Linguistics: a confusing-to-spell word that denotes an even more confusing-to-understand field of study. Across the globe, disparate communities of humans have developed wildly different ways to communicate with one another. Then, as they interact, they've tried to translate their specific mouth-sounds into the same specific mouth-sounds other communities of humans make. Is any of these type-face letter combos sense-making? Who knows! That's the beauty and mystery of language. We here at Cracked are no strangers to awesome translations and/or mistranslations. Plus, you know…let's just say the quiet part out loud…we're writers, so on top of being ComedyNerds, we are also Language Dorks.

That's why the endlessly mind-blowing ways languages interact is interesting. Dutch is so difficult that kids learn language slower than others. In Thai, “5” sounds just like “ha” … so their text laughing looks pretty unusual if you’re used to the English-language version. And that's not all! Here’s the full story, plus 12 others:

Every language except Japanese represents the buzz of a bee with Z or S. Instead, in Japanese, a bee makes the sound boon boon. Of all the sounds I've collected, that surprises me the most, said a linguist who studied that. NOW YOU KNOW CRACKED.COM

Source: The Guardian

They speak Spanish in Chile, but they don't have a word for lime at all. Why? There are no limes in Chile. Recipes translated from English use the more-or-less literal translation lima, and people usually just replace it with lemons. NOW YOU KNOW CRACKED.COM

Source: PRI

In Korean, you can only. use the word for friend for people around your own age. You'd call younger friends by their name, and older ones by one of several specific terms (choosing the right one depends on your gender and theirs). NOW YOU KNOW CRACKED.COM

Source: Google Books

The Guugu Yimithirr language has no words for right, left, behind, or in front. It's an Australian aboriginal language, and it only has directions based on north, south, east, and west - so you could say, for example, move a bit to the east. NOW YOU KNOW CRACKED.COM

Source: NYTimes

Get the Cracked Daily Newsletter!

We've got your morning reading covered.

Forgot Password?