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A Few Facts About Languages

Updated on October 22, 2011

From a mother's instinctive understanding of her baby's babbling to the spoken word of university students, language is man's foremost means of communication.

While thinking without words is possible at a primitive level, we subconsciously veer toward a ‘preferred' mother tongue in our inner monologues. This chosen inner voice is a mirror of culturally thoughts.

Today, the linguist's greatest hope is the improvement of linguistic techniques, so that people are able to master least one of the world's living languages. At the same time , there are fears that if a language evolve without external inputs from other languages it may eventually become incomprehensible.

Although English is considered to be the most widely spoken language in the world today, figures compiled in 2000 repudiate this assumption and claim Mandarin ranks first with 874 million native speakers, Urdu/Hindi ranks second a 366 million and English comes third with 341 million.

English however, remains the lingua franca of the world, being an official language in 52 countries, accounting for 75% of the world's mails and 60% of the world's radio programmers. Internet traffic shows a reduction in English as people communicate in their preferred language, with English 35.8%, other European languages at 37.5% and Asian languages at 33%.

Languages which remain unwritten, geographically confined and rigidly conventional in terms of corrections tend to die out. The first step towards extinction is when children refuse to communicate in their native language. Many governments strongly oppose inculcation of new words and in the process endanger linguistic growth.

Interestingly, Romany or Romani Chiv , ‘gipsy tongue', is basically Indian, though it now contains borrowed words. It is this adaptability which has allowed it to survive. While the future of Urdu looks bright as it continues to evolve, it is our regional languages that need to reach beyond their geographical limits to avoid possible extinction.



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    • boberto profile image

      boberto 9 years ago

      Im English but have been working in Spain for the last 6 years and find that many business terms are taken from the English language which was quite strange at first but sure helps me communicate better in meetings!

      Great blog, very interesting! Keep up the good work!

    • Mr Nice profile image

      Mr Nice 10 years ago from North America

      Please visit my hubpage for further info and thanks for your feedbacks.

    • hassam profile image

      hassam 10 years ago from Pakistan

      Well I thought so, from the things you told me, you may know better than me as you said you are quite interested in languages. But my friend ever one has different point of view about things you told yours and I told mine.

      And i would be inetersted to know that where are you from and how many languages can you speak.

      I have seen one of your hub which really shows you know a lot about languages

    • Mr Nice profile image

      Mr Nice 10 years ago from North America

      Who told you i live in india. I like learning languages and i am very intrusted in cultures from around the world. Therefore I speak several languages and because of my interest in languages I became interested in your hubpage too.

    • hassam profile image

      hassam 10 years ago from Pakistan

      I took these references from one of the newspapers, it is true ina manner that a sub-continent has a large population that speak hindi/urdu.

      You are right that languages are dying as they where in their original forms because they are changing there forms by borrowing words from different languages. But even English is not what it used to be years back but it is still called english, so you can't actually say that it has died out, but actually it has changed its form.

      Similarly urdu/hindi can change its form and thats my point that these languages will also change but not completely die out.

      You feel this because you live in India which is now being dominated with English,unlike pakistan whose culture is still very backward to speak english as there in house language.

      And let me tell you that even the Arabs have learned hindi/urdu because the large people from the sub-continent that live there are influencing them. They even watch Hindi movies and learn a lot of vocabulary from it. Even though they have there own strong language but hindi/urdu is still influencing them.

    • Mr Nice profile image

      Mr Nice 10 years ago from North America

      Please always write the source of your information with some reference. Many languages in the world already started dying because people around the world are not using their pure language. People are using more English in their conversation than their first languages because they can't find words in their own languages. Therefore they need help from English. I have seen this happening with many languages. There was an interesting article about India I read some where few months ago, sorry I don't remember the source. In that article it was mentioned about how Indians are making good use of English. It is mixed with hindi in conversation & even in their movies too.

    • hassam profile image

      hassam 10 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks for your feed back the article you have linked well covers the truth about languages.

      I only answered your question as to "How urdu will evolve?" but urdu is certainly not the language that is going to die out, as people with regional languages are now speaking urdu thereby promting it. Language are dying at a really great pace but only the ones that are to regional and that is what your article says.

      As far as languages becoming complex is concerned this is what gives rise to new dialects in languages resulting in new languages while the older ones die out. Similar to punjabi that has now so ancient and has so many dialects but now is slowly disappearing.

      Well I know it is a truth that urdu will eventually die out but not that fast as predicted in your article as I have mentioned in my article that it is the ranked 2nd language.

    • Mr Nice profile image

      Mr Nice 10 years ago from North America

      Please read my info and the article link and find out what i am trying to explain about languages.

    • hassam profile image

      hassam 10 years ago from Pakistan

      I appreciate what you think but to me evolution is not just the promotion of ancient prose and linguistics but evolution is change and let me tell just like english is evolving urdu is also evolving at the same rate.Now obviously evolution comes from adaption of environment urdu is also adapting and evolving.Even now people are using English letters to write urdu words I think that is not wrong,because it is a sign of evolving language.Even in english many new slang words are introduced which are now even included in dictionaries.Now there is Enlish(US),English(UK).etc. Similarly urdu is also capable of evolving in a simliar fashion.

      I know hindi is a huge language but even hindi uses words from urdu,much of the dialogues in hindi films are based on urdu.

      In short this process is all what evolution of language is about because they are spoken and are being adapted according to the changing times.

    • Mr Nice profile image

      Mr Nice 10 years ago from North America

      Many languages are borrowing the words from english because there are no new words in their languages. Your Urdu language is mixture of hindi first & now english too. I don't know where you find out Urdu will evolve.

      Half of all human languages will have disappeared by the end of the century.But just as many minority languages are dying out, the languages that dominate the globe, such as Chinese, English and Spanish, are becoming increasingly varied and complex. Here is the link to this article.


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