Latin like alacrán is also known as escorpión, la alcoba and la habitación / el cuarto / el dormitoriozafra and cosecha, and alcázar versus fortaleza.

Also important to note is that sometimes a more Arabic word will be more common in Spain than in Latin America; like el zumo which is el jugo in Latin America, as well as other terms like la alcantarilla which means “sewer”, but in Latin America you’re more likely to hear la cloaca. And el mono for “monkey” is often known by various different regionalisms throughout Latin America.

I just reblogged a post of yours listing Spanish words with an Arabic origin, but even as I reblogged it, the word paraíso gave me pause. After all, Arabic has no [p], so it would be odd for Spanish to borrow a word with [p], unless it originally started with [b], but then there would have to be a story. Turns out paraíso comes ultimately from Avestan, which is IE, and not Arabic. Probably came directly from Latin. Just thought I'd drop a line to note it.

whoa, that’s so interesting, really! Thank you a lot sharing that!

krunclice:

shinyv:

based on a true story

protip: make foreign friends you learn a lot

In Czech Republic we say. “Good night, let the fleas bite you all night”

(via allthelanguages)

markovnikoving:

please read this excerpt from a linguistics textbook about a rich guy that decided to change the way english was spoken just because he liked it better, then continue to belligerently argue that it is “objectively incorrect” to refer to someone with singular they pronouns

"they isnt singular for a reason" no actually, nothing in language is ever for a reason ever, stop pretending this is in any way a valid or acceptable justification for enforcing gender binary language

also, aave. those excerpts of what english was like before lowth decided he was important enough to govern how a language “should” be spoken are very similar to aave today. those of us that dont speak aave are the ones that changed!

(fromkin and rodman, an introduction to language)

(via cunnilinguista)

"

Languages animate objects by giving them names, making them noticeable when we might not otherwise be aware of them. Tuvan has a word iy (pronounced like the letter e), which indicates the short side of a hill.

I had never noticed that hills had a short side. But once I learned the word, I began to study the contours of hills, trying to identify the iy. It turns out that hills are asymmetrical, never perfectly conical, and indeed one of their sides tends to be steeper and shorter than the others.

If you are riding a horse, carrying firewood, or herding goats on foot, this is a highly salient concept. You never want to mount a hill from the iy side, as it takes more energy to ascend, and an iy descent is more treacherous as well. Once you know about the iy, you see it in every hill and identify it automatically, directing your horse, sheep, or footsteps accordingly.

This is a perfect example of how language adapts to local environment, by packaging knowledge into ecologically relevant bits. Once you know that there is an iy, you don’t really have to be told to notice it or avoid it. You just do. The language has taught you useful information in a covert fashion, without explicit instruction.

"

- K. David Harrison, The Last Speakers (via thelazypolyglot)

(via langagehumain)