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  • Writer's pictureMaría Palomares Tarí


At YOKO, we celebrate the beauty of every mother language. As we gear up to honor International Mother Language Day on February 21, let's dive into some more fascinating facts about the diverse languages that shape our world one more year! 

1. Language Hotspots

Papua New Guinea takes the lead with the highest number of languages—over 800! Talk about a linguistic treasure trove.

2. Language Lifespan

Sadly, languages can become endangered. On average, a language disappears every two weeks, highlighting the importance of preserving linguistic heritage.

3. Language Neighbors

The world's most spoken languages, Mandarin and Spanish, might surprise you. Mandarin has more native speakers, but Spanish is the second most spoken language in terms of total speakers.

4. Polyglot Prowess

Impressive polyglots like Ziad Fazah, who claims to speak 60 languages, showcase the incredible human capacity for linguistic diversity.

5. Tonal Marvels

Some languages, like Mandarin Chinese and Yoruba, utilize tones to convey meaning. The pitch at which a word is spoken can change its entire significance. It's a tonal symphony!

6. Whistled Languages

Ever heard of Silbo Gomero? It's a whistled language used on La Gomera, one of Spain's Canary Islands. Whistlers can convey messages across valleys, showcasing the adaptability of languages.

7. Polyglot Parrots

Parrots aren't just talkative pets; some species can mimic human speech in multiple languages. A true testament to the universality of language!

8. Sign Language Diversity

Sign languages are not universal; each region may have its own. American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are distinct, emphasizing the cultural influence on non-verbal communication.

9. Language Records

The title for the world's oldest known written language goes to Sumerian, dating back to around 3200 BCE. A reminder of the enduring power of written expression.

10. The Origins 

And last but not least, Mother Language Day promotes linguistic and cultural diversity. It commemorates the day in 1952 when students in Bangladesh protested for the recognition of Bengali as one of the country’s official languages, leading to the recognition of linguistic rights worldwide.

We're passionate about celebrating the linguistic tapestry that makes each culture unique.

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