A Little Data on Language Across the Globe

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Across the globe people speak more than 6,500 languages, though some of these may only be used by 1,000 people at any given time.  Indeed, some languages are only spoken by an exclusively small community of people. On the other hand, the most widely spoken College Platon language is fluent among nearly 1200 million people. This language is Chinese (though it diverts into dialects with Mandarin the most popular at about 848 million people).  The next two most abundant languages are Spanish (at nearly 400 million people) and English (at about 335 million).

English and Spanish are the two most commonly spoken languages in North America, which makes sense since English is the most widely spoken in the United States and Spanish is common to Central and Latin America.  French is the third most common language spoken in North America, as it is one of two official languages in Canada.

What is An Official Language?

While it is not necessarily important to register an official language, many countries observe the tradition. An “official language” comes in handy when you gather your political heads to discuss policies and laws, etc.  Thus, an “official” languages tends to be one that the government has elected to use for their parliamentary or jurisdictional or state hearings rather than the most widely spoken language in the country; though that is also often the case.

Should You Speak Another Language?

Although technology has made it easier to meet and talk to people who speak language different from our own, it is still pretty important to learn other languages.  As a matter of fact, that very same technology that has made translation more readily available is also the reason we are more privy than ever to the daily lives of people from all over the world: and that means it has become much more important to expand our linguistic abilities.

If you plan to attend school in another country or think you might want to find a job overseas, you have lots of options for learning to speak the tongue before you make the move. Of course, you can also use the technology on the go and immerse yourself in the culture while you learn, which is often a great way to expedite your learning process.  Most importantly, though, learning another language actually helps improve your native language skills, too!

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About the Author: Danny White