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Features English is missing - but most other languages have

  • Published on Nov 7, 2019 veröffentlicht
  • Other languages have unique features that English just doesn't have access to. So, English, why don't you level up your skills with these linguistic tricks from around the world?
    Subscribe for more: clip-share.net/user/subscription_...
    Become my patron: www.patreon.com/NativLang
    ~ Briefly ~
    The first of two fun, experimental videos where I'm playing with features English lacks and has. This time we'll take a look at some grammatical skills that English might consider unlocking:
    - reduplication
    - distributive numerals
    - politeness
    - predicative adjectives
    - question particles and interrogative word order
    - copula vs locative be
    - weather verbs
    - instrumentals vs comitatives
    - clusivity
    - evidentials
    Thank you for watching!
    ~ Credits ~
    Art, narration and animation by Josh from NativLang.
    My doc full of sources for claims and credits for music, sfx, fonts and images:

Comments • 16 151

  • Crappy Old Account
    Crappy Old Account 3 years ago +12696

    I'm surprised grammatical gender wasn't mentioned. I never knew it was a thing until I took a foreign language class and realized my door was in fact a girl.

    • F_A_F 123
      F_A_F 123 Month ago

      @Matthew Ferguson nothing stupid really

    • diomostro porcocristi
      diomostro porcocristi Month ago

      adjective ending in italian = I m disappointed= sono delusO(a male) sono delusA( a female)

    • Bjowolf2
      Bjowolf2 6 months ago

      @Myriapod It has very old roots - way back Indo-European ( 4 - 6000 years ago ! ).
      Old English also used to have three grammatical genders for nouns - along with 4-5 cases for them and their corresponding articles ( i.e. a different set of "the"s for each type of nouns for each case! ).

    • Bjowolf2
      Bjowolf2 6 months ago

      Old English actually used to have three grammatical genders - and nouns and their corresponding articles with 4 - 5 cases.

    • Ku龜。Tâibûn台文
      Ku龜。Tâibûn台文 6 months ago

      Ginger/moon and probably more are female in Taiwanese.

  • Anna Brik
    Anna Brik Year ago +3074

    As a native Russian speaker, I love English for its kind of... Mysticism. When I write songs about something that's hard to explain, I always use English, because my native language is too direct and detailed for describing what can have a million meanings. Personally, I don't think there are bad or dumb languages in the world, they're all just different and good at their own purposes!

    • DropkicktheDecepticon
      DropkicktheDecepticon Month ago

      @peepee Russian is an amazing language, I just hate how much it's stigmatized in the West

    • peepee
      peepee Month ago +1

      but russian is so beautiful to write in and some of the best authors in the world come from russia. i love how word order is so fluid

    • Elena Monterrubio
      Elena Monterrubio 2 months ago


    • Andy O.
      Andy O. 3 months ago

      You are joking, right? For example your word "коса" - is it a plait? or is it a scythe? or is it "awry" used in 3rd person singular feminine gender?
      How do you say "I'll win" in your Russian by the way? (in 2 words not 3).
      What about "преданный друг" (a betrayed friend)

    • DropkicktheDecepticon
      DropkicktheDecepticon 4 months ago

      @E thank you!

  • Timothy Bell
    Timothy Bell Year ago +2642

    "We each read three books."
    There, that wasn't hard, was it?

    • K. P.
      K. P. Day ago

      @Mario Niebles I guess it doesn't specify because it was in English (lol).

    • a cloned sheep
      a cloned sheep 2 months ago

      y'all, don't be too harsh now.
      the video was talking about distributive numerals - however, saying "We read three books each" is actually English's way of working around this feature without actually using it (this is called periphrasis, and another example is saying "more spooky" instead of "spookier").
      because English only has this (optional) workaround and not an actual feature†, "we read three books" can *still* mean that the speaker's group read three books each. HOWEVER, if English ends up agreeing that "three books" can *only* mean three books as a whole, and require speakers to specify that they read three books each, then English would have as good a system of distributive numerals as anyone else (it may even count as a distributive numeral system itself ‡).
      † English does have distributive numerals - singly, doubly, triply - but pretty much no one uses them for this purpose.
      ‡ usual disclaimer: i am not a linguist. to actual linguists here, would number-thing-each (three-books-each, one-bell-each) count as a distributive numeral?

    • Le Parrain du fromage
      Le Parrain du fromage 2 months ago +1

      But the point was that you can't express this through reduplication like in the example with Georgian, i.e. repeating a syllable creates a new meaning. English doesn't really have this concept, you gotta say the 'each'. Doesn't mean English is 'bad' because of that.

    • Masterdeetectiv
      Masterdeetectiv 2 months ago +1

      The point of the language is that its possible to be vague. If that sentence was said in georgian there wouldnt be any confusion

    • Abiathar Z Hadnot [aka, Richardson Scott]
      Abiathar Z Hadnot [aka, Richardson Scott] 3 months ago +1

      Thank God Christ almighty you comment this.
      This video started off ridiculously.
      Like seriously as detailed as English is, it clearly that English, German an many more Germanic languages are far more detailed and nuanced.

  • Pratham
    Pratham Year ago +947

    So a reason like this is why many non-native English speakers, especially us Indians have a weird accent while speaking English because in our languages, we only pronounce the word exactly as it is written. It's just a neat feature to have in a language.

    • George Entertainment
      George Entertainment 19 days ago

      Old English developed into Middle English which featured a more "phonemic" orthography / spelling (writing matched pronunciation a lot). But Modern English is the result of the influence of so many invaders: Vikings, Normans, Romans, the French, the Dutch, etc. This made English lose a lot of matching between writing and pronunciation. And if you add up other internal processes, well, that is the final result.

    • Ana Hills
      Ana Hills 2 months ago

      I TOTALLY agree that that's what English needs! It takes a good 1 year minimum for most native English speaking children to learn to read their own language. And I mean once they have mastered the alphabet. (I teach grades 1 and 2, so this is knowledge from experience 🙂) BUT I can teach all of them to read Spanish in about 10 minutes and they don't even know it. To me this indicates that there is something VERY wrong with the English spelling system!

    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams 2 months ago

      It would be impossible to achieve spelling consistency in English because of stressed and unstressed vowels. E.g. If we stress the word "to" there is a clear '"o" sound for instance in I'm going to the shop. But the "to" in that sentence would mostly not be stressed and then the "o" is replaced with a neutral vowel sound called schwa. So the same word has different pronunciations. This happens all the time. If you pronounce words the same regardless of stress you can never sound native.

    • Element 119
      Element 119 6 months ago

      It's because of how English was introduced to the Roman alphabet and where our words come from, and also various sound changes. For example, words of Greek origin use the *digraph* (a perfect example!) "ph" for the "f" sound, but words of other origins normally just use f. Also, take the word "knight" pronounced /nait/; the k and the gh used to actually be pronounced, we just haven't changed the spelling

    • Frank Bartol
      Frank Bartol 7 months ago

      How do you explain DU for 2? That's how we know where our tech support is from.

  • Matthew Weng
    Matthew Weng Year ago +549

    I hear they’re adding a lot of new features to English 11, which is a free upgrade if you speak a licensed version of English 95 and up.

    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams 2 months ago

      Not all hardware supports this upgrade though - be warned!

    • Just Me
      Just Me 7 months ago +3

      We are Mac users in Italy, not Windows users. So we stopped using numbers and started using the names of big cats and then national parks. My first language was italiano la puma, but now I'm learning italiano Gran Paridiso.

    • Rex Sceleratorum
      Rex Sceleratorum 8 months ago +1

      @ArtByCallie Verily it doth comfort me that thou hast bethought thee of its fairness, for 'tis most fair indeed. Alas and alack, this doth bring us to a custom more honored in the breach than in the observance. Yet I am native here and to the manner born, and so it doth fall upon myself to ask for bobs to be sent forthwith. Oh, woe is me.

    • ArtByCallie
      ArtByCallie 8 months ago +1

      @Rex Sceleratorum I bethink it's only fair, new friend of mineth!

    • Rex Sceleratorum
      Rex Sceleratorum 8 months ago +2

      @ArtByCallie How now, good mistress Callie, thou art most welcome. Willst thou accept my greetings from these far shores of Malabar

  • Sandra T.
    Sandra T. Year ago +274

    I love your pronunciation. Most of the time, narrators simply pronounce everything the English way without making an effort -- so here's a heartfelt thank you for speaking words as they are pronounced in their respective languages. It's so enriching to us listeners, and so respectful to the languages and cultures. Marvellous. I'm happy to have found this channel.

    • Michael Ball
      Michael Ball 14 days ago +1

      Depends whether they are "foreign" words or "loan" words, in which case things can get complicated.

  • Ilana Strauss
    Ilana Strauss 2 years ago +18401

    "You can't repeat a word twice to create a new meaning." Yeah, yeah.

