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Facts about multilingualism

In this article Joana Duarte PhD shares some basic facts about multilingualism.
Planet Earth
© By PIRO4D - CC0 Public Domain (
You have now completed our quiz! Well done! We hope you had fun with the quiz and discovered some interesting facts about the world’s multilingualism. Here is a brief summary of the main facts concerning multilingualism at a global scale:

  1. If there are about 7,000 languages in the world distributed over 195 countries, then every country in the world is multilingual. Find out here how many languages you and your fellow learners speak.
  2. The amount of languages spoken in a region differs greatly. For example, Europe as a region features less languages than many equivalent sized regions in Asia or Africa.
  3. Being multilingual is the norm for most individuals in the world and this will increasingly be the case.
  4. Most languages can be clustered in different families but some are completely unrelated to any other known language.
  5. The number of speakers of a language differs if we also count those learning the language as a foreign language (i.e. through a school).

Besides sharing with you, we are also interested in your views about multilingualism! In the following discussion step, you will be asked to share your views on what multilingualism is and who should be considered a multilingual.

© University of Groningen
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