Hemikune

How many languages are there in the world?

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    I don't know if this has been covered here, or for that matter if anyone really knows for sure, but I wonder just exactly how many languages there are in the world.

  Is there even a way to find this out for sure? Does anyone know something about this?  :nerd:

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    I don't know if this has been covered here, or for that matter if anyone really knows for sure, but I wonder just exactly how many languages there are in the world.

  Is there even a way to find this out for sure? Does anyone know something about this?  :nerd:

I think that would be a difficult thing to know, since there are so many languages, each continent dooes not speak t  he same language, and you will find that in most continents, they also have alot of countries, where you will find that each country speaks different languages in within themselves, so I do believe that it is going to be diificult to try and figure that one out.

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I don't know much about this but ther could be as much as close to 7000 languages in the world. This numbers also doesn't include languages outside of the modern world so there could be much more than we really know.

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That is an interesting question, taking into consideration all the tribal languages, and languages used by minorities. Not to mention the hybrid languages that have evolved over time. There is so much to choose from. Another question would be: are there still any languages that we have never heard of? Somewhere, in some remote parts of Papua New Guinea or the Amazon?

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I remember a Wycliffe missionary saying there are over 6000 languages in the world.  I do not remember how many of those languages are currently written languages.  I think quite a lot of them are not even today. 

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There are thousands at least. Most of them are minor, of course, which most of us have never heard of, but they're there. Check out the omniglot.com site. It has lots of information, so you might find a more specific answer there.

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Question: How many languages are there in the world?

The answer can only be an approximation because the distinction between language and dialect is arbitrary. Most sources say there are between 3000 and 8000 languages in the world, and I think the latter number is closer to the truth. About 1000 of those languages are written.

The number is getting smaller as we speak, though. Many of the non-written languages are endangered.

Amazing to think Papua New Guinea alone hosts more than 700 languages, only a few of which endangered.

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Uuh, there's about 6500 languages, probably not including tribal languages. I remember my French teacher back in middle school saying something about that there was at least 6000 languages in the world.

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I don't think we would ever get the most accurate number since probably until this day there are tribes left undiscovered somewhere, and I even saw in a documentary once that some prefer not to be discovered and are hostile to outsiders. So I think an accurate census wouldn't be very easy to make. Though, I'm sure that the rough estimate is probably good enough as most of the societies in the world are out in the open already.

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There are so many dialects that i think it would be near impossible to know how many languages there are in the world. You might find how many official languages there are in the world, maybe, but thats it.

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There must be so many languages in the world that I would not be surprised if the number is not documented. People also create their own language as they go along to be able to relate. Languages keep evolving and therefore it is a bit difficult to keep track of the number available.

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The answer can only be an approximation because the distinction between language and dialect is arbitrary. Most sources say there are between 3000 and 8000 languages in the world, and I think the latter number is closer to the truth. About 1000 of those languages are written.

The number is getting smaller as we speak, though. Many of the non-written languages are endangered.

Amazing to think Papua New Guinea alone hosts more than 700 languages, only a few of which endangered.

That's a pretty accurate way to put it BearAcrosser! I also heard about Papa New Guinea being the place where the most languages are existing/spoken! That is really fascinating, isn't it?

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    Wow! What an awesome response! I didn't think to get such a wide range of possibility from just a curious notion rumbling around in my head. Thank you everyone for giving me the means to sate my curiosity!

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It's pointless and impossible to count all languages in the world of humans, but my best bet is this: seven plus billion languages. Why? I believe, every living and dead human, speak their own languages, because it changes with every man or woman's interpretation and use of a language to imply or express an experience, memory, phenomenon, etc.; philologists or linguists understand this very well.

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It's pointless and impossible to count all languages in the world of humans, but my best bet is this: seven plus billion languages. Why? I believe, every living and dead human, speak their own languages, because it changes with every man or woman's interpretation and use of a language to imply or express an experience, memory, phenomenon, etc.; philologists or linguists understand this very well.

The linguistic term for that is "idiolect".

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It is really hard to tell exactly how many languages there are. But it must be between 6000 - 8000 according to trusthworthy sources.

Here a list of the most spoken ones. A little bit outdated, but still gives you a good picture about the most spoken languages out there. 

how-many-languages-are-there-in-the-world graphic.png

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