Five Facts about the English Language

December 15, 2016
  1. A brand new word is added to the dictionary approximately every two hours.

 

That’s around 12 new words every day and almost 4000 new words every year!

If you learn to speak English, you can often feel daunted by the amount of words, phrases and complex pronunciations of the language. Well, this fact may not make you feel any better but it does remind you that you will never know everything about the language, even native speakers are learning new words every day and we can all mispronounce a word from time to time so don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t get it right the first time.

 

  1. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (made famous by the classic movie Mary Poppins) is actually not the longest word in the English language.

 

Thanks to the family favourite starring Julie Andrews, this super long word was added to the dictionary and was believed to be the longest word in the language. But low and behold, another word actually takes the title of longest word in the English language and that is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis, describing a type of lung disease caused by inhaling excessive amounts of ash and dust.

mary-poppins

 

  1. ‘Rough’ ‘dough’ ‘thoughtful’ ‘ploughman’ ‘through’ ‘Loughborough’ ‘slough’ ‘coughed’ hiccoughed’. What do all these words have in common? They all use ‘ough’ but there are actually nine different ways of pronouncing it!

 

There are many reasons why the English language is often considered the most complex in the world and one of them is the many words and phrases that use the same letters but are pronounced differently. ‘Ough’ is a prime example with a phenomenal nine different ways of pronouncing it! There is no easy way for international students to differentiate these pronunciations, it really does come down to practice and everyday use of the language. You can find out how to pronounce these nine words, and any others you are unsure of in the online dictionary.

 

  1. At least one quarter of the world’s population speak English.

 

English is the most commonly spoken language in the world and that’s why every year, thousands of international students travel to the UK to study the language and experience life as an honorary Briton.  With over one quarter of the population fluent in English, speaking the language can open up a number of opportunities in the UK and at home for international students who want to learn to speak English.

 

  1. The most commonly used adjective in the English vocabulary is ‘good’.

 

We like to think we are a happy bunch in the UK and this fun fact just proves it! If you want to learn English language and study in the UK, we have a network of dedicated country managers all over the world who can help you along the way. Don’t just settle for a ‘good’ experience of the UK and its language, contact us and we’ll make sure you gain all the skills you require to make your UK study break great!