    • Michael Ball
      Michael Ball 14 days ago

      @Blåbärsris Also Dutch

    • Michael Ball
      Michael Ball 14 days ago

      @MiracleDrip "I thought if I didn't 'ave none, then it would be all right Ern 'aving what I would 'ave 'ad if I'd 'ave 'ad." Lord Emsworth and the Girlfriend P.G. Wodehouse

    • Rodger the dodger
      Rodger the dodger  16 days ago

      Yo - yo

    • Kay SOCO Films
      Kay SOCO Films Month ago

      Oi Oi! 💯

    • Kimberly Patton
      Kimberly Patton Month ago

      @Game Insane I agree. Language and words express “us”and feelings as well as ideas… the penultimate being , “Well .. I’ll be a Mother Forker!”

  • Alfi Rizky
    Alfi Rizky Year ago +323

    Rather than 'saya-saya' (I've never heard that used at all, native speaker here), I think you're referring more to an expression of exasperation commonly found in Javanese Indonesians. And I mean Java as in the island, not the ethnicity, because the feature can be found across the ethnicities on the island including, but not limited to, all variants of Javanese, Sundanese, Betawinese, Maduranese, and the Indonesian dialects combining any of these.
    We usually reduplicate someone's name (or pronoun) to express exasperation, but it only works in spoken contexts because of the expression and intonation changes. When written, it doesn't really make sense. It also isn't a true reduplication, as it was merely a repetition ('"Ujang, Ujang!" I said in exasperation as Ujang broke another vase', for instance). True reduplication would be Indonesian-Malayan words such as kura-kura (turtle), kupu-kupu (butterfly), undang-undang (law or legislation), or the Indonesian-Malayan plural form like orang-orang (persons or people, from _orang_ person), or kucing-kucing (cats, from _kucing_ cat).
    Also there are various nuances to reduplication. _Ramai_ means crowded, but _ramai-ramai_ means 'to [do something or go somewhere] together with a lot of people'. _Anak_ means child in the familial relational sense, but _anak-anak_ also means child, but as in 'a young person'.
    It's complicated, really.

    • Topher Sins
      Topher Sins 7 months ago

      @meParadoxical yes! Absolutely. But in this case OP is right. He also provide ample examples on how to reduplicate words in Indonesian. Well, kinda. There are almost a dozen reason and effect of reduplication that I know of in the West-Malayo branch of Austronesian alone.

    • தரணி சக்கரவர்த்தி
      தரணி சக்கரவர்த்தி 10 months ago +2

      These characteristics are found in my native tongue, Tamil too. The second kind (Ramai) of reduplicated words that you mentioned are termed as அடுக்குத்தொடர்கள் ( ~Adukku thodargal~ ). A suitable example would be கூட்டம் கூட்டமாக (koottam koottamaaga) wherein koottam means crowd/group and when reduplicated it becomes ~in hordes~ .Also at times reduplication is made to exasperate others eg. கோவிச்சுக்கிட்டாயா, கோச்சுக்கோ கோச்சுக்கோ (kovichikko kovichikko) ( ~let you get angered~ , couldn't find the right equivalent) ,though not found frequent.

    • davin
      davin Year ago +14

      Yea,as an indonesian myself,i was a little confused when he says "saya-saya"

    • トイーブ Antarnusa
      トイーブ Antarnusa Year ago +28

      Yes. I never heard "saya-saya", because saya usually only refers to one person. However, I've heard "kita-kita".

    • meParadoxical
      meParadoxical Year ago +5

      I would just note a few thoughts of caution…
      Being a native speaker does not suggest that you have mastered your native language, either written or spoken. Many natives have a limited knowledge of grammatical reading and writing.
      Further, languages have many grammatical nuances that a student of linguistics may not entirely comprehend, or have yet to be introduced to. For native speakers, these same nuances may have been intuitively mastered, while their ability to define or technically explain these nuances is lost to them.
      It’s all very interesting.

  • Andrea Patacchiola
    Andrea Patacchiola Year ago +353

    About the "it rains" thing: in Italian "piove" is also referred to a third person. The main difference is not about the rain or the snow, but the fact that we can use verbs without specifying the subject. That's a lot deeper than just talking about the weather. And it's also one of the biggest mistakes Italian students make when talking in English: not specifying the subject!

    • Frank Bartol
      Frank Bartol 7 months ago +1

      Yes and why spy's sometimes get caught!

    • Robert MacGrogan
      Robert MacGrogan 8 months ago +1

      In casual conversation, people leave off the subject all the time, but it's considered informal. May be you wouldn't say "Raining." I mean maybe a cowboy in the old west would. But you might say "Looks like it's raining." Or "Time to go home." Or many other phrases where the initial "it" is dropped. We also drop I plenty. "Got it!" "Be there soon." And so on.
      And by the way, "Looks like it rained." is the equivalent of the proposed "rained-ago" so we have that one covered as well.

    • California Norma
      California Norma 8 months ago

      In my native Ohlone language we say that "it is raining on us."

    • TnseWlms
      TnseWlms 9 months ago

      Our Spanish teacher taught us the verb to rain is llover, a vowel changing verb. We got into a lengthy debate with the teacher over whether the verb can be conjugated.

    • Stan Strum
      Stan Strum 11 months ago

      @Laura Yeah, you wouldn’t say that but it’s to show the implicit subject of that verb - even if it doesn’t sound right in and of itself

  • ♪ Quadpad ♪
    ♪ Quadpad ♪ Year ago +126

    In Spanish, you can also say "está lloviendo" (it's raining), which is a lot more common than "llueve" (it rains) in my experience. The former would serve as a sort of present continuous form, whereas the latter works as present simple.

    • Denisse
      Denisse Year ago +5

      @Runa_Ñ I think these sentences are called “impersonal sentences”, where there isn’t any subject in the sentence but you deduce it because of the conjugation of the verb of just the context, still, I agree it’s not exactly the same structure as english

    • Runa_Ñ
      Runa_Ñ Year ago +6

      It's not the same, "esta lloviendo" still don't have a subject so its equivalent translation to English would be like : "is raining"

    • La Chaîne de Javier
      La Chaîne de Javier Year ago +4

      Está lloviendo sería como "Is raining" y como ves es incorrecto en Inglés. "It's raining" sonaria en Español como Esta cosa está lloviendo o Esto está lloviendo. Sencillamente removemos el sujeto.

    • Trindade
      Trindade Year ago +8

      It's very similar to Portuguese, which you can say "está chovendo" or "chove".

  • ScriptyShake
    ScriptyShake Year ago +188

    Honestly, in a way just using 'you' for formal and informal in English might seem a bit basic at first but actually I find it to be a nice feature. I speak French and Italian (I live in France) and it's sometimes confusing what to use between the formal and informal version. In English, it's always 'you' so there's no akwardness either way xD

    • HappyBeezerStudios - by Lord_Mogul
      HappyBeezerStudios - by Lord_Mogul 20 hours ago

      German goes the exact other way. We have formal and informal "you", but the formal one is also the female pronoun and the 3rd person plural. And the 3rd person form can be used to elevate the formality even more, both with the singular and the plural form.

    • Michael Ball
      Michael Ball 14 days ago

      @Rex Sceleratorum Wouldn't know

    • EpickzAlpha
      EpickzAlpha 2 months ago

      formal 'tu'
      informal 'jūs'

    • sarah louise
      sarah louise 4 months ago

      yes but the whole “which ‘who’ should i use?” just isn’t a thing to native english speakers. it’s not impolite nor inconvenient in anyway
      this video is weak

    • Rex Sceleratorum
      Rex Sceleratorum 6 months ago +1

      @Via Media Except in English you are supposed to say "would your majesty like some biscuits with your majesty's tea" to the queen.

  • Pilot Service
    Pilot Service Year ago +31

    I think the majority of Austronesian languages have different words for inclusive and exclusive "we". This avoids awkward conversations.

    • Rex Sceleratorum
      Rex Sceleratorum 8 months ago

      My Dravidian language (Malayalam) has the same distinction. "nammal" is inclusive, while "njangal" is exclusive.

    • Pilot Service
      Pilot Service Year ago +3

      @Iskandar Ishak In Tagalog, "tayo" is inclusive while "kami" is exclusive. Kitá means I (predicate) you(singular). Eg. "Narinig kita" means I heard you. Other meaning of kita(with glottal stop at the end) are profit and visible.

    • Iskandar Ishak
      Iskandar Ishak Year ago +4

      That's true. In Malay, we have "kita" (inclusive) and "kami" (exclusive). And to be honest, this feature in Austronesian languages is extremely useful.
      I learned English when I'm 7, so sometimes it's kinda confusing to listen and talk with the word "we". I have to guess either it's about "everyone" or it's just about "us".

  • Itsa Alex
    Itsa Alex 3 years ago +4818

    This whole comment section reminds me of a story.
    "An english teacher said to his class, 'in many languages there is an equivalent to a double negative, in which two negatives make a positive. But there are no languages where a double positive makes a negative.'
    From the back of the class a student said, 'yeah right."

    • AVIVA studios
      AVIVA studios  4 months ago

      @Ghyslain Abel the reason we say "it's raining" Is because you can't have a sentence without a subject in English. It feels empty.

    • CommentBot
      CommentBot Year ago

      He can think fast

    • Womansimp
      Womansimp Year ago

      Sarcasm standing in the corner

    • Soma Jan (๑♡3♡๑)
      Soma Jan (๑♡3♡๑) Year ago +1


    • David Gould
      David Gould Year ago +1

      @Björn Czaia Thanks for the clarification: I was in Germany from 1995 to 1998 and picked up something about the spelling reform that I have obviously mangled in my head over the last 20-odd years.

