The world is filled with different languages. Each one is beautiful, interesting and unique. And sometimes, these languages contain words that are so beautiful you can’t find it in the English language. You’ll wish these words have a translation, but we can’t get everything we want.
- 1 Interesting Words in Other Languages
- 1.1 Douleur Exquise (French)
- 1.2 Kummerspeck (German)
- 1.3 Toska (Russian)
- 1.4 Sobremesa (Spanish)
- 1.5 Shemomedjamo (Georgian)
- 1.6 Litost (Czech)
- 1.7 Heimat (German)
- 1.8 Backpfeifengesicht (German)
- 1.9 Ilunga (Tshiluba)
- 1.10 Forelsket (Norwegian)
- 1.11 Greng-jai (Thai)
- 1.12 Cafuné (Portuguese)
- 1.13 Hyggeligt (Danish)
- 1.14 Mencolek (Indonesian)
- 1.15 Wabi-Sabi (Japanese)
Interesting Words in Other Languages
So without further ado, here are some of the most interesting words in other languages you want to exist in the English language.
- Douleur Exquise (French)
- Kummerspeck (German)
- Toska (Russian)
- Sobremesa (Spanish)
- Shemomedjamo (Georgian)
- Litost (Czech)
- Heimat (German)
- Backpfeifengesicht (German)
- Ilunga (Tshiluba)
- Forelsket (Norwegian)
- Greng-jai (Thai)
- Cafuné (Portuguese)
- Hyggeligt (Danish)
- Mencolek (Indonesian)
- Wabi-Sabi (Japanese)
Douleur Exquise (French)
Have you ever loved someone so much but instead you know the two of you won’t ever have a happy ending together because he or she doesn’t love you back? Just the thought of it leaves you feeling pain, right? It’s the worst feeling ever. In French, people say it’s douleur exquise.
Sometimes, people tend to eat a lot and become gluttons when stressed. Other times, they overeat when they are heartbroken. In some cases, they feel the need to eat when they feel sorrow. In German, this is what they call kummerspeck. When roughly translated, it means grief bacon.
Indeed, the English language is sometimes not enough to convey your feelings. You can use the Russian word ‘toska’ when you want to describe a deep feeling of despair. It is when you feel hopeless and yearns for something. It’s arguably the kind of pain that will torture a person’s soul. As one of the most unique and interesting words in other languages, ‘toska’ is something that we all wish existed in the English dictionary so you can just summarize what you’re feeling in one word.
Whenever we go out to dinner with friends and family, we all get so caught up in the moment that we keep the conversation for hours. Even when all the food and drinks are consumed, we all get so swept up that we never notice the time. In Spanish, you call this kind of scenario ‘sobremesa’. It’s literally the conversation at the table that stretches on even when mealtime is over.
When everything on the table looks delicious, you just want to keep eating even when you’re full. You just can’t stop. You say ‘you only live once’ and gobble everything that’s in front of you. The Georgians know this feeling very well. After all, they even created a word for it. It’s shemomedjamo which roughly translates to ‘I accidentally ate the whole thing!’.
Simple yet heavy. The Czech word ‘litost’ is what the author Milan Kundera described as one of the untranslatable words in other languages. It is somewhat close to the meaning of torment and agony at the sight of a person’s own misery.
There’s the saying that goes ‘you can’t reach your destination or goal if you don’t know how to look back to where you came from’. Most of us are molded from what we call home. All of the music, childhood memories, new experiences, and firsts all come from this place. In German, the place that has made us who we are is called ‘heimat’. It is what we refer to as the beliefs and attitudes that each one of us has created over the years. It’s not just the physical place, but it’s our roots.
Probably the most unique and interesting words in other languages is the German word ‘backpfeifengesicht’. When you try to translate it, it means ‘a face that is begging to be punched’. Ouch. I wouldn’t want to be the owner of that face. When broken down, the German word ‘backpfeife’ refers to ‘slap or punch’ while ‘gesicht’ is the ‘face’.
From one of the languages spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the world ‘ilunga’ is one of the hardest words in other languages to translate since it has a lot of meanings. You can’t find one English word to translate what this word means fully. This simple word refers to forgiveness, patience, breaking points and so much more! Wow!
When you have spent a considerable amount of time with someone you like, you can describe what you’re feeling in one Norwegian word – forelsket. It’s that point between ‘I like you ‘ and ‘I love you’. It’s what Carly Rae Jepsen was talking about when she was singing her song ‘I really like you’.
In Thailand, they have a word for that feeling when you don’t want to bother someone to do something for you since you know it would be a pain for them. Yes, exactly that. Thailand has the word ‘greng-jai’ to describe the whole sentence above.
A girl loves it when a certain special someone runs his fingers through her hair in a romantic way. Sometimes, even guys want someone to run her fingers through their hair romantically. In English, you can’t find any word to describe this act. But in the Portuguese language, it’s called ‘cafuné’. So the next time you look for a significant other, try dating Portuguese women or men.
Unlike the English language, Danish has a word to describe that extreme coziness you feel when you’re all curled up on your favourite couch with coffee in your hand as the rain falls outside. It is also the same feeling you get when you finally taste your mom’s home cooked meals and when you are cuddling with your significant other.
There’s a famous trick that’s been going around. It’s that one where you tap someone’s opposite shoulder from behind so you could food them. Indonesians have created a word for it. The next time you try to fool someone with this trick, you now know that’s it’s called ‘mencolek’.
In Japan, there’s a word for embracing life’s natural growth and decay and imperfections. It’s a simple word but packed with meaning.
One of the things that are often misunderstood about Australia is that the people can only speak one Aboriginal language. In reality, there are more than a handful of these dialects, each having different qualities of their own. These languages have been part of Australia since its founding days and have survived and persevered through the test of time.
Australian Indigenous Languages
Being threatened with extinction by major occurrences like the British colonisation and the English language that had contributed to the extinction of some languages and dialects. Regardless here are some outstanding Australian Indigenous languages that you can still hear to this day.
- Guugu Yimithirr
- Kala Lagaw Ya
- Kukatja language
Alyawarr is a language that is spoken around the Australian Northern Territory. This is an area that is mostly bounded by Hatches Creek, Utopia, Macdonald downs and Ooratippra.
