Are you ready to have fun while learning to speak pig Latin? Here are a few useful steps.
Understand what pig Latin is
Pig Latin is a made-up language or an argot that has been used by many for a long time. In fact, you may have used it as a kid to communicate humorously with your friends without others understanding it.
The basic rule of speaking pig Latin is to remove the consonant at the beginning of the word and add a fabricated suffix at the end of the word to create a completely funny word. For instance, the term “hey there!” will become “ey-hay ere-thay!” in pig Latin.
Although it’s named pig Latin, this made-up language is nowhere near related to the Latin language. It was named as such because of its strange and foreign sound, which others could mistake for Latin or other languages.
One of the earliest uses of pig Latin that was once known as dog Latin or hog Latin was in Shakespeare’s “Love Labour’s Lost” play in 1598 that referenced to dog Latin as “Holofernes: O, I smell false Latine; dunghill for unguem.”
Pig Latin has been used for so many years that it has been part of many people’s secret childhood language where they can have a good laugh with friends while leaving others unsuspicious of what they’re talking about.
Learn how to speak pig Latin using words that begin with consonants
If you have no experience speaking pig Latin, you have to start with two basic rules, the first relates to using words that begin with consonants while the second relates to using words that begin with vowels.
Once you have these two rules covered, it will be easier to brush up on your pig Latin-speaking skills.
The first rule covers words with only one syllable. When you speak a single-syllable word that begins with a consonant, you have to move that consonant sound to the end of the word and add “ay.” This should be the first skill that you need to master because it’s the easiest.
So if you want to say “cat,” you have to say “at-cay” because you moved the “C” to the end of the word and added “ay” to it. If you want to say “pen,” you have to say “en-pay.”
Now if you’re speaking a word with multiple syllables, it gets a bit more complicated because you have to add “ay” after each syllable with a consonant.
For instance, if you want to say “ca-len-dar,” you have to say “al-cay en-lay ar-day” because you’re moving every beginning consonant in each syllable and adding “ay” to it.
It may take a while to naturally do this in your head, which is why you have to practice constantly. But if you find this method really complicated, you can always apply the rule with single-syllable words where you can move just the beginning consonant at the end of the word and add “ay.”
Learn how to speak pig Latin with words that begin with vowels
If you had to add “ay” to words that begin with consonants, this time, you have to add “yay” to words that begin with vowels. Since this is becoming a little more complicated, you have to remember the first rule: if a word begins with a vowel, don’t change the entire word and just add “yay.” So if you’d like to say “end,” just say ‘end-yay” or if you want to say “ask,” just say “ask-yay.”
Now, if the word begins with a consonant that sounds like a vowel, you still have to treat it as a consonant applying the same rules on single and multiple-syllable consonants.
For instance, you will say “ash-way” for “wash” and “ow-hay” for “how.”
But what about words that have multiple syllables and begin with vowels? The rule here is to treat each syllable individually.
So if a syllable begins with a vowel, just add “yay” and if it begins with a consonant, just follow the rules for consonants.
One good example is “e-le-va-tor” where you have to say “e-yay ev-lay ator-vay” and “a-bout” that becomes “a-yay out-bay.”
Yes, this could mean a lot of confusion in the beginning, but you can master it in due time.
Learn the other variations of pig Latin
To make things more complicated, some pig Latin speakers use more variants of these basic rules. For instance, some like to add “y” before words that begin with a vowel while others use suffixes like “hay” or “way.”
It’s very important to ask the person you’re going to talk to what exact variant he’s using to avoid any miscommunication and misunderstanding during your pig Latin conversation.
Learn the other tricks to speaking pig Latin
It helps to learn a few useful tricks that will help you master the art of speaking pig Latin faster. For one, it pays to list all the single-syllable words that you commonly used in conversations.
These include places around your house or work and items that you use on a daily basis like window, plate, chair, door, keys and room. Translate these words into pig Latin and practice them every day until they come naturally to you.
You should also list down all the common phrases that you and your friends use like “who’s that?,” “what are you doing?” and “how are you?”
Do the same as the single-syllable words so you can master them. This will give you a good headstart when conversing with your friends using pig Latin.
Of course, you need a partner to practice conversing in pig Latin. Otherwise, you’ll only find yourself babbling and not knowing if other people can really understand you.