Most Interesting Languages in the World
By: Ricky vela
In This Article, we will discuss the most interesting languages in the world
There is a common misconception about language which prevails in most people’s minds—that it is difficult to learn. However, not all languages are tough to understand or learn. Given the right resources, one can easily embark on the mission to learn a new language.
The total number of languages currently spoken in the world is approximately 7000. While most of these languages are active, others are on the brink of extinction. This is because they have evolved from ancient languages and are spoken only by a small portion of the population. With each passing year, languages across the world either evolve or die, with the number of speakers either increasing or decreasing.
Here are the Most Interesting Languages in the World
Among the famous and widely spoken languages of the world, there are some interesting languages as well which are surely fun to learn. Here is a look at a few of these languages.
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Welsh is an interesting language that is, sadly, dying by the day. Until 1850, Welsh was spoken by 90% of Wales. However, this figure dropped to 18.6% in 1991 and continues to drop with each passing year.
The interesting thing about Welsh is that it is full of fun words which seemingly look impossible to pronounce by an English speaker.
In fact, one word of Welsh is officially the longest word in Europe. It is an amalgamation of several shorter words and is long enough to spike up one’s interest.
Other than this, the Welsh language has given quite a few words to the English language and although difficult, is surely an interesting language one should learn.
Belonging to the Bantu family of languages, Xhosa is one of the five most spoken languages in South Africa. Currently, it has 8 million speakers and is a thriving and growing language.
Xhosa was the native tongue of the apartheid leader Nelson Mandela. In fact, a large majority in the South African region speaks Xhosa after the Zulu language.
What makes Xhosa interesting is its clicks and tonal variations which differentiate the meaning of words. Based on the tone only, a word in the Xhosa language can have multiple meanings.
However, the ‘clicks’ are what make Xhosa, especially interesting language. These are the letters c, x, and q and there are three different kinds of clicks—a tut-tut sound for c, cork-popping for q, and teeth-sucking sound for x. Other than this, there are 18 different kinds of clicks in the Xhosa language.
Spoken by over 14 million people in Eastern Europe, Hungarian is a beautiful but complex language. An interesting thing about the Hungarian language is that it contains many idioms and phrases which are entertaining to hear.
The Hungarian language is totally different from its neighboring languages, which are all Indo-European languages. This is because Hungarian comes from the Uralic region of Asia and is a close relative of the Finnish language.
The Hungarian language is a tricky one to learn, particularly because it has 14 vowels and the word order is flexible. What’s more, some letters actually have 2 or 3 parts!
In Hungary, when you introduce yourself, your surname always comes before your given name. For example, if your name is Cesar Vike, your name will be Vike Cesar. This can come as a surprise to visitors. Nevertheless, the Hungarian language might be tough but it is interesting to learn.
The sixth most widely spoken language, French is the official language of 29 countries and the most commonly spoken foreign language in the United Kingdom.
A survey reveals that the French language is attractive and interesting to learn by many people. Perhaps this is the reason why so many people want to learn this language.
The English language has borrowed many words from the French language. Examples include commonly-used words such as café and bonjour. Surprisingly, you might not have known that certain words such as silhouette and bourgeois are also French words.
Esperanto is unlike any other language in existence—because it is not a natural language. Rather, Esperanto is a constructed language and was invented almost a century ago in Poland by Zamenhof, a Polish medical doctor.
Initially invented to improve international relations, Esperanto is mostly based on the Indo-European languages spoken in Europe. Today, Esperanto has over 2 million speakers in the world and about 2000 in the UK.
Along with inventing a language that would ease international tensions, Esperanto also is an easy language to learn. People in Europe can easily speak as it takes its roots from the Romance languages. Interestingly enough, Esperanto has 28 letters in its alphabet, which takes roots from the Latin script and is even taught in schools!
Imagine going back in time and learning the language of the ancient lands and people like the Incas. Only you don’t have to turn back time to learn their language.
Quechua people are the direct descendants of the Inca people and speak the Quechua language, residing in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.
Although Spanish is the official language in these states, a large population speaks it in Peru (8 million), Ecuador (2 million), and Bolivia (1 million).
Quechua is an agglutinative language—it has root words to which suffixes are added to change the meaning. The Quechua language had no written form before the Spanish arrived, so a writing system based on the Roman alphabet was developed.
Sadly, the number of Quechua speakers is declining and it is now an endangered language.
Piraha is a language that the indigenous population in northwestern Brazil speaks. An interesting thing about Piraha is that it has only three pronouns and no words for colors. The vocabulary is quite limited and there are no words for concepts that exist in other languages.
In the Piraha language, there are no words to describe the extended family. It only addresses to immediate family members and has only one word to describe mother and father (like “parent” in English).
The language does not have any names for colors. Rather, colors are described using nouns such as “blood” is used to describe the color “red”.
Surprisingly, Piraha is not in danger of extinction, even though there are only 300 people who speak this language. This is because the Piraha people are monolingual, which means that they speak it on a daily basis.
An Eastern Slavic language, Belarusian is a close relative of Russian and Ukrainian languages. About 3 million people speak this language, although this figure is less if compared to other languages spoken in Belarus.
The interesting thing about Belarusian is the number of vowels and consonants—6 and 48, respectively. It has multiple forms of writing scripts, such as Cyrillic, Latin,
Arabic, and Hebrew script. In addition, it has two main dialects. In recent years, there have been attempts to make Belarusian a part of cultures identity and the language is still thriving.
9. Silbo Gomero
When a language takes the form of whistles, words cease to be of any use. Silbo Gomero is one such language. The inhabitants of the Gomera Islands speak the language, and it is a transformation of Spanish into whistles for communication..
Although Silbo Gomero came on the verge of extinction in the 1990s, its revival occurred again in late 90s and is now taught as part of academics on Gomera Island. As the language consists of whistles, it travels across mountains and ravines.
There are no vowels in the language but there are tones of high and low pitches. The consonants are represented by low or high pitch. Anyone who doesn’t understand this language might consider it as a melody, but for the people of this island, these whistles are distinct as from any other spoken language.
One of the toughest languages in existence, the people in the Archib region of Russia speak the Archi language by approximately 970 people.
The interesting thing about this language is that its alphabet contains 26 vowel phenomes and instead of two noun classes—masculine and feminine, it has four noun classes.
It is also a fact that a single verb in the Archi language has over 1.5 million forms. This makes Archi a highly complex, but interesting language to learn.
The Last Word:
Language as we know it is the medium of communication between humans. Although a number of languages from ancient times are still in use today, many of them have died out or are facing extinction. Nevertheless, some interesting languages make this language learning experience a great one for enthusiasts. If you are an enthusiast seeking to learn a new language or just a traveler, chances are you will love to learn and know more about the diverse number of languages spoken around the world—you just have to search in the right place. if you want to read our more interesting blog Click Here