This language had a recorded number of a thousand speakers back in 2004. Throughout the difficulties that this language has been through, its number of speakers increased to 1664 in 2006. Today there is a recorded amount of ten thousand native speakers of the Alyawarr including the people that considered it as their second language.
Another Australian Aboriginal language is the Enindhilyagwa. It is spoken by the Warnindhilyagwa people on the Gulf of Carpentaria.
This language is apparent in the northern territory of Australia. Back in 2001. The Australian Indigenous language has been reported to have an estimated 1000 native speakers. There have been reports that over the past decade the language’s speakers have grown exponentially. However, this does not come with a few downsides. In the past decade, some parts of the language like terms for numbers has been forgotten and is no longer known to younger speakers.
Baadi is another one of the Australian indigenous languages that have yet to be appropriately recorded. The Baadi or Bard language is spoken in South Pacific Australia. Currently, the language has only around 200 native speakers. This language is considered as fairly rare and the Australian government is trying your best to either preserve it.
Another language that has been present since the early times is the Djinang language. It is spoken by the Aboriginal Yolnu Tribes that resided in the Northern Territory.
Djinang is a language has been popular in the distant past. It was once the native language of 90% of the Aboriginal people in Australia. Nowadays, there are a lot of people who can speak and read the Djinang scriptures, but only 220 people could speak, write and read the language fluently.
This language has been the bridge that connected several tribes. This is because when a tribesman from one tribe visits another who speak a different language, they automatically use Djinang to bridge the language barrier and understand each other better.
Around the North Queensland region, you will find one of the Australian indigenous languages. The Guugu Yimithirr is a part of the Pama-Nyungan language family. With only a recorded few residing in the community of Hopevale, Guugu Yimithirr is one of the well renowned and famous languages in Australia because this language gave birth to the word “kangaroo.”
Aside from that, Guugu Yimithir was the first Australian indigenous language that has been written down by the world famous Captain James Cook. As their ship was undergoing repairs, the then called Lieutenant Cook along with his crew members recorded the words that the native said during their time there.
Another Yolnu language that is spoken by the Aboriginal Australians in the Northern Territory is Dhuwal. Although the languages that are spoken in the Northern Territory is very hard to distinguish from one another, this language has taken a more noteworthy approach. It has a distinct dialect continuum of eight separate varieties.
Kala Lagaw Ya
Kala Lagaw Ya, also called the Western Torres Strait language, is spoken by the people who occupy the central, western islands, and Queensland Australia. Before the colonisation in the 1870s to 1880s, Kala Lagaw Ya has been the lingua franca of the islands between Australia and Papua New Guinea. This language is still widely spoken by the neighbouring Papuans and of course by some native Australian aboriginal people.
The language has evolved through the decades. Now, it has a form that’s more simplified and another that is called the pidginized form. The native speakers of this language today have taken the simplified approach.
The Kukatja language is another part of the Pama-Nyungan Family. Today you can find this language as part of a cluster that is called the Western Desert language. This means that it is now a dialect of the same language or Wati.
The speakers of the different dialects traditionally lived across the desert parts of Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. Most of these people live in communities that set up villages near traditional lands. Today, a majority of these people live in the areas of Kalgoorlie, Alice Springs, Port Augusta, Laverton, Halls Creek, Meekatharra and lastly, Fitzroy Crossing.
Kunwinjku is a language mostly heard in Northern Australia. It is also called Bininj Gunwok or Mayali. Currently, there are only around 2000 fluent speakers in the area of Kakadu National Park. There are also some in the west of Arafura Sea, the north of Blyth River and finally the east of Katherine Region.
One amazing thing about this Australian indigenous language is that the people are taking a stand and retaining the language by sheer will. The people of the stone and river lands still wish for their language to live on. That is why most of them teach their kids the language first before sending them to an educational institution.
Australia is home to breathtaking sceneries and heartwarming moments, a lot of wild and majestic creatures, and now home to thriving Australian indigenous languages. There are so many more languages out there in Australia that we do not even know of. But, you never know. Maybe one day you will hear one of these astonishing Australian indigenous languages yourself.
Language is never considered a constant thing. Most languages change over time, and in some cases, most of these ancient languages die along with its last remaining native speaker.
Ancient Languages Still Spoken Today
In this article, we will list some of the ancient languages that stood the test of time and stayed relevant through all that has happened around them. Here are the ancient languages that are still spoken today.
Hebrew is a wonderful language. It was considered dead around 400 CE but has withstood the test of time when it was used as an alternate language by Jews all around the world. Along with the rise of 20th century Zionism, Hebrew went through a lot of trials to be considered as the official language of Israel. The modern version of the Hebrew language used today can still be used to understand the old biblical scriptures and texts. Although the original language was connected to the language Yiddish, Modern Hebrew has evolved yet preserved its origins.
Basque is the most peculiar language. You can hear this as the common language of the Basque people who reside in Spain and France. This is the only language in this region that is not related to any kind of Romance language. Many linguists have had a hard time cracking the mystery as to which is it related to. But as of now, it still is a mystery. One thing is clear for them, however, it’s that the language has been there even before the Romance language took its place.
Tamil is a language spoken by a whopping 78 million people. If that is not enough to convince you, this language is considered as an official language not only in Sri Lanka but also in Singapore. With all the different languages and the dialects that the people have back in the day, you would be surprised to know that Tamil is one of the oldest, classical and ancient languages that has graced the country for a long time. Researchers have come across scriptures of Tamil dating back to the 3rd Century BCE, and it has endured until now.
The languages in Europe owe their debts to the Indo-European splitting apart from each other around 3500 BCE. They have evolved into dozens of languages like German, Italian and eventually, English.
Each of these languages has gradually changed while shedding the same qualities that they all shared. Lithuanian, however, is the only language that maintained the grammar and the sounds that the Indo European language used back in the old times.
Have you ever heard of the language Farsi? It is the language that is spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. How about Persian? Have you heard it before? Well, Farsi and Persian is actually the same language!
