There are about 7,300 main languages andabout 39,491 alternate language names and dialects.
This is not an easy question to answer by any means. When thinking about how many languages there are in the world, many would guess a few hundred, when in actuality, there could be thousands, even tens of thousands of languages around the world. In order to get some idea of why the numbers could be so high, one has to look at the fact that there are parts of the world where Indigenous peoples live and they have languages or dialects that aren’t even known to the world at large. When I was recently in India, I can definitively tell you there are 18 Nationally recognized languages, while each of the 27 states in India can have up to 300 individual dialects that are found in the remote parts of each state. That’s only looking at one country, so one can only imagine how many languages there are when you look at the rest of the world. Sadly, Steven Anderson, of the Linguistic Society of America, states that as of today, the number of languages around the world is starting to decline. There are many places where the younger generations aren’t learning the native tongue. This means that once the older generation dies, their language will die with them because it was never passed on to their children.
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