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Linguaholic

How Many Different Languages Do You Think There Are?


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There are an estimated 6,9000 languages spoken in the world today. They range in size from very large, with hundreds of millions of native speakers, to very small with as few as one or two speakers!!!

The languages of the world are unevenly distributed, both geographically and also in terms of speaker populations. The largest eight languages have over 150 million speakers and 40 percent of the worlds population speaks one of those 8 languages (one of those eight languages is their native language).

What is also very interesting is the fact, that more than half of all languages today have fewer than 10'000 speakers and more than 1/4 have LESS than 1'000 speakers. In some cases , mainly in Australia or the Americas, there are some highly endangered languages, which just have one or two elderly people who speak them!

The largest number of languages are spoken in Africa and also in Asia. Papa New Guinea stands out amongst other places as on this island alone there are 820 different languages (!) Moreover, Vanuatu, with 120 languages amongst it's 100'000 people has the highest language density of any country in the world.

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There are an estimated 6,9000 languages spoken in the world today. They range in size from very large, with hundreds of millions of native speakers, to very small with as few as one or two speakers!!!

The languages of the world are unevenly distributed, both geographically and also in terms of speaker populations. The largest eight languages have over 150 million speakers and 40 percent of the worlds population speaks one of those 8 languages (one of those eight languages is their native language).

What is also very interesting is the fact, that more than half of all languages today have fewer than 10'000 speakers and more than 1/4 have LESS than 1'000 speakers. In some cases , mainly in Australia or the Americas, there are some highly endangered languages, which just have one or two elderly people who speak them!

The largest number of languages are spoken in Africa and also in Asia. Papa New Guinea stands out amongst other places as on this island alone there are 820 different languages (!) Moreover, Vanuatu, with 120 languages amongst it's 100'000 people has the highest language density of any country in the world.

Absolutely! What is interesting (and sad at the same time) is that that many languages in Australia and the Americas are going extinct. Just a handful of elders left struggling to keep the languages alive.

Vanuatu has so many distinct languages that native Vanuatuans (who call themselves ni-Vanuatu) have to communicate amongst themselves in Bislama, a creole language derived from 19th century pidgin English used by sailors and traders! Most educated Vanuatuans also speak French.

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Absolutely! What is interesting (and sad at the same time) is that that many languages in Australia and the Americas are going extinct. Just a handful of elders left struggling to keep the languages alive.

Vanuatu has so many distinct languages that native Vanuatuans (who call themselves ni-Vanuatu) have to communicate amongst themselves in Bislama, a creole language derived from 19th century pidgin English used by sailors and traders! Most educated Vanuatuans also speak French.

Yes, this is absolutely astonishing to contemplate.  So many languages with so few speakers!  I had no idea that half the world's languages had fewer than 10,000 speakers. 

And even more amazing -- and very sad, I agree -- those languages that are on the verge of extinction. 

And Vanuatu, wow!  That's astonishing as well.  But at least they have found a common language with which to communicate. 

These language numbers, of course, will always be estimates.  There are still mysteries in the world.  I remember a few years ago, when the "uncontacted" people were found in the forests in South America.  Remember that?  Communities that literally have no knowledge of our contemporary world.  There are also such "uncontacted" people in New Guinea.

It's kind of the same way with these languages that exist in a kind of timelessness undisturbed by the modern influences until, sadly, at some point, their speakers all die out. 

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Personally, I think there are so many languages that it is hard to comprehend and imagine. I think over 2000 languages for sure but the number goes beyond this. Each Country has a native language and all the other dialects that count as language as well. So, considering the world, I believe that the count will easily go beyond 2000....

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There are an estimated 6,9000 languages spoken in the world today. They range in size from very large, with hundreds of millions of native speakers, to very small with as few as one or two speakers!!!

The languages of the world are unevenly distributed, both geographically and also in terms of speaker populations. The largest eight languages have over 150 million speakers and 40 percent of the worlds population speaks one of those 8 languages (one of those eight languages is their native language).

What is also very interesting is the fact, that more than half of all languages today have fewer than 10'000 speakers and more than 1/4 have LESS than 1'000 speakers. In some cases , mainly in Australia or the Americas, there are some highly endangered languages, which just have one or two elderly people who speak them!

The largest number of languages are spoken in Africa and also in Asia. Papa New Guinea stands out amongst other places as on this island alone there are 820 different languages (!) Moreover, Vanuatu, with 120 languages amongst it's 100'000 people has the highest language density of any country in the world.

That's some interesting trivia there, thanks for sharing it. It's also interesting to note that about 1/3 of the world's population speak Chinese, English or Spanish.

I also want to mention, the number of languages is est. is 6,900, not to confuse the 6,9000 you wrote which was probably a typo. Of course this number could be bigger if you would include different regional dialects,tribal languages and modern slang.

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69000 languages it's an impressive number. I think it should be hard to determine they exact number because as you say a lot of dialects are spoken worldwide.

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The fact that there are countries that speak several languages among themselves makes sixty nine hundred is a great figure which I think is possible for the amount of languages in the world today. I even think more continues to emerge so I guess a linguists study will never cease. :grin:

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i really have no idea. i would imagine its many thousands and if i had to take a stab at it i would say probably 50,000 not sure though. but i think there are just very many languages considering in africa we have a language for every tribe.

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