  • Throckmorten Snivel
    Throckmorten Snivel Year ago +63

    One of the things that English does really well is absorb words from other languages. That may be a result of the formation of English as a trading language used between the Anglos, Saxons, Celts Jutes and others who occupied ancient Britain at the same time.

  • Cynthia Cheng Mintz
    Cynthia Cheng Mintz Year ago +84

    In Cantonese (and I think in Mandarin as well), doubling a word is often used in toddler speak. So a two year old might say cheh-cheh (which translates to car-car) for car. Doubling a name isn’t unusual either (if someone says her name is Ting Ting, it’s really just plain Ting (or more likely something generational Ting). It’s the equivalent of y/ie/i in English (as in Jenny/ie/i).

    • Cynthia Cheng Mintz
      Cynthia Cheng Mintz 5 months ago

      @jcellwood true, but it’s done in more cases in Chinese. Like, a child might call his aunt Yiyi (aunt-aunt) for his mom’s sister. I guess the equivalent in English would be Auntie Jen-Jen (opposed to Auntie Jenny/Jennifer)… given names aren’t traditionally used, especially for the older generation in Chinese (but that’s changing).

    • jcellwood
      jcellwood 5 months ago +1

      Same for doubling words in toddler-speak in English. Bow-wow and choo-choo, for example. Or the Parr son, Jack-Jack, but that's putting the cart before the horse. Also, you can like someone, which is not like when you like-like someone (ask any teenaged girl!)

    • Patrik
      Patrik 10 months ago

      Would you write it as 车车 (in traditional) as well?

    • S E G Baillie
      S E G Baillie 11 months ago +1

      @Flarebloxed I'm British - yeah, my parents taught me English. It seems baby-talk is international 😁

    • Flarebloxed
      Flarebloxed 11 months ago

      @S E G Baillie your parents teach you english to you? where's your native language? 🤔

  • Blanca de León
    Blanca de León Year ago +334

    I actually like English as it is. Easy to speak, easy to learn. Also, in Spanish we use "está lloviendo" it's the present continuous. "Llueve" it's still right but sound really really weird on a conversation unless you use something like "Mira como llueve" ._.
    I don't think being a simple language is bad. It's actually perfect to comunicate. If you take another popular language as Spanish , you will notice a lot more people struggle learning it and they usually give up.

    • acrazyutuber13
      acrazyutuber13 Month ago

      No estoy en acuerdo. Espagnol muy simple como el ingles. Solamente verbos, "se" , no estres, y la lugar de los adjetivos son problemas....Espagnol es muy basico. No hay contracciones, casi sin excepciones, fonetico y no muchos sonidos. El problema principal es los hablantes.. hablan muy rapido.
      Honestamente si no fuera americano [no me importa se dice estadounidense aqui], me creo estaria confundido de ingles.
      Pero el espagnol...solamente una palabra en ingles complicada y...presto.

    • Ana Hills
      Ana Hills 2 months ago

      @Jasmin M. Yes! I think they invented spelling bees just to try to make something that shouldn't even be necessary (learning to spell) look like something fun!😂

    • Rex Sceleratorum
      Rex Sceleratorum 8 months ago

      @Kerrigan McCarthy The English language is easy to learn. The orthography is not. Many languages don't have a writing system at all, so I'd say the essential part of English is easy to learn.

    • Elisa Astorino
      Elisa Astorino Year ago

      @Jasmin M. I also speak Italian and still struggle with all the differences between it and English. Italians have told me that in most ways, learning English was easy - of course the grammar is much simpler. They said the hardest part was spelling and pronunciation, since Italian is the complete opposite in those respects.

    • Enrique III el Laberíntico
      Enrique III el Laberíntico Year ago

      @Valinorean English is so weird that most of the time there is no stablished pronunciation. You may say it as you please.

  • Somewhat Mee
    Somewhat Mee Year ago +300

    In general, I love this series of Clip-Share videos. However, this one seems pretty weak to me. The linguistic items mentioned are basically just what I call "plumbing". Reduplication, for instance is common but it doesn't engender any specific thought. The Indonesian for car, 'mobile' is pluralized by reduplication, eg: 'mobile-mobile'. Is this any better than 'car cars'? Does it add some special element? The same goes for the word order example. The normal SVO of English can be in any order but doesn't change meaning.
    Much more interesting would be examples where languages have deeper meaning embedded in their structure. Whorfian concepts are the real question. English has an implicit 'noun' orientation. Some languages have a 'verbal' orientation. This may create an entirely different fundamental world view. This is hard to describe in English but here goes: A person walks down a narrow alley between two buildings. This is simple, right? A fixed creature moving between two fixed barriers. But some languages might view this more like a pelican gliding inches over the water between two waves. In other words, a verb moving through two other 'verbs'. That is a whole different world view.
    A simplier example is red vs pink. Are they different colors or is pink just light red. Similarly Russian has two different words for what we call light blue and dark blue. Egyptian had only one word for what we call blue and green. The meaning of these different perceptions is worth exploring.

    • Michael Ball
      Michael Ball 14 days ago

      @Lili Desbelons Finnish is not an Indo European language, thus not in the same family (ies) as those others.

    • AVIVA studios
      AVIVA studios  4 months ago

      @Anastasiia Iu that's so cool.

    • David Shobe
      David Shobe 5 months ago +1

      @Lili Desbelons We (English speakers) can say "the language that I am speaking". It's just that the "that" is optional.

    • Alyn Ames
      Alyn Ames Year ago +2

      I thought the different versions of "with" was noteworthy. It seems like combining the instrumental with, which implies use, with the cooperative with, which implies... cooperation, could lead to a tendency to consider other people as synonymous with tools to exploit for one's own benefit, imbue material objects with an anthropomorphic quality that impacts the perception of their value against living beings, or both. That seems potentially relevant when considering the colonialist-imperialist tendencies of English-speaking powers in the past few centuries. I'd actually love to see this quirk explored a bit more.

    • Brian Ciesicki
      Brian Ciesicki Year ago

      @Tobias Wilhelmi also the toic was SVO, or Subject Verb Object, not SVA sunject verb adjective.
      Some people say that becomes is an intransitive verb because the subject and the object are the same.
      I say it's transitive because SVO OVS. It take an object, not a nominitive noun.

  • Marta Rodríguez Teimoy

    In Spanish we have two verbs for "to be": "ser" and "estar". It has a use similar to the example of Mandarin you said but with way more layers. For instance, one difference is "soy feliz" means "I'm happy" like in general im a happy person, its my lifestyle; while "estoy feliz" means "im happy" like in this moment, this is the emotion im feeling rn

    • HappyBeezerStudios - by Lord_Mogul
      HappyBeezerStudios - by Lord_Mogul 20 hours ago

      english has the -ing form to differentiate between something that happens on a regular basis and something that is happening right now. So instead of separate words, english uses a suffix to differentiate.

  • Ben Slamka
    Ben Slamka 2 years ago +2847

    Other than English I also speak Czech, Slovak, German, Dutch and Italian. English is by far the easiest language where everything is so so so simple. The grammar tenses are so chill and there is so few of them. In slavic languages every word has around 15 - 50 different forms with different endings you just have to know and learn. English is just simple and lovely.

    • Ana Hills
      Ana Hills 2 months ago

      @Francesco Well, I would think that a grammar that is as simple as possible while still being clear and has rules without exceptions and a spelling that is always the way it sounds would be an easier language to learn than one with many different things that have to agree or many exceptions to rules or crazy spelling.

    • Olivia E
      Olivia E 6 months ago +1

      English can seem simple because so many speakers are able to understand your meaning even if it isn’t grammatically “correct”. I hate the term “proper English” because it limits the language use. Societal English is functionally very inclusive.

    • Bjowolf2
      Bjowolf2 6 months ago

      @mysteriousDSF And the same goes for Danish, which is very similar to Norwegian (the Bokmål version) - and Swedish as well btw. ( just spelled and pronounced somewhat differently ).
      Knowing Norwegian you will be able to understand around 95 % of a text in Danish straight away - it will just look like some minor "spelling errors" here and there.

    • Bjowolf2
      Bjowolf2 6 months ago +1

      You should really thank the Danes for that - otherwise English would probably still have been a complex and highly inflected, "synthetic" and "backwards" ( re. word order ) mix of Pesudo Low German, Dutch & Frisian. 😂
      Check out Langfocus' brilliant video "Viking Influence on the English Language" for more info.

    • mysteriousDSF
      mysteriousDSF 7 months ago

      @Yorkshire Tea Guardian isso foi há 6 seis meses e meu português tem melhorado muito mas obrigado

  • Shua24
    Shua24 Year ago +41

    I'm Indonesian. As a native speaker, I might say your pronunciation of the word "saya" is great, but in formal Indonesian and Bahasa Gaul (casual Indonesian), we don't say "saya-saya" but mostly we say "kami" or "kita" as a plural form of "saya." We do reduplicate words mostly to pluralize a noun, like "buku-buku" (books) and "foto-foto" (photos). Other than that, this video is great.
    _If all of you want to argue about the dialects of Bahasa Gaul, just know that I don't want to make this comment too long to correct a single mistake._

    • Flarebloxed
      Flarebloxed 11 months ago

      kami- us
      kita- we
      its different though most malay people use kita without saying kami (except formally)

    • Shua24
      Shua24 Year ago

      @Ken Luna indeed, I've seen a lot of comments from language channels about your language having some similarities with almost all malay languages... tagalog is sure a unique one to talk about when it comes to austronesian languages

    • Ken Luna
      Ken Luna Year ago +1

      in the philippines, we also use kami and kita for a plural form too !

