How Many Languages are There in the World

Languages play an important role in effective communication There are around 195 countries in the world that speaks different languages. Each country has its official language. However, due to diversity, people are not restricted to official languages. They speak different variations of language that we called dialects. So are you wondering, how many languages are there in the world?

Ethnologic claimed that people in the world speak 7,111 languages but this is not a valid answer. This is because this number is fluctuating and it does not involve dialects. Thus, there is no fixed answer to how many languages people speak around the world.

Some languages came into existence when some new societies were formed and existing languages came up with different dialects due to regional and cultural nuances. To your surprise, there are certain other languages, that are getting extinct. Thus, it is very tricky to determine the number of languages spoken in the world

In many regions, people speak different languages. Many languages are segregated based on regions. With the location of the specific place, people speak a certain language and with the end of the region, people start speaking another language. With the proliferation of national and regional languages, some languages are on the verge of becoming distinct. 

Table of Content

Languages Spoken in Africa

Do you know that Africa is the second largest continent in the world concerning land and population? It is a diverse continent because of population density. According to linguists, people living in Africa speak 2,000 native languages. Some of the languages that people of Africa speak are

Arabic: People living in Africa speak the Arabian language widely. In North Africa, around 170 million people use the Arabic language in their daily communication.

Amharic: This language comes second after Arabic, Approximately, 25 million people speak this language, and the majority of them are Ethiopians.  

Afrikaans: On the third number comes the Afrikaans. Around 23 million people speak this language.

Somali: Around 17 million people in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, and Yemen speak this language.

Lingala: 10 million people living in Congo speak this language.

Swahili: People living in the East Africa region speak this language. It is the official language of the people of Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya. Around 50 to 80 million people speak this language.

Yoruba: Around 20 million people speak Yoruba in the Western region of Africa. It is the mother tongue of the people of Benin, Nigeria, and Togo as well as various communities that are residing in the areas of Europe, Africa, and America.

Zulu: 10 million Zulu people speak this language in South Africa.

European Languages: European languages spoken in Africa are English, French, and German.

Languages Spoken in Europe

Europe is a continent of about 50 countries. Each country has its language that they call the national language. To your surprise, some nations have more than one national language. At the borders of these countries, people also speak the language of the neighboring countries.

There are many common languages in Europe. Many European people have learned English, German, French, Spanish, and even Latin as a second language. Therefore, they use these languages in communicating with other countries.

As English is a lingua Franca so it is very common in the young generation. France is very particular about its language. Therefore, it is protecting its citizens from the influence of English on its French culture.

The European is an organization of 28 members and it has 24 official languages. However, two languages are used most often that are English and French. Other languages that people in Europe speak are 

  • Albanian 
  • Catalan
  • German
  • Slovene
  • Belarusian
  • Russian
  • Dutch
  • Bosnian
  • Croatian,
  • Serbian
  • Bulgarian
  • Croatian
  • Greek
  • Turkish
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Estonian
  • Faroese
  • Finnish
  • Swedish 
  • German 
  • Greenlandic Inuktitut
  • Hungarian
  • Icelandic
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Lithuanian
  • Luxembourgish
  • Macedonian
  • Maltese
  • Moldovan 
  • Ukrainian
  • Norwegian
  • Polish 
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian 
  • Ukrainian
  • Turkish 
  • Slovak
  • Swedish
  • Spanish 
  • Latin 

Languages Spoken in Asia

Asia is home to 4.46 billion people. They speak around 2,300 languages. The important thing to note is that the Asian population is six times more than that of Europe.

Therefore, the language spectrum is also large there. The majority of Asian people speak languages like Chinese, English, Hindi, English, Indonesian, Bengali, and Japanese. Let’s have a look at these languages.

Chinese

China is the most populated country in Asia with a population of about 1.4 billion people. 1 million people living in China speak different dialects. Moreover, 1.2 billion people speak the Chinese language globally. Mandarin is one of the popular dialects and the official language of China. Some other dialects of China are Min, Yue, and Wu.

Hindi

It is an Indo-European language. Approximately 550 million people in Asia speak this language. People living in North and central India speak this language. Moreover, people living in UAE and Mauritius also speak this language. Hindi is mutually intelligible with Urdu. It is the fourth most spoken language in the world after English, Mandarin, and Spanish.

English

Approximately 300 million people in Asia speak the English language. People residing in India, Hong Kong, Seychelles, Singapore Mauritius as well as Papua New Guinea also speak this language widely. These countries adopt this language during the colonial period due to its global use.

Russian

Do you know that 260 million people in Asia speak the Russian language? It is officially used in Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Russian was the official language of the Soviet Union till its partition.

It is the eighth most spoken language and the seventh most spoken language in the world. Russian is also the official language of the United Nations.  Let’s have a look at other languages that people of Asia speak 

  • Indonesian
  • Arabic
  • Bangla
  • Japanese
  • Punjabi
  • Filipino
  • Korean
  • Vietnamese
  • Telugu
  • Tamil

Languages Spoken in Australia

There is no official language in Australia. People of Australia consider English as the National language. Australia is a culturally and linguistically diverse county. Therefore, there are more than 160 languages spoken there. Australian people speak English with a different accent.

According to one survey, people in Australia speak English at home. Moreover, Mandarin is the biggest non-English dialect that people of Australia speak. The other minority languages that people of Australia speak are:

  • Italian
  • Arabic
  • Greek
  • Cantonese
  • Tasmanian languages
  • Auslan Yolŋu Sign Language

Languages Spoken in North America

North America is inhabitant by many Spanish and English speakers. This is because of the legacy of colonization. North America is also known as a melting pot because of the large number of immigrants. These immigrants also bring with them different cultures and languages. The people of North America speak the following languages.

  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Chinese
  • Tagalog
  • Vietnamese
  • Arabic
  • German
  • Korean
  • Italian

Languages Spoken in South America

South America composes of more Spanish-speaking countries and one specific large Portuguese-speaking country Brazil. Therefore, linguistic diversity in South America is quite simple. The Spanish and Portuguese languages are brought to this region by immigrants. Let’s explore the languages of South America.

  • English
  • German
  • Italian
  • Arabic 
  • Chinese
  • Ukrainian
  • Japanese
  • Dutch

Languages Spoken in Antarctica

Antarctica is the fifth largest continent. However, it is barren of life because of its extremely cold weather. This does not mean that people don’t reside on this continent. People do live here and of course, they speak the language to communicate. The population of this content does not remain the same throughout the year.

You can find only 1,000 people during winter and 5,000 during Summer. The important thing to note is that people from all around the world are residing there. This shows they speak different languages. Unfortunately, there is no linguistic census done there so we cannot find several languages that people speak of this origin. 

People do speak English. Do you want to know why? This is because English-speaking people are representing this region. Moreover, English is a Lingua Franca. Apart from English, there is a small population of people that speak French, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, and German.

Wrapping Up

Different languages spoken in the world is the beauty of communication. Live nations give importance to their official languages and take certain measures to preserve their identity. Languages show the rich heritage and cultures of the countries. Due to globalization, languages are not confined to specific regions.

People are learning more languages because polyglot people are given preference in every field of life. We cannot learn all the languages that are spoken in the world but at least, we should try to learn one more language.

As English is a universal language so people try to learn English to communicate globally. In this digital era, if you still find difficulty in learning new languages then no worries, you can take the assistance of professional translation agencies that are here to mitigate the communication barriers.

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