English words for livestock (cow, sheep, chicken) are Germanic-based and the words for meats (beef, mutton, poultry) are French-based. This is because the people who raised the animals were Anglo-Saxon peasants and the people who ate them were Norman aristocrats.
A woman spent 12 years in a Kansas mental institution against her will after being diagnosed as a schizophrenic because they assumed she was mentally ill and speaking gibberish. She was really Tarahumara Indian from Mexico who spoke a rare dialect.
In 1999, a Slovak linguist created language “Slovio”, simplified Slavic language, as simple as Esperanto but understood by some 400 million Slavs around the world.
When John F. Kennedy met Joseph Luns, the former Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kennedy asked for his hobbies and he answered: “I fok horses”, Kennedy, struck with surprise responded: “Pardon?”, Luns replied: “Yes, paarden!”. ‘Fokken’ means ‘to breed’, and ‘horses’ means ‘paarden’ in Dutch.
Many words used to be spelled phonetically (e.g. debt was ‘det’) until some scholars purposely added silent letters to make them look more like Greek or Latin words, sometimes erroneously.
Understanding English actually hurts professional players of English scrabble; some of the world’s best Scrabble players are Thai and can’t speak English.
“American” was the official language of Illinois from 1923 to 1969.
J.R.R. Tolkien created the words “dwarvish” and “dwarves”, countering the spelling at the time of the books publication which was “dwarfish” and “dwarfs”, and many dictionaries now consider this the proper way to spell the words.
In English, the name of every number shares a letter with each neighbor. One shares an O with two, which shares a T with three, which shares an R with four, which shares an F with five, which shares an I with six — and so on indefinitely.