  • Amo_res
    Amo_res Year ago +7

    I’m not a native english speaker but english is the easiest and fastest language i learned, i prefer it more than my 2 native languages because English is so precise and simple. The only thing i hate about english is that some words are not always exactly pronounced as how each letter sounds (just like Spanish, a language i’m learning, it’s so easy to pronounced words aslong as you know how to pronounce or know how each letter sounds on the spanish alphabet)

  • D M
    D M Year ago +4

    I studied Mandarin in high school and my teacher said that like in Spanish (because most of us also spoke Spanish) there was a formal and informal way to say “you” and I remember thinking wow English really doesn’t have that. Even knowing this, when I refer to someone in English where I feel I need to be respectful back I feel disrespectful referring to them just as “you” even though it isn’t considered rude.

  • Turkish Language
    Turkish Language 6 months ago +5

    Turkish has evidental too. (also Korean has it)
    Withnessed past tense (-di suffix) and Heard past tense (miş suffix) are different in Turkish.
    (I saw that ) A thief broke into the house. =eve hırsız girdi.
    ( I did not see but I heard or learned/realized it later) A thief broke into the house.=Eve hırsız girmiş.
    (when you are back to your home, you see some objects are missing so you understand/realize that a theif stole them.
    gir=come in
    di=withnessed past tense
    miş=heard/learned later/realized later

  • viharsarok
    viharsarok 2 years ago +2804

    The lack of levels of formality in Engilsh is a blessing. Sometimes it's not clear cut which one to use so it just creates awkward moments and linguistically imposed hierarchies.

    • Element 119
      Element 119 6 months ago

      English can make awkward distinctions of formality, but it's based on whether you use an honorific (sir, ma'am, mr., mrs.) and whether you refer to them by their first or last name. Unless someone is your definite superior, you won't really have to worry about it

    • pumasgoya
      pumasgoya 6 months ago


    • Kraken 500
      Kraken 500 6 months ago

      it's not a good thing if you want to be polite

    • Elibel77
      Elibel77 9 months ago

      Actually, where it makes it easier in spoken word, it makes it more subtle to understand the hierarchies and social distinctions. Therefore, more risky to outsiders who quickly find themselves in a "faux-pas" situation...

    • uli wehner
      uli wehner 9 months ago

      @DeepSpaceDweller that is the proper way. When in doubt use the formal. If they use the formal. Voila. If they ask you to use the informal you decide.

  • Orkun Berk B
    Orkun Berk B Year ago +7

    As a Turk most struggling part of English translation comes in translating he, she, you and past tense.
    English "you" have no singular and plural distinction and its sometimes be very problematic for us.
    Also Turkish have many time tenses if we include combined time tenses but as a main past tenses Turkish have two of them : "seen past" and "heared past". Ali koştu (Ali ran), Ali koşmuş (Ali ran but I did not see personally).
    If you are seeing "he or she" "his or her" in a text its could be translated from Turkish because Turkish have no he/she/it distinction.

  • 江城银
    江城银 Year ago +82

    It’s quite interesting to see Swahili and Japanese have some sort of “language convergent evolution” with the word “Nani”.

    • L- Kin
      L- Kin 6 months ago

      @mysteriousDSF it doesn't mean what. It means who in Kiswahili

    • Velvin Samkul
      Velvin Samkul Year ago +2

      @mysteriousDSF In Swahili, 'Nani' means 'who' and 'Nini' means 'what'. Just a clarification 👆 but they are still so similar.

    • Antares
      Antares Year ago

      Another random fact: the word for "you" is the same in mandarin and swedish: "Ni"
      Though, I think it's a stretch to say the languages are similar beyond that.

    • Celia James
      Celia James Year ago +2

      @The big bang theory is pure garbage this is interesting. Tanaka in Shona (a Bantu African language) also means we are good.

    • mysteriousDSF
      mysteriousDSF Year ago +4

      @Vishesh Agarwal that's not weird at all.

  • Sae
    Sae 3 months ago +2

    I've been learning Vietnamese and one of the features it has that English doesn't came up in the video (just for a different language), it's simple, but I dunno, I like it as something that's simple, but pretty specific enough to avoid misunderstanding or needing extra information.
    And that's "chúng tôi" and "chúng ta". "Chúng ta" is "we" including "you" and "chúng tôi" is "we" excluding "you".
    I just think of a scenario in my head, you get a text from your dad that says "We're going to McDonalds for about 6" and you show up and your parents are like, "what are you doing here?"
    And nobody made clear which 'we' was meant. It turns out the text was just so you'd know they'd be home later than expected.
    Though I guess it could be funny if you use the wrong 'we' by mistake, like putting out Wedding invites says "We're getting married", when obviously you mean you and your spouse-to-be, but it sounds like you're getting married to everybody you've invited.

  • Jonathan Wright
    Jonathan Wright 10 months ago +2

    Learning Mandarin was amazing. It's such an intuitive language even if the writing is monstrously difficult

  • AJ Shiro
    AJ Shiro Year ago +11

    With Japanese, it's so easy to tell if someone is asking a question because of the question particle. and also words that would reflect a question. In English, I'll be asked something sometimes and be like, "Oh, your asking a question."

  • Vincent ラグサ
    Vincent ラグサ 3 years ago +5702

    I had a german friend tell me that english is perfect for constructing jokes because it doesn't give away the punchline until the end of the sentence

    • andrew b
      andrew b 7 months ago

      I wish you could comment on a comment. Waaay down, someone points out the, i before e except after c "rule". It's more of a ryme to help pass an elementary school spelling test. It's a myth perpetrated by elementary school teachers. It's true for common words, but if you expand your vocabulary far enough it actually becomes the exception 😉

    • davidconnellan68
      davidconnellan68 7 months ago

      @Benjamin Badger how Germany always catches Poland off guard. 😏

    • beargreen
      beargreen 9 months ago

      Lol yeah

    • Irene Johnston
      Irene Johnston 10 months ago

      @S. Am Yes I do. Depends upon the standard of education. The interest and understanding of English etymology age 82 . Liverpool UK I loved spelling at school

    • Imre Nagy
      Imre Nagy Year ago

      @Steir Qwe As s native Russian speaker, I confirm that

  • Truck Sound
    Truck Sound Year ago +5

    I love how the english language sounds. Native english speakers use so many interesting sounds that no other language uses or at least they are rare. I learned most of them but they still fascinate me as someone who studied english as an adult

    • Truck Sound
      Truck Sound 10 months ago

      @Jay C Yh but it's also easy to learn i guess. It has very wierd rules from my point of view (as a hungarian) and the spelling is annoying at times too, but i got used to it over the years.

    • Jay C
      Jay C 10 months ago +1

      Curious isn't it...what are the chances that a language like English with its strange phonemes, and odd grammar, would become dominant?

  • TchShade
    TchShade Year ago +1

    I started studying many languages a few years ago now, and though they were considered difficult to learn for English-native speakers, I found them relatively easy bc they made sense. If you had a question word, it simply acted as a place-holder for what was being questioned, just like you spoke of. "You go [where?]" or "your new friend is [who]?" none of this changing the word order and logic for no good reason.
    AND THE MEANING OF YES AND NO!!! In so many other languages, yes or no simply means agree or disagree. But in English, if you ask the question say, "so you don't need a bag?" And the person answers with 'no', it makes 0 sense. 'No' as in correct, I DON'T need a bag or 'no' as in 'that's incorrect, I will need a bag'. Even though it's my first language and I was monolingual all the way up until my teens, I can confidently say English is the worst language I know so far.

  • Sammy Be
    Sammy Be Year ago +2

    This was very interesting. It was also interesting that in the discussion of politeness you didn't mention Japanese which goes waaaay beyond several words for you. I don't know if there are other languages that also have such an extensive polite language. But Japanese has what almost amounts to an entirely separate language to honor the the person in being spoken to and about AND one to humble the speaker.

    • Ana Hills
      Ana Hills 2 months ago

      I've heard of languages where the women speak one way and the men another. I think that would be confusing! But of course, whatever you learn first as a child is the easiest for you ! It would be great to invent a way to teach languages so that our brains could absorb them like little children's brains do.

  • Shantanu Nene
    Shantanu Nene Year ago +4

    Fun fact: Marathi, despite being very similar to Hindi, has clusivity while the latter does not. Further, "aapan", used for "we" as in "you and me", is also used for "you" when speaking to a stranger as mentioned in the video.

