At Access 2 Interpreters we like to stay aware of interesting facts taking place in our industry. Language can be traced back to over 15,000 years ago, which is why we find this form of communication so fascinating. Did you know that an estimated 7,000 different languages are spoken around the world? Less than 100,000 people speak about 90% of these languages!
According to the BBC, “languages are grouped into families that share a common ancestry. For example, English is related to German and Dutch, and they are all part of the Indo-European family of languages.”
Below we wanted to list 10 interesting facts about language according to the BBC. We have listed the most interesting language facts from where the majority of languages live to the hardest language to learn. Once you read our top 10 language facts you will have an overall better understanding of the numerous languages around us (many of which we translate and interpret at Access 2 Interpreters)
- Over 2,200 of the world’s languages can be found in Asia, while Europe has only a mere 260.
- The most widely spoken languages, according to figures from UNESCO (The United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), are: Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, Bengali, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, German and French.
- The five most difficult languages to learn are Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
- One quarter of the world’s languages are spoken by fewer than 1,000 people and if these are not passed down to the next generation, they will be gone forever.
- 2,500 languages are at risk of extinction.
- 75% of the world’s population doesn’t speak a word of English.
- The United Nations uses six official languages to conduct business: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and Arabic.
- The oldest languages known include Sanskrit, Sumerian, Hebrew and Basque.
- 200 artificial languages have been created since the 17th century.
- 10. The so-called ‘critical period’ of language learning, believed to end sometime between ages 4-12.
Out of the 18 languages listed above in the language facts (German, Dutch, Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, Bengali, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, French, Cantonese, Korean, Sanskrit, Sumerian, Hebrew and Basque), 16 of them are on our list of languages that our experienced staff can assist you with. Both Sanskrit and Sumerian are extinct languages that no one writes in or speaks.
See our list of languages to find out if your language is on the list. Our professionally trained interpreters provide services for Scheduled and Emergency Face-to-Face Interpretation and for Scheduled Telephone Interpretation in over 70 languages locally. We also provide over 180 languages for Instantaneous Telephone Interpretation Services nationwide.
For more information and a free language consultation, contact us today.