35 Cool Language Facts

1. French was the official language of England for over 300 years

2. Italian is the fifth most taught language, after English, French, Spanish and German.

3. German is the most widely spoken native language in Europe

4. English speakers will be able to recognise over 3,000 Spanish words

5. Portuguese has 178 million native speakers

6. Romanian was perhaps the first of the Romance Languages to split from Latin

7. English is spoken by an estimated 1.8 billion

8. Dutch has contributed many words to English including yacht, easel, cookie, and freight.

9. There are two official forms of written Norwegianbokmål (book language) and nynorsk (new Norwegian).

10. Only during the 20th century did a standardised national language become available to all Swedes

11. Danish is spoken inDenmark, Faroe Islands, Greenland, andGermany

12. Latvian is the mother tongue of only 60% of the country’s population

13. Lithuanian has similarities with Sanskrit

14. Greek has existed from around the 14th century BC

15. Persian hasn’t significantly changed since the 10th century

16. Arabic is the official language of 22 countries

17. Hebrew is the language in which God first spoke to Adam

18. Mandarin has the most native speakers: 845 million

19. Cantonese is the language predominantly used for business around Southeast Asia

20. In Japanese there’s no way of showing whether a word is singular or plural

21. Polish is the 29th most spoken language in the world

22. Most letters in the Bulgarian alphabet stand for just one specific sound

23. Czech is the only language with the letter ‘ř’, a kind of soft r

24. The primary principle of Slovak spelling is “Write as you hear”.

25. Russian is written in the Cyrillic script which is based on the Greek alphabet.

26. Ukrainian only became the official state language of Ukraine in 1989

27. The Alphabet Reform of 1928 abandoned the Arabic script and mandated a phonetic Turkish script based on the Latin alphabet; a crucial factor in the emergence of Modern Turkish.

28. Korean is known as Hangungmal in South Korea, and Chosŏnmal in North Korea

29. Estonian contains about a thousand words that date back to the last ice age.

30. The longest word in the Finnish language is epäjärjestelmällistyttämättömyydellänsäkäänköhä, which means doubtful

31. Hungarian is not related to any of it’s neighbouring languages

32. Tagalog was chosen as the national language of the Philippines from an estimated 70 different dialects and languages

33. In Thai there are four different ways to write ‘s’ and six for ‘t’

34. Over 300 languages are spoken in London

35. There are 6909 living languages in the world today