Albanian is one of the oldest languages in Europe and isn’t closely related to any other language.
The Arabic language is written from right to left. Accordingly, books and documents are read from back to front. However, numbers are written from left to right.
From the 10th to the 12th century Belarusian was written with Arabic letters. Latin letters have also been used in the past. Today, however, the language uses the Cyrillic script.
In Bulgaria, nodding the head means “no” and shaking the head means “yes”. When Bulgarians know they are talking to tourists, they sometimes switch around and confuse the tourists completely.
The Chinese writing system contains around 50,000 different characters. However, many of these characters are no longer used in day-to-day life. Thus only 2,000 to 3,000 characters are needed to read a newspaper, for example.
The Chinese language has two writing systems: the simplified system in China, Singapore and Malaysia; and the traditional system used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. The simplified form came into existence in the 1950s to encourage literacy.
Croatia’s currency, the Kuna (“marten”), takes its name from the use of marten pelts as a unit of value in medieval trading.
In Czech, whole sentences can be formed without vowels. For example the tongue twister Strč prst skrz krk: In English this means something like ‘Stick a finger through your throat’.
According to the 2016 World Happiness Report, the Danes are the happiest people in the world. Perhaps it’s because of hygge?
Hygge describes a particularly Danish attitude to life, which can best be translated as ‘cosiness’. It has now become a worldwide trend and even appears in the Oxford English Dictionary. The OED defines it as ‘A quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality.’ In winter in particular, a hyggelig ambience exerts an enormous pull and provides a wonderful sense of wellbeing. Perhaps that’s the Danes’ secret?
Alongside Paschtu, Dari is one of Afghanistan’s two official languages.
Kindercarnavalsoptochtvoorbereidingswerkzaamhedencomitéleden was crowned the longest word in the Dutch language with 60 letters and is in the Guinness Book of Records. It refers to the committee members who organise the activities in preparation for a children’s carnival parade.
English is the national language of six countries, and a second language in another 50 countries. With 1.5 billion speakers (including 330 million native speakers), it is the most widely spoken language in the world.
Professional translations for English ↔ German and 50 other languages
There are over 14 grammatical cases in the Estonian language.
Some Persian words are also used in English, for example “bazaar” and “paradise”.
Finnish words sometimes look incredibly long. This is because Finnish is an agglutinative language. Smaller, grammatically descriptive words are appended to a root word instead of placing them in front of it as in English or German. Someone once calculated that in Finnish you could theoretically append over 2000 smaller words to a root word!
Belgium is split in two by a linguistic border. Flemish is spoken in Flanders in the north, while French is the language of Wallonia in the south. Only the capital, Brussels, is bilingual.
There are 13 ways of pronouncing the vowel ‘o’ in French.
Kabelsalat, sich fremdschämen, Schadenfreude, Wanderlust, Fernweh, Zeitgeist, Kummerspeck, Vorfreude, Geistesblitz – German has countless words that barely translate into other languages, if at all. Nevertheless, or perhaps precisely for that reason, many prefer to retain these words when communicating in other languages. That’s why some of these words have already found their way into other languages – otherwise special linguistic flair is required for their translation.
The Greek adjective meraki means to do something with great pleasure, with body and soul. To translate this one Greek word accurately, one often needs a short sentence in other languages
After Chinese and English, Hindi is the world’s third-most spoken language.
Most European languages belong to the same language family, which means that there are many similarities between them. However, this is not true of Hungarian, which belongs to the Finno-Ugric languages. This makes it almost impossible to guess the meaning of Hungarian words for most Europeans. With donaldkacsázás, the first part at least doesn’t seem that unusual. No wonder, because it refers to that well-known comic duck. It is used to describe someone who – like the cartoon hero – walks around the house wearing only a shirt and no trousers or underpants.