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How Long Does It Take To Learn: The 9 Most Common Languages?

How Long Does It Take To Learn: The 9 Most Common Languages? ( t's all Έλληνες to me) English is the 3rd most popular first language, with 335,000,000 native speakers. However, if you want to starta conversation with the other 6 billion people who can't speak Shakespeare's tongue, you're going to have to learn their lingo. Below are the other 9 largest first languages ranked by how easy they are to learn for English speakers 23 weeks EASY VERY MARD SPANISH Origin After the fall of the Roman Empire, Spanish derived from a dialect of spoken Latin which then spread to the Americans via the Spanish Empire. 414,000,000 native speakers Fact 2nd largest There are more Spanish speakers living in the US than Spain, and there are even more living in Mexico. first language Fun Phrase 'Botellón' translates as 'public drinking', but literally means 'big bottle'. Origin Vulgar Latin evolved into Portuguese. It was spread to Brazil and parts of Africa and India via the Portuguese Empire. PORTUGUESE 203,000,00о native speakers Fact Portuguese is an official language of the European Union, the 6th largest African Union and the South American Mercosur. first language Fun Phrase If a Portuguese person is annoyed with you, they may tell you to "Vai pentear macacos' or 'Go away and comb monkeys'. 36 weeks EASY VERY HARD Origin From East Java, Javanese spread across Indonesia via the Majapahit Empire and later the Islamic Mataram Empire. JAVANESE 84,300,000 native speakers Fact 10th largest Javanese has many different formality styles. The most prestigious form is 'Basa Kedaton' or 'palace language'. first language Fun Phrase 'Polisi tidur' translates as 'speed bump', although the literal translation is 'sleeping policeman'. 44 weeks EASY VERY HARD HINDI Origin Hindi developed from Urdu, the language spoken in the court of the Mughal Empire. In 1965 it was made the official language of India. 260,000,000 native speakers Fact There are no articles (like the' or 'a') in Hindi. 4th largest Fun Phrase first language 'cāmpo!' translates directly to 'press!. It refers to the Indian barbers' method of cleaning hair and is the origin of the English word 'shampoo'. Origin Bengali evolved from a mix of both Indo-European and South Asian structures around BENGALI 193,000,000 1000 AD. It took until the 18th century before Bengali grammar was standardised. native speakers Fact A UNESCO poll voted Bengali as the world's 'sweetest language'. 7th largest first language Fun Phrase The onomatopoeic word 'Togbog' is used to describe boiling water as well as childish excitement. RUSSIAN Origin The unification of several Slavic groups into Kievan Rus' marked the beginning of Russian language standardisation, which was further reformed by Peter the Great of Russia. 167,000,000 native speakers Fact 8th largest Modern Russian includes over 500,000 words, but only about first language 2,000 of them are commonly used. Fun Phrase XOTB KON Ha TONOBE TEWN translates literally as You can sharpen with an axe on top of this head, referring to a stubborn person. 88 weeks EASY VERY HARD ARABIC Origin Arabic spread across the Middle East due to its status as a trader language, 237,000,000 making its way across Persia and North Africa via the Islamic Conquests. native speakers Fact Most Arabic words have a three letter root which additional letters are then 5th largest added in and around to give a specific meaning. first language Fun Phrase 'Na'amah' translates as either 'an ostrich', 'a sign post' or 'a pavilion on a mountain', depending on context. JAPANESE Origin The origins of the Japanese language are disputed, however, the dominant theory 122,000,000 suggests an adaptation from historical Chinese and Korean influences. native speakers Fact Japanese has three alphabets: Hiragana and Katakana, which both have 48 9th largest characters, and Kanji, which contains thousands of Chinese characters. first language Fun Phrase The Japanese say: DEtutli (neko no te mo karitai) to explain that they're busy. It translates to 'Willing to borrow a cat's paw for help'. CHINESE Or Chinese is the oldest written language, dating back to at least six thousand years. Although there are many regional languages in China, Mandarin has been the official language since 1932. 1,197,000,000 native speakers Fact World's most Mandarin has two kinds of written characters: traditional, which is popular first used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, and simplified, which is used in mainland China. language Fun Phrase A Chinese livelihood isn't called 'bread and butter' like in English, but which means 'Rice Bowl'. Sources: rayburntours

How Long Does It Take To Learn: The 9 Most Common Languages?

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To quote Fred Weasley in The Goblet of Fire: ‘Anyone can speak Troll. All you have to do is point and grunt.’ Unfortunately, if you want to get truly invested in a different culture, you’re g...


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