Farsi is a direct descendant of the Old Persian, a language that was apparent during the Persian Empire. The more modern Persian spread its wings around 800 CE. You will be surprised that despite the number of years, the changes of the Persian language were very minimal. A modern-day Persian speaker can still read scriptures from writings dating back to 900 CE and read it fluently. It’s like the scripture was just written in today’s age.
Icelandic is another Indo-European language that has bloomed in the North Germanic branch. A lot of Germanic languages have developed different approaches to their languages. They have stirred clear from their old roots and paved the way for a new language that can stand alone. Icelandic deserves a place in this spot. While its sister languages went separate ways, this language stuck close to home. It preserved the ancient language by using the same features it did a long time ago. This means that this language is the purest form of how the Norse settlers spoke back in the ancient times. Just like the Farsi language, a modern-day Icelander can read stories of Norse settlers sagas and adventures without any problem.
Macedonian is another popular language that has been used by ancient priests spreading the word of Christianity. It is a Slavic language that has been standardised by Cyril and Methodius by creating what is now called the Old Church Slavonic. They also took the time and created an alphabet for the language that helped them a lot. This was during their march north in the 9th century on their mission to convert the Slavs to Christianity. Cyril and Methodius came from the north of Greece to a place that is currently known as Macedonia.
Finnish is an old and well-known language that bore its roots in the middle of Finland. This particular language is part of the Finno-Ugric language family which is the same as Hungarian, Estonian and a handful of languages that has covered Serbia. Although records of the Finnish language started during the 16th century, this language has been relevant far longer than that. One difference from the other ancient languages is that the Finnish language borrowed a lot more words from other sister languages. Compared to other evolving languages that change its borrowed words, the Finnish language borrowed words retained their form in the guise of the Finnish language. For example, one old word that was borrowed from Germanic language was ‘kuningaz’. This was borrowed and made into Kuningas in Finnish which means king. Kuningaz is no longer part of the modern German language.
The Caucasus region is popular for linguists due to the rich and difficult languages that it has. The noteworthy languages that stood out the most were Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgian. Each of them is a mouthful on its own.
Georgian is the biggest Kartvelian languages and is the only Caucasian language that retained its traditions. You will be amazed at the beautiful and unique alphabet that is as old as time as well. This language is one of the most impressive languages that not only stood the test of time but surpassed the new languages as well.
So there you have it, nine ancient languages that persevered throughout the ages and is standing strong now. Rich in culture and history, these are languages that you would enjoy to learn more about.
Across the world, there are a lot of languages that are slowly fading away. Most of them are on the brink of being truly forgotten. Aside from some animals, languages are starting to become more and more endangered by the rising times.
The world is filled with beautiful languages, almost about 7000 languages grazed the world freely. However, due to the increasing technological advancements and economic growth of each nation some languages are exchanged for better ones. This is truly a problem that nobody has the time to admit. Currently, about 2/3 of the world’s population speak just 12 languages and treats it as a native language. Let’s help preserve these dying languages.
Dying Languages Around The World
Without further ado, here is the list of dying languages around the world that you should know.
Ainu is a Japanese dialect known as one of the rarest language thriving in the island of Hokkaido. This language has no genealogical relationship with any other languages. However, it is considered as a critically endangered language since out of all the population in Japan, Ainu is only spoken fluently by 15 people. The standard Japanese has put a dampener on the language preventing it from flourishing through the countries advancing times. There are some efforts to revive it for cultural purposes, but the chances of that being successful are slim.
Take a trip to Brazil and meet the local indigenous people in Mato Grosso. There you will find an amazing language that is slowly withering away. The Apiaka dialect is another critically endangered language. Apiaka is now only spoken fluently by one elder. The generations that follow vaguely remember the words and are struggling to make sentences with it. The Portuguese language has taken over as the native language since it is much more important to communicate with the outside. Most of the tribe member did not even try to learn the language anymore. And with that said, Apiaka will die with its final speaker.
Now, let’s take a trip to Cameroon. Africa is where those tantalising languages are housed. Most of the dialects differ from village to village. But after the war and all the problems that have happened and will happen. The future of the Bikya language is very dire. Bikya was made popular with the help of a linguist who filmed an 87-year old woman speaking the language fluently. It was thought that she was the last one who can speak the language. However, there are reports from Kiessling that this language has the largest number of fluent speakers among the Furu languages.
Another language that is considered critically endangered is the Chamicuro. Associated with the Chamicuro tribe, you can hear this language in the tribe that lives in the Halluga River in Pampa Hermosa Peru. This tribe only has a population of 20 people at best and with that comes an unfortunate shift. The younger generations have swapped Chamicuro to Spanish, and even the elders who learned the language from their now deceased ancestors are forced to learn Spanish as well. The story of the Chamicuro has yet to cease because they had made a dictionary for this language, a record for which it will be immortalized, and although the language is sure to be extinct a record of it will always stay.
Is a language mainly known for its use in the noteworthy Chemehuevi tribe. If you are lucky, you can hear this language being spoken in Ute, Colorado and other areas from southern Paute to northern Arizona. Though its reach has been broad, today only 3 adults are known to consider it one of their native languages.
Another language that has made its way to the critically endangered, Dumi is not often heard around the Tap and Rava rivers in the mountains of Khotang Nepal. This dying language has only about eight native and fluent speakers. You can find them in the Tibeto-Burman family. The government of Nepal is trying their best to revive the dying language and then preserve it by creating a dictionary for the language, as well as a couple of books that discuss the use of grammar and syntax.
Dusner is an astonishing language located in the Wandamen Bay area Cendrawasih in Papua Indonesia. It is another language that’s recently included among the list of critically endangered or dying languages. When UNESCO last checked, the calamities surrounding the region are threatening the three remaining people who could speak it. Reports state that two of the native speakers had narrowly escaped death during a flood and another lived in a volcano when it erupted. A couple dozen linguists from well-renowned universities have scrambled and made a last-ditch effort to preserve the language. However, they still fail to track the remaining fluent speakers.
Kaixana hangs in the balance of its last remaining native speaker. A 78-year old man named Raimundo Avelino will be the last and final person in the world to speak one of the rarest languages known to man. Raimundo resides in Limoeiro, Japurá, in the state of the Amazons. Kaixana was considered a dying language even way back when Portuguese settlers took over.
