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    Despite being complex, languages are incredibly fascinating and continue to open doors for those who learn them. Let us tell you the 20 most surprising facts about languages.

    The most widely spoken mother tongue

    1. French was the official language of England for over 300 years
    2. Italian is the fifth most widely taught language, after English, French, Spanish and German.
    3. German is the most widely spoken mother tongue in Europe
    4. English speakers will be able to recognise more than 3,000 words in Spanish
    5. Portuguese has 178 million native speakers
    6. Romanian is thought to be the first of the Romance languages to break away from Latin
    7. It is estimated that English is spoken by 1.8 billion people
    8. Dutch has contributed many words to English, such as yacht, easel, cookie and freight.
    9. There are two official forms of written Norwegian: Bokmål (book language) and Nynorsk (New Norwegian).
    10. It took until the 20th century to achieve a standardised national language for all Swedes
    11. Danish is spoken in Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Germany.
    12. Latvian is the mother tongue of only 60% of the country’s population
    13. Lithuanian is similar to Sanskrit
    14. Greek has existed since around the 14th century BC
    15. Persian has not changed significantly since the 10th century
    16. Arabic is the official language of 22 countries.
    17. Hebrew is the language in which God first spoke to Adam
    18. Mandarin is the language with the most native speakers, 845 million of them
    19. Cantonese is the language most used for business in Southeast Asia
    20. In Japanese there is no way to indicate if a word is singular or plural
    Rocío González

    Author Rocío González

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