  • Patrick Bauer
    Patrick Bauer Year ago

    Actually, Italian does reduplication : "piccolo piccolo" to say "very small" for example. Turkish has question particles which can be put anywhere in the sentence to indicate which part you are questioning. Turkish also has evidentials : there are two different past tenses to distinguish hearsay from what you actually experienced. I don't know many languages (only six) and I don't know Turkish very well, but it seemed to me a very astute language. It uses suffixes to convey action and tense, thus making it possible to turn adjectives into verbs. Clever.

  • IAVV
    IAVV 3 years ago +15268

    So you think English doesn’t have question particles at the end of phrases, eh?

    • Archeryring
      Archeryring 7 months ago

      @Ranmaru Rei
      do yo want a coffee?
      Is that coffee you want?
      Is that you who wants a coffee?

    • John Hudson
      John Hudson 10 months ago

      @jakehr3 There's a funny "Family Guy" episode exploiting the Canadian eh? which descends into total mutual incomprehension.

    • Patrik
      Patrik 10 months ago

      吗 and 呢 in Chinese, mai in Thai, and ba in Tagalog

    • Laura Salo
      Laura Salo 11 months ago +1

      @neoHippie I agree, yo!

    • Laura Salo
      Laura Salo 11 months ago

      Exactly, right. It would be so much better if english had this, huh.

  • Sparkling Death
    Sparkling Death Year ago +1

    Personally, as someone who lives in England and has grown up speaking English, I like the language quite a lot, especially since it’s grammer rules are quite lax.
    For example, in quite a lot of languages, items have gender, or maybe there’s formal language and more casual language (like how there’s a formal ‘you’ and an informal ‘you’ whereas in English it’s all the same).
    So yeah, quite like the language even if it’s a little vague sometimes.

  • Rachel the Homo Sapiens

    One of the most unique things about English is zero derivation - nouns, verbs and adjectives can easily switch between categories without any changes to the word. In informal internet slang, you do see adjectives used as verbs sometimes, e.g. “she gonna weird”.

    • Rachel the Homo Sapiens
      Rachel the Homo Sapiens 5 months ago

      @David Shobe I am not sure. To be fair though, that was NOT a common use of English and was more of a deliberately slangy ultra-informal speech pattern. I realize in hindsight that I should’ve specified that in my comment (as my comment was misleading as it made it seem like a more common kind of example than it is).

    • David Shobe
      David Shobe 5 months ago +1

      @Rachel the Homo Sapiens Are you sure that commenter was a native English speaker?

    • Thorscape
      Thorscape Year ago

      @Sweetzs100 The short guy in the short shorts short-changed me.

    • Rachel the Homo Sapiens
      Rachel the Homo Sapiens Year ago

      @Alex Yeah it is. But it's possible in English. Internet slang (which incorporates a lot of AAVE) is even more fluid with zero derivation than Standard English.

    • Rachel the Homo Sapiens
      Rachel the Homo Sapiens Year ago +1

      ​@Sweetzs100 In English, nouns, verbs and adjectives can easily switch categories without any changes to the word. Here are some examples from Standard English: the word "worship" which can be used as both a verb and a noun - e.g. "I worship God" vs. "the worship of God". The word "psychic", which can be used as both an adjective and a noun - e.g. "she is psychic" vs. "she is a psychic". In informal internet uses of English, it can get even more intense, e.g. saying "she is baby" (using the noun "baby" as an adjective).

  • Nobody NoHow
    Nobody NoHow Year ago +1

    A huge one he didn’t discuss is word order and declension. English nouns do not decline and word order can be very fluidly changed, but this also means we rely heavily on connecting words like prepositions that other languages can omit.

  • AlexandraTheAvenger

    Very interesting, as someone who also speaks Spanish from birth, I knew from the start you were going to bring up the polite and informal "you" from other languages. In Spanish it is "tu" ( informal ) and "usted" ( formal ).

  • Jim Lockhart
    Jim Lockhart 7 months ago

    Very interesting video and informative inasmuch as you point out the diverse manners of expression different languages have, but these things you say we can’t do it English (like differential plurals or evidential systems), we _can_ indeed express; a better way to compare these features might be not whether we can or can’t, but whether it’s obligatory or not. I speak two non-English (one of them not even European) competently, so I’ve experienced lots of “missing” English words and mode of expression (and their counterparts in the other languages I use) and know that the question should be _how_ rather than _whether_ concepts and sentiments can be expressed, and that factoids claiming one language can and another can’t are more an indication of mistaken assumptions based on inadequate data than linguistic fact.
    FWIW, I think English itself is a bit of a creole, especially its local varieties, built on a still very strong Germanic substrate.

  • Adrian Velasquez
    Adrian Velasquez 3 years ago +4259

    What English has that other languages don’t:
    phonetical inconsistency

    • Ed Bradburn
      Ed Bradburn 4 months ago

      @Frank Bruder That‘s very true about word gender but it‘s also getting the right one that‘s so hard! When confronted by a word that is not easy, like a feminine ending or something like -chen, getting the gender right is especially hard in German if we are not talking about animate objects. In my example, Löffel is I think the only word in German ending in öffel (?) and Messer is tricky because, well, der Ham-mer, is what a non-native might know. As for Gabel, maybe someone would again guess der because der Schlüssel. In Russian, for example, which also has three genders, it would be *much* easier. And let‘s not even get started on Band… 😅

    • Frank Bruder
      Frank Bruder 4 months ago +1

      @Ed Bradburn , here's a better example:
      _Der Ozean_
      _Die See_
      _Das Meer_
      The same thing, but three words of different gender, because objects don't have a gender, words do.
      Also, _die See_ (the sea) and _der See_ (the lake) are different things, because words aren't mapped to genders, gender is a component of a noun, so it can even be the only difference between two words.

    • Ed Bradburn
      Ed Bradburn 4 months ago

      @Frank Bruder I’d say German pronunciation is one of the easiest of any language barring Esperanto. As a non-native speaker of German, it’s the genders that are easily the hardest part. Knife, fork, spoon - all objects, all different genders. Bananas.

    • Liam Sohal-Griffiths
      Liam Sohal-Griffiths 9 months ago

      The spelling in English is indeed very complicated; it must be very difficult for foreigners, and I'm not surprised they learn how to pronounce every word separately. However, it might be misleading to say that it's 'phonetically inconsistent' - it does have rules which native speakers apply successfully and without thinking; they will generally know how to pronounce a word that they've never seen before in their life, because they'll intuitively know whether it's of Saxon origin or Anglo/Danish origin (the two Germanic languages which were crucial in forming English) or whether it's a Norman French, Latin or Greek loanword. They'll also know intuitively whether it was affected by the Great Vowel Shift. There might be a very few words which are inconsistent with the rules (I haven't the slightest idea why "of" and "off" are spelled like they are - they seem to disobey all rules). But the vast majority of words follow the rules - they just happen to be fiendishly complicated, and therefore frustrating for foreign speakers.

  • lvmln
    lvmln Year ago

    the one thing that I think is missing in English is the ability to easily construct various diminutive forms of words.
    In Polish we use diminutives A LOT. In English, if you see a small dog, you can call it a "doggy" and that's basically it. In Polish you can use these words ("pies" means "dog"): piesek, pieseczek, piesuniek, piesulek, piesuleniek and many more - Polish word formation rules allow us to just have fun with it, there are so many ways to create a diminutive form of a word. Some of them are less official, but if you heard someone use them, you would know what they mean.
    It's especially hard when I want to describe cute animals and I can't fully express the way I feel about them, haha, because all i can say is "what a cute little doggy", when in Polish i could say "jaki śliczny mały piesuleczek, słodki pieseniek, kochany piesiunio"!

  • Camo0101
    Camo0101 Year ago +10

    Quite a few of these i can't tell if im happier without, but one thing i can say for certain is im glad we don't need to worry about 30 conjugations for each verb

  • Miss Slytherin
    Miss Slytherin Year ago +5

    There are three you's in Marathi:
    तू (tu)
    तुम्ही (tumhi)
    आपण (aapan)
    The first one is used for someone your age, like a friend. The second one is used for people elder than you, your parents and your teachers. And the third one is used for strangers or someone you do not know very well.

  • Shawn AMKR Dickinson

    Hey, love the content. I'm wondering if you've across or would do videos on General Semantics of Count Alfred Korzybski & "English^2 or English Prime ?" As a guerrilla ontologist/maybe logician love to hear any takes on these and useage in all languages. Keep up the good content either way!

  • Isaac Vetemotu
    Isaac Vetemotu 9 months ago

    I'd love to see some more stuff on oceanic pacific languages im so glad you talked about maori language. Myself I'm half samoan and wasn't rly taught my language that much (same as my cousins) so I'd love to see some more pacific Island stuff and your opinion on the languages

  • Tiernan Wilkinson
    Tiernan Wilkinson 3 years ago +3153

    The correct way to address short people: "You don't tall."

