If you like learning languages and learning about the world, then you will love our language trivia that includes 10 things you never knew about languages! So read and share our list of language trivia to impress your friends while you’re practicing your new language skills!
- If you are interested in learning a new language, then you might be interested to learn there are about 7,000 languages in the world but about 500 of those are spoken by fewer than 3,000 people!
- About half the world speaks one of ten languages. The most widely spoken languages are: Mandarin Chinese (1.2 billion native speakers); Spanish (400 million native speakers); Hindi (370 million native speakers); English (360 million native speakers or about 1 billion including those who speak it as a second language); Arabic (250 million native speakers) Portuguese (215 million native speakers); Bengali (170 million native speakers); Russian (170 million native speakers); Japanese (130 million native speakers) and Punjabi/Lahnda (100 million native speakers).
- The language that has the largest alphabet is Khmer with 74 letters. Khmer is spoken mainly in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and China.
- There are 840 languages used in Papua New Guinea, making it the country recognized as having the most languages.
- Which language has the smallest alphabet? The language with the fewest sounds is Central Rotokas which has only 10 letters. Central Rotokas is spoken by about 4,000 people on the island of Bougainville, which is part of Papua New Guinea. It has two sister dialects that are similar to it called Aita Rotokas and Pipipaia.
- The constitution of India recognizes 23 official languages, but there are more than 720 languages spoken in India!
- Did you ever wonder how many alphabets there are? There are about 46 different alphabets used in the world today. The majority of the European languages use the Latin alphabet with some Slavic languages using the Cyrillic alphabet. There are different alphabets for Greek, Armenian, Georgian and Yiddish and other languages.
- An alphabet is a system in which letters stand for sounds, but there are other writing systems such as syllabary (letters stand for syllables – Japanese is an example), abugida (segmental writing system with consonant–vowel combinations – Hindi is an example), and logographic writing (a character represents a word – examples are Chinese, Japanese Kanji and Egyptian hieroglyphs).
- We read and write English from left to right, but did you know not all languages are written like this? For example, Hebrew and Arabic are written from right to left. Chinese and Japanese are typically written from right to left today, but traditionally were written from top to bottom
- Did you know the Khoisan languages of southern Africa contain clicks as part of the language? Denoted by a ! mark, it is difficult for a non-native speaker to ever fully master these clicking sounds to integrate them seamlessly into the language.
We hope you enjoyed these 10 fascinating language facts and trivia. If you want to learn more language tips or learn from free language lessons, check out our site. If you enjoyed our article, remember to share.
Language Quote that a palindrome is a word, phrase, number, or other sequence of characters which reads the same backward or forward. Allowances may be made for adjustments to capital letters, punctuation, and word dividers.
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