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Office Supplies in the Tower of Babel

By on September 25, 2012 in Desktop Essentials

European Day of LanguagesToday is the European Day of Languages. The day is intended to show people across Europe how important languages are to to celebrate the linguistic diversity of the world. The day was inaugurated in 1991 by the Council of Europe.

To celebrate, we’ve picked some linguistic nuggets from the world of office supplies.

  • The Romanian for ‘pencil sharpener’ is ascuţitoare. The word for sellotape, bandă adezivă, is probably more intuitive to Anglophones.
  • If a Swede wants to write down something important, he or she might writer it in a anteckningsbok, a notebook.
  • Lubang menumbuk is Malay for ‘hole punch’. But don’t worry: pen means the same in English.
  • If you ask an Egyptian stationer for دباسة you’ll be given a stapler.


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