Mighty Life List
Nov 4 2008

Common Language

Top ten most commonly spoken languages:

1. Mandarin
2. English
3. Hindustani
4. Spanish
5. Russian
6. Arabic
7. Bengali
8. Portuguese
9. Malay-Indonesian
10. French

This article has a breakdown by numbers. According to Wikipedia, there are still 900 Ottoman speakers left, but only 10 people in Russia still speak Ter Sami. Wonder what it sounds like, and what concept they have a word for that no one else does.

More about the Sami language and its dialects on You Tube.

7 Responses to “Common Language”

  • Betsey Says:

    Love this! The concept of people having a word for a concept, idea, or object that we English speakers don’t fascinates me!

  • Maybe Not Says:

    I can recite the Las Vegas Phone Book from memory in under a Minute!

  • Amy Says:

    The irreverent linked article (your first link) says

    “To say “hello” in English, say “What’s up, freak?” (watz-UP-freek).

    Imagine the Borat-esque scenes to which THAT could lead.

  • Amy Says:

    I love languages! Here’s a link to the Ethnologue, which catalogs the almost 7,000 known living languages in the world: http://www.ethnologue.com/. There’s a definite nerd factor in browsing the Ethnologue, but the sheer volume of languages in the world is pretty amazing.

  • Jo Says:

    So I’m at work with nothing to do, and I decide to read blogs, becuase I like to read about other people’s lives, as I was looking through yours I got to 2006 and then it jumped all the way to 2008! What happened? Did you stop writing in that time?

  • Rebecca Says:

    My sister is a journalist in northern Canada and wrote a neat article here about disappearing First Nations languages up there: http://www.uphere.ca/node/227

    Hearing first-hand about her meetings with various elders throughout the territory and getting a window on their stories was so interesting (and in most cases, sad).

    While it’d sure be convenient if we all spoke the same language, I think that we all lose when languages vanish – each holds its own riches in the way that it articulates human experience. Sigh.

    p.s. How’s the kayak roll coming? ;-)

  • Australia (2008) | Movie Aktuell Says:

    […] Common Language […]