Interesting Facts About Languages

Without language we can’t communicate. Language is a part of everyday life. It makes business and trade work and it forms human relationships. Language is amazing and fascinating and here are some facts:
  • The world has approximately 7,000 languages.

  • Chinese could be the most difficult language to learn, with a massive 50,000 characters. 12.44% of the world’s population have an advantage, speaking Mandarin as their first language.

  • English can probably be called the universal language: it is spoken to some degree by at least 1/4 of the world. But the language spoken by most people is Mandarin Chinese, followed by Spanish, then English, Hindi, Arabic, Portuguese, Bengali, Russian, Japanese and Javanese.

  • Language isn't always spoken words; Botswana has one that consists of clicks.

  • Not all languages are thriving. 2,400 languages are in danger of dying out. 231 languages have already been lost, and one dies out every two weeks. Ayapaneco in Mexico could be next, since there are only two speakers - and they won't talk to each other.

  • Languages can be made up such as in Lord of The Rings or Klingon in Star Trek. There are 12 made up languages in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most translated document, and has been published in 300 languages.
  • The EU uses 24 working languages, and the UN 6.

  • Basque is the only European language unrelated to any other language.

  • The earliest written language dates back to around 4500 BC. It was found on Chinese pottery.

  • There is no official language in the United States, but South Africa has 11.

  • Pope Francis tweets in 9 different languages, including his native Spanish. If you're in the Vatican City, you can use an ATM in Latin. This shows how language adapts and new words are created, since the Romans didn't have ATMs! The Bible is also available in 2454 languages.

  • The book that is available in most languages after The Bible is Pinocchio.

  • There are 830 languages among the tribes of Papua New Guinea.

  • The World’s most translated author is British crime writer Agatha Christie.

  • The word for someone who speaks and writes in more than one language is polyglot.

  • There are 13 ways of writing the “o” sound in the French language.

  • The only country in the World besides Wales where Welsh is spoken is Argentina – in the region of Patagonia.