What do you call the secret language between twins? Which Far Eastern language became linked to a Native American tribe, whose members turned out to be linked to them genetically? And why is the Ayapaneco language in danger of dying out in Mexico? Answer to the last: Because neither speaker is speaking to the other. The rest of the answers are on this awesome visual display created by the UIC London Language School – 50 awesome facts about language. Some facts you may already know, but there are so many cool languages – too many, unfortunately, on the endangered species list – that we promise you’ll learn something new.
It’s news to us, for example, to learn that the Bible has been translated into nearly 2,500 languages (for some languages, only parts of it). Or that Pinocchio is actually a close second. Or that some hardcore Star Trek geek spoke to his son only in Klingon for the first three years of his life, which the kid then went on to completely forget. (Young man, Gene Roddenberry is turning over in his grave right now!)
Other fun facts about language we found around the Internet:
- You didn’t have to be a scholar on ancient Middle Eastern languages to view Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ back in 2004, but it helped. The entire movie was spoken in three languages: Aramaic (Jesus’s language), Hebrew (spoken by the priests for religious purposes) and Latin spoken by the Romans. However, it did offer subtitles in many different languages. (Excuse us, Google Translate: You do not cannot currently offer Aramaic so we can ask an ancient Nazarene, “Please pass the popcorn.” Fix this!)
- Forget Mary Poppins. The longest word in the English language is:
You get it by inhaling volcanic ash. Please try not to do this as it may drive the doctor writing your prescription to throw himself into the volcano.
- The Pope tweets in nine different languages.
Okay, so he gets by with a little help from his Microsoft friends!
- Millions of Westerners know how to say Thank you in Japanese (Domou arigatou) after Dennis DeYoung and the American band Styx popularized it in the iconic ‘80s song Mr. Roboto. On the other hand, few know how to say ‘Please.’ (Onegaishimasu. There. Now you know. You’re welcome. Dōitashimashite.) Dennis DeYoung, we need two more songs, please.
- Okay, here are the 50 Awesome Language Facts we promised at the beginning!
Written by Cara Buckspan & Nicole Chardenet, Social Media and Support Representatives at Yappn. For more information, visit us at or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about language translation, please feel free to explore our website.