Words That Are the Same in All Languages

Duolingo received a question from a reader: "Are there any words that all languages have in common?" It turns out that there are two of them. But first we are treated to several words that come close but still have a few exceptions. Of course, you could see "pineapple" coming a mile away. The word is "ananas" or some variant all over the world, but pineapple in English. However, it's also called "piña" in a few languages. After several neat stories about those words, we get to the universal ones. You may think (as I did) that these common words might tie all languages together and reveal what the world's oldest language really is, but alas, no. The reason that two words are universal is because they are things that originated in one place and were exported globally in a relatively short time. You might even be able to guess them before you check out the article at Duolingo. -via Kottke

Newest 3
Newest 3 Comments

Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Words That Are the Same in All Languages"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More