Category Archives: Language Spotlight

Amharic Language: Interesting Facts & Resources

Amharic Language: Interesting Facts & Resources

The spotlight is on Amharic today! We’ve gathered some background information and interesting facts about the language. We also share our newest children’s books available in Amharic. Continue reading Amharic Language: Interesting Facts & Resources

Cherokee Language: Interesting Facts & Resources

Today we showcase the Cherokee language! We’ve gathered some background information and interesting facts about the language. We also share information on our newest Cherokee children’s books. Continue reading Cherokee Language: Interesting Facts & Resources

Hmong Language: Interesting Facts & Resources

Kuang Si Falls or Kuang Xi Falls in Laos

Today’s spotlight language is Hmong! We’ve gathered some background information and interesting facts about the language. We also have information on our newest bilingual Hmong children’s books. Continue reading Hmong Language: Interesting Facts & Resources

Telugu Language & BOOKS: Interesting Facts & Resources

Page from Telugu-English edition of “With Flying Colors – Color Idioms” by Anneke Forzani

Today’s spotlight language is Telugu! We offer some background information and interesting facts about the language, as well as help finding children’s books in Telugu.  Interested in learning about other languages as well?  Check out our series of posts on world languages, including Spanish, Oromo, Hindi, Russian, and Japanese!

Continue reading Telugu Language & BOOKS: Interesting Facts & Resources

Oromo Language: Interesting Facts & Resources

Today’s spotlight language is Oromo! We offer some background information and interesting facts about the language, as well as help finding children’s books in Oromo.  Interested in learning about other languages as well?  Check out our series of posts on world languages, including Spanish, Nepali, Hindi, Russian, and Japanese!

Continue reading Oromo Language: Interesting Facts & Resources

Farsi (Persian) Language Facts & Farsi Children’s Books

Today’s spotlight language is Farsi. Find background information and interesting facts about the language, as well as information to help you find Farsi children’s books. Interested in learning about even more languages? Check out our series of posts on world languages, including French, Hindi, Russian and Japanese!

Where is Farsi spoken?

Farsi, also known as Persian, Dari or Tajiki, is the national language of Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. It is also spoken in other parts of the Middle East and India. There are around 60 to 80 million native speakers around the world.

How Many People Speak Farsi in the US?

According to the most recent US Census data, there are about 400,000 people who speak Farsi in the US. There are large Farsi speaking populations in California, New York, and Washington, DC.

Interesting Facts About Farsi

Farsi has twenty-three consonants and six vowel sounds. It is written from right to left. (Numerals are written from left to right.)

In Farsi, nouns have no gender, and there are no articles. Farsi is considered to have a relatively simple grammatical structure.

The first handwritten book in Farsi was a medical book written in 1055.

Farsi Books – Bilingual Children’s Books

If the kids in your life speak Farsi , or are learning the language, you may want suggestions on some of the best bilingual Farsi books and audio books for kids.  Some culturally relevant stories with text in both English and the Farsi language include: Journey Through Islamic Arts, The Swirling Hijaab and Samira’s Eid.  Other engaging story books include Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Pandora’s Box, and The Giant Turnip.  You may also want to check out the illustrated Farsi-English dictionary with audio for children.

Do you speak Farsi, or are you learning the language? Comment below and share your interesting language facts!

“Dr. Bashi Persian alphabet wood blocks” by Dr. Bashi via Flickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/ixx4uf

The German Language: Interesting Facts & Resources

Today’s spotlight language is German. We offer some background information and interesting facts about the language, as well as help finding German children’s books.  Interested in learning about other languages as well?  Check out our series of posts on world languages, including Spanish, Nepali, Hindi, Russian and Japanese!

Where is German spoken?

German is the official language of Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein,  as well as being an official language of Luxembourg and Switzerland.

There are around 90 million German speakers around the world, making it the 11th most-spoken language globally.

How Many People Speak German in the US?

According to the most recent 2015 US Census data, there are about 1 million German speakers in the US. There are large German speaking populations along the East Coast, as well as in California and Illinois.

