Spoken Languages

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Name Spoken Languages
Released ~100,000 BC

Speech, from Dream of the Rarebit Fiend (1905)

Speech, from Dream of the Rarebit Fiend (1905)

Spoken language is believed to date back 50,000 to 100,000 years, and is considered to be one of the major things that distinguish humans from animals. It long predates Written Languages.

The languages with the largest number of native speakers are:

  • Mandarin
  • Spanish
  • English
  • Arabic languages
  • Hindi
  • Bengali
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Japanese
  • German

A major issue is that languages are collapsing as worldwide networking increases - the larger languages outstrip the smaller communities, and entire sets of languages are lost. A number of projects are underway to catalog these dying or disappearing languages.

Artificially constructed languages

In addition to the languages which have evolved naturally among humans, some languages have been artificially constructed, sometimes as part of fictional universes and other times intended for actual use in communication.

"Serious" artificial languages

  • Esperanto
  • Interlingua
  • Ithkuil
  • Loglan
  • Lojban
  • Volapük

"Fictional" artificial languages

  • Beanish (xkcd) [1]
  • Dothraki (Game of Thrones)
  • Elvish (Tolkien)
  • Klingon (Star Trek)
  • Láadan (Native Tongue)
  • Na’vi (Avatar)
  • Orchish (JourneyQuest) [2]
  • Pakuni (Land of the Lost)
  • Simlish (The Sims)


Endangered languages

Language history

Constructed languages

Language varieties

Other links and references

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