Did you know that there are currently 7,111 languages spoken around the world? This is according to Ethnologue, the most extensive language catalogue in the world. However, the number of languages is falling every year. Of the 7,111 languages, more than 90% are spoken by fewer than 100,000 people. This means that less dominant languages are more likely to become less popular compared to the more dominant languages.
1. One language is only spoken by 8 people.
Can you imagine it? The Busuu language is only spoken by eight people in the world! This is the Bantoid language of southern Cameroon. Eight people spoke the language in 1986 and three in 2005.
2. More than 300 languages are spoken in the USA.
The United States is considered one of the most diverse countries in the world. There were a lot of different settlers here, so they had trouble choosing the official language when creating the laws of the Continental Congress.
3. Spoken languages die out
A language becomes extinct if no one speaks it or is recorded using written variations. The dialect becomes extinct and today there are 241 languages that have died out.
4. Half of the world’s population speaks 23 languages.
More than half of the world’s population speaks only 23 languages. It is interesting to compare this to the more than seven thousand languages spoken.
5 Half of the world is bilingual.
More than half of the world’s population speaks more than one language.
6. One country has more than 800 languages
Papua New Guinea is the country with the most languages in the world. It has 841 languages, but 40 of these are expected to become extinct as only a few people speak them.
7. Most translated document
The Bible is the most translated document, closely followed by Pinocchio. The Bible as a whole has been translated into 683 languages and parts of it have been translated into more than 3,000 languages.
8. Oldest written language
Sumerian is the oldest written language dating back to 3500 BC. This is followed by Egyptian that dates back to 3300 BC. Ancient Chinese dates back to 1250 BC.
9. The language of love
French is known in today’s world as the language of love. This is not just because of the accent, but because France and Italy are known to be good destinations for a romantic break and French is the most dominant across those countries.
10. Smallest Alphabet
The language spoken in Papua is the Rotokas language and it is known to have only 11 letters. This makes it the smallest alphabet.
11. Almost every language in the world has been influenced by another language.
This is thanks to diversity and people moving to different parts of the world.