  • HerrHertzsprung
    HerrHertzsprung Year ago +5

    English has no genders, but Spanish has 3.
    ▶️ The neutral one is used with adjectives/clauses. Article: _lo_ .
    • _Lo importante_ es amar. /The important (thing) is to love.
    • Ya he olvidado _lo que me dijiste_ . /I've already forgotten what you told me.
    ▶️ The feminine: mostly words ending in _a_ . Article: _la_ .
    • _La casa_ es muy grande. / The house is quite big.
    But no _a_ ending sometimes:
    • _La canción_ es un éxito. /The song is a hit.
    ▶️ The masculine: mostly ending in _o_ . Article: _el_ .
    • _El cielo_ está despejado. /The sky is clear.
    But no _o_ ending sometimes:
    • _El color_ es hermoso. /The colour is gorgeous.
    ▶️ Some words can use either gender, especially professions or agents:
    • el panadero - la panadera /the he-baker - the she-baker.
    • el asesino - la asesina /the murderer - the murderess
    • el camarero - la camarera /the waiter - the waitress
    ▶️ Sometime gender pairs have a dramatic change in meaning:
    • el puerto - la puerta /the harbour - the door
    • el cigarro - la cigarra /the cigar - the cicada
    • el cometa - la cometa /tje comet - the kite
    ▶️ Sometimes, _a_ ending is masculine; _o_ ending is feminine:
    • el agua /the water
    • la mano /the hand
    ▶️ Then you have a whole lot of words ending in _e_ . These can drive learners crazy.
    • el príncipe/the prince
    • la nieve /the snow
    ▶️ Some words admit both genders:
    • el/la sartén /the frying pan
    • el/la mar /the sea
    ▶️ Some are masculine in the singular, but feminine in the plural - or the other way round:
    • el arte - las artes /the art/arts
    • la lente - los lentes/ the glass/glasses
    • el agua - las aguas /the water/waters
    ▶️ I'm not going to extensively mention anti linguistic sexism activists , who seem to hate the letter _o_ because words with that ending are 'masculine'. Here things can get even creepier.
    • la cuerpa (instead of _el cuerpo_ when referring to the female _body_ ... yes, crazy!)
    'Inclusive' speakers are a minority, and they believe that they will eradicate male-chauvinism when they convince 560 million people to do adopt a final _e_ for all masculine nouns and adjectives. Good luck.
    ♥️ But please, don't be discouraged. Spanish is the language of love and you'll fall in love learning it.

  • Thomas Walsh
    Thomas Walsh 10 months ago +2

    English does have reduplication; there are plenty of examples of repeated words which changes the meaning. Some examples fall into sarcasm, but many don’t, and sarcasm is fairly important in social interaction anyway.

  • Quinn Rein
    Quinn Rein Year ago

    What's pretty cool about this list is that American Sign Language grammar actually does do some of these!! For example, noun-verb pairs. The noun version of a word is usually two small movements, whereas the verb version is the same sign in one continuous motion. Question words also go at the end of the sentence !

  • PoesiaAltrove
    PoesiaAltrove Year ago +2

    Another feature English doesn't have is the masculine/feminine gender for nouns that require it. For example, I'm Italian and in my language (and in all romance languages, I guess?) you say "amici" for male friends and "amiche" for female friends and still "amici" for friends including both male and female persons.
    You will also say "gatto" if it's a male cat and "gatta" if it's a female cat, and the list goes on. I often struggle with this missing feature in English because in Italian it's a main feature and I don't like the fact that I can't fully express a concept (like the gender of my friends for example). This is a huge missing in my opinion 🤔

    • Ana Hills
      Ana Hills 2 months ago

      Yes, there are times this could be helpful in English.

  • Maxime K-G
    Maxime K-G Year ago

    A feature English is really missing (as in: I actually find it annoying I can't use it in this language) are diminutives. In Dutch we use it all the time, either because something is cute or smaller than average. The diminutive of the Dutch word "koek" is actually where the English word "cookie" comes from! I think Spanish has this as well.

  • Lissy
    Lissy 2 days ago

    OH MY GOD - to the topic of two "with"s - in Russian we have the one "with" for "going with" and a whole instrumental case for "using with", which is even called somewhat like "creating case". I've never thought about it from this perspective, but now it appears so useful! It's so fascinating to think about cases not as those pure grammar rules you should just learn, but as the actual concepts used to represent certain relations between words.

  • GC💫
    GC💫 Year ago

    AAVE (African-American Vernacular English) actually has this as a grammatical feature. It’s suspected to have carried over as a linguistic trait from various West African languages

    Anne POITRINEAU 11 months ago

    But, in end effect, all languages can express the same things. They just use different means. Some find shortcuts for things (I love the evidential and the 2 with solutions, or the luueva/piove, or anything that was different to be honest), and English, French etc will have different shortcuts for other things. Now, why these particular shortcuts for this particular language is a really fascinating question. Is it cultural? I.e: a particular cultural reality resulted in a shortcut. I always think of the german "Schadenfreude". This shortcut does not exist in French or English. In French, we have a long phrase: "se rejouir (ou rire) du malheur des autres" and while some people do it, the general notion is that it is not socially acceptable at all and children are actively discouraged and reprimanded. I think that I have noticed that it is a lot more socially acceptable in German speaking Switzerland where I lived for 23 years. I also find that it is quite acceptable in England now, and it so happens that they have borrowed the word. I found it far less socially acceptable in Wales and Scotland, and I have not heard the word being borrowed there. But this is all anecdotal.

  • David Querol
    David Querol Year ago +5

    In the Philippines, we also have two words for the word "of"
    In tagalog, its
    Ng- referring to any abstract object, or a common noun
    Ni-refering to a specific person.
    House of my friend- bahay NG kaibigan ko
    House of Juan- bahay NI Juan

  • Timothy Tikker
    Timothy Tikker Year ago +3

    "Chu" is also used to form questions in Esperanto, though always at the beginning of a sentence. Officially, it translates as "whether."

  • Alien Kitten
    Alien Kitten Year ago

    The one thing English lacks that I love the most is the polite forms of "you". YOU can be used for anyone, regardless if they're family, young kids, strangers or presidents. In Romanian and other similar languages, it's considered rude and offensive to address someone with YOU if you don't know them or they're substantially older than you or if they're a higher rank in the Army, etc. It kind of instantly builds a trust barrier between 2 persons.

  • Kenster
    Kenster Year ago +696

    To me, the only really useful thing that's missing from modern English is two distinct pronouns for singular "you" and plural "you". I don't really miss any polite pronouns or other grammatical politeness markers, just an simple, non-awkward way of distinguishing between 2nd person sing. vs. pl.

    • Mainländer
      Mainländer 13 days ago

      Why doesn't English just introduce "yous"?

    • Michael Ball
      Michael Ball 14 days ago

      The polite (singular) form in Hungarian uses 3rd person plural - "they".

    • Michael Ball
      Michael Ball 14 days ago

      @Mr. Tangent You have no friends

    • Michael Ball
      Michael Ball 14 days ago

      @Joe Sykes That's considered rude

    • Garbage Life of the Boring Wife
      Garbage Life of the Boring Wife Month ago

      im in canada and im adamant on normalizing y'all. "You all" is so awkward to me now. The separating the vowel sounds is so clumsy.

  • Spleandor
    Spleandor Year ago +1

    I like how English has way more synonyms or near synonyms for adjectives. Like the word "huge" can be big, giant, hefty, ginormous, bulky, large, expansive and so on. Whereas, Hindi, a language that I speak, have very limited vocab in terms of adjective synonyms

  • The Second Slit
    The Second Slit 8 months ago

    If you translate 'Some of us agree' to Portuguese you'll get either 'Alguns de nós concordam' (which could include the speaker or not; often used to make it vague) or "Alguns de nós concordamos" (which includes the speaker). Just because of conjugation. But I'm sure there's a fancy name for that ;)

    THE PIGGY PROPHET Year ago +1

    Another singularity in English is that they have only 10 fingers and 10 toes, while in many other European languages the fingers are 20 ( five for each hand and five for each foot) I always say to my English colleagues, "if you go to mainland Europe you'll gain ten fingers more" and someone answered "but you'll lose 10 toes" lol 😆...

  • Anderson P
    Anderson P Year ago +1

    About politeness: we Brazilians from São Paulo do the same as English, but in a weird way: we use the polite pronoun for you (você) 99% of the time. In fact, to us, the unpolite form sounds politer (you: tu). For example, the phrase "Do you go?", we usually say "você vai?" not "tu vais?". Therefore the conjugation of the verb "go" for the unpolite form sounds more erudite and therefore politer, since it is not common.

  • Can Ahmet Darama
    Can Ahmet Darama Year ago +1

    In Turkish we have a second past tense which has some special meanings like "I heard that it happened from someone else" or "It happened out of my intention" or "I wasn't aware of it while it was happening" or "Someone said it happened but i believe it is doubtfull"...
    I love Turkish :)

  • Varvara
    Varvara 2 years ago +1068

    Its so surprising you talked about politeness without mentioning japanese and its insane keigo....

    • Yume!
      Yume! Year ago

      Carmela Camba ONG💀

    • samshri diagnostics
      samshri diagnostics Year ago

      This is the case in most Asian countries lol. My friend used to learn Sankrit and my oh my the grammer of Sanskrit is a total nightmare

    • Jason Rogue
      Jason Rogue Year ago

      What about korean

    • Aditya Rahmanda
      Aditya Rahmanda Year ago +1

      What about javanese? Its one of Indonesian regional language that has three levels of honorifics. Almost each word is changed to something different word. For example, "Have you eaten?" in javanese are,
      Ngoko/Lvl 1 - "Kowe wes mangan?"
      Krama Lugu/Lvl 2 - "Sampeyan sampun nedha?"
      Krama Alus/Lvl 3 - "Panjenengan sampun dhahar?"

