The world is flat!
Only kidding, we already know this not to be true.
I am really passionate about language, both written and spoken. I love the different sounds of each word, the way the accents make me feel. Some places write from left to right, some from right to left, others right top to bottom. I like to look at the different letters - from weird upside down and backward letters in Greek to pictures in hieroglyphics - there is so much variety in the world and the way we all communicate with each other.
|Hieroglyphics in an egyptian tomb|
Wherever I go in the world, I always make an effort to learn at least a few words - it goes a long way to making friends with the locals. Sometimes language can be a real barrier, but I always find some way or another to communicate. Whether it be pointing, signing or even using pictures, there is always a way to get your point across and sometimes the results are hilarious if it doesn't go quite right!
|Don't look at the monkeys in the eye|
When my Grandad first moved to the South of France, he saw what he thought was potato pie on a menu. He hadn't had it in years so he ordered it straight away. When he asked for salt, the waiter shot him a strange look but gave it to him anyway. After smothering the pie in salt and taking his first bite, he realised his mistake - pomme means apple and pommes de terre means potato! He had to sit there and eat salty apple pie and pretend that he enjoyed every bite!
|Bamboo forest - Kyoto, Japan|
So, today's fun fact is:
There are approximately 6800 recognised languages in the world. I say recognised because there could be many, many more spoken in areas which have not been explored yet.
There are over 100,000 alphabets!
In Papua New Guinea, there are different languages between different families - 832 in total! There are only 230 languages spoken in the whole of Europe!
About a quarter of the worlds languages are spoken by less than 1000 people and as those people grow older and die out, gradually, so does the language.
|Pavement artist - Chinese Calligraphy|
Linguistic Society of America