Standing nearby, a man in a straw fedora and a periwinkle T-shirt wondered if she knew the word in Basque.
Ms. Tooker asked him if he wanted it in “Euskara Batua,” standardized Basque, or in a regional dialect, spoken by about 710,000 people near the coast of the Bay of Biscay.
“Batua,” the man, Maurice Algarra, said.
“Tximeleta,” Ms. Tooker replied.
“That’s right!” said Mr. Algarra, 50, whose grandparents illegally spoke Basque to him when he was growing up in Franco’s Spain.
“Butterfly” has stymied language experts for decades. It is the one common word that does not have cognates — words that are similar in sound, spelling and meaning — in related languages, even closely related ones. “Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French — each one has a different word for ‘butterfly,’ ” said William Beeman, chairman of the University of Minnesota’s anthropology department who has written on the anomaly. “This flies in the face of what we know about how languages work. And when someone hears you say ‘butterfly’ in their language, they know you’re speaking their language.”"
If you don't understand the part above, better unfollow this collection.
Recently, this image of me learning languages was used without my permission by 8fact to share a discouraging and just plain wrong "fact" about how rare multilinguals are. The image went viral all over the place, and I'm sad to be associated with it. Share this actual fact with your friends that language learning is much more common and accessible to everyone (source: http://fi3m.com/source ).
Merci / Gracias / Danke / Grma / 謝謝 / 'brigado / Grazie!
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