- Approximately 7 thousand languages are spoken in the world. Did you know that one of these languages disappear about every 14 days, and thousands of languages are in danger of disappearing today?
Here are some interesting facts about some of these languages. Enjoy reading them.
* 12,44% of the world’s population speak Mandarin Chinese as their native language. The most commonly spoken languages are Chinese, Spanish, English and Hindu. The Chinese alphabet includes more than fifty thousand characters, but it is enough to know two thousand of them to be able to read a daily newspaper.
* Two question marks are used in Spanish question sentences: One of them is at the end of the sentence as always, and the other one is an upside down question mark at the beginning of the sentence. For instance, the Spanish translation of “How are you?” is “¿Cómo estás?”. Only one question mark is used in Arabic and Persian, but it faces the other way: ؟ The Greek question mark is a semicolon (;).
* In Thai, the number 5 is pronounced “Ha”. The number 555 is “HaHaHa”!
* Twenty-two of more than 400 languages and dialects spoken in India are considered official languages.
* One of the countries with the greatest number of official languages is South Africa. This country, which has eleven official languages, is known as the “Rainbow Nation”.
* How would you answer if we ask you the official language of the United States of America? English?
The USA does not have an official (legal) language!
* The Irish Free State has two official languages: one of them is English, the other one is Welsh. Welsh, a language that was forbidden by the United Kingdom, is now defined as a language with a future brighter than its past. As it turns out, Turkey is not the only country forbidding native languages.
* Besides Wales, Argentina is the only country with speakers of the Welsh language. The reason for this is the Irish people who immigrated to Patagonia about 200 years ago.
* How logical is it to create imaginary languages while there are thousands of languages that are about to die? Twelve “imaginary languages” were created for the Lord of the Rings. If only one them was the Ubykh language, the last speaker of which died a few years ago, one thinks.
* There is a language found in Mexico, which only two people can speak today. These two guys won’t converse because they are not in good terms with each other. We hope they will for many years more and make up in the near future.
* The word “fiyasko” used in Turkish to mean unsuccessful result was imported to our language from Italian, and it is actually a name given to typical Italian bottles.
Its use as “failure” in Turkish dates back to Venetian glasswork. When a glassblower failed in creating a piece, the bottle he made would not be used as fine glass, but a regular table bottle, or a “fiasco”.
* Did you know that the word sabotage actually derives from “sabo” which is a kind of footwear in French? During the Industrial Revolution, when electric mills first came to France, the villagers, who lost their jobs, threw their wooden sandals to break those mills, and what they did was called “sabotage”. Another source says that workers, who were fighting for their rights, stuck their wooden sandals between the wheels of the machines and “sabotaged” the production.
* According to a study conducted in 2014, Arabic is one of the hardest languages to learn for native speakers of English Of course, it is an easier language to learn for native speakers of Turkish. One needs approximately 1,69 years = 88 weeks = 2200 hours of classes to learn Arabic. In contrast to Arabic, 24 weeks of education is enough for one of the easily learned languages.
* 96% of the languages spoken in the world are spoken by only 4% of the world’s population. Could there be a more striking indicator of the language imperialism? 1/4 of all people can speak at least some English.