Ever hear of Siouan? An ancient language that was once spoken by the Kaw people of Oklahoma. This is a dying language of the native American people before the American influence set in. There are a lot of stories about this language but the last remaining native speaker, Walter Kekahbah died in 1983. The good news about this language is that it is still thriving because of the efforts of a linguist named Robert L. Ranking. He collaborated with Kekehbah and other fluent speakers to make recordings and documentation of the language to help the Kaw people learn it again.
And that’s it for the list of dying languages around the world. Do you know of any other languages that are on the brink of extinction? Take the time to comment them down below and together let’s spread the dying languages awareness around the world.
So, you’ve booked your ticket to Japan, prepared yourself, and studied a few Japanese phrases. Now, you can say that you are prepared to travel to one of the greatest countries on Earth.
Filled to the brim with determination you find yourself looking at the first Japanese you see, and you wish to ask for directions to your hotel. Deep down you are confident that you can handle a simple conversation in Japanese.
You stop the man, ask him in your best Japanese accent, then he talks in a different way that is foreign to you.
Confused you look towards your Japanese book and find that what he said was not there at all. Was it a bad pronunciation? Did you say it differently than how it should?
Maybe you got it wrong. Perhaps, you are talking to a Japanese person with a different dialect.
When talking about Japan, the main language is Japanese. However, there are several dialects in Japan. These differ from each state. In this article, we’ll take a look at the different languages spoken in Japan.
Different Languages Spoken in Japan
Well, before you plan a trip and mess up your first conversation with a local, here are some different languages spoken in Japan to guide you.
- Hakata Ben
- Osaka Ben
- Hiroshima Ben
- Kyoto Ben
- Nagoya Ben
- Hokkaido Ben
If you ever find yourself in Hakata, or even the city of Fukuoka on the southern island of Kyushu, the chances of you encountering this dialect is enormous. Hakata-ben, also known as Fukuoka-ben, is used as the main dialect of Fukuoka. It is well known for its comforting and soft dialect, especially by women. Recently Hakata Ben has been used to deliver regional news alongside Standard Japanese.
The Hakata-ben dialect was formed towards the end of the 19th century when Hakata was merged with Fukuoka and became part of the city district.
Walking in the street of Osaka, there are so many beautiful and majestic sights to see. Sometimes you will come across people who you would consider as outgoing, fast-talking, funny and friendly. When this person talks, and it sounds funny, then you guessed it, he is using a dialect called Osaka-ben. Before we delve deeper, Osaka ben is actually the same part of Kansai-ben. It was initially called Kansai-ben. However, Osaka-ben followed through since the dialect was mostly used in that city. And Kansai-ben was used to represent all the dialects in a certain district.
Speaking in this particular dialect is an amazing way to bring out the happy and fun-loving side of any Japanese person. Since the Osaka-ben is highly associated with warmth and friendliness, you are sure to gain a few friends and respect along the way.
In some other region Kansai-ben is viewed as rough, ignorant, and threatening the attitude that most Kansai district residents have. It is also closely associated with the world-renowned gang, the Yakuza.
Hiroshima, known for his historical imprint in the last world war and bombed by nuclear weapons, is known for its peculiar and indifferent dialect. The historical and cultural aspects of this certain dialect have made it important, and a sought-after dialect that historians should be accustomed to.
The historical reason for its creation is because of the policies of Ieyasu Tokugawa. Since the history of their feudal lords and the central government, the Tokugawa Shogunate spread spies throughout the country feeding the paranoia of the different lords. One solution that they found was to change dialects. Impenetrable dialects serve as a code for each different localities.
Used as a way to stir people away from topics that they don’t want to be known, this followed and stood strong throughout the ages. Different children brought up by different parts of Japan are taught their local dialect first before they can learn about Standard Japanese. But this applies to the different dialects that are here in this article.
The wonderful city is home to one of the unforgettable sights and culturally rich community. Here, you can experience the best that Japan can give in just a few days. One thing that you will notice in this place is that it is home to one of the coolest languages spoken in Japan.
Kyoto-ben is nestled right on top of the old capital of Japan, and this is where you will find the deepest history of Japan. This dialect is often associated with royalty and give a more relaxed and polite tone that is sure to make you feel right at home.
Although the Kyoto-ben is used in different Kansai sub-dialects, it is only more apparent in Kyoto. A perfect blend of a slow, peaceful pace and an easy nonchalant flow.
Another beautiful city in the pristine country of Japan, Nagoya is home to amazing architecture from the past to the present. It has excellent shopping districts and warm, respectful communities and well-known for its Japanese dialect which you might find arousing. The Nagoya ben is the dialect that is relatively close to the Standard Dialect and is used by a lot of people.
Japanese Dialect is split between two different classes, this is the Yamanote and Shitamatchi. Yamanote is mostly spoken by upper-class people during the Meiji period, and it is the basis for Standard Japanese. Then on the other side, you have the Shitamatchi that is the dialect of the lower class people during the same time period.
Hokkaido ben is a fine example of a Shitamatchi dialect and is an imitation of the revered Yamanote dialect. However, this is heavily affected by the people who use it. Back then the Hokkaido ben was used by easy-going farmers hence the word “Imitation.”
So here are some noteworthy dialects and languages spoken in Japan that you should be aware of when you’re planning a trip to this country. Some dialects are more recognisable than others, but the best way to find out which is which is by visiting the different cities and telling them apart. From tones to pronunciations, the variations between the dialects will blow you away. However, they will never steer clear from the Standard Japanese that you will enjoy learning.
Let’s play a game about the most common languages around the world. Write it on any piece of paper or type on your phone. The top 10 languages that you thought of are used more often than some. Rank them up and then let’s see whether you got it all right or wrong. Ready?
Done? Let’s check your answers.
Most Common Languages Around the World
Here are the most common languages around the world that are bound to blow your mind away.
Spanish is simply one of the most common languages around the world. Around 480 million native speakers speak Spanish. An estimated 90 million people use it as their second language. The Spanish language is mostly used in Spain but you can find a lot of speakers in Central America and Latin America.
Aside from that, the influence of the Spanish language dates way back to their glory days as voyagers. By introducing the language to different cultures around the world, Spanish has become the official language of 22 countries all over the globe.
