Let’s Link—Week 6

Ah, vacation. Isn’t it great? I never choose to spend my Christmas holidays traveling, as many do, but instead I venture home every year in order to spend time with my parents, brother, sister-in-law, and many more. (Mario stays in Spain to be with his family work.) This means I think less about blogging and more about baking Christmas cookies, watching IU basketball, and hanging out with my parents. Yeah, I’m that cool. Fortunately for me, I’ve had the opportunity to reunite with some close friends from high school. I haven’t laughed like that in a long time! It’s great to be with people who you really identify with. I’m beginning to see why I’m okay with not wanting to live in Spain forever.

Anyway, all that to say: let’s link! Are you ready for some thought-provoking bits of information? Of course you are!

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I really enjoy reading Janet Mendel’s blog. She writes about her kitchen and culinary adventures in southern Spain. Like me, she is a Midwesterner. She wrote about a traditional Spanish Christmas food I’d never heard of—the cardoon.

Cat wrote about her favorite Spanish Christmas traditions, which include Sevilla’s beautiful Christmas lights.

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Language Barriers

Because I am a giant nerd, I love quirky language facts and etymology. I read linguistics blogs and think Steven Pinker is fascinating. I think learning about learning languages could occupy my whole life. So, I thought I’d share with you a few facts about language:

  • Language with the most native speakers: Mandarin Chinese
  • Language with the most non-native speakers: English
  • Language with the most words: English (around 250,000 distinct words)
  • The language of air travel is English, even if it’s an Italian plane, landing in Italy, with an Italian pilot talking to Italian people.
  • No language is in itself more difficult than any other – all children, in fact, learn their mother tongue in the same natural way and with equal ease.
  • It is common for speakers of Chinese to be able to speak several variations of the language. Typically in southern China, a person will be able to speak the official Putonghua, the local dialect, and occasionally either speak or understand another regional dialect, such as Cantonese.
  • There is no verb conjugation in Japanese.
  • There are over 583 different languages and dialects spoken in Indonesia alone, including English and Dutch.
  • Mafia in Old Arabic means sanctuary.
  • The language Malayalam, spoken in parts of India, is the only language whose name is a palindrome.
  • Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language. It uses 4 different tones to convey different meanings: flat, rising, falling then rising, or falling.

Sources: http://edl.ecml.at/LanguageFun/LanguageFacts/tabid/1859/language/en-GB/Default.aspx
http://www.languagehelpers.com/languagefacts/chinese.html
http://www.ukulc.com/language_facts.php
http://www.amazingposts.com/2008/08/language-facts.html