Language is the human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, and a language is any specific example of such a system. It is estimated that there are currently 7,000 languages in the world, with 2,400 of them classified as endangered. There are 231 languages, which are now extinct, which is when a language no longer has any speakers or is no longer in current use. It is estimated that one language dies every two weeks, with Eastern Siberia, Northern Australia and the Northwest Pacific Plateau of North America being classified as areas that are hotspots for languages in current danger. The Ayepaneco language in Mexico is a perfect example of a language in danger of dying out as the two remaining speakers have refused to talk to each other!
Esperanto is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language, with an estimated 500,000 to 2,000,000 speakers. The first book detailing Esperanto, the UnuaLibro, was published on July 26, 1887, and it’s writer’s goal was to create an easy-to-learn, politically neutral language that would transcend nationality and foster peace and international understanding between people with different languages. It has never been a secondary official language of any recognized country, although the self-proclaimed artificial island micronation of Rose Island used Esperanto as its official language in 1968.
Other artificially created languages have been created around books and television series. Star Trek is responsible for fan Mark Okrand creating Klingon! Dr.Okrand met the producer for the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and was hired by Paramount Pictures to develop the language and coach the actors using it in future films and television series. So whether you are considering learning a new language for fun or to help you enjoy another country, our infographic has a lot of information about this most basic aspect of our lives.