belarus
BE
bulgaria
BG
bangladesh
BN
bosnia
BS
spain
CA
czech_republic
CS
germany
DE
greece
EL
usa
EM
great_britain
EN
esperanto
EO
spain
ES
estonia
ET
iran
FA
finnland
FI
france
FR
israel
HE
croatia
HR
hungary
HU
indonesia
ID
italy
IT
japan
JA
georgia
KA
india
KN
south_korea
KO
lithuania
LT
latvia
LV
india
MR
netherlands
NL
india
PA
poland
PL
portugal
PT
brazil
PX
romania
RO
russia
RU
slovakia
SK
serbia
SR
sweden
SV
ukraine
UK
vietnam
VI
china
ZH

Who understands whom?

There are about 7 billion people in the world. They all have a language. Unfortunately, it's not always the same. So in order to speak with other nations, we must learn languages. That is often very arduous. But there are languages that are very similar. Their speakers understand one another, without mastering the other language. This phenomenon is called mutual intelligibility. Whereby two variants are distinguished. The first variant is oral mutual intelligibility. Here, the speakers understand each other when they talk. They do not understand the written form of the other language, however. This is because the languages have different written forms. Examples of this are the languages Hindi and Urdu. Written mutual intelligibility is the second variant. In this case, the other language is understood in its written form. But the speakers do not understand each other when they speak to each other. The reason for this is that they have very different pronunciation. German and Dutch are examples of this. The most closely related languages contain both variants. Meaning they are mutually intelligible both orally and in written form. Russian and Ukrainian or Thai and Laotian are examples. But there is also an asymmetrical form of mutual intelligibility. That is the case when speakers have different levels of understanding each other. Portuguese understand Spanish better than the Spanish understand Portuguese. Austrians also understand Germans better than the other way around. In these examples, pronunciation or dialect is a hindrance. He who really wants to have good conversations must learn something new…

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