Brace yourselves, it’s about to get geeky. So, languages are one of my favorite things in the world. Some people watch TV in their free time, I search the internet for resources to learn whatever language I’m interested in (currently it’s Portuguese).

However, I (and I’m sure many others have as well) have been noticing some pretty funny patterns as I go on my journey in the world of language. Here are some of my favorites.

The first foreign language I learned was Spanish, so when I learn something new, I naturally compare it to Spanish. The simplest example I can think of is Portuguese. In Spanish, the word for I is yo. In Portuguese, it’s eu. They’re pronounced similarly as well. Actually, Portuguese and Spanish are very similar, in spelling and pronunciation, which is a bit maddening, as it’s very tempting for me to just write a word I don’t know the Spanish way, and hope it’s similar. The same thing happens when I’m stumped in French. However, this doesn’t just apply to the Romance languages.

I also really enjoy learning Asian languages, because they’re very different from English. However, there are exceptions. For example, in Vietnamese, most words are very, very different from English. The ones that aren’t, however, are literally English with an accent. My favorite example of this is sandwich, which is spelled and pronounced almost exactly the same way in both languages. Finally, in Asian languages, some words just match what they’re talking about. In Mandarin Chinese, the word for cheerleader (apologies, I can’t put the characters in, so I’ll type it phonetically) is laladuidui (pronounced la la dwee dwee), which to me is the perkiest word ever, which is how I picture cheerleaders, happy and full of energy.

That’s why I love learning languages so much. Each is like a puzzle to me. Plus, I get to talk to all kinds of amazing people. Post a comment and say “Hello” in your favorite language!

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