Now without a doubt, the language Arabic has rooted itself cozily in the heart of the Middle East. Garnering a whopping 295 million speakers in its country alone, Arabic has become one of the well-sought after language to learn when it comes to businessmen. It is the lingua franca of the Arab world.
The Arabic language is written using the Naskh script. It has well been a language that had influenced a lot of amazing languages. The father of other languages such as Turkish, Urdu, Persian, Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Greek, and so on.
Being a historical language that stood the test of time, people consider the Arabic language to be the language used in the tower of Babel.
India has a population of 1.225 billion. From here, around 260 million people consider Hindi to be their first language. Thus, making it one of the most common languages around the world. Although dwarfed by the massive population, Hindi should take the #5 spot in your language list because 260 million and growing native speakers are impressive on its own.
Borrowing from his father Arabic, Hindi has followed closely in his elder’s footsteps by being a popular and amazing language to learn. As the descendant of the Sanskrit language founded in the second millennium B.C., Hindi has a fascinating history.
Hindi has been used heavily in India, as well as, in Fiji. The language has existed even more than the people who made it thus, planting itself among one of the most common languages around the world.
Now, the first question you have after trying to pronounce that word is “What?”. Well, Bengali is what you call the language that you will most likely come across in Bangladesh and India. It has around 250 to 300 million speakers – both native and second language speakers. The language is known for its endonym Bangla.
The Bengali language also evolved from the ancient Sanskrit between 1000-1200 A.D. However, since the transition was fairly young, only around fifty per cent of the Sanskrit had been maintained in the Bengali language. Also, the language has no capital letters and gendered nouns.
Have you ever watched the World Cup? Those amazing plays and outstanding people cheering gibberish, that you might never understand. Well, that is the language of the most prominent competitors, Brazil. The language is pretty much close to Hispanic but do not be fooled, the difference between them is huge.
The 7th on your list of the most common languages should be none other than the Portuguese. Studies show that an astonishing amount of 219 million people can speak fluent Portuguese. This includes the majority of South America.
From Portugal, Brazil, Macau(China), Goa(India), to even some of the African nations, this language was popularised by moving with the tide. Portuguese is mostly spoken in Portugal. The language has official status in 9 countries including Brazil, Portugal, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe.
In 2009, the letters K, Y and W, were officially added. Being a fluid language that has evolved and will continue to develop, it will not be long until the language surpasses others.
Being spoken in one of the largest countries out there, Russian is without a doubt on your list by now. Popularized by the American movies that antagonised them, they have grown exponentially large due to the simple fact that the Russian accent is cool or as the kids say, badass. Now if you are right, you placed this on your list maybe 3rd or 5th. But here it is ranked 6th as one of the most common languages around the world.
Don’t let that make you look down on this language, boasting an incredible 154 million speakers, Russian has become a staple language that everybody could recognise. Also, one amazing fact about this language is that it is actually the 2nd most used language on the internet. That is amazing!
There you have it. These are some of the most used languages on the world. From old languages that have their own letters and characters to languages that are slowly changing with the times to some languages that became the go-to language for a certain football series, was your list correct? How many did you get? Well, If you did not, that is ok, you know why? Because you learned today.
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Can you speak perfect English? Can you say phrases and sing rap with it? That is great! Not only do you have an excellent language to start with, but you also have one that is recognised worldwide. There are so many beautiful things this language can do for you, and you should be proud. However, the world is a wide place that we live in and there are thousands of languages out there. And although you should be proud of being a native speaker of the most popular language, some languages will surely surprise, disappoint, frustrate you when learning it.
Hardest Languages To Learn For English Speakers
Here are some of the hardest languages to learn for English speakers.
- Mandarin Chinese
Starting off the list is one that will put your tongue in a chokehold. Now one thing that will make the Arabic language hard for you is how they approach their vowels. Also, it has a singular plural and dual form, so that means having two of something is different from having four of something.
There’s also that problem when it comes to the feminine and the masculine side when describing a person. In a nutshell, Arabic has a word for a working man and another for a working woman.
Aside from the vocabulary, speaking the language is not an easy task as well. You have to learn how to pronounce it a little bit harder at the same time a little bit faster.
The Arabic language has different kinds of grammatical quirks and different combinations for the writing system. Learning the language will test your patience and will generally make you turn your tongue upside down. But don’t let that get to you. As one of the hardest languages to learn for English speakers, learning it will be a rewarding experience.
You were expecting this, right? For non-Asian speakers, Mandarin is one of the hardest languages to learn for English speakers. It will be a challenge for those starting out. Asian native speakers already find it hard to learn this language, but for native English speakers, you are up for a challenge of a lifetime.
From the get-go, the language is read in different and foreign characters. After all, China’s characters are harder to read compared to other Asian countries like Japan or Korea.
You have to worry about different kinds of things as well. Take, for example, the tone that plays a crucial role in Chinese. Also, the words differ from their meaning depending on the tones.
Even with that said, the Chinese grammar has a few fantastic plusses. The syntax is fairly moderate along the way. Once you have grown accustomed to the language, mastering other Asian languages will come in surprisingly easy.
Once again, another Asian language that is fairly more manageable than Mandarin is the Japanese language. Now you should not worry about the tone and how fast you should speak it. As one of the hardest languages to learn for English speakers, the problem with Japanese lies in the characters that are associated with the language.
The writing system that is used in Japan heavily borrow from the Chinese characters. This is called ‘kanji’. Individual characters tend to have the same appearance and meaning. However, there is a sublanguage or an alternative character to this. It is the ‘kana’. They are mostly used to write grammatical markers or foreign words that don’t really have a kanji counterpart.
What makes Japanese a hard language to learn is how complicated it is to construct a sentence both orally and in writing. Looking at the characters and its positions will surely make you scratch your head. The construction of sentences will forcefully divide you from the setting and format that you actually grew up with. Learning to speak it is partially easy. But learning the characters, how to read, and write it will be a rollercoaster of emotions for you.
When you master the Chinese language, other Asian countries will be a bit easier. In comparison to Mandarin, the Korean language is like a little sister. Simple, but really annoying.
