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Observing one's own native language is a little like looking at your own eye.


A person is immersed in the language--it's sounds, syntax arrangements, inflection habits--from the moment they take their first breath and join the world of human beings outside the womb.

Of course, infants have no idea what the meaning of all those spoken sounds are. But they're internalizing them all and learning the system subconsciously until one day, a word is said.

And then another, and then some more, and then eventually they're writing essays for high school English class.

But for those out there fortunate enough to know more than one language, or at least have a general understanding of how their native tongue contrasts to the others found around the globe, idiosyncrasies begin to stand out.

Some Redditors shared the strangest bits about their home languages.

BakuRyou asked, "What is something interesting or funny about your native language?"

More of a Silent Approach

"We have two official ways of writing, and zero official ways of speaking. Gotta love Norwegian." -- NorseKSPnerd

"I can also tell where people from mt own area are from just from a few sentences. Is they are from the north or south of the neighbouring island. This island is only about 20km long." -- friedeggsoup

Gotta Get a Better Name for That

"Everybody thinks my language (Luxembourgish) is made up and doesn't exist, until I speak it." -- Captn_Crunch_Brunch

"Lots of people think that my language (Asturian) does not exist. It is in danger of extinction, but it still exists." -- TheCollarOfShame

"I have the opposite a lot of people think Belgian does exist but we speak (mainly) french and dutch."

"PS: a lot of the Dutch is actually Flamish (a dialect of dutch) but dutch is the official language." -- stonno45

That a Shakespeare Reference?

"Swedish. We have the same word for married and poison: 'Gift'" -- StuffIShouldDo

"How do you say a gifted married man got poisoned?" -- send_goods

"In Spanish the word esposas means spouses and handcuffs!" -- roshambo11

At Your Discretion 

"Swiss-German. It's not an officially recognised language, but it is very different from German."

"But because it's not a formally recognised language, there are no rules on how to write it. Basically you make up your own rules and expect that whoever reads it can understand it."

-- saugoof

The Unwritten Rules

"Filipino here"

"Speaking in Tagalog makes you sound very formal"

"Speaking in English makes you attention-seeking"

"Speaking in Taglish [English-Tagalog] is normal"

-- KyuujiDairi25

Oral Tradition

"Welsh here. It was illegalised for a couple hundred years, so the only way it was kept was through families teaching their kids (which was pretty rare) and books (that were also pretty rare)."

"Anyway, that means as a language it didn't keep up with new creations/inventions. This results in most modern words being changed versions of the English."

"Jeans? Gins (pronounced jeans)"

"Phone? Ffon (pronounced phone)"

"Microwave? Popdy ping (pronounced popdy ping) because when it finishes cooking it goes popdy ping."

-- PLS-PM-ME-DOG-PICS

A Foot in its Pragmatic Past

"Sinhala speaker here. All Sinhala letters are round because in ancient times Sinhala was written in Ola leaves and if the letters were not round the leaf would have torn."

"Eg- ආයුබෝවන්. මේ සිංහල වාක්යයක්."

-- SukiAmanda

A Constant in Time

"Lithuanian is very slow to change. Our oldest written book (from 1547) is mostly understandable by modern speakers, even if it sounds like a rural accent with a lot of Russian loanwords."

"It's also very similar to Sanskrit."

-- audriuska12

Alienated at Home

"It was illegal to speak it in our own country at one time." -- sh**gnat

"Same with Polish when the Nazis invaded, and the whole kidnapping-youth-and-raising-them-as-Germans thing. It's sad to think about how many cultures all over the world were banned in their own homes at one point." -- theabsoluteunit420

A Very Clear System, at Least

"Every word has 14 versions of it. Lets take 'Chair' for an example which is 'Tool'"

"Versions go like this:

  1. Tool - Chair
  2. Tooli - owned by the chair
  3. Tooli(longer emphasis on 2 os ) - Of the chair
  4. Toolist - Out of a chair
  5. Toolisse - Into a chair
  6. Toolis - Inside a chair
  7. Toolil - On top of a chair
  8. Toolile - Onto the chair
  9. Toolilt - Out from a chair
  10. Tooliks - To become a chair
  11. Toolini - Until the chair (?)
    12 ) Toolita - Without a chair
  12. Toooliga - With a chair
  13. Toolilt - From a chair"
-- mheq

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