Published : Feb 28, 2018

The World’s Languages, Things You May Not know

Languages are more than just collections of letters and symbols. There are surprising and interesting facts about how they developed and how they are used.

  • French is taught in every country in the world; only English can also make that claim, and about a third of English words derived from French. France is also the most visited country in the world, followed by the United States, Spain, China and Italy.
  • "E" is the most commonly used letter in English; Q rates last. However, more English words start with “s” than any other letter. English is the official language of air travel and international pilots are required to speak English.
  • While Italian still has a number of regional dialects, a standardized language first started to evolve in the 1300s when the famed writer Dante Alighieri wrote The Divine Comedy. While most others wrote in Latin, Dante wrote in a Tuscan dialect which gradually because the Italian we know today. He is considered to be the father of the Italian language.
  • Mandarin has no alphabet, but tens of thousands of characters. There is no difference between singular and plural and no verb tenses, such as present or past. But, it is the most spoken language in the world, and one of six United Nation’s official languages.
  • Spanish is the second-most commonly spoken language in the world, behind only Mandarin and just ahead of English. It’s predicted that by the second half of the 21st century Spanish will be the primary language spoken by half U.S. residents.
  • German has the most native speakers in Europe, also being the official language of Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. Such common English words as kindergarten and angst come from German.
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