How many languages are out there?

If you ever saw our typical “header-banner” image for most of our ads, you saw that we say there’re over 7,097 languages in the world.

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Our main banner.

Wow that’s a lot, I know, humans are amazing. But is that number correct?

Let’s see…

Where did we get the data from?

Simply put, we got the data from https://www.theintrepidguide.com/how-many-languages-are-there-in-the-world/#.XKD2fdszaHs, which in turn, got their data from Ethnologue.

Some facts about languages

Languages are grouped by families (like Indo-European languages), and languages are constantly dying because of lack of use. In fact, as the article says 90% of the total number of languages are spoken by less than 100.000 people.

The thing is, China, India, English-speaking countries, Spanish-speaking countries and Arab countries account for the majority of the speakers.

Considering that there are 195 countries in the world (source), we get ~36 languages per country. Isn’t it amazing?

It’s estimated that humans start creating spoken languages 60,000–100,000 years ago (source). But we invented writing 6,000 years ago (source).

Since then dozens of thousands of languages have died or become extinct.

Getting back on Wordee, the Premium version supports more than 60 languages for automatic translation. It looks like that’s only a ridiculous amount of languages, but, he have to take into account that the 70% of the world population speaks 11 languages (by native speakers).

PS: We changed the banner because the first time we checked this source: https://www.linguisticsociety.org/content/how-many-languages-are-there-world which is based on a 2009 catalogue.

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