Ever since I moved across the Atlantic Ocean a year and a half ago, I had to start making the conscious effort to stay in touch with family and friends. I learned that it can be really easy to let weeks go by without reaching out to certain people, because I’m caught up in my work and my friends here in France. But, ever since the beginning of quarantine, virtual socializing is the main way myself and a lot of other people around the world are socializing in general, so I’ve been trying to get creative and make my Zoom happy hours and FaceTime or Skype dates a little bit more fun than just plain conversation.
I’ve played games like Quiplash, Clue, and The Game of Life using Google Hangouts which were all really fun, but I wanted a way to combine the fun of the games I had been playing and the educational side of language learning. Unfortunately, a lot of the games I usually play only have an English version, so I decided to create my own 3-round trivia game themed around foreign languages.
I knew this would not only help me and my friends and family learn some new foreign-language words and facts, but also help us exercise the frontal cortex of our brains and give us a little dopamine rush while playing. So, last night I decided to try it and I played the trivia game I made with my two sisters and my mom through FaceTime and it was so much fun.
My sisters are 13-years-old and 21-years-old, and I’ll be honest that my 21-year-old sister didn’t really want to play. She rolled her eyes when I asked her to take out paper and pen to write out her answers, and complained during the first round that she was going to be horrible at language trivia.
While the game had three rounds, I told my mom, who originally wasn’t too interested either, and my two sisters that we would only play two of the rounds so it wouldn’t take up too much time. But, by the end of the second round they were all asking if they could do the third round because they had all wanted another chance to win. And once we got to the end of the third round I had to make up an unplanned bonus question because my littlest sister didn’t want it to be over yet.
If you want to give it a try with your family and friends, I would definitely suggest it because by the end of it everyone was happy we played. So, here is how we played. Since I already knew the answers, I just read out each question, gave everyone a little time to respond, and then continued reading the questions until the end of the round. Once I got to the end of the round, I would read out the answers and tally up the points. I gave them one point for every correct answer. There are a few questions with a numerical answer like, “How many languages are spoken worldwide?” and in that case I would give the point to whoever got the closest without going over the number. There are also questions like, “How many languages can you say “thank you” in?” and for those questions whoever could think of the most would get the point.
So, you can either play like I did and have one person read all of the questions and answers, or you can all try to play and just check the answers together as you go. I’m going to list all of the questions here, but I’ll also attach a document at the bottom of this post with all of the questions and answers. Each round of answers are on different pages of the document so that you won’t be able to see the answers to the other rounds if you don’t want to. Here are the questions:
LANGUAGE TRIVIA QUESTIONS
- How many languages are spoken worldwide? Closest wins!
- Which language has the second-most native speakers?
- Most English vocabulary used when talking about the law or cuisine has roots in which language?
- Which book has been translated into the most languages?
- The first printed book was written in which language?
- Which language has the most native speakers in Europe?
- What is the official language of the United States?
- The Hawaiians have a lot of words for the “rain.” Can you guess how many? Closest wins!
- What was the first language spoken in outer space?
- How many countries have Spanish as their official language? Closest wins!
- How many languages can you say “thank you” in? The most wins!
- “Panino” means “sandwich” in which language?
- The word “alphabet” has roots in which language?
- How many languages can you say “hello” in? The most wins!
- The word latte means “milk” in which language?
- “Ich liebe dich” means “I love you” in which language?
- “Lycklig” or “glad” means “happy” in which language?
- How many languages can you say “goodbye” in? The most wins!
- What does “vinho” mean in Portuguese?
- “Proszę bardzo” means “you’re welcome” in which language?
- Zimbabwe has more official national languages than any country. How many do they have? The closest wins!
- What does “pain” mean in French?
- What are the three genders words can have in German?
- What does “blauw” mean in Dutch?
- What is the main foreign language taught in the UK?
- What does “amarillo” mean in Spanish?
- The Cambodian language (Khmer) has the longest alphabet. How many letters do they have? The closest wins!
- The verb “logga in” means “to login” in which language?
- In Round 1 you learned there are about 7,000 languages. How many of those languages account for more than half the world’s population?
- “Você Fala inlgês?” means “Do you speak English?” in what language?
If you give it a try and like it, you can try to make your own trivia game too. Have fun!