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Five questions about saying “Thank you” – Quick Quiz answers

We gave you the names of five different languages and the way of saying “Thank you” in each, and asked you to match them up. Here are the answers:

  1. Dankon
    b. Esperanto. Esperanto is an artificial language invented by Polish doctor Ludwig Zamenhof in the 1880s to counter ethnic discord, having seen so much of it between the several different (and mutually hostile) nationalities living in his home town of Bialystok. It’s based heavily on European languages, particularly the Romance, Germanic and Slavic language families.
  2. Istuti
    e. Sinhala. The mother language of the Sinhalese people, who form the majority population of Sri Lanka. It’s an Indo-European language and thus distantly related to English, although it’s more akin to Hindi and Bengali. It’s totally unrelated to Sri Lanka’s other native official language, Tamil, which belongs to the Dravidian family of languages.
  3. Merci mingi
    d. Kikongo. Kikongo’s spoken largely in the two Congos and Angola, although the slave trade means that creolised versions of it are also used in the rituals of African-based religions in the Caribbean and Brazil. It’s part of the Niger-Congo family of languages that dominates sub-Saharan Africa and of which Swahili is the most widely spoken member.
  4. Terima kasih
    a. Bahasa Melayu. Also known as Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia (as those two countries’ national languages). It’s also the national language of Brunei Darussalam and one of Singapore’s official languages. It’s part of the Austronesian family of languages which dominates the maritime countries of South East Asia and the western Pacific.
  5. Toda
    c. Hebrew. Classical written Hebrew, as the Jewish liturgical language, has a history of about three thousand years. Modern Hebrew, on the other hand, is largely a revived language and has been subject to several different influences during its formation over the last century-and-a-half. It’s generally considered to be part of the South West Asian/North African Semitic language family, but with strong East European influences.

How did you do? (That’s not us being polite in the past tense, by the way – we’re asking how many questions you got right.) Why not tell us all?

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