There are more than 6,500 distinct languages spoken around the world. Languages, not dialects.
And while that can sure lead to communication issues between nations, imagine living in a realatively small country where 840 totally different languages are spoken. That country is Papua New Guinea.
Only slightly larger than California those 840 languages are spread across a population of just 8.8 million versus California’s 40 million. The reason for such language diversity lies in the geography. Papua New Guinea is extremely mountainous with deep valleys separating tribes. The tribes rarely, if ever, mix, even to trade.
Indonesia comes in second with 711 languages spread across a population of 271 million. Indonesia is made up 17,508 islands. That physical separartion is undoubtedly the reason that so many different languages have evolved.
Here are the top ten countries with the most languages:
Countries like Australia and the USA make the list because of the immigration policies of each country. For example, Australia is home to immigrants from more than 200 different countries. It also has the distinction of something around 250 indigenous languages that have more than 800 dialects.
So while English may be the world’s most spoken langauge – followed by Mandarin and Hindi – the other 6,500+ languages humanity shares demonstrate the exroadinary paths by which humankind has populated this planet!