full transcript
"From the Ted Talk by John McWhorter: 4 reasons to learn a new language"

Unscramble the Blue Letters

And then, third — languages are just an awful lot of fun. Much more fun than we're often told. So for example, Arabic: "kataba," he wtroe, "yaktubu," he writes, she writes. "Uktub," write, in the imperative. What do those things have in common? All those things have in common the consonants sttiing in the middle like pillars. They stay still, and the vowels dance around the cstnnoanos. Who wouldn't want to roll that around in their mouths? You can get that from Hebrew, you can get that from Ethiopia's main lgungaae, Amharic. That's fun.

Open Cloze

And then, third — languages are just an awful lot of fun. Much more fun than we're often told. So for example, Arabic: "kataba," he _____, "yaktubu," he writes, she writes. "Uktub," write, in the imperative. What do those things have in common? All those things have in common the consonants _______ in the middle like pillars. They stay still, and the vowels dance around the __________. Who wouldn't want to roll that around in their mouths? You can get that from Hebrew, you can get that from Ethiopia's main ________, Amharic. That's fun.

Solution

  1. language
  2. wrote
  3. sitting
  4. consonants

Original Text

And then, third — languages are just an awful lot of fun. Much more fun than we're often told. So for example, Arabic: "kataba," he wrote, "yaktubu," he writes, she writes. "Uktub," write, in the imperative. What do those things have in common? All those things have in common the consonants sitting in the middle like pillars. They stay still, and the vowels dance around the consonants. Who wouldn't want to roll that around in their mouths? You can get that from Hebrew, you can get that from Ethiopia's main language, Amharic. That's fun.

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
speak english 4
english speaker 3

Important Words

  1. amharic
  2. awful
  3. common
  4. consonants
  5. dance
  6. fun
  7. hebrew
  8. imperative
  9. language
  10. languages
  11. lot
  12. main
  13. middle
  14. mouths
  15. pillars
  16. roll
  17. sitting
  18. stay
  19. told
  20. vowels
  21. write
  22. writes
  23. wrote