How Many Languages Are Spoken in the World? - FamilyEducation

Conversation Starter: Which Country Has the Most Languages?

by Mya Kagan

The island nation of Papua New Guinea has the most languages of any country in the world. Find out how many!

Hello in Five Languages

How many languages can you name? There's English (this language!), Spanish, French, Italian, German... How many more can you think of?

There are a lot of languages in the world. Currently, there are over 6,000 of them! In the United States, we have people who speak about 311 of those, but that's far fewer than the country with the most. Papua New Guinea, part of a large island in the South Pacific, has over 800 languages!

Papau New Guinea Languages

Papua New Guinea’s populations is only about 6 and a half million, so most of these languages are only spoken by a few thousand people in small areas.

1 of 800 Languages

The most-spoken language in Papua New Guinea is called Tok Pisin, and you can learn a little bit of it now.  It's a language that borrows some words and sounds from English, but it doesn't have as many sounds. Because of that, Tok Pisin words have multiple meanings in English.

In Tok Pisin, "hat" means "hat" (the thing you wear on your head).  In that language though, the "A" sounds like the "A" in the word "father."   Hat also means "hot," "heart," and "hard."  

There you go.  One word, and you know how to say 4 things in Tok Pisin!

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This article and its images were first published on www.WhyzzExplorer.com, a website that helps parents to explain the world to kids, to inspire them to make a difference and to raise true global citizens.