Craig Froman grew up in Northern California. A curriculum writer and editor at New Leaf Publishing Group, he has obtained a bachelor of arts in business administration, and a master’s degree in education, and currently resides in Berryville, Arkansas. Feel free to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter , or his blog "What in the Word" at http://www.whatintheword.com.
Please don’t ask me why he said it, I honestly don’t think he remembers the reason himself, but some five or six years ago my son Andrew uttered the phrase “Mango does the tango,” and it triggered something in my brain. Dr Seuss’ book Come Over to My House was a favorite of mine growing up, introducing me to kids and their wondrously diverse homes around the world. Now I found myself wanting to develop an A to Z language book that would help kids learn about languages and cultures in a unique way.
This prompted me to study 50 or so languages, researching everything from hieroglyphs to Hebrew and runes to Russian. I finally narrowed the focus down, learning the forms and phrases of 26 languages from Armenian to Zulu. This included common phrases for languages as familiar as French, German, and Italian, as well as those lesser known ones like Quechua, Oriya, and Xhosa.
One thing I learned through all this was that people around the world truly have so very much in common, loving their families, enjoying good food, and having fun whenever they can. However, there are various cultural differences you might want to study up on before traveling to a foreign land. Here are just a few intriguing cultural facts that might interest you!
- Nearly one quarter of Americans have at least some German heritage.
- The Icelandic language has hardly changed at all, with people in Iceland still able to read sagas written over a thousand years ago!
- Hebrew is the original language of the Old Testament, used by Moses in writing the first five books of the Bible.
- One of the most important parts of the meal in Afghanistan is the bread, specifically naan, which is unleavened flat bread.
- If you enter a home in Korea it is polite to remove your shoes.
- When traveling the Netherlands, know that many people there love eating raw herring with onions sprinkled over it.
- For over 300 years, the official language of England was French!
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