How many languages are there in the world?
While many beliefs that there are about 6500 languages in the world, but according to Ethnologue, this number is 7106. The answer of this question is quite uncertain but the linguists have a definite idea of the exact number. Determination of the exact count of the present languages is very different and one of the prompt reasons being it’s so difficult is that many parts of the world have still not fully explored.
Present language count:
The 11th edition of the encyclopaedia Britannica reveals that there are around 1000 spoken languages in the world. Over the course of the 20th century as the understanding of spoken is increased, the counting number of the languages continues to escalate. The most extensive catalogue of the language of the world considered and recorded that the 6909 languages are still in use.
Now, the latest edition of the Ethnologue catalogue includes roughly 7106 languages and Africa, America, Asia, Pacific and Europe are the following region.
Number of dying languages:
There is also a list of dying languages in the catalogue that goes up to 915.
Each millennium many languages lost their identity. During 2nd millennium BC, there were only seven languages has died out. 20th century faces off 110 extinct languages, the highest number of lost languages till now. In this current century, 12 languages have been declared dead.
Widely accepted languages:
All knows that the English language ranks first in the most influential languages globally. English is being followed by French that has been provided an official language status in 25 countries. Spanish, placed on the third position, is closely flowed by Arabic. Mandarin, which is not used outside Asia, stands at fifth. From the six to the tenth place, Russia, Portuguese, German, Japanese, Hindi and Urdu fill the list.
Written and sign languages:
This is also a matter of uncertainty that how many languages are there in written forms. Although, the closest estimates is 300. Sign language is not universal, a country can use different sign languages, but it’s closely linked to the historical background of the spoken languages, that the reason it’s included in the article “How many languages are there in the world?”
Genetic relation of language:
Indo-Europe family, describe the genetic relation of languages by having 200 related languages. 140 language families exist in this world, 75 is being isolated and about 47 are still unidentified.
Distribution of languages is not uniform. There are 2303 spoken languages in the Asia, whereas, Europe occupies only 285. The small nation New Guinea with a population of 3.9 million has not less than 828 different languages. There are around 165 indigenous languages spoken by the inhabitants by the North America.
Rapidly disappearing languages:
A large portion of the languages are losing their identity very fast. This has become a matter of concern that around 25% of the world’s languages carry less than 1000 speakers. When there is no longer speaker of any particular language, the death of that language is inevitable. And now, this has become a debate topic among linguists.