"There’s nothing more irritating to a pedant’s ear and nothing more flabbergasting than realizing you’ve been pronouncing the name of so many places wrong, your entire life! Despite the judgment we exhibit toward people who err in enunciating, we all mispronounce a word from time to time, despite our best efforts. Well, now it’s time we can really stop mispronouncing the following places."
"Did you know that Swedish has more in common with Hindi than it does with Finnish? Explaining everything within the limits of the world is probably too ambitious a goal for a list like this. But here are 23 maps and charts that can hopefully illuminate small aspects of how we manage to communicate with one another."
"Over the course of human history, thousands of languages have developed from what was once a much smaller number. How did we end up with so many? And how do we keep track of them all? Alex Gendler explains how linguists group languages into language families, demonstrating how these linguistic trees give us crucial insights into the past."
View full lesson on TED-ED: What do Game of Thrones' Dothraki, Avatar's Na'vi, Star Trek's Klingon and LOTR's Elvish have in common? They are all fantasy constructed languages, or conlangs. Conlangs have all the delicious complexities of real languages: a high volume of words, grammar rules, and room for messiness and evolution. John McWhorter explains why these invented languages captivate fans long past the rolling credits.
The Caucasus region, dominated by the imposing Great Caucasus mountain range and stretching between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, has long been known as one of the world’s ethnically and linguistically most diverse areas.
"Speech with a drawl, twang, clipped consonants, broad vowels, slurred words or extra diphthongs might give away that the speaker is from the American South, Boston, the Midwest or elsewhere. The spice that a certain region may lend to spoken language can even be strong enough to flavor non-audible language as well. Indeed, American Sign Language (ASL) has its own accents. And like its audible counterpart, one of the strongest regional accents in ASL is that of Philadelphia residents, reports Nina Porzucki for PRI."
Liam Dutton nails pronouncing Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
Known as Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Llanfair PG and Llanfairpwll, the small community of 3,000 on the island of Anglesey has the longest single word toponym (place name) in Europe. The name means "Saint Mary's Church in a hollow of white hazel near the swirling whirlpool of the church of Saint Tysilio with a red cave."
The longest toponym in the world is a New Zealand hill named Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu.
"When linguists talk about the historical relationship between languages, they use a tree metaphor. An ancient source (say, Indo-European) has various branches (e.g., Romance, Germanic), which themselves have branches (West Germanic, North Germanic), which feed into specific languages (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian). Minna Sundberg, creator of the webcomic Stand Still. Stay Silent, a story set in a lushly imagined post-apocalyptic Nordic world, has drawn the antidote to the boring linguistic tree diagram."
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