There are approximately 3000-6000 languages spoken on Earth today. Some of these are spoken by a small tribe of people and others, like English, are spoken by millions of people worldwide. Many languages are closely related and others borrow words from many different languages. If you have ever wondered which language has the largest vocabulary (set of words), keep reading to find out.
Which language has the most words?
Surprisingly this question is difficult to answer because of the differences in each language. It is said that English has far more words than any other language. This occurs partly because new words are readily adopted into English as there is no formal body to control the language. Other languages such as; French, Italian and German, have official academies to accept words into their language. Another reason that English has so many words is because many words have been adopted from other languages.
A research group called The Global Language Monitor, who use a special algorithm to track and monitor the English language, declared the 1 millionth word in the English language in 2009. However, many experts do not agree with their findings because they believe that their methodology is flawed. The critics also claim that many English words are now obsolete and there is a lack of understanding about how other languages work.
The argument about which language has the largest vocabulary and/or most words will continue for many years to come. The fact that languages are constantly evolving will make the question even more difficult to answer.
Did you know?
The 1 millionth word declared by The Global Language Monitor on June 10, 2009 was “Web 2.0.”