- There are more than 2,700 major languages spoken throughout the world.
- There are over 583 different languages and dialects spoken in Indonesia alone, including English and Dutch. More Info: The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa. Other languages include Minahasa, Tetu, Ambonese, Buginese, Dayak, Halmahera, Javanese, Acehnese, Batak, Toraja, Sundanese, Ceramese, and Sasak.
- More than 2,000 languages are spoken in the entire continent of Africa.
- The language spoken by the people most is Mandarin, a type of Chinese. Second is English.
- The most difficult language to speak is Basque. It is not related to any language in the world. It is spoken in north-western Spain and south-western France.
- The Berbers of Northern Africa have no written form of their language.
- Somalia is the only country in the world where every citizen speaks one language, Somali.
- The only country where Latin is the official language is Vatican City.
- The Cambodian alphabet is the world’s largest alphabet, with 74 letters.
- The world’s shortest alphabet, used in the Solomon Islands, has only 11.
- English, the second most spoken language in the world, has more words than any other language. But English speakers generally use only about 1% of the language.
- About one third of the more than one million English words are technical terms.
- The language of Taki, spoken in parts of French Guinea, consists of only 340 words.
- The Irish language has three dialects, the Connact Irish, Munster Irish, and Ulster Irish.
- The language Malayalam, spoken in parts of India, is the only language whose name is a palindrome.
- Tigrinya, spoken by half of Eritrea’s population, is a Semitic language based on Ge’ez, the ancient liturgical (and now extinct vernacular) language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
- Modern Japanese employs four writing systems: kanji (adapted from the Chinese hanji), hiragana, katakana, and romaji.
- Today, 58 countries in the world and the United Nations include English as an official language, followed by French with 32 countries and the United Nations, and Arabic at 25 countries and the United Nations.
- There are more than 7,000 dialects in the world.
- Sign language for the deaf was first systematized in France during the 18th century by Abbot Charles-Michel l’Ep?e.
- French Sign Language (FSL) was brought to the United States in 1816 by Thomas Gallaudet, founder of the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut, whom developed American Sign Language (ASL).
- By the time a child is 5 years old, he/she will on average have spent 9,100 hours learning its native language.
- What is known as standard Italian today dates back to last century, when the great Italian novelist Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873) gave Italy a national language by resolving that it should be Tuscan Italian.
- German is commonly divided into two forms, Low German (Plattdeutsch) and High German (Hochdeutsch).
- There are 33 letters in the Cyrillic alphabet.
- The country Nigeria itself has more than 250 different languages, making the production of newspapers and television shows a challenge. Major languages include, French, Arabic, Hausa, Djerma, and Songhai.
- Many linguists estimate that of the 6,800 languages currently spoken, only about 3,000 will remain viable by the end of the century.
- Some 95% of the world’s population living today learn one of about 100 languages as a first language, leaving the remaining 6,700 languages spoken by 5% of the population.
- Two areas of the world have the largest number of languages (some 300 to 400 total) that are currently becoming extinct: Australia and North America (Aboriginals and Native American languages).
- About 140 languages are thought to be dead and dying in Australia and some 80 to 90 in North America.
- Votic, a Finno-Ugric tongue of the Uralic language family in the Kingisepp district on the Leningrad region of Russia, has less than a hundred remaining speakers.
- According to the 2000 Census, of the nearly 47 million Americans at least 5 years old who spoke a language other than English, about 60% of them spoke Spanish.
- Esperanto is an artifical language devised by a Polish eye doctor, L. L. Zamenhof, introduced in 1887. The name comes from his pen name, Dr. Esperanto, which in the language means one who hopes.” Based on Indo-European roots with a simple grammar, it was intended to be an international second language that people from different countries could learn easily and use to communicate. Thousands of books have been published in Esperanto, and there are 100,000 or more Esperanto speakers in the world according to some estimates.
- Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language. It uses 4 different tones to convey different meanings: flat, rising, falling then rising, or falling.
- The language with the largest number of consonantal sounds was that of the Ubykns in the Caucasus, with 82. The last fully competent speaker, Tevtik Esenc, died in Istanbul in October 1992.
- The language with the most vowels is Sedang, a central Vietnamese language, with 55 distinguishable vowel sounds. via
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
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