Allix’s Thursday Thoughts 12.09.19

Language builds our understanding of the world. It guides us through the waters of our own reality. Without language we would not be able to clearly appreciate all the beauty that surrounds us. For instance, for many years we were blind to the intricate wonders of the colour blue. Research has suggested that our perception of this colour did not exist until we had a word to describe it and understand it by. In Namibia an experiment was conducted with the Himba tribe: their language has no distinct word for blue, and when asked to choose a blue square amongst a group of green squares, they had extreme difficulty. Did our ancestors, generations before us, merely lack the vocabulary to articulate what it was they were seeing? Or could their brains not interpret blue as distinct from other colours? The power of language is a beautiful and beguiling thing. At Speakeasy we love to celebrate the tapestry of colours (including blue) that are the languages of our planet. And for this first Facebook blog of ours we thought we would look at some fun language facts to amuse and confuse you…as if the whole being blind to blue thing wasn’t enough?!

In Mexico there is an indigenous language called Ayapaneco that is at risk of dying out. The reason being that it has only two speakers left…and they refuse to speak to each other.

South Africa has more official languages than any other country on earth…a whopping eleven!

There exists a language in the Republic of Dagestan (in the Russian Federation) called Archi, where each verb can have up to 1.5 million different conjugations!!! And you thought German was hard!

At Speakeasy we offer a tonne of different languages for you to learn…well at least I thought that was the case until I learned that there are roughly seven thousand languages spoken on Earth. And apparently a language dies every two weeks…I can’t even compute how many there must have been. The Tower of Babel would have reached Mars at one point.

Welsh is the most widely spoken language in the world…OK, what?! How can we trust any of the above if this is the “fact” you are signing off with? By most widely spoken I mean by distance alone – all the way from Wales to the very southern tip of Chile and Argentina…with nothing in between.

Thank you for reading, and I hope your language has given you the skills to understand the colour you see at the top of this screen. If not, it’s blue. That one’s for free. Big love all!