FAQ Page

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  • How many languages are there in the world?
  • There are about 7,000 languages in the world, but it really depends on how you define “language”. For example: do languages that are only spoken (and not written) count? What about dialects or slang? What about endangered languages that only have one or two speakers left– do they count? Suffice to say, there are many factors involved, but 7,000 languages is a fair estimate. How many can you name?

  • What are the best apps to start learning a new language?
  • There are a lot of language-learning apps on the market; really, any app that gets you into a habit and routine of practicing another language is useful. For both kids and adults, Duolingo and Memrise are very popular. Busuu and FluentU are also very well-known, but you do have to pay after the free trial. LinguaLift has a detailed commentary on each of apps in the infographic below to compare and contrast them. If you are looking more for your child(ren), here is a list of 20+ Spanish Games and Apps for Kids, starting with toddlers. This article has even more ideas: 20 Amazing Apps for Kids in 2022.

  • What is your advice for more advanced language-learners?
    • Make it a point to get more input; this will expose you to more vocabulary in context and you will naturally pick up words- i.e., reading more novels in your target language; finding shows in your language on Netflix/Hulu/etc.; or watching/ listening to YouTube videos on topics of interest. I have personally gained so much vocabulary from the latter. YT also exposes you to a wide variety of accents (good for Spanish!), and you can pick a topic, like “decluttering” that is interesting.
    • Another option is to look into apps/programs like iTalkiHelloTalk, or Busuu, which cater more to advanced learners, especially because you can choose your level and talk with native speakers one on one. I have used iTalki before, and liked it a lot.
    • Last but definitely not least, the “Fluent in 3 Months Challenge” (formerly called the Add1 Challenge) is an AWESOME program where you learn as much as you possibly can in 90 days, in a community of language learners. The video sounds a bit gimmicky, but it is a truly excellent program. You are held accountable and can try out all different apps and learning tools to see what works best for you. I did it for French and it was fantastic!

  • Is English the most-spoken language in the world?
  • No, in real life, English is not the most-spoken language in the world. Chinese is number one, Spanish is number two, and English is number three. Online, however, English dominates the digital world.
  • How many Spanish-speakers are there worldwide?
  • There are more than 400 million Spanish-speakers worldwide.

  • How many Spanish-speaking countries are there?
  • There are 21 official Spanish-speaking countries. They are: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico (technically a territory), Spain, and Equatorial Guinea.

  • What about the US? Does it have an official language?
  • The US does not have an official language at the federal level. While English (80%) and Spanish (12.4%) are commonly used, there are 500 languages spoken in the US. Wow!

  • Does Spanish vary from country to country?
  • Yes! Check out this chart for a few examples.

  • How are languages related?
  • There are 142 language families in the world, and within each family, there can be hundreds of languages. English is in the Indo-European language family. Below, you can see how languages in this family are related.

  • What languages do English words come from?
  • English loanwords come from many, many different languages. For now, check out the chart below.

  • What are the hardest languages to learn?
  • In terms of hours, below is a detailed infographic from the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State that answers this question.