The Doubting Antiquity School were sceptics of ancient Chinese texts’ historical veracity… until the oracle bones were deciphered.
Burmese people do not have surnames.
Why do monolingual Japanese speakers have difficulty distinguishing “l” and “r” sounds? And why do monolingual English speakers have difficulty distinguishing “t” and “th” sounds? [2 of 2]
In English, what we think of as the letter “t” is actually a collection of many different sounds – but most of the time we do not notice the difference. [1 of 2]
Ubykh, an extinct language spoken on the shores of the Black Sea, has more consonants and fewer vowels than almost any other language.
The 2001 novel Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn depicts a town in which a totalitarian government begins banning letters – from the town and from the novel itself.
Proto-Indo-European is thought to be the ancestor language of English, Latin, Greek, French, Russian, Urdu, Sanskrit, Farsi, and dozens of others. But what did it sound like?
We know how Chinese was pronounced 1400 years ago thanks to the world’s oldest surviving rhyming dictionary.
Through sophisticated mnemonics and error-checking mechanisms the Vedas, the canonical religious texts of Hinduism, have been transmitted orally for three and a half thousand years with shocking precision in both word and sound.
What does an American accent sound like to an Italian? The Italian song Prisencolinensinainciusol will show you.
Lewis Carroll’s ninth rule of letter writing was to never cross your letters. But many people did it anyway.
Clicks are used in several languages of southern and eastern Africa, most famously in Xhosa. The sounds make Xhosa songs and tongue twisters sound amazing.
T CODE CD CNDNS LG MSGS TO SV MON WN SDG TM BI CBL.
The biblical phrase “peace on Earth, and goodwill to all men” is probably a mistake, a mistranslation because of a single missing letter.
In 1945 the linguist George Zipf observed two strange word frequency phenomena: the longer a word is, the less common it is; and the most common word is used twice as much as the second most common, three times more than the third.
How do you work out the function of a specific gene? Knock them out one by one and see what happens.