Confusing French

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:


Gender’s a bitch. Le poêle: a stove. La poêle: a frying pan. A man’s shirt, une chemise, is feminine, but a woman’s shirt, un chemisier, is masculine.

This is also good:

Another way to try to rate the difficulty of a language is to consider its unusual features: putting the verb before the subject in a sentence, for example, or not having a question particle (“do”). Researchers analyzed two hundred and thirty-nine languages to create the Language Weirdness Index, anointing Chalcatongo Mixtec—a verb-initial tonal language spoken by six thousand people in Oaxaca—the world’s oddest language. The most conventional was Hindi, with only a single unusual feature, predicative possession. English came in thirty-third, making it a third as weird as German but seven times weirder than Purépecha.