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LISTEN: Singing the ABCs in 8 different languages
Not every country learns their ABCs to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"
 
The Croatian alphabet has 30 letters — and there's a catchy song to help you learn them all.
The Croatian alphabet has 30 letters — and there's a catchy song to help you learn them all. Thinkstock

1. Swedish
The Swedish alphabet is almost the same as ours, but they've got three more letters to cram into the song (å, ä, ö). They leave out the 'w,' which was grouped together with 'v' by the Swedish Academy until 2006.

2. Turkish
The Turkish alphabet doesn't have q, w or x, but it has six other letters that English doesn't have, bringing the total to 29. This energetic song fits them all in nicely.

3. Croatian
The Croatian alphabet has 30 letters. Here, the Bajka children's choir sings them with impressive speed.

4. Russian
The Russian alphabet has 33 letters, but this song from Russian Sesame Street is so catchy, it doesn't seem like so many.

5. Malay (Jawi alphabet)
The Malaysian language can be written with the Latin alphabet or in Jawi, a form of Arabic script. Here a group of cuties sings the Jawi "Alif Ba Ta."

6. Japanese
Japanese is represented with a few different writing systems. This song names the syllables represented by the katakana and hiragana characters. Katakana is mostly used for foreign loan words or technical vocabulary, and hiragana is used for Japanese words and word endings. There's a third system based on characters adopted from Chinese writing that isn't in the song.

7. Thai
Written Thai has a complex relationship to the spoken language. Most consonants can be written in two different ways, indicating different tones. There are also additional marks for tones and for vowels. There are 44 consonants to memorize, and the task is made easier by associating each one with a word in which the sound is featured. So the first letter is 'ko' as in kai (chicken), the second is 'kho' as in khai (egg), and so on down through bottle, water buffalo, person, bell, snake, etc.


8. Amharic
Amharic, the language of Ethiopia, is written with a script in which each character stands for a consonant + vowel syllable. These kids are singing a song to help them learn the 34 characters from the first vowel series. Once they have these down, the other 6 vowel series should be a piece of cake.


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