Language plays a huge role in everyone’s life. When thinking of a language, people will automatically think about English, German, French and Spanish, but the truth, is that less common languages also exist.
About 500 million people speak English and it’s not even the most common language in the world. Mandarin, with more than 955 million speakers is in the top of the charts. Around the world, almost 6.000 or more languages are in danger of becoming extinct. Because they are not common or do not have a large population of speakers.
Here, there are the 10 foreign languages still spoken:
- Khoisan: are the languages of Africa that have click consonants but do not belong to other language families. Khoisan languages are best known for their use of click consonants as phonemes.
- Xhosa: is one of the common languages spoken in South Africa. It is spoken by approximately 18% of the South African population. Xhosa is a tonal language, the same consonants and vowels can have different meaning depending the way they are pronounced. Xhosa also has unusual consonants, 18 of them are actually clicks. The word Xhosa in pronounced with a click at the beginning.
- Taa: has more spoken phonemes than any other language in the world. They also use different tones focusing more on the way that sounds and clicks can be combined. Also known as! Xóõ, is a Khoisan language. As a curiosity, locals refer to the language as Taa ?aan; Taa means “human being,” and ?aan means language, so it literally translates to the “language of human beings.”
- Rotokas: is spoken by some 4,000 people in Bougainville, an island in the east of New Guinea. Rotokas does not have any nasal phonemes and has the smallest modern alphabet. Nasals sounds are rarelly heard except when a native speaker is trying to speak Rotokas.
- Pirahã: is the simplest language in existence, with ten and twelve phonemes (sounds). It is said that there are no words for colors, but technically have two words which mean “light” and “dark.” This language is from Brazil.
- Archi: is a Northeast Caucasian language spoken by the Archis in the village of Archib, southern Dagestan, Russia, and the six surrounding smaller villages. For each verb could be as many as 1.500.000 separate conjugations and is the language without click consonants.
- Sentinelese: this language is really in danger of extinction due to the small number of speakers. Nothing is known of this language due to the strict political relationship. Sentinelese is presumed to be a language of the Sentinelese people of North Sentinel Island in India.
- Silbo Gomero: considered the whistle language for its origins. Used by inhabitants of La Gomera in the Canary Islands to communicate across the deep ravines and narrow valleys that radiate through the island.
- Yupik: is actually used to describe a family of five languages, spoken by residents of Siberia and Western Alaska. Those languages are different but with similar features allowing communication between two people from different regions.
- Pawnee: is a Caddoan language spoken by some Pawnee Native Americans now located in north central Oklahoma. Pawnee languages only have nine consonants and eight vowels. But, is common that in a sentence have at least one word with over 10 syllables.
Let us know with a comment, if you know any of these languages.