Before we get going, we have great news for you! Our back-to-school promotion was such a success that we decided to extend the offer and grant you a 15% discount on all our products until Sunday, the 2nd of October 2011.
Just like the Council of Europe, which created the European Day of Languages as part of the European year of languages in 2001, busuu.com wants to encourage language learning, not only in Europe but across the whole world. In case you didn’t already know, our online community connects people from over 200 different countries, with each person teaching their native language whilst also learning new ones.
Today’s blog entry is not so much about learning languages (for study advice, check our motivational tips), but about language curiosities. Did you know that:
1. There are between 6,000 and 7,000 languages in the world – spoken by six billion people.
2. Experts warn that by the end of this century half of these languages will disappear if nothing is done.
3. It is estimated that in the United States alone, 115 out of 280 languages disappeared in the last five centuries.
4. The majority of the world’s languages are spoken in Asia and Africa.
5. At least half of the world’s population are bilingual or multilingual.
6. Bilingualism not only makes the learning of additional languages easier, it enriches the thinking process, as well.
7. Many languages have over 50,000 words, but in everyday conversation people use the same few hundred words.
8. Languages are constantly changing: In the past, English borrowed words from other languages, now many languages borrow English words.
9. At the age of five, a child already has a vocabulary of several thousand words.
10. Back to Europe: There are about 225 indigenous languages in Europe. That’s 3% of the world’s total.
PS: Let’s be honest. We didn’t come up with all these facts ourselves. Further information can be found on the website of the European Day of Languages and in the UNESCO‘s data on endangered languages.