CAE’s languages centre offers programs in 18 languages across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  

We know the benefits of learning a language are multi-faceted – connecting with your heritage, assisting with travel and feeding your personal skills and brain function. But learning a language can also be a fun and enjoyable experience!  

So explore the beautiful world of linguistics with our 18 fast facts about languages from CAE. 


The Italian alphabet only has 21 letters. Letters as J, K, W, X and Y aren’t used in Italian words but are used in foreign loan words. 


There are no plurals in Japanese. Instead, meaning is intended through a number or counter in the sentence, or in context. 


In 1847, The Croatian Parliament passed the decision to make Croatian the official language – replacing Latin. 


About 35% of modern English words are of French origin, making the two languages very similar. Words such as ‘allowance’, ‘literature’ and ‘variety’ were all adapted from French.  

Mandarin (Chinese) 

Differing from a 26 letter English alphabet, Chinese uses 50,000 different characters – with everyday Mandarin using about 2,500 of these.  


Dutch people call their language ‘Nederlands’ and they call German ‘Duits.’ 

The words Dutch, Duits and Deutsch all come from the Old Germanic word ‘theudisk’, which translates to; “The language of the people.” 


Only 5% of Portuguese speakers live in Portugal as it is also the official language of 8 other countries.  


Along with English, Russian is the language of space. Astronauts have to learn Russian as part of their training and the computer system of the International Space Station uses both English and Russian. 


Korean is commonly classified as a language isolate, which means it shows no significant link to any other existing language on Earth. 


With its origins in Malay, Indonesian was introduced in 1928 to unite all residents across Indonesia’s Archipelago of islands.  


Latin is considered as a dead language, this means that it cannot evolve further and new words cannot be added to the Latin vocabulary.  


Like most languages, Spanish has its own very unique words which can’t be translated in other languages.  For example, In Spanish, the day before yesterday is called anteayer and the day after tomorrow is pasado mañana.  


Hindi is a phonetic language, and each letter of the Hindi alphabet has its own independent and distinct sound. As such, Hindi words are pronounced exactly as they are written, making the Hindi language easy to learn. 


Vietnamese is not only the official language of Vietnam but also the Czech Republic. It is officially recognized as the minority language in this European country since 2013 with 60.000 Vietnamese-speaking inhabitants.  


The word “alphabet” is formed of the first two letters and the Greek Alphabet “alpha” and “beta”.  


The language relies heavily on diminutive forms – a way to make a word more ‘cute’ and affectionate. (Such as  “kitty” from “kitten” or “Timmy” from “Tim.) And most Ukrainian first names also have several diminutive forms. 


There are 14 words that describe “love” and the different stages and degrees of falling, and being in love.  


German is known for extremely long words. At 67 letters, the longest is: “Grundstücksverkehrsgenehmigungszuständigkeitsübertragungsverordnung” (meaning: Real estate traffic permit transfer of responsibility ordinance). 

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