Like Japanese, this language consists of its own heavily Chinese-borrowed set of characters with a side of things that look the same but mean different. Many sounds and intonations will put your tongue on a loop. With that said, when it comes to speaking it, it’s more Chinese and fast-paced than Japanese. You need to pronounce it more clearly rather than quickly.
The Korean language goes the same as the Japanese language where you should adjust a little bit more. Learning the culture of these three sister languages, Japanese, Korean and Chinese, is an amazing feat of its own. But when you really take time to learn, you will open up a door that will show you Korea, Japan, and China in a different light.
In the middle east, a certain language shines through. Pashto is what they call the native language used by Afghanistan and Pakistan and a majority of the Middle Eastern States. Although it is the last on our list, Pashto will also test your will as much as your wit.
The language comes with the same recipe. It has its own set of characters. Of course, that means construction and execution will be placed in a questionable manner yet again.
Pashto is known for its vastly inflected language. You can learn words by being absorbed into a world of complex and peculiar instances. You will get to know about the use of ambipositions or words that fit nouns like a burger fits a bun.
The words and languages that you want to learn should depend on what you really want. Because tackling these languages without determination will just be a waste of time. Better yet, approach these languages with an eagerness to learn and an unwavering lust.
And if you do not fancy these hardest languages to learn for English speakers and if you need to start with a language that’s as easy as 1 2 3, then that is alright. There are so many languages around the world that serve as a key to a treasure you did not know you wanted.
Have you ever thought about the different languages and the vast differences each one has? The world is filled with interesting and wonderful languages that broaden your outlook and understanding of the places you visit. Among these languages, there are ones that are dying and there are ones that are abundantly used.
Most Used Languages Around The World
With all the languages around the world, only a few are considered as the ‘most used languages around the world’. Here are some languages.
Most of the other countries have English in their whole curriculum, and in some cases, it is considered as a major. That is why when you are a native English speaker; it is easier to visit other countries. You can find an English speaker almost anywhere. There are around 372 million native speakers around the world. This doesn’t include the people who use English as their second language. But overall, it is one of the most used languages around the world. It ranks third in the most spoken languages in the world according to Babbel Magazine.
Mandarin is widely spoken throughout the populace of China, and it’s neighbouring countries. With around 898 million native speakers, Mandarin has become one of the most spoken languages in the world. Frankly, just by looking at the numbers, it heavily towers the figures of the English language. It ranks number one in the most spoken languages around the world. The language is pretty much enclosed in China with 70 per cent of the country’s population speaking this Chinese dialect.
Not shy from 437 million native speakers, this language started to become popular due to their voyages and search for gold and glory. The Spaniards travelled to different continents, colonised many countries and spread their language. This led to the country’s language merging with the Spanish language. In some cases, the colonised country will adopt the new language. You can notice these effects on some colonised countries, like the Philippines.
Recently, business has been booming over in the Arabic speaking countries in the Middle East. The growth of their economy is impressive when you look at it. With a whopping amount of 295 million native Arabic speakers and steadily growing, these Arab countries have become amazing that English businessmen take Arabic lessons in hopes of taking their business one step further.
One of the countries who have a colonial history with a widespread impact on different cultures are the French-speaking ones. If you are planning to take trips abroad or even across Europe, this is an amazing language that you are sure to fall in love with. In fact, it is among the most learned language in the world. Its noteworthy accent is also a great way to start a conversation with the smooth and romantic tone that the French language demands. Because of this, people enjoy the French language enough to consider learning it as a hobby. This makes the language one of the most used languages around the world.
Brazil, home of football and people who enjoy football. Now, when you think about it, Brazil is a very wide place in its own right, sporting 219 million native speakers. It is one of the growing parts of the world since a lot of businesses are looking to find opportunities with the rich resources of South America. Aside from having a rich and amazing culture, Brazil has made a name for itself in the headlights of the world cup! A lot of people pick up the Portuguese language just to make friends during this amazing event.
“We all know that the Russians are the bad guys”, said the kid who grew up in the nineteen eighties. The Russian language tends to sound like, but it is leagues different. Kind of like how Mandarin and Japanese sound the same but does not add up, Russian stands strong with its 154 million native speakers. This doesn’t include the people who use Russian as their second language. The language is a little complicated that anyone who dares learn it will have a hard time.
Yes, Germany is probably considered as one of the most iconic nations in the world. You should never hate Germany or Germans because of what they did and how they made history. You should give them a chance. Why? Because they have learned from their mistakes, they try their hardest to make friends, they have amazing beer, and they have one of the hardest common languages to master. Nothing compares to how challenging this language really is. Not only does the language’s fantastic way of speaking challenges the flexibility of your tongue but also the width and length of your throat. Engineers wanting a more successful career opt to take the German language in hopes of working with them to learn from the leaders of engineering, science and technology.
Some special mentions:
Japan has gained notoriety for being the good kind of weird these past few generations. The country not only shows the best of its culture and people but it’s really good at being creative. A lot of people around the world easily pick up the language from Japanese movies, anime and manga – Japan’s own version of comics.
Koreans have the best-worn fashion. Aside from their colourful lifestyles, the Korean language caught up with the times and grew due to their Korean dramas that are sure to pull your heartstrings.
Familiar with the Navajo tribe? Not that flashy compared to their other neighbours and tenants, but yes, the language is slowly dying out. This does not stop it from being the most spoken Native American language in the United States, and still now, to this day, refuse to wither because a lot of kids actually learn and preserve the language.
So, there you have it. The list of the most used languages around the world that you are sure to encounter in your travels. If you want to learn one or two, start by finding a language buddy who you can speak with using that language. And remember, practice makes perfect.
The Spanish language is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. In fact, it is ranked 2nd, just after Chinese, in the top 10 most spoken languages worldwide according to Babbel Magazine.
From a survey in 2018, there are around 480 million native speakers all over the globe with a total of 570 million speakers. With such a huge number, it is no wonder that the Spanish language has official status in 22 countries. This makes the language one of the most essential languages that you should learn if you plan on travelling around the world.
To help you, we have compiled this useful and basic Spanish phrases that you need when you are going on a trip to Spanish-speaking countries.
