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How the English Language was Developed

If you’ve seen Stephen Fry on the TV, you’ll know that the English language is indeed quite interesting. From the odd pronunciation of Featherstonehaugh (it’s Fanshaw) to ambiguous metaphors to the fan-bloody-tastic use of tmesis, the English language has a rich history.

This humourous educational short film created by The Open University looks at how the English was developed, including the Anglo-Saxon invasion that started it all, the words left by the pillaging Vikings, ye olde contributions of William Shakespeare, the invention of the dictionary, and the influence the that Internet has had.

[via +Demitri Baroutsos]

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What Are the Hardest Languages to Learn?

I love languages, and I’ve personally found that the more languages you know, the funnier the world becomes. Having said that, I’m only totally proficient in a single language (i.e. English), although I’ve got enough bits and bobs of other languages to tell me when the subtitles in foreign TV shows are bullshitting me. How hard is it to learn a new language though? What are the hardest languages to learn, assuming a first language of English? Funny you should ask, because Voxy blog have an infographic that answers just that question. See the infographic after the break.