12 Things Almost Everyone Gets Wrong About Language.

Not everything you know about language is true. When you study languages objectively you start to realize that you’ve been wrong about almost everything you believed about them. Here is a list of some of the most common misconceptions about language that people have to reconsider: 

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The languages with more than 30 million native speakers.

There are approximately 7000 languages spoken in the world today, the majority of which are spoken by very tiny populations. About 60% of the world’s population, approximately 4 billion people, speak one of the few languages listed below. In fact, only 40 languages are spoken by more than 30 million native speakers. These languages are listed below in order of native speakers. Note that only native speakers are counted and that dialectal differences are overlooked. 

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Words That People Use Which Don’t Exist.

Ever wonder if all the words people use are words that actually exist? By exist we mean they are recognized and included in English dictionaries. Well, some of the words that people confidently use on a day-to-day basis do not exist. Some say that the use of these words highlights a crucial language feature (i.e. change), while other language snobs disagree and scoff when they hear someone use them. Let’s find these words out.  

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List of The 7 Fastest Spoken Languages in The World.

As native speakers, we all have assumptions about the particular speed of languages other than our own. And most of the time, our assumptions are correct. Empirically speaking, linguists measure the speed of languages by how many syllables are articulated per second or per minute. Of course, we don’t have data from all the languages of the world to have a definitive list, but here is what we know so far, according to a study that was conducted by Pellegrino, Coupé, and Marco:

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10 Common Words That Used To Mean Something Completely Different.

Language belongs to us and we do with it what we please. We invent new words, new spellings and sometimes whole new languages. When it comes to words, we decide what they mean and we change their meanings at will. That’s what English speakers did to the words below. They used to mean something then took a semantic detour. Let’s find them out.  

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Hilarious idioms from different languages.

 Idioms can tell us a lot about how people use language and interact with one another. They also somehow mirror certain people’s culture as they have very specific cultural meanings that convey societal standards, principles, and beliefs. Because the cultures of the world are beautifully diverse, the idioms that each language uses are unique and may have unexpected meanings at times. We’ve gathered some truly amazing idioms from around the world to showcase this diversity and we hope they appeal to your nerdy brains. 

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This is the word that exists in all human languages, according to research.

Our languages are incredibly diverse and it is highly unlikely to find a word or a handful of words that sound the same in all languages. Except that there is a word that is shared by all human languages,  according to research. Surprise, surprise..the word is ‘huh’.  Weird, huh! Well, it turns out that this is probably a universal word. 

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5 Words That Sound The Same In Almost Every Language.

Words really don’t have any logic to them. You can’t just work out the meaning of words based on the sounds that make them up. That’s because words are arbitrary.  So if you don’t speak Chinese, you can’t possibly figure out the words for, say, “breakfast” or “fridge”. Different people agree to give different combinations of sounds different meanings.

Considering that people are scattered around the globe and speak different mutually unintelligible languages, it is unlikely that they would all have the same words for the same thing. However, there are some select words that sound pretty much the same across so many languages. They flit across language barriers either through trade, the internet, or because people just like the sound of them. Here are some of them:

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Our ability to speak is led down to our genes, a study finds.

Is there a grammar/language gene? This is an interesting question that linguistics finally started to tap into. While the correlation between our genes and our physical traits such as height, skin, eye color, etc. is very clearly undeniable and easy to understand, the correlation between genes and language is a little less obvious and disturbing. There is, in fact, tangible evidence in favor of the gene-language correlation that hints to the fact that such correlation may exist. 

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30 English Words That Are Rarely Known To Most People.

Every language has a list of rarely used words that very few people know. They are not commonly known because they are rarely needed. Why bother learning something that you will not use..right? But for us, language nerds, that’s what gives meaning to our lives. Tracking down words and what they mean satisfies a curiosity that sits deep within us, whatever they mean. I wrote this article to satisfy that curiosity. So I brought to you 30 words that exist in English that you and other people probably don’t know. Don’t forget to share your favorites. 

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