Back in 1957, eight million astounded Brits gathered around their television sets to learn about a magnificient cultural spectacle. The popular BBC programme Panorama was showing exclusive footage of the epic Spaghetti Harvest in Switzerland. They had been enjoying tinned spaghetti from the greengrocer's shelves and relished learning more about how this exotic dish was made.
In fact, the BBC has a long history of bringing us groundbreaking news like that. Just think of their discovery that penguins can fly!
What the What?
Okay, by now you may find yourself wondering if I've gone completely crazy and let me assure you I'm not quite there yet! These fascinating news stories are part of the worldwide tradition of playing pranks on April Fools' Day, the world's joke day. To celebrate this crazy tradition, I thought I could either tell you that Fluent is turning into a Chemistry blog (HAH!) or make myself useful by counting down my favourite linguistic jokes. So here we are:
The Top 5 April Fools' Jokes for Language Lovers
1. German Grammar Reform coming up
On 1 April 2015, Deutsche Welle's German Teaching blog reported groundbreaking news. They announced a radical simplification of the German language's grammar. In the new system, the genders of different words would follow strictly logical rules - anything feminine is feminine, anything masculine is masculine, and all the other stuff is neuter. They also announced that the conjugated verb will no longer confuse you by jumping to the end of sub-clauses. And best of all, the four cases would be reduced to just three. Who the heck needs a Genitiv anyway?
2. New Zealand has a new official language
The most significant claim to fame of New Zealand has been its recent role as the site of Tolkien's fabled land of Middle Earth. In a radical move, the country has now accepted its key role in fantasy and changed its official language to Elvish.
Here's a video where you can check out how beautiful the new weather reports in Elvish sound.
3. Netflix admits that English is a foreign language
In 2013, video service Netflix finally admitted that English is not the easy world language it's renowned to be. In a revolutionary move, they introduced the category Movies that are in English but still need subtitles, which features facets of the English language that you might have missed out on so far. How about learning Irish Traveller English or just Scottish?
4. Learn a new language: Dog Barking Online Course
If you have always wondered what it is that your dog really wants, now you finally have the means to open the door to communicating with them. Groupon is offering an exclusive 6-week course that will get you fluent and conversing with native dogs in their own language.
5. English. It's the only language you need.
And finally, here is a post from my friend Alex Gentry that I bet a lot of you will relate to ;)
Russian is the MOST DIFFICULT LANGUAGE ON EARTH! I can't take it anymore! It's too much for my poor little brain to handle. Also Hindi! I am tired of Hindi because everyone in India DEFINITELY speaks English anyway, so why need that? Why can't they just translate Bollywood movies into ENGLISH??? Also what's the use of Indonesian? Why can't I learn a USEFUL language like Chinese or Spanish? Also I'm going to stop with Portuguese and German and Spanish and even Chinese because as I know from experience, EVERYONE SPEAKS ENGLISH ANYWAY! So I'm not going to learn anymore languages and I'm going to forget them all! I want to be a monolingual English speaker again! And these foreigners! They can leave me alone unless they SPEAK ENGLISH! WHY DOESN'T EVERYONE JUST SPEAK IN ENGLISH????? IT WOULD MAKE THINGS SOOOOOO MUCH EASIER FOR ME, RIGHT???? Like learning a foreign language, that doesn't benefit me in any way. I just want to be stupid and ignorant of the rest of the world again besides AREN'T FOREIGN LANGUAGES LIKE IMPOSSIBLE TO LEARN???? TWO LANGUAGES IN ONE HEAD??? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?????? From now on the only language I will ever speak again is English, because this post is just the most serious post ever that it completely reflects exactly how I feel about learning foreign languages. Or maybe I might have just wrote this to shock people and make them wonder if something was wrong with me. Or maybe this might just be a March Fool's joke. No! Wait! That's the wrong month! March is over! You know.... Oh wait......:-P
Oh, and did you know that Germans will let you get away with pranks on April 2 and 3 too?