Language variety

In most conventional languages sounds are produced by expiring air from the lungs. Interestingly, Southwest Africa hosts quite a few languages where words are pronounced by a completely different mechanism – predominant aspiration.
What is the exact number of different languages around the globe today? Around 3000 to 7000 or possibly more – a definite number has never been agreed on, as a great many world languages still remain completely unresearched, especially those of Siberia, New Guinea and Central Africa. In addition, linguists face a lot of difficulties in classifying languages – it is very often unclear whether remote dialects should be considered as independent languages or not. A common solution for this is as follows: if speakers of different language variants understand each other, then they are likely to speak one and the same language, for instance, Londoners are generally able to understand Liverpudlians. Speakers of similar languages where there are even minor differences often tend to keep political or cultural distance among themselves resulting in their languages being identified as distinct linguistic entities. This has happened, for example, with the Flemish and Dutch languages, as well as Danish, Swedish and Norwegian. An even more extraordinary case is that of the Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian languages, despite the fact that they share more similarities than Lithuanian dialects along the Southern and Northern borders.

A great number of languages, especially in the Americas, have vanished over the centuries. Over 300 languages are currently on the verge of extinction. Furthermore, 90 percent of present languages are expected to disappear by the end of this century. Some languages have only a handful of speakers left, unlike the 10 most prominent which are listed as follows (parentheses indicate the number of native speakers): Chinese (1200m), Arabic (422m), Hindi (366m), English (341m), Spanish (335m), Bengali (207m), Portuguese (176m), Russian (167m), Japanese (125m), German (100m).

Metropolio Vertimai UAB provides professional translation and related services of the highest quality: simultaneous and consecutive interpreting, translation from/to 80 languages, stylistic, technical and creative editing of texts, localization, desktop publishing, rental of conference equipment and organisation of events.