    • Carmela Camba
      Carmela Camba Year ago +1

      tell me abou it, there is a casual word, then a more polite word then another more polite word, then another one, i was like come on!how many layers of politeness i need to learn.

  • Ashish Babar
    Ashish Babar Year ago +1

    At 02:55 as a Marathi speaking person which usually spoken on a moderate scale...I was like how proud I feel now to see and example of my language...and yes we say 'tu' which means you for a younger than us or of our age whereas, we say 'thumi' for the one older than us of at a higher status...thats true😇👍🏻🙏🏻

  • MPrime
    MPrime Year ago +2

    The function you mentioned that Lou has that English doesn’t is present in African American English. Just not in “standard” American English. I wonder if there’s a history that gave that feature to AAE speakers, or if it’s just coincidence.

  • Gugunet26
    Gugunet26 Year ago +3

    As a natural brazilian portuguese speaker, I really love the english language for how simple it is and how it doesn't have a bunch of dumb rules that make no sense, and in my opinion, that's how all languages should be, make it simple cause it's just a way for us humans to comunicate, there's no point in making it overly complex

    • Allejandro David
      Allejandro David 5 months ago

      @Killer SG. English is simple
      It has no conjugations or conjunctive etc like in Portuguese

    • Killer SG.
      Killer SG. Year ago +3

      I mean English isn’t simple at all, but if all of the worlds’ languages grammar were implemented in English then it would make a so diff language this vid is bullshit. I like English for how it is, it doesn’t make sense to put features from other language families to English

    • Valinorean
      Valinorean Year ago +4

      Simple? Say, even the vowels alone... can you even list all English vowels without looking them up? (And you're supposed to produce them automatically in every sentence!)

  • Tybie Fitzhugh
    Tybie Fitzhugh Year ago +15

    Love your vids! Friendly note, Malayalam (at 2:49) is pronounced muh-LAY-a-(L)am where the last L is formed further back on the soft palate (think of folding your tongue back on itself and saying an English L upside down).

    • Keziah Jose
      Keziah Jose Year ago +3

      I was so proud when he said Malayalam :)

  • Yes, That's my cat
    Yes, That's my cat Year ago +1

    I just love that the verb "to be" is separated in some Latin languages in to verbs "ser" and "estar" (Spanish and Portuguese), "essere" and "stare" (Italian)

    • AerachEile
      AerachEile 11 months ago +1

      And in Irish & Scottish Gaelic - “is” vs. “tá/tha”.

  • Selina
    Selina 3 years ago +518

    as someone from holland, who studies english, italian, german and french, i still think english is the easiest language

    • merewah
      merewah Year ago

      You should check out Malay / Indonesia.

    • Idek
      Idek  Year ago +1

      @Forest Denizen Nah, I have a C2 level in English and it is the easiest language I've ever learned. I mean in uni I studied English and Arabic and it was like two different planets of difficulty. English grammar is basically non-existent

    • Wolfz Music
      Wolfz Music 2 years ago

      Forest Denizen well if their english is nearly perfect, who cares? also correcting them is just patronising

    • Wolfz Music
      Wolfz Music 2 years ago

      Imran yes we have he & she but words do not have a gender attached to them. we only have gendered pronouns

    • Markle2k
      Markle2k 3 years ago

      @Selina Dutch is one of the mostly closely related languages to English. Simple spoken sentences are almost always mutually intelligible. Dutch spelling conventions lead to weird false friends for English readers, though.

  • misskitty285
    misskitty285 Year ago +1

    One thing I like about English is that you can turn a verb into a noun and vice-versa with relative ease. I think it wouldn't be that easy in most other languages.

  • JAE3MC
    JAE3MC Year ago

    in spanish you can say “esta lloviendo” which is the exact equivalent of “it is raining”. spanish has very few exceptions; it’s literally english, in spanish! not sure if that makes sense but what i mean to say is that there is almost an exact translation between both languages. In fact I speak better english when i’m THINKING in spanish and translating to english, rather than just thinking in english. and I was raised in a mainly english speaking neighborhood, school and household. i’d say english is the lazier, less formal language of the two but they’re practically identical languages

  • Ya no
    Ya no Year ago

    Love that Spanish also differentiates between "be" something or someone, and "be" at somewhere and status

  • Eliza Andreadaki
    Eliza Andreadaki Year ago

    In Greek we do have some duplications too
    Σιγά means slow σιγά σιγά means slowly.
    I think that Greek actually fits the description for most characteristics that English doesn't have regardless haha
    As a person that speaks Greek, English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, French and Spanish (all at different levels of fluency, still learning) I really can't say that I've had difficulty in learning English. Definitely not as difficult as the rest of the languages I'm learning. And definitely not as hard as learning Greek would be if it wasn't my mother tongue (although Greek is difficult to speak even amongst natives)

    • Ana Hills
      Ana Hills 2 months ago

      English has some, but they change their forma bit. For example "Itsy bitsy" "teeny tiny" (very very small) "super duper" (extra super)

  • Midnight Creepypastas & Hörbucher

    Talking about formal and informal „you“: Japanese has COUNTLESS of ways to address people. As far as I know, the most common ones are *first name* -san, -kun (for boys), -chan (for girls or your boyfriend) and -sama (for someone with a higher rank than you, I believe). But there’s a lot more, which I don’t even know.
    5:42 I can only speak for Spanish here, but it is common to just drop the pronoun in general, so it doesn’t have to be connected to „it“. E.g. instead of „Yo estoy bien“ („I am fine“), they just say: „Estoy bien.“ („Am fine.“). The conjugation of „estar“ already tells you that I’m talking about myself.

  • Chris Malan
    Chris Malan 3 years ago +761

    You missed the most obvious deficiency: the ability to make diminutives from nouns. A small cat is a kitten, a totally different word. Afrikaans: kat - katjie. Spanish: gato -gatito. A small car in English is a small car. Afrikaans: kar - karretjie. Spanish: carro - carrito. I'm told diminutives are easy in German, too. My proposal is to add ling. Duck - duckling. Cat - catling. Car - carling.

    • Craftah
      Craftah Month ago

      @F_A_F 123 it depends but sometimes its cringe

    • F_A_F 123
      F_A_F 123 Month ago

      @Craftah nothing annoying in it, it's great and it's bad that they don't exist in English. It's really a thing that feels missing

    • Мария Семёнова
      Мария Семёнова Year ago

      Agree. In Russian we have a diminutive even for "tee" chai - chayók

    • Sara Albuquerque
      Sara Albuquerque Year ago

      @Sight & Sounds "efficience" like create a entire new and unrelated word for the diminutive version of something??

    • Craftah
      Craftah Year ago

      @Sara Albuquerque ew bro

  • JimSmithInChiapas
    JimSmithInChiapas 11 months ago

    6:45 As I recall from my time in Idaho, the Shoshone language has those features as well.
    5:55 Having different words for the instrumental and a comitative "with" would be helpful in scientific writing.

  • Shreyas Pethe
    Shreyas Pethe Year ago +1

    I am a Marathi native. As you said, we usually use "honorific plural" (आदरार्थी बहुवचन) when talking about stranger of unknown gender. It's very similar to the gender neutral "they" being pushed these days.
    Also, Indian english uses reduplication the exact way saya-saya works. We will naturally say "We read three three books today" and I think it's beautiful 😂

    • Rehan
      Rehan Year ago +1

      What is "they" being pushed for?

  • Bjowolf2
    Bjowolf2 6 months ago

    Old English also used to have three grammatical genders for nouns with 4 - 5 cases for them and their corresponding articles for each of the three genders.
    And OE even had a dualis form as well ( "we two" ).

  • Birisu Andrei
    Birisu Andrei Year ago +1

    I feel like the most polite way to address someone is indeed saying "you" cause people who use formal ways usually don't like the person they're being polite to and it's just fake, but with everyone saying you, there's no difference, we are all human, therefore we are all a you, getting upset over being called a person is plain dumb, we are all equal and just because someone is your boss or whatever saying you is the most honest way to address him.

  • Chessematics
    Chessematics 9 months ago

    The weather thing; in Bengali (and many other Indian languages) we call it "বৃষ্টি (rain) পড়ছে (is falling)". The weather elements of weather act as the subjects themselves. Even if it goes a bit further like "it's sunny", we'll say "সূর্য (sun) বেরিয়েছে (has come out)". But the problem arises if it's consistently sunny from a long time. We don't have an EXACT expression for that, although there are many spare expressions, some even non-grammatical, to get the job done.

  • JB Loveday
    JB Loveday 3 years ago +875

    What’s wrong with “We read 3 books each” - this clarification is just as easy as adding to a word.

    • sexymimi
      sexymimi Year ago

      I won't read three books ever. That's mine lol.

    • Dungeons and Dragons and Drive Throughs
      Dungeons and Dragons and Drive Throughs 3 years ago +2

      kaluq Not depressing, we just don’t really need it. Yes we may have to use more words to get some things across but doesn’t every language have that somewhere? I mean look at some languages words for things. Some of them are up to 20 characters for a 4 character word in English. Should they change it because English made it easier? No, that’s how they do it. It would be dumb to say they should change it. It’s just a matter of opinions, as long as you can articulate something it doesn’t really matter how many words you need.

