English is the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu of Languages

There’s a reason why the English language has taken over the world


On the way back from the fight, was chatting with the younger coach about books. He’s a voracious reader, which I both admire and envy. I used to read a book a week for years but then life got in the way.

Told him that the French and English are like Judo and BJJ.

In 1634, Cardinal Richelieu – the bad guy from the Three Musketeers – created the Académie française to preserve the French Language.

Essentially, the French language didn’t take on any foreign words if at all possible. In 1994, the Toubon laws were passed to make it a civil wrong to use an English word when a French equivalent existed.

Meanwhile, the English language refused to create an academy to “preserve” the English language so that soon, we had many words that all mean kinda the same thing like:

  • Give
  • Bequeath
  • Devise

But each one is slightly different. Because of this, the English language has far more words than French. Far more.

How many words does the French language have? Less than 100,000 words, and 35,000 common words.

How many words does the English language have? It has 1,013,913 as of June 10, 2009 at 10:22AM GMT.

If you think of a word like a tool, each tool is made for a specific task. To bequeath something means, “To give something that you can hold, to someone else, after you die.”

It’s the difference between “Keylock” (traditional Judo) and “Kimura,” “Americana,” and “Straight armlock” (three BJJ terms for the one Judo term). BJJ takes whatever it’s offered; if it works, it stays, if it doesn’t, it goes away.

It’s a pure meritocracy.

History has repeatedly shown one thing: Those things, people, places, cultures, that accept change, survive. The things that are rigid and intolerant, fade away.

French was the language of the world until the end of WWI. Prior to that, Otto von Bismark was said to have been asked what was the most important modern historical event? He replied, “That the North Americans speak English.”

He knew where the world was headed.

Wrote once that there’s a vast difference between broken and bendy.

If you aspire to be anything in life, aspire to be bendy.

Mood: full
Music:Demain sera pour tous un lendemain qui ne peut pas mentir
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4 thoughts on “English is the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu of Languages”

  1. Just one slight correction. Otto von Bismarck is believed to have make that quote about North Americans speaking English, but since he died in 1898 he couldn’t have done so as a result of World War I which ended in 1918.

  2. WOW! This is definitely historical and it’s educated me more about the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I’m also a student of a karate martial art and we did also Jiu Jitsu but I never hear our instructor share about this. Moreover, thank you so much I will share this informative information to my co-warriors.

    Great post, Logan! Keep posting of such a significant stuff.
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