There are so many different varieties and ways of speaking and writing. It can be confusing at times with the different letters and ways of writing. In a lot of cases the letters can look the same, with only small differences.
We have put together a quick guide to help you to identify the different letters and which language they may come from.
Here are a few different letters
Ã, ã – When you see a letter with the little swirl on top (nasalised) you are most likely looking at Portuguese. This looks very similar to Spanish.
Ă, ă – An A with a little parenthesie lying down on top of it, normally means you are looking at Romanian. It can also be used in Vietnamese, but you will be able to tell the difference based on the other letters around it.
Ð, ð; Þ, þ – These letters are seen in Faroese and Icelandic writing and produce a “TH” sound like in thin and thick.
Ģ, ģ; Ķ, ķ; Ļ, ļ; Ņ, ņ – The Latvians are the language that use the commas under these four letters. It will be easy to tell apart from other languages.
I, ı; İ, I – An I is found in almost every language. The Turkish however when looking at the letters an uppercase I and lower case i give two different sounds.
Ł, ł – If you see a L with a little line through it you are looking at Polish writing. This is just one of the many different letters the Polish language has.
Ő, ő; Ű, ű – These 2 letters are easily identified as Hungarian. When put together they can create a long O and long U.
Ř, ř – This is a very distinctive letter of the Czech language. It is difficult to learn how to pronounce and the children growing up learning the language have trouble learning it.
Ø, ø – Norwegian and Danish both use this letter along with the Faroese. It looks like an o with a line through. Norwegian and Danish can be seen apart by a few different letters that they use.
Å, å – An A with a little ball on top is evident of one of the Scandinavian languages such as Norwegian, Danish and Swedish. These are all very similar languages with only a few small differences to tell them apart. It is also the last letter in the alphabet and can also look like double aa.
Here are a few different languages
Afrikaans, Dutch and German – To tell these three languages apart you need to look at the smaller words that can give it away. German for “is” and “and” are ist and und, while in Dutch and Afrikaans they’re is and en. Dutch and Afrikaans are mutually intelligible. The languages are distinctly different, but with some effort, they can understand each other.
Chinese and Japanese – Chinese characters are never round like Japanese, this makes them easy to tell them apart.
Danish, Norwegian and Swedish – They all look very similar. Swedish uses ä and ö as opposed to the æ and ø used by the other two languages. Danish will also sometimes use aa instead of å.
Estonian and Finnish – The Finnish use a lot of very long and difficult words that can make up a few words in one. To tell if it is Estonian or not, if the word ends in a B or D or has an O with a swirl on top it will be Estonian.
French, Italian and Spanish – These languages use very common and similar letters and words, with a few small differences. The words “is” and “and” are all spelt differently between the three.
Gaelic, Irish, Scots, and Welsh -Welsh is quite different to the other languages and can be identified by lots of ll and ff and W is also a vowel. The Scots and Irish use accents on their vowels which can help identify them.
Languages can be difficult at first to tell apart, however with some practice and seeing them regularly you will be able to learn to tell them apart.
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