Category Archives: A-Z of Languages

H is for Hawai´ian

Hawai´ian is a Polynesian language, related to Maori, and believed to have evolved from Tahitian. It is named after the island of Hawai´i, where it is the joint official language with English. The Hawai´ian language is under threat from English, … Continue reading

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G is for German

Although one of the most important languages in Europe, having more speakers than any other EU language, German is not widespread outside the continent. It is spoken in Germany (naturally), Austria, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Belgium. It is characterised by … Continue reading

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F is for Frisian

Frisian is a minority language, with only around ½ million speakers, but I have chosen to include it in this A-Z because it is notable for being the language most closely related to English. English evolved from Old-Frisian, which was … Continue reading

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E is for English

I couldn’t write an A to Z of languages without including my own mother tongue. It’s an unusual language in so many ways, with its quirky spelling and rich vocabulary, and I love it. After Mandarin and Spanish it is … Continue reading

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D is for Dead Languages

Dead languages are those which are no longer spoken. Some, such as Latin, are not strictly speaking dead – they have just evolved into other Romance languages. There was never a time when Latin stopped being spoken and Italian started; … Continue reading

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C is for Chinese

Chinese is like Arabic in that it is an umbrella term for several mutually unintelligible dialects. If all of these dialects are included, there are over 1 billion speakers of Chinese. The two most well-known dialects to people in the … Continue reading

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B is for Bable and Basque

Each of the autonomous regions in Spain have their own language in addition to Spanish, which they call Castellano, or Castilian. The most well-known is Catalan, but that begins with C, so let’s look instead at Bable and Basque.   … Continue reading

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