Here is how English survived the​ Norman Conquest?

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War is an annihilator, the winner seeps out everything, including people. But how did English survive the Norman Conquest?  There are actually two very general and hugely complex questions involved here, not one:

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Overheard Conversations in Languages People Assumed Others Didn’t Understand.

Overheard conversations are the best, especially if the conversations are about you and people assumed you didn’t understand the language they were speaking. We at The Language Nerds compiled some of the funniest and unexpected real stories that happened to real people. I will let these people speak to you about the conversations they overheard in a language people assumed they didn’t understand.

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Fascinating facts about the world’s languages.

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Languages are interesting and beautiful, warts and all. There is not a single language in the world that is not associated with exquisite beauty and outstanding expressive potential.  It is true that we still don’t know a lot about the languages of the world, like from where did they originate or why are they the way they are, but we know a fair amount of stuff about them to entertain ourselves with. So, let’s see some interesting facts about the world’s languages in this infographic that was brought to you by TakeLessons.com.

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Here is why it is impossible to know how many words a language​ has.

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People like counting. People like to compare things. These two trends are exaggerated even further on the internet. So it’s no wonder that there are websites like this, Global Language Monitor, that tout that the number of words in English as some precise number  (1,013,913 and growing at 15/day), as compared to woeful 2nd place finisher Mandarin.

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English Words You Didn’t Know Come From Arabic.

Arabic is one of the most ancient, varied, and beautifully scripted languages. It is spoken by nearly 400 million users, placing it among the most 5 spoken languages in the world. Its influence on Spanish since the time of the Moors is well known, but what’s less well known is how many commonly used English words were actually taken from Arabic. English didn’t borrow all of the words directly; they mostly came filtered through Latin, Turkish, French, Spanish, German, and/or Italian, and have changed in form — and sometimes meaning — since they left Arabic. Here is a list:

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As native speakers, how many rules do we not know but still follow?

One of the first things you realize when you study linguistics is that language, every language, is filled with an amazing amount of complexity and regularity to the point of defying description. And I mean that literally. There is not one single natural language that has been completely formalized at all levels of description in any way. So, with that said, the answer to the above question is pretty much all of the rules we don’t know but still follow. Well, we actually know them, but this knowledge can be described as tacit knowledge; stored under the threshold of consciousness. To put it in another way, we know these rules but we don’t know that we know them! 

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6 Subtle Grammatical Mistakes Most People Still Make.

Many of us get into the habit of making writing mistakes either because of unawareness on our part or just mere sloppiness. Many of these mistakes affect the way readers perceive our pieces of writing; foolish typos can make the difference between a great first impression and a tainted one. We at The Language Nerds took the liberty to collect the most common mistakes that the majority of people tend to make and we want you to watch out for them so that there is nothing to worry about when you want to apply for your next job or when you want to email your boss. So let’s see what we’ve got! 


1. Fewer vs. Less

This one is tricky but easy to avoid. Use fewer when you can count the number of things being discussed. Fewer than the required number of people passed the test.” Use less when describing intangible concepts, like time. “It took me less time to complete the paper.”

2. Which vs. That

This one is not entirely easy to spot. There are two ways to remember whether to use which or that in a sentence.

First, if you can remove the phrase and not change the meaning of the sentence, use which; if you can’t remove it without changing the meaning of the sentence, use that. You can dump the “whiches”. Let’s see this in examples. “The report, which contained several lovely images, was well received.” Take out “which contained several images” and the sentence still makes sense. But, in this second example: “Reports that contain images are more easily understood.” Take out “that contain images” and this sentence doesn’t make much sense.

Another simple way to look at this is if the phrase is offset by commas, it should contain which. If you don’t need commas, it can be that.

3. Into vs. In to

If you think that into is just a combination of in and to, you are mistaken, as was I. Into always indicates movement. “I walked into the office twenty minutes late.” In and to, however, can be used in lots of different ways that have no relation to movement. “I was called in to go over the reports.”


4. Like vs. Such as

In conversational, spontaneous speech, we use like for pretty much everything. But technically, it’s not always correct. When you use like, you are comparing two things that are alike. For example, “My stupid dog barks like every other dog.” But when you are giving examples, you should use such as: “My stupid dog has many annoying qualities, such as his tendency to bark loudly late in the night.”

5. Me vs. I

This is a classic mistake. Many people get confused about when to use me and I. Both are pronouns, but one is used when it’s the subject of a sentence — the one doing the action — and the other when it’s the object — the one being acted on.

If you say, “I love cake” the word is the subject, and cake is the object. Unless you are Cookie Monster, you would never say, “Me love cake.” If you say, “Cookie Monster loves me.” the word me is the object, the thing being loved. The same goes for her and him and they and them. One case that trips people up is the phrase, “Between you and me” or “Between him and me.” In this case, between is a preposition (like uponat, or around) and the pronouns are the objects of that preposition, so it is correct to say me instead of I.


6. Advise vs. Advice

To advise someone is to give them advice. Advise, with an S, is the verb, while advice, with a C, is the noun. To avoid this mistake remember that advisors advise; it helps to remember which is the verb. (A note of advice: as I was writing that previous sentence, Grammarly and spell check marked “advise” as incorrect! So even the grammar checker can be wrong in this one.)

Stay with us for more language tips. Thank you for reading the article. If you think it will benefit someone, don’t forget to share it. Have a blessed day 🙂 



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Language learning: Your ultimate visual guide.

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Learning a new language and excelling at it is a tremendous task. It takes effort, time, and a lot of determination. Let’s face it, people like us, language nerds, devote a considerable amount of time, sometimes money, to learn a new language or two. But still, the devastation is there. Language learning theories sometimes suck and sometimes they are as good as a pile of old dirt. Without needless technical details, The Language Nerds brought to you a language learning infographic that was put together by a team in UndergradedPoints. This infographic visualizes the optimal language learning process and shows you how language learning is best practiced, according to science. So let’s get down to it. Have a good read! 

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What is Universal Grammar?

If you are even slightly interested in language and linguistics, chances are you heard the term Universal Grammar a fair amount of times. It is a central concept in modern linguistics and the most controversial. It is a term that was born in the pursuit of trying to answer some very fundamental  and old questions about language. But what exactly is Universal Grammar? 

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What linguists know that other people don’t.

Studying languages is a privilege. When you analyze language and everyday speech you realize that there is an astonishing amount of wonder in this system that we take for granted. Linguists questioned the obvious, which is language, and got answers that forever changed mankind’s understanding of Language and human nature. In this article, you will see what linguists know that is not so evident to other people. So let’s see what we’ve got.

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