Here are five languages that I have found out about and that have some interesting things about them:
- Riau Indonesian – this language has an extremely simple grammar that is considered to be one of the simplest in the world by linguists. The language has been used as a universal language between non-native speakers and that might be the reason . The famous example is “ayam makan” (literally: chicken eat) which can mean “I eat chicken”, “chicken eats”, “I ate chicken”, “when the chicken was eating”, “while eating the chicken”, “that chicken is eating” and so on. Still, people communicate successfully in the language. I guess this shows that a lot really depends on context in communication. Also, it looks like Riau would be very easy to learn.
- Tsez – Tsez is a Caucasian language spoken in some mountains by some 15,000 people with very complicated grammar and a lot of unusual, such as glottal or pharyngeal, sounds. Talking about the grammar, it has 64 noun cases! You should hear it spoken because it sounds really interesting. I have first heard about Tsez as an example of a difficult language and then I actually incidentally met someone who studies it.
- Khoisan languages – these are African languages that have, literally, clicks. You make sounds with your mouth that resemble a horse hitting the ground with its hoof. There are also a lot of different kinds of clicks in the language which you have to learn to pronounce the right way. Also, some linguists believe that these might have been the very first languages of the word because it is easy to imagine how language might drop clicks when it’s evolving but it’s hard to imagine how they could acquire them.
- Pitjantjatjara – an Australian aboriginal language with the name of it meaning “having the word pitjanytja“. I didn’t know anything about the language until Carl made a lesson of it. The language looks pretty interesting with words like that and it’s nice to look how languages like this work.
- Tok Pisin – this is an English creole spoken in Papua New Guinea that seems to be very interesting in the ways it has changed from English. For example, there are only two propositions: bilong (meaning “of”) and long (meaning all the other propositions) or there is a very interesting pronouns system (mi meaning me, mitupela meaning me with another person, mitripela meaning me with two other people or mipela meaning all of us). Also it looks kind of cute. For example, I am working now would be: Mi wok nau. Disregarding a few irregularities this language seems like it would be kind of easy to learn because there isn’t all that much complicated grammar attached to it.
Do you know any interesting languages like this? Share in the comments.
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