Global language facts that will surprise you


Over 7,000 languages are spoken in the world. It might surprise you that over 90% of them are spoken by fewer than 100,000 people. That’s just the start when it comes to global language facts and, here, we reveal some of those most interesting ones.

Amazing facts about languages
Amazing facts about languages. Source: Pexels

Mandarin Chinese leads the way

With over 1.3 billion speakers, Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language. However, this is purely down to the fact that there are manynative speakers. The most dominant language is actually English, as it’s well-adopted and received worldwide.

Mandarin is said to be one of the hardest languages to learn, as the words aren’t made up of letters but instead of characters. On the other hand, if you want to pick up another language, you might want to consider Italian classes near you as this is often considered one of the easiest to learn for English speakers. Typically, it’s believed this is the case because a lot of the English language comes from Latin. Knowing this can help language students to pick up Italian words more easily and make writing simpler. 

US tops the charts for diversity

In America alone, there are over 300 languages spoken, making it one of the most diverse countries in the world. English is the most widely spoken, closely followed by Spanish, Chinese, French, Italian, Arabic, and even Tagalog. This is because a huge number of international communities have settled here.

What’s more, with so many languages, the US doesn’t have an official language – despite many believing it to be English. In contrast, South Africa has the highest number of official languages, with a total of 11.

The least common language

English, French, Italian, and Spanish might be some of the most spoken languages around the world, with millions of people communicating in them every day. On the other end of the scale is the Busuu language, with fewer than ten native speakers!

As the official language of the Southern Bantoid of Cameroon, in 1986, just eight people spoke it. Unfortunately, over time, this has decreased. Today, the official language of Cameroon is English and French. New languages are being discovered every year, though.

The amazing alphabet

Not every alphabet is the same. The shortest is the Papuan language of Rotokas, which only has 11 letters. The longest is the Cambodian alphabet, which has 73 letters. As we’ve already mentioned, the Chinese Mandarin alphabet is largely made up of characters. The English alphabet might have 26 letters now but, years ago, this was actually 28.

New words and phrases

Amazing facts about languages
Surprising facts about languages. Source: Pexels

Every year, almost 4,000 words are added to the English dictionary, making it the most evolving language. That’s not the only interesting thing about the English dictionary as, for seven years, there was a fake word on the pages. ‘Dord’ remained in place for over 2,550 days before it was removed. Plus, we bet there are plenty more non-words as the total number in the English language is said to be over 250,000.

Finally, what better way to round things off than with the shortest grammatically correct sentence in English: GO!

1 Comment

  1. Fortunately, I loved Latin in High School. Latin III. So, I will say it did help when learning other languages. I am not fluent, but can work with some Spanish, French, German, and Italian. It would be fairly easy to bone up and travel, but I am retired, and work on my ranch now. Today, we have translation engines online. They help people communicate with each other much better than the olden days. I always look at the translation window as I type each sentence. I like to see what the words look like, and sound them out. Nerdy, but I enjoy it.

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