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p. 102. How many languages are there in the world?locked

  • Stephen R. Anderson


‘How many languages are there in the world?’ acknowledges the pioneering work of missionary organizations with an interest in translating the Bible in documenting the languages of the world. According to SIL's publication Ethnologue there are 6,909 distinct languages. Languages are not uniformly distributed around the world: only 234 are spoken in Europe, while 2,322 are spoken in Asia. Another 2,110 are spoken in Africa, 993 in the Americas, and 1,250 in the Pacific. Relatively few languages (389, or 6%) with over a million speakers account for most (94%) of the world's speakers, and a tiny number with over 100,000,000 speakers actually account for the bulk of that figure.

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