People Share The Best Language Facts They've Learned


Language is a beautiful thing. But it can also be a very funny thing. The amount of grammar rules that are set in place just to be broken alone accounts for most of language confusion. Here's a selection of the weirdest language facts- courtesy of Reddit, of course.

u/FamousTeam90 asked: What is a fun language fact you know?

New and old meet.

The official Italian language is both new and old. It is based on an old dialect that was only adopted by the Italian state after unification in the late 1800's.

It's based on a literary language spoken by upper class Tuscans in 13th century. Most regions in Italy still speak their own dialect and the official Italian taught in schools.


You better watch out.


Santa Claus in Irish directly translates as "Daddy December".


In Danish, he is called "The Christmas Man".


Your moon is on fire.

The Finnish phrase "kuusi palaa" can be understood in 9 different ways:

Six pieces / Six of them return / Six of them are on fire / The number six returns / The number six is on fire / A spruce is on fire / A spruce returns / Your moon is on fire / Your moon returns

A piece = pala / (multiple) pieces = palaa / A moon = kuu / Your moon = kuusi / A spruce = kuusi / Six = kuusi / To be on fire = palaa / To return = palata / Return(s) = palaa


Boob fingers.

Earlobes in Turkish literally translates as "ear boobs".


This reminds me of this story I heard where this guy's Chinese wife was learning English.

She didn't know the word for "nipples" so she said "boob fingers".


Peel the avocado.


Took quite a bit of Spanish in my school days. Learned a lot about how words are put together. Figured out that guacamole was the combining part of aguacate (avocado in sp) and mole (sauce or paste).

Years later, learned this was incorrect. Aguacate, guacamole, mole, all these words had their origin in Nahuatl (Aztec), and it's considered fact now that the Aztecs were eating guacamole well over 500 years ago.


No tenses.

Mandarin Chinese doesn't really have tenses.

Yesterday I play football.

Today I play football.

Tomorrow I play football.



In Spanish make sure you use the ñ correctly:

Tengo 20 años - I'm 20 years old.

Tengo 20 anos - I have 20 a**holes.


Either way, count the rings.


Plot twist!


French was the official language of England for over 300 years.


That's why we have different names for the animal and the food. The workers in the field called it a cow, but the food on the table in the castle was beef, from boeuf. Sheep is mutton, from mouton, chicken is poultry, from poulet, a pig gives you pork, from the French porc. The workers in the field were 'English' while the aristocracy spoke French.



We think of English, particularly American English, as becoming more homogeneous over time (usually attributed to the prevalence of national-level media), but in fact, the fastest vowel shift in the history of the English language is currently underway. It's called the Northern Cities Shift, and is taking place from Chicago to upstate New York.


Water meat!

The Italian verb "tamponare" means "to plug a bleeding wound."

Also, here in Korea where I live, your wrist, 선먹, is your "arm-neck" and your ankle, 팔먹, is your "leg-neck." Fish as a food, 물고기, (not as a pet) is "water-meat."


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