Most Spanish-speaking countries are polite and courteous. So don’t be surprised when you meet you see people often saying ‘how are you’ and ‘hello’. For the duration of your trip, be sure to learn how to say some of the basic Spanish phrases when it comes to greeting other people. If you’re not that confident with your Spanish skills, don’t worry too much. The locals will still appreciate your efforts. Just try your best.
Hola – oh lah
Buenos días – bway nos dee ahs
Meaning: Good morning
Buenas tardes – bway nahs tar days
Meaning: Good afternoon
Buenas noches – bway nahs noh chayss
Meaning: Good evening
Por favor – por fah vohr
Cómo está? – coh moh es tah
Meaning: how are you?
Estoy bien ¡Gracias! – eh-STOY bee-en GRA-thee-as/GRA-see-as
Meaning: I’m fine, thanks
Como te llamas? – KOH-moh teh yah-mas
Meaning: What is your name?
Habla inglés? – ahblah een glays
Meaning: Do you speak English?
bien, gracias – bee ayn, grah cee ahs
Meaning: good, thank you
Mucho gusto – moo choh goos toh
Meaning: nice to meet you
Bienvenido! – Bee-en-ven-EE-doh
Basic Spanish Vocabulary
To help you get around, here are some easy to remember Spanish phrases. Some of these are words that you need when you want something or want to ask something the easy way. Just use these Spanish phrases and point to the object.
o quiero / yo no quiero – yoh kee ayr oh / yoh noh kee ayr oh
Meaning: I want / I don’t want
Dónde está? – dohn des tah
Meaning: Where is
Cuánto cuesta? – cwahn toh cways tah
Meaning: How much does it cost
Puede repetirlo! – PWE-day re-pet-EER-lo
Meaning: Can you say that again?
Qué hora es? – kay orah ess
Meaning: What time is it?
Tiene? – tee ayn ay
Meaning: Do you have?
o tengo/ yo no tengo – yoh tayn goh/ yoh noh tayn goh
Meaning: I have / I don’t have
Yo entiendo / yo no entiendo – yoh ayn tee ayn doh / yoh noh ayn tee ayn doh
Meaning; I understand / I don’t understand
Entiende? – ayn tee ayn day
Meaning: Do you understand?
Puedes hablar más despacio? – PWE-des ab-LAR mas des-PATH-ee-o
Meaning: Can you speak more slowly?
Yo quiero un – yoh kee ayr oh oon
Meaning: I want a
Perdone! – per-DON-ay
Meaning: Excuse me
No hablo español – no AB-lo es-pan-YOL
Meaning: I don’t speak Spanish
Understanding and Asking for Directions
One of the crucial things when travelling is knowing which way to go. Despite being equipped with Google Maps, one can alaways get lost in any city. If you feel like you’re lost or simply just want some directions since your phone’s battery died, here are some of the most useful Spanish phrases when asking for and understanding directions.
Dónde está el baño? – dohn days tah el ban yoh?
Meaning: Where is the bathroom?
A que distancia? – Ah kay dhees-Tan-syah
Meaning: How far?
Yo necesito – yoh nay say see toh
Meaning: I need…
A la derecha – a lah day ray chah
A la izquierda – ah lah eez kee ayr dah
Derecho – Day ray choh
Meaning: Straight ahead
En la esquina – a lah ays kee nah
Meaning: At the corner
Spanish Phrases To Use When Dining
Food is the most important part of a person’s daily life so it is best to learn a few Spanish phrases that you can use when dining overseas in a Spanish speaking community. Survive the day and make sure you remember these phrases. Your next meal depends on how well you do in Spanish.
Un menú – oon may noo
Meaning: A menu
Un postre – oon pohs tray
Una bebida – oona bay bee dah
Meaning: a drink
Agua – ah gwah
Un café – oon cah fay
La cuenta – lah cwayn tah
Meaning: The check
Cuanto cuesta? – kwahn-toh kweh-stah
Meaning: How much is it?
Estuvo delicioso – est-ooh-vo del-ish-ee-oh-so
Meaning: That was delicious
Picante – pick-ant-ay
Soy vegetariano/a – soy veg-et-air-ee-an-oh/ah
Meaning: I am vegetarian
If you are travelling around the world, goodbye is one of the most common things that you’ll be doing. It is one of the hardest things to do especially when you found yourself a place that you can call your second home and friends that are easy to get along with. Whether you are saying goodbye to newly found friends or a friendly face, here are a few Spanish phrases when saying goodbye.
Hasta luego! – AS-ta loo-AY-go
Meaning: See you later
Adiós – ah-dee-OS
Nos vemos – nos VAY-mos
Meaning: See you
These are just some of the most useful Spanish phrases that you can use when in another country. Once you are familiar with these common words, you will soon find yourself participating in small talks and having your very first basic conversation. When you do, you will get excited in improving your Spanish language skills.
If you ever need help in translating your documents from Spanish to English and vice versa, contact us, and we’ll be happy to help you. We have professional, NAATI certified and experienced Spanish translators who are experts at translating both professional and business documents. Upload a scan or photo of your document via the translation form, and we’ll send you a quote in less than 15 minutes absolutely free!
If you are a person who loves travelling, there are instances where you have to learn a few phrases of the place’s language to get around. In some cases, you research beforehand what are the do’s and don’ts before your trip, so you don’t unknowingly disrespect the locals.
Sounds like you?
Then, you’re probably reading this article to learn how to say thank you in different languages. After all, gratitude is one of the most important things that you should have if you decide to travel long-term and explore the world.
Behind ‘Thank You’
When we take a look at the history behind the phrase ‘thank you’, we see that the English word ‘thank’ originates back to the Old English ‘thanc’. This word means ‘thought’. So how does this connect to how ‘thank you’ is used nowadays? It is said that people who are grateful would always think a lot about the person to whom they are grateful.
As time passed by, Europe also came to develop the right word for gratitude. English was influenced by the Old High German which uses the word ‘dank’ to express their gratitude.
Meanwhile, the Romance languages evolved from Latin so most of their ‘thank you’ phrases are a lot similar. Most of them are from the Latin phrase ‘gratias agere’ which can be roughly translated to ‘I give praises’.
