How many languages are there in the world? It is believed that from 2500 to 7000. The views of scientists on the total number of them diverge because of the lack of a unified approach to what is considered a language, and that is a dialect.
How many languages are there in the world?
All languages of the world are divided into families, which number 240. The largest language family and today the most studied is the Indo-European group, which includes the Russian language. The basis for including different languages in one family is a significant phonetic similarity between the roots of words denoting the basic concepts and the similarity of the grammatical system.
There are also isolate languages that can not be placed in any family. An example of such a language is an isolate, a "kinship not remembering", is the Basque dialect of the "Euskera".
The most common languages
How many languages are in the modern world that are most common? They include 10: Chinese (Mandarin), English, Spanish, Russian, Hindi, Arabic, Bengali, Portuguese, Malay-Indonesian, French. More than 1 billion people speak the Mandarin language. In each of the nine other dozens of the most common, over 100 million people speak.
The reason for the popularity of the Chinese language is that it is spoken in China, Singapore, Taiwan, there are vast Chinese diasporas in almost all countries of Southeast Asia and other countries of the world. We must not forget about the fertility of this people.
The speakers of English and Spanish were the most active conquerors of overseas lands, the discoverers of the Americas. That is why, if we look at the world language map, we will see that these two languages are territorially dominant. English is official in 56 states, Spanish - in more than 20 countries. The French, just like the English and the Spanish, also in their time created a mighty empire, which was subject to huge territories in North America and Africa. To date, French is the first official language in 15 countries of the world.
In the history of European civilization, several languages in the world at different times occupied the position of the interethnic means of communication - the lingua franca. In the Roman Empire, Koine, the Greek language, became such a "lingua franca" for the eastern Mediterranean and the ancient Near East. Subsequently, more than 1000 years, first in the Mediterranean countries, and then in the whole of Catholic Europe, the Latin language was used as the lingua franca . In the XVIII-XIX centuries the means of international communication became French. Since the end of the twentieth century, the language of interethnic communication throughout the world has become English, undoubtedly due to the leading position in the world of the English-speaking superpower - the United States.
In linguistics there is such a thing as "dead language". This is one that is no longer spoken of, and is known only through written monuments. In some cases, dead languages continue to live because they are used for scientific or religious purposes. And how many languages are there in the world? They include Latin, from which subsequently developed Romanic languages; Old Russian, which became the basis for the Eastern Slavic languages, and the Ancient Greek. There are a number of dead languages that are used for scientific and religious purposes - Sanskrit, Coptic, Avestan.
There is one unique case of resurrection of a dead language. After the Second World War, when the State of Israel was created, the Hebrew language, which no one spoke for 18 centuries, was revived as the official language of this country.
In a bilingual (bilingual) environment, one language is dominant. Earlier, in times of empires, the main cause of the dying of local languages was the mass destruction of the local population. Today, a weaker language dies for socio-economic reasons, and not because its carriers are dying out. Ignorance of the dominant language entails the impossibility of getting education, moving up the social ladder, etc. Therefore, in a bilingual family, parents often prefer not even to speak in their native dying language, so as not to create problems for children in the future. To a large extent, the mass media, using the dominant language, influence the process of extinction.
Important is the question of how many languages in the world. But an even more important problem is their extinction. Every 2 weeks, one language disappears in the world. According to forecasts of scientists, by the end of the XXI century, they will disappear 3,5 thousand.
An interesting phenomenon in the world of languages is artificial dialects. How many languages are there in this world? The most famous are 16, and the most popular of them is Esperanto, created in 1887 by Ludwig Zamenhof. Genus Zamenhof was from Bialystok, a city where Jews, Poles, Germans, Belarusians lived. In the city there were very complex interethnic relations. Zamenhof considered them the reason for the lack of a single language. The aim of Esperanto was to spread the ideas of peaceful coexistence among people around the world. Zamenhof published an Esperanto textbook. He translated into his own language many masterpieces of world literature and even wrote poetry in Esperanto. Most of the Esperanto dictionary consists of Romanesque and Germanic roots, and also from Latin and Greek, having general scientific value. About 200,000 articles in the Esperanto language are published in Wikipedia.
Now you know how many languages in the world there are, and, perhaps, will be able to save the dying ones by studying them.