7 Fun Facts About Languages You Never Heard Of
Language is a subject that most people refrain from studying. It’s no surprise considering how complicated it can be. With all the stuff
out there, where is the best place to start learning about language in general? Here, we’ve put together a list of a couple of interesting you might not have known:
1. Over 150 Artificial Language
We know that there are quite a few languages rooted in the country they are named after. What’s interesting is that a great deal of ‘artificial language’ have been invented for books, movies, television shows, and some video games.
In the Tolkien universe, there are 13 distinct languages spoken by the cultures of Middle-Earth.
Though it may not seem like it, a great deal of time and effort goes into creating a language, some employing the skills of Linguistics majors for the creation of special languages. By definition, these languages may be considered ‘fake’, but is the same true if a great deal of people communicate using these not-so-real languages?
2. Want to Be Smarter? Learn a Second Language
You might think that learning a second language is too complicated, but treating like you are in school again can help. Not only will you open opportunities to speak with people of other cultures, but there are an interesting set of benefits.
There are many studies to support the idea that learning, reading, and speaking several languages can deliver a boost to brainpower. By learning a new language, you gain a greater awareness of sound, rhythm and a meaning of the words you’ve spoken.
Some studies have even suggested that it can also slow down the brain’s aging process, decreasing the chances of conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
3. Language is Older Than You Think
There is a bit of confusion as to the general origin of language, but the consensus between most linguists is that language may have its origins sometime circa 100,000 BC. Linguists are in agreement that language possibly began when humans evolved the skull shape they possess now in addition to the evolution of vocal cords.
With the right ingredients in place, it meant language would be used soon.
There are anthropologists who suggests it may have started before, but 100,000 BC is as good a place as any to start.
4. More Languages Than You’ve Ever Heard Of
You wouldn’t believe it, but there happen to be over 2,700 languages currently in existence. There are also as many as 7,000 dialects spoken across the globe for certain languages.
According to surveys, Chinese is the most spoken language in the world. The second is Spanish with English and Hindi coming in at 3rd and 4th. What’s amazing about the Chinese language is it contains over 50,000 characters, but only 2,000 are needed to read your daily paper. (Really, who can remember that many?)
5. Languages Die
The preservation of culture is important so that future generations may learn about the past. That includes language as well. Statistically, a language dies ever two weeks.
There are about 231 languages that linguists and anthropologists would consider extinct.
Out of the 2,700 languages spoken today, there are 2,400 in danger of joining the others as dead languages.
6. Some Language Don’t Have Words
I know, it sounds impossible to communicate without words, right? There are actually a few languages that use either sounds in conjunction with words, or use sound alone to communicate with each other.
In the country of Bostwana, there exists a language ‘spoken’ with 5 types of clicks using the tongue.
Similar to the language in Botswana, the Oaxacan people of Mexico who live in the mountains communicate across vast distance using specific whistles to convey specific things.
7. Access to More Info
Much of the information available to us may only be available in one language or in a country that speaks a specific language.
Have you ever read a google-translated website and thought to yourself “That’s not what this says?” Learn the language of that site you were trying to access, and read what is really written on the pages.
Aside from that, when you are visiting another country you will be able to navigate with ease and look a little less like a tourist when you are visiting a foreign country.