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Top 10 countries with the most languages

Top 10 countries with the most languages

Languages go beyond mere communication; they embody cultural heritage, history, and identity. Globally, many countries showcase remarkable linguistic diversity, with Papua New Guinea standing out with an impressive 841 languages.

While celebrating this diversity, it’s crucial to acknowledge the significance of preserving and promoting these languages as invaluable repositories of  human knowledge and identity.

BusinessDay recently reported on the 10 most spoken local languages in Africa, highlighting the enduring vitality of indigenous languages despite the historical impact of colonization.

Read also: 5 easiest languages English speakers can learn online

According to Ethnologue 2023, here are the top 10 countries with the most languages

Papua New Guinea — 841 languages

Papua New Guinea takes the crown for having the highest number of languages worldwide. With over 800 indigenous languages spoken across its terrain, Papua New Guinea’s linguistic diversity is unparalleled.

Indonesia — 720 languages

Indonesia, With over 700 languages spoken, including Javanese, Sundanese, and Balinese, Indonesia’s linguistic diversity is a testament to its multicultural society.

Nigeria — 537 languages

Nigeria, “Giant of Africa,” is home to a multitude of languages. With over 500 languages spoken, including Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo, Nigeria’s linguistic diversity mirrors its ethnolinguistic diversity.

India — 458 languages

India, known for its cultural richness and diversity, with over 450 languages, including Hindi, Bengali, and Tamil, India’s linguistic landscape is as diverse as its geographical and cultural heritage.

USA — 355 languages

The United States is home to a surprisingly large number of languages. With over 350 languages spoken, including English, Spanish, and Mandarin, the USA’s linguistic diversity reflects its immigrant history and multicultural society.

Australia — 318 languages

Australia, harbors a diverse linguistic heritage, with over 300 languages spoken, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, Australia’s linguistic diversity underscores its indigenous roots and multicultural society.

Read also: 10 Most spoken local languages in Africa

China — 307 languages

China, the world’s most populous country, with over 300 languages spoken, including Mandarin, Cantonese, and Wu, China’s linguistic diversity reflects its regional diversity and ethnic plurality.

Mexico — 304 languages

Mexico, with over 300 languages, including Nahuatl, Maya, and Zapotec, Mexico’s linguistic diversity is a testament to its indigenous heritage and cultural resilience.

Cameroon — 279 languages

Cameroon, with over 200 indigenous languages spoken across the country. These languages, including French and English, reflect Cameroon’s colonial legacy and cultural plurality.

Brazil — 240 languages

Brazil, with over 200 languages spoken, including Portuguese, Guarani, and Tupi, Brazil’s linguistic diversity reflects its multicultural society and indigenous roots.