21 Language Facts for 2021 - Part 1
Updated: Jan 23
Let's kick the new year off with part one of our series on sweet facts about language you might not yet know!
There are over 7,300 languages being spoken right now across the globe.
BUT just 23 of these account for half of the global population's primary languages!
Most people think of Italian as one single language, when in fact, Italian is a sort of "genre" of many dialects and regional vernacular. The national language of Italy we refer to as Italian is actually the dialect of Florence, or, Florentine.
The most translated book across the world may be the bible, but any guesses as to which book is the second most translated? Pinocchio! Of all things...🤔
While the shortest alphabet, that of the Papuan language, Rotokas, has only 11 characters, the longest alphabet in the world, that of Cambodian, has 74 (imagine that alphabet soup!)
About 2/3 of the world's languages come from Africa and Asia combined. Looks like even colonialists can't stop the power of language!
Though many assume it's English, the United States actually has no official national language. In many non-English languages, the English spoken in the US is called American, i.e., people from the US speak American; people from the UK speak English.
Keeping with the theme of US languages, the Unites States is home to the most Spanish speakers in the entire world after Mexico, including all Spanish-speaking nations.
Studies show that learning a second language may actually slow the aging of the brain, with dementia occurring 4 years later in bilingual patients than in monolingual patients.
Approximately every two weeks, a language goes extinct. With 2,400 of the world's languages currently listed as endangered, the linguistic community is in constant debate over the value in "saving" dying languages and where to focus efforts.
The most spoken language in the world is Mandarin Chinese, and while reading most languages only requires using the left, reading Chinese uses both sides of the brain!