Every two weeks, another language dies.
Or, perhaps, a dialect. There are over 231 completely extinct languages and 2,400 of the world’s languages are considered to be in danger of dying out.
The language with the largest alphabet in the world belongs to the Cambodian language Khmer and is 74 characters long. The shortest alphabet is 12 characters long, and belongs to Rotokas. The language with the most words, however, is English, boasting over 250,000 words.
Learning a second language can make you smarter. A number of scientists agree that becoming polyglot can boost your brainpower. Other studies also suggest that speaking more than one language can help to slow down the aging process of the mind.
Despite that, onomatopoeias are not shared across languages. Rice Krispies in the United States go ‘snap, crackle, and pop.’ But in Germany, they go ‘Knisper! Knasper! Knusper!’ In France, they go ‘Cric! Crac! Croc!’ and in Spain, they go ‘Cris! Cras! Cros!’
Bees don’t buzz in Afrikaans, they go ‘zoem-zoem’. And while cats say “meow” in America, they say “meo-meo” in Vietnam, “nau” in Estonia, and “ngjau” in Malay.
Cows are sacred in India, but they don’t say “moo” in Bengali, they say “hamba”.
Thai owls say “hook hook” instead of “hoot”, and Albanian pigs don’t say “oink”, they say “hunk hunk.”