Interesting Facts About German

There are 30 letters in the German alphabet. The umlaut (the dots over the letters ä, ö, ü) changes a word’s pronunciation.

German nouns have three genders: masculine, feminine and gender-neutral.

When meeting someone new, you should use “sie” (the formal “you”) until invited to use the informal “du.”

German Books – Bilingual Children’s Books

If you interact with children who speak German, or are learning the language, you may want suggestions on some of the best bilingual children’s books and German audio books.  Many engaging and popular stories with text in both English and the German language are available, including Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel and Pandora’s Box.

Do you speak German, or are you learning the language? Comment below and share your language knowledge and experience!

“Germany” by Thomas Depenbusch via Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/9Z4Hhc

The Somali Language: Interesting Facts & Resources

Somali books and language

Today’s spotlight language is Somali! We offer some background information and interesting facts about the language, as well as help finding children’s books in Somali.  Interested in learning about other languages as well?  Check out our series of posts on world languages, including Spanish, Nepali, Hindi, Russian and Japanese!

Where is Somali spoken?

Somali is a part of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Somali is spoken by an estimated 16 million people around the world. It’s the official language of Somalia, with several regional dialects, and is also spoken in nearby countries, like Kenya and Ethiopia.

How Many People Speak Somali in the US?

According to the most recent 2010 US Census data, there are about 100,000 Somali immigrants in the US. There are large Somali speaking populations in Minnesota, Ohio, Washington, California, and Washington, DC.

Interesting Facts About Somali

There are multiple writing systems used to express the Somali language, including Arabic, Wadaad and Osmanya.

The Somali language has 20 distinct vowel sounds. It is spoken with three different tones (high, low and falling) that indicate things like gender and number.

Somali has been influenced linguistically by other languages, like English, Italian and Arabic.

Somali Books – Bilingual Children’s Books

If you interact with children who speak Somali, or are learning the language, you may want suggestions on some of the best bilingual Somali kids books and audio books.  Many engaging and popular stories with text in both English and the Somali language are available, including Handa’s Surprise, the Very Hungry Caterpillar, Hansel and Gretel and Pandora’s Box.  There are also Somali book sets that allow for interactive learning via a special Recorder Pen, audio books and an interactive Somali picture dictionary.

Do you speak Somali, or are you learning the language? Comment below and share your interesting language facts!

 

“Aerial views of Kismayo 07” by AMISOM Public Information via Flickr is licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal https://flic.kr/p/dieWvg 

Spanish Language & Spanish Children’s Books: Facts, Figures & Resources

Today’s spotlight language is Spanish! We offer some background information and interesting facts about the language, as well as help finding children’s books in Spanish.  Interested in learning about other languages as well?  Check out our series of posts on world languages, including French, Hindi, Russian and Japanese!

Where is it spoken?

Spanish is spoken by an estimated 560 million people around the world. It’s the official language of Spain and Mexico, as well as 20 other countries. It is the second most commonly used language in the world.

How Many People Speak Spanish in the US?

According to the most recent Instituto Cervantes data, there are about 41 million native Spanish speakers in the US, and another 11 million who are bilingual. There are large Spanish speaking populations in New Mexico, California, Texas and Arizona. There are currently more Spanish speakers in the US than in Spain. In fact, only Mexico surpasses the US in terms of number of Spanish speakers!

Interesting Facts About Spanish

In some parts of the world, Spanish is referred to as “español” or “castellano.”

The rolled “r” sound is one of the most challenging aspects of learning to speak Spanish.

In many Spanish speaking countries, when greeting informally, it’s common to kiss on each cheek.

Spanish Books – Bilingual Children’s Books

If the kids in your life speak Spanish, or are learning the language, you may want suggestions on some of the best bilingual Spanish kids books and audio books.  Many engaging and popular stories with text in both English and the Spanish language are available, including Lima’s Red Hot Chilli , Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Giant Turnip.  There are also book sets that allow for interactive learning via a special Talking Pen, audio books and an interactive Spanish picture dictionary.

Do you speak Spanish, or are you learning the language? Comment below and share your interesting language facts!

“SPAIN” by Willy Verhulst via Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/AmJNgj