These are just the European languages. Now imagine how the rest of the world would say ‘thank you’ in different languages. WIth various ways on how to express your gratitude, it is always great to learn and familiarise yourself with the right phrases to use when you’re planning on moving to a different part of the world or going on a trip.
Thank You In Different Languages
Being thankful and showing gratitude is the easiest ways to be polite in any country so without further ado, here are the different ways on how to say thank you in different languages.
- Afrikaans – dankie
- Amharic – አመሰግናለሁ (amäsäggänallähw)
- Albanian – ju faleminderit
- Algerian – faleminderit
- Arabic – shukran (shoe-kran)
- Aragonese – grazias
- Armenian – Շնորհակալություն / chnorakaloutioun
- Azerbaijani – Çox sağ ol
- Bengali – ধন্যবাদ (dhon-no-baad)
- Berber – Sahit
- Bhojpuri – धन्वाद (dhanvaad)
- Bosnian – hvala (HVAH-lah)
- Bulgarian – благодаря / blagodaria
- Burmese – cè-zù tin-ba-deh
- Catalan – gràcies (GRAH-syuhs)
- Cantonese – 唔該 (M̀h’gōi)
- Chinese – xiexie (shye-shye)
- Croatian – hvala (HVAH-lah)
- Czech – děkuji (Dyekooyih)
- Danish – tak (tahg)
- Dutch – dank u (dahnk u)
- Estonian – tänan (TA-nahn)
- Farsi – متشکرم (Salam)
- Finnish – kiitos (key-toss)
- French – merci (MEHR-see)
- German – danke (dahn-kah)
- Greek – ευχαριστώ (ef-hah-rees-TOH)
- Gujarati – ધન્યવાદ (dhanyavaad)
- Hakka Chinese – 感謝 (gum xia)
- Hawaiian – mahalo (ma-HA-lo)
- Hausa – Na gode
- Hebrew – .תודה / todah (toh-DAH)
- Hindi – dhanyavād / shukriya
- Hungarian – köszönöm (KØ-sø-nøm)
- Icelandic – takk (tahk)
- Indonesian – terima kasih (Tur-EE-mah KAH-see)
- Irish Gaelic – Go raibh maith agat /guh rev mah a-gut
- Italian – grazie (GRAHTS-yeh)
- Japanese – ありがとう (ah-ree-GAH-toh)
- Kannada – ಧನ್ಯವಾದ (dhanyavāda)
- Korean – 감사합니다 (KAM-sah-ham-NEE-da)
- Kurdish – سوپاس (Sipas dekem)
- Lakota – pilámaya
- Latvian – paldies (PUHL-dyehs)
- Lebanese – choukrane
- Lithuanian – ačiū (AH-choo)
- Macedonian – Благодарам / blagodaram (blah-GOH-dah-rahm)
- Maithili – Shukria
- Malay – terima kasih (TREE-muh KAH-seh)
- Malayalam – നന്ദി (nāndi)
- Maltese – grazzi (GRUTS-ee)
- Mandarin – Xièxiè
- Mongolian – Баярлалаа (bayarlalaa)
- Navajo – Ahéhee’
- Nepali – धन्यवाद (dhanyabad)
- Norwegian – takk (tahk)
- Ojibwe – Miigwech
- Oriya – ଧନ୍ୟବାଦ୍ (dhanyabaad)
- Oromo – Galatoomi
- Pashto – مننه (manana)
- Persian – ممنونم (mamnūnam)
- Polish – dziękuję (Jenkoo-yen)
- Portuguese – obrigado [masculine] / obrigada [feminine] (oh-bree-GAH-doo / oh-bree-GAH-dah)
- Punjabi – Shukrīā (shoo-kree-ah)
- Romanian – mulţumesc (mool-tzoo-MESK)
- Russian – спасибо (spuh-SEE-buh)
- Serbian – xвала / hvala (HVAH-lah)
- Shanghainese – 谢谢 (Yáyà)
- Slovak – Ďakujem (JAH-koo-yehm)
- Slovenian – hvala (HVAA-lah)
- Somali – mahadsanid
- Spanish – gracias (GRAH-syahs)
- Swahili – Asante
- Swedish – tack
- Sundanese – Hatur nuhun
- Tagalog – salamat (sa-LAH-mat)
- Taiwanese – 勞力 (Ló·-la̍t)
- Tamil – நன்றி (nandri)
- Telugu – ధన్యవాదములు (dhanyavaadhamulu)
- Thai – kop khun (cap-coohn)
- Turkish – teşekkür ederim (teh shek uer eh der eem)
- Twi – Meda w’ase
- Vietnamese – cám ơn
- Ukrainian – Дякую (DYAH-koo-yoo)
- Urdu – بہت شكريه (Bahut shukriya)
- Welsh – diolch (DEE-ol’ch)
- Yiddish – אדאנק (adank)
- Yoruba – O ̣se
- Zulu – Ngiyabonga
Saying thank you in different languages not only shows politeness and good manners but it is also beneficial to a person. Studies have shown that when a person is grateful, he or she is improving his or her social relationships, physical health, well-being, positive emotional states and ability to cope with stressful circumstances.
When you want to show your gratitude, it’s the thought that always counts. Express yourself but don’t go overboard. Some countries view saying thank you to be impolite and strange. Take, for example, Indians sometimes see saying thank you and please as an insult. They just assume that you will return the favour done to you at another day and time. So it is always best to read, research and learn the culture of a country before going there.
But, if you don’t have any idea on how to show your gratitude in a new country, pay attention to what everybody does. Try to ascertain what is courteous and what’s not. Another way is to find a local and befriend him or her. Then, ask them what is acceptable and what are the customs in the place.
If none of these works, stick with what you know. Just know that the thought is what counts. Show that you are genuine and that you are trying your best. When people see this, they will forgive you for a small mistake.
As a traveller, it is essential to know how to say thank you in different languages. In case you want to show more than just a simple ‘thank you’ to your recipient and give him or her a personal letter, we can help with our language translation services. With more than 80+ language pairs, our translators are capable of translating your personal documents, as well as, your business documents. Just let us know via the Live Chat or contact form, and we’ll be happy to help you.
Get a free quote today by completing the translation quote form found on this page. In just 15 minutes, you will receive the exact quote via email.