Quantcast

Tongues of the World: Wrapping Up

In this, our 30th and final post in the Tongues of the World series, we’re going to have a look at how far we’ve come, and perhaps share a bit of the process with our readers. As it turns out, the subject of human language is a broader, richer, more complex field than any of [...]

Tongues of the World: Nahuatl

Overview: The Nahuatl languages belong to the greater Native American language family known as Uto-Aztecan, which covers a wide variety of languages and dialects originally spoken by the indigenous peoples of modern-day Mexico and the southwestern United States. Generally spoken by people of the Nahua (or Aztec) ethnic group, it is one of the most [...]

Tongues of the World: Quechua

Overview: The Quechua group of languages is the most widely spoken of all the indigenous American languages, estimated to be the mother tongue of anywhere from 8 to 10 million people. These estimates, based primarily on South American census data, are sometimes considered to be artificially low. Statistics on the number of speakers are scarce [...]

Tongues of the World: Native American Languages

A series about the diversity and beauty of human languages would be incomplete if the entire Western Hemisphere were left out, which is why Tongues of the World will be devoting its next two articles to some of the most widely spoken Native American languages. Because of the decimation of indigenous civilizations through contact with [...]

Tongues of the World: Pashto

Overview: Pashto is the language of the Pashtun people, also known as Afghans (in Persian) or Pathans (in Hindi/Urdu). The exact number of people who speak Pashto, whether as a mother tongue or a secondary language, is unknown but estimated to be above 50 million in most cases. These estimates can vary widely from source [...]

Tongues of the World: Italian

Overview: With at least 85 million speakers around the world, Italian is the dominant language of the Italic branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It has seen much standardization over the years after being formed from disparate dialects on the Italian Peninsula, some of which are now in danger of extinction. The Italian language [...]

Tongues of the World: Turkish

Overview: Turkish, which is spoken in much of Turkey and Cyprus as well as in neighboring countries, is the primary language of the Turkic language family that spans much of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Within that, it is also a part of the Oghuz sub-branch of Turkic languages, which all belong to the proposed [...]

Tongues of the World: Tamil

Overview: Tamil is a Dravidian language, meaning that it belongs to a family of languages found mostly in southern India, which at one time might have been dominant all across the Indian subcontinent. It is related to a few other major Indian languages such as Kannada and Telugu, as well as Malayalam, which actually used [...]

Tongues of the World: Swahili

Overview: Swahili, or Kiswahili as it is called within the language itself, is a widely-spoken tongue throughout Eastern Africa and is ubiquitous along the coast of the Indian Ocean. It frequently serves as a lingua franca in the areas where it is found, especially in the countries of Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Tanzania, and the Democratic [...]

Tongues of the World: Marathi

Overview: Marathi is a widespread language native to central and western India, and is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. With nearly one hundred million speakers, it is one of the major languages of India and is spoken all over the world. It has dozens of dialects that can vary a great deal [...]