    • Dungeons and Dragons and Drive Throughs
      Dungeons and Dragons and Drive Throughs 3 years ago

      Reading the sentence sounds like they all read three books all the same between them. If you wanted specification you’d ask them each like “Oh, what ones?” And if it was different, they’d say. It’s an odd thing to fault English for tbh

    • fhengal
      fhengal 3 years ago

      or "we read three books apiece," which I almost never hear nor see in current print anymore, but I like the construction.

    • Benjamin Badger
      Benjamin Badger 3 years ago +1

      @rogink I write technical material professionally and struggle to write clearly and concisely. It's not easy. Hemingway left behind in Paris a whole trunk full of his early writing. He did not adopt the rambling style of Gertrude Stein but developed his own lean and clean sentence style.
      Elmore Leonard was probably the latest in a generation of writers influenced by Hemingway. ("Leave out the boring parts.")
      The Elements of Style (Strunk and White) was a great help at the beginning. Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss is good too. On Writing by Steven King is probably the best of all.
      But sooner or later you need to develop your own style.

  • Nuria Herrera Marcos
    Nuria Herrera Marcos 8 months ago +8

    The simplicity of English is a blessing for those who have to learn it as a foreign language!

  • Laura
    Laura  Year ago +1

    I'm Portuguese and I started to learn english, so something that I thought that it was real strange is the fact that there is no name for the feeling of missing something or someone or a time in your life because things are not the same or they are not around. In portuguese is "saudade" and I think is a beautiful word to explain this feeling and then I discovered that most language don't have that. xD (sorry my english, still learning)

    • Laura
      Laura  4 months ago +1

      @SB3Z Thank you for the help!

    • SB3Z
      SB3Z 4 months ago +1

      Pronounced "naws-tahl-zhuh"
      (I hope I wrote that out correctly... English has 44 sounds but only 26 damn letters 🤦‍♀️ I used zh because I think thats the international alphabet for that sound. But then again... that may just be Mandarin Chinese 😅 my current language of study)

    • Laura
      Laura  4 months ago +1

      @SB3Z You right, not exactly the same, but it's close enought, thank you!

    • SB3Z
      SB3Z 4 months ago +1

      We do have a word for that in English. Nostalgia.
      "I feel nostalgic whenever I smell cherries, because it reminds me of picking cherries in the summer with my grandfather when I was a child and life was simple"
      Nostalgia probably can't be used in English exactly like saudade, but it's similar enough that I think it is fair to say we have a word with an equivalent concept

  • nadia bairamis
    nadia bairamis Year ago

    There are some others u left out. For instance I’m Greek (and other languages) you can add “aki” to a word to make it small or cute. Pethi (child) pathaki (little child) agapi mou (my love) agapaki (my little love) etc
    Also with the reduplication.. in Greek at least, u can also make things more intense version of themselves with -kata. So aspro (white) aspro kataspro (whitest white)

    • Sara Albuquerque
      Sara Albuquerque Year ago

      In portuguese we do the same with "inho" or "inha" for little or cute meaning, and "íssimo" or "íssima" intensity like "linda" = " pretty" in the feminine version and "lindíssima" = "very pretty"

  • Suresh Mukhi
    Suresh Mukhi Year ago +1

    In my parents native language Sindhi, there is a specific word for each type of relationship. Example, paternal grandparents are Dado and Dadi while maternal grandparents are Nano and Nani. Same with grandchildren, cousins, in laws etc. A specific word indicated how one is related.

    • Ana Hills
      Ana Hills 2 months ago +1

      I think that's nice. Lots of English speaking grandparents will choose what they want their grandchildren to call them. Sometimes it's from the language of their Origen (for example, if the mother's side of the family was German, they may call themselves Oma and Opa while the father's side may be Grandma and Grandpa.) Sometimes they just pick a name like "Gammy" or "Granny" or "Nanny".

  • Roy Sigurd Karlsbakk
    Roy Sigurd Karlsbakk 8 months ago

    Back when I learned Norwegian sign language, I leraned that the signs for 'we' or 'us' (same thing) was highly different according to context. 'We' as in 'us two', two fingers rolling back and forth between I and the person I was talking about, whereas 'we' as in a group, could be specified differently. If there were a group of people around me, I'd signal that by drawing a smaller circle in the semicentre of that group - and so fourth. Then - if it were to be a talk about 'we' as in 'all of us', the circle drawn, would be above my head, and rather large. I'm not sure if this is specific to Norwegian sign language or how they do it in other sign language languages/dialects, but I'm quite sure it's about the same.
    PS: Learning sign language is highly recommended - not just for including those that cannot hear to well, but perhaps most of all to see how rich that language family really is!

  • chibisf4
    chibisf4 2 years ago +2153

    I'm alway shocked that there are no words for "the day after tomorrow" and "the deay before yesterday". 😵

    • Liam Sohal-Griffiths
      Liam Sohal-Griffiths 9 months ago

      The killer has to be Punjabi (and Urdu) which have the SAME word for "yesterday" and "tomorrow"! Although of course, you can usually tell which one is meant from the context.

    • Sonorous Gaming
      Sonorous Gaming 10 months ago


    • K
      K 10 months ago

      We live in the present

    • Seth The Victor
      Seth The Victor Year ago +1

      @Maria in Hind or Urdu that would be [kal-tomorrow , parsu-day after tomorrow], [kal-yesterday , parsu-day before yesterday or in some regional dialects anything between yesterday and recorded history of mankind].

    • Leonor Jorge
      Leonor Jorge Year ago

      @Eduardo Estrela yes I speak Portuguese too and for example in Portuguese, normal words like "caneta" pen have a gender.

  • Mainländer
    Mainländer 13 days ago

    I, for one, prefer to have to add a couple more words to the phrase to generate the same effect instead of having to deal with extremely complicated grammar stuff that might make some sentences shorter and wittier, but make the learning of the language way harder in general. I particularly have the German cases in mind while writing this.

  • Perikudon Tengen.Toppa

    I don't know about other latin languages, but in Spanish and Catalan the verb TO BE is divided into two (SER and ESTAR), wich are totally different concepts and can change the meaning of an entire sentence.
    For instance:
    In English you say to a girl: YOU ARE GOOD.
    In Spanish you would translate that using SER as: TU ERES BUENA, meaning "you are a nice person".
    But if you use ESTAR instead: TU ESTÁS BUENA, and that would mean "you are hot".

  • Clea Cloutier
    Clea Cloutier 7 months ago

    This is going to help me so much in learning other languages because I know what to focus on 😅

  • Goingby20s
    Goingby20s Year ago

    In Portuguese there is also a difference between being somewhere (estar) and being someone (ser), so I would say other European languages also have that.

  • vasuki
    vasuki Year ago

    As a native Malayalam speaker, the horror I felt when one of my friends (who had attended a boarding school abroad surrounded by non-malayalam speakers till college) used 'nnii' to address our professor was immeasurable. I thought she was gonna die then and there. And later I told her that she made a mistake and she asked me something along the lines of, 'Why? 'nnii' meant 'you' doesn't it?' And I was like yeah it does... But like friend 'you', people who know you 'you' not like professor 'you'. It was confusing, to say the least.

  • Melissa Townsley
    Melissa Townsley 2 years ago +3104

    In England “there there” is used. To show somebody comfort and support when you don’t know what else to say to make them feel better. And it often comes with a pat on the back or maybe a hug

    • Flarebloxed
      Flarebloxed 11 months ago +1

      i'm pretty sure "there there" is used all around the world

    • MoonbowCraze
      MoonbowCraze Year ago +1

      I think it's used in America too.

    • Jasmin K
      Jasmin K Year ago +1

      its like this in america too

    • Lillly Eevee
      Lillly Eevee Year ago

      Yeah, people who’s constantly thinking it’s “bad writing”, acted like their writing is “good”.

    • The Arrogant Writer
      The Arrogant Writer Year ago

      We Americans use that too, actually.

  • Chess Piece
    Chess Piece Year ago +8

    “I like him, but I don’t like like him” we have repeating words (and sounds too!) but they’re mostly used informally and speaking so you wouldn’t see them in a book. In addition you can use adjectives as verbs but, again, you don’t verbify nouns and adjectives in formal writing, just informal :)

  • Hulf 3
    Hulf 3 Year ago

    I have started to study quite a few languages- never actually learned them tho- and English is by far the easiest next to Spanish (but that's just because I have latin in school)

  • Borja Cano
    Borja Cano Year ago

    4:50 Spanish also have a distinguition in the verb to be, "ser" (to be something) and "estar" (to be in a state or place)

  • HyperTheo
    HyperTheo Year ago

    Reduplication is especially dense in turkish. And sometimes we don't repeat the same exact word but change the first letter and then repeat. Like "Kaba saba". "Kaba" by itself means "Rude", but "Kaba saba" stands for something you do without giving much effort or attention. I don't think there is a word for it in english but the closest I can think of is "Scuffed". This reduplication thing has always been an interesting topic for me even though it is my own language. So I feel happy to see it mentioned in the video.