Some facts about languages

A language is a system of signs used by a community to communicate orally or in writing. Some 7,000 languages are currently actively spoken in the world. Each of them has its own particularities. Obviously we can’t talk about all of them, but here are some of the most striking ones that Okodia has prepared for you.

  • In the Vatican you can select Latin as a language to use cash dispensers. It may be a dead language, but the Vatican Bank speaks Latin.
  • More than 200 artificial languages have been created since the 17th century. Esperanto may be the most widely spoken one (it is estimated that about 2 million people speak it in the world), but there are many others, such as Furbish (the language spoken by Furby dolls) and Klingon (spoken in the Star Trek universe).
  • Approximately one language becomes extinct every two weeks in the world.
  • Pinocchio is, after the Bible, the most translated book in the world. It’s available in more than 260 languages. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most translated document.
  • Papua New Guinea is the country in which most languages are spoken. It has three official languages only (English, Creole, and Hiri Motu), but more than 800 are spoken.  South Africa is the country with the highest number of official languages – 11.
  • Basque is regarded as a linguistic isolate, that is, a natural language for which no relationship with any living or dead language has been found.
  • There are 13 ways to pronounce the sign “o” in French, and 9 ways to pronounce “ough” in English.
  • Spanish is the official language in countries in all 5 continents (yes, even in Oceania, as it’s an official language in Easter Island).

7,000 languages means many interesting facts. These are just some of those with which Okodia’s professional translators are familiar. Do you know any that you can share with us?


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