Human language has been around in some form for at least 50,000 years. People speak around 7,100 different languages, with just 23 of them accounting for more than half of our population’s spoken words. Want more amazing facts about languages? In today’s blog, the Akorbi language services team highlights some amazing world records for languages.
Most Words in the Dictionary
Korean has the most words in a dictionary, at more than 1.1 million. Finnish is second with 800,000 entries. English is a distant sixth place at more than 520,000. It’s nearly impossible to count the actual number of words a particular language uses, because dictionary entries may contain multiple words with the same root, such as run, ran, and runs. Akorbi’s vocabulary is extensive thanks to our wide range of qualified interpreters.
Alphabet With the Most Letters
The Khmer alphabet, for speakers of Cambodian, contains 74 letters. This unique alphabet consists of 33 consonants, 23 vowels, and 12 independent vowels. Although Chinese may have thousands of ideograms (symbols) to represent words, it’s not technically an alphabet.
Most Native Speakers
Experts estimate that Mandarin Chinese has more than 918 million speakers worldwide, which is nearly three times the population of the United States. Spanish is second with 460 million native speakers, and English is third with 379 million. Akorbi provides interpretation services in 170 languages, including Mandarin, Spanish, and English.
Total Number of Speakers
For the total number of speakers, including second languages, English is tops with an estimated 1.268 billion people. Mandarin Chinese is second with 1.12 billion speakers.
Fastest Talkers for English
Canadian Sean Shannon earned the Guinness World Record for the fastest talker of English. He read Hamlet’s soliloquy in just 23.8 seconds. That’s 655 words per minute! The average person speaks anywhere from 100 to 130 words per minute. Mr. Shannon can speak five to six times faster than ordinary people.
Oldest Language Still in Use
Tamil, the language of Sri Lanka, has been in continuous use for around 5,000 years. It’s the world’s oldest language still in use today. Around 78 million people speak Tamil.
Translation and Interpretation Services by Akorbi
Akorbi is one of the top language service providers in the United States. Our staff offers interpretation services in more than 170 languages. Contact Akorbi or call 1-877-4-AKORBI for more information on what we can do for your company.