Bubbles specialise in professional translation services for business, so we know a thing or two about language. We’ve gathered together crazy language facts to show you the sheer brilliance of human beings when it comes to how we’ve been communicating with each other for millennia.
As experts in translating marketing and business documents, we understand the many differences between languages and the cultural and social nuances that are associated with each one of them. And it’s these differences that make it so important to make sure you’ve got your translations on point before you hit publish, send or stick your marketing collateral in the post.
Read on to discover Bubble’s crazy facts about language.
2,400 languages are classified as endangered
The sad fact is that there are some 2,400 languages which are at risk of never being spoken again according to a .
The ‘Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger’, has been created by UNESCO and was officially launched in Beijing in 2016, as a way to shed light on the issue and raise awareness about the wider implications of language endangerment. The project revealed why it’s so important that we make a conscious effort to safeguard the languages of the world.
UNESCO urges speaker communities, the general public and policy-makers to do what they can to help protect the linguistic diversity of the world as it is such an important part of our heritage and culture. The ‘Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger’ can also be used to monitor languages that are most at risk or already classified as endangered, as well as the current trends in languages on a global scale.
Some of the languages that are classified as being endangered include Logudorese Sardinian in Italy, Romani or Romany which belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of Romani people and Picard in France.
Sumerian is the oldest written language
Thought to have first been written around 3500BC, Sumerian is the oldest written language known to man. The primary source is the Kish Tablet, which was unearthed in modern day Iraq in the 19th Century by archaeologists.
This language is older than Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Greek and Latin and it was a spoken language until 2000BC, when it faded out and was substituted for another ancient language, Akkadian.
The Pope tweets in nine languages
The current Pope, Pope Francis, reaches both believers and non-believers on the Twittersphere in nine different languages, through nine different accounts. These languages include English, Latin and Spanish with a considerable global reach between them.
The Pope’s Spanish account alone has over 16 million followers and even his Latin Twitter account reaches close to a million followers – good news for Latin teachers around the world!
There are 13 ways to spell the “O” sound in French
Indeed, the different ways to spell the “O” sound include O, Ot, Ots, Os, Ocs, Au, Aux, Aud, Auds, Eau, Eaux, Ho and Ö.
America has no official language
It may surprise you to know that the US doesn’t have an official language; in fact, there is nothing in the Constitution or any federal laws that suggests there is one.
It seems the founding fathers of the country didn’t see the need to declare one, perhaps because English was the most commonly spoken language at the time anyway and they didn’t want to unnecessarily offend other Americans that spoke different languages to English, who had helped fight for independence from the UK.
The common languages that were spoken throughout the original 13 British colonies prior to independence included many different Native American languages, French, German and Dutch.
There are many other countries which don’t have an official language, including Pakistan, Somalia, Costa Rica, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Australia and we bet this will come as a surprise, the UK. However, Welsh is the official language of Wales but this is the only official language listed in any country in the UK.
We hope you found these mind-blowing language facts as interesting as we did.
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