Language statistics & facts

By Jaime Aronson posted 10-26-2011 12:56



Language statistics & facts

  • Number of living languages: 6912
  • Number of those languages that are nearly extinct: 516
  • Language with the greatest number of native speakers: Mandarin Chinese
  • Language spoken by the greatest number of non-native speakers: English (250 million to 350 million non-native speakers)
  • Country with the most languages spoken: Papua New Guinea has 820 living languages. [See Top 20 countries]
  • How long have languages existed: Since about 100,000 BC
  • First language ever written: Sumerian or Egyptian (about 3200 BC)
  • Oldest written language still in existence: Chinese or Greek (about 1500 BC)
  • Language with the most words: English, approx. 250,000 distinct words
  • Language with the fewest words: Taki Taki (also called Sranan), 340 words. Taki Taki is an English-based Creole spoken by 120,000 in the South American country of Suriname.

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