A World of Languages

I've been in Indonesia during the past week.  I'm surprised by how little is known about it, despite its size and population.  

Here are a few strange facts.  Indonesia is the world's largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands.  It has an estimated population of over 260 million people and is the world's fourth most populous country, as well as the most populous Muslim-majority country.

While the official language is Indonesian (also known as Bahasa Indonesia), a variant of Malay, most Indonesians speak other languages, such as Javanese, as their first language.  More than 700 regional languages are spoken in Indonesia's numerous islands.

That got me thinking about language.

There are over 7000 known languages still spoken in the world today. 

23 of those languages create the native tongues of over 4 Billion people.

This chart below is a pretty helpful illustration of prevalence and location.

532017 A World of Languages-0000
Alberto Lucas López via InformationIsBeautiful


While American's tend to think English is the most prevalent language, we actually come in third behind Chinese and Spanish.

While based on population density, and reproduction, it seems like Chinese (Mandarin) will only widen its lead, it's worth noting that its influence wanes greatly outside of Asia.

How long will that last?

When I was younger, English was the language of business, but it may be time for you to brush up on your Chinese.

For more, here is a link to the Washington Post's article: The world’s languages, in 7 maps and charts.

向前! (Onwards!)
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