How Many Different Languages Are Spoken Around The World

Think about how many languages you think you can name, odds are maybe twenty or thirty tops, English, French, Spanish, Russian, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Turkish, Hindi… those are just some of the obvious one’s and we’ve only listed sixteen there. Try and do another 16 and see how far you get.

So, how many different languages are spoken around the world? According to Ethnologue, by way of their Wikipedia entry, in 2020 they recognize and list 7,117 languages, although just 23 languages are spoken by more than half the world’s population.

Pretty crazy, right? Here are some of our random favorites. Every heard of Mbesa? It’s spoken in the Democratic Republic Of Congo. How’s about Morerebi? Which is spoken in Brazil. Erromintxela, while sort of maybe sounding like it might come from Central America is actually spoken in South Western France. Asturian is spoken in Northern Spain and has nothing to do with Austria.

If you’re a really super type A personality and want to get your kid in to Harvard, you should teach them Emilian which only has about 1.3 million native speakers and is a Gallo-Italic language spoken in the north-western region of Italy. Talk about a good college easy topic.

Yeah, reading about and learning what it is that actually makes a language is a deep dark rabbit hole that anyone really curious can get sucked in to pretty quickly.