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  • For decades, English has dominated the world's languages.

  • Around the turn of the millennium, about a quarter of the world's population could communicate in English to some degree.

  • But with changing world demographics and globalization, the languages we all use are sure to change in form and popularity.

  • So, we wanted to know, what is the future of language?

  • Well, there are certainly competing ideas about what will become the most widely spoken language.

  • But one thing is agreed upon: that the total number of languages worldwide will drop considerably.

  • Today, there are about 7,000 languages spoken around the globe.

  • But this number is thought to drop by about 90% although new hybrid languages are expected to spring up, maintaining culture and diversity.

  • Even today, nearly two-thirds of the world natively speaks only one of twelve languages.

  • Most language predictions are based on population growth, with China and India taking the lead.

  • Another somewhat questionable prediction has been that French will become the most spoken language within the same time period.

  • Although, today, French is natively spoken by roughly 220 million, that number is expected to increase to roughly 750 million.

  • And the study suggests it will eclipse both Chinese and English.

  • A major reason for this assumption is that a number of African nations speak French, and Africa's current economic growth is a strong predictor of a rapid population growth.

  • Still, many have criticized this view, saying that French-speaking nations in Africa don't actually represent the total number of French speakers.

  • But while population growth is a good measure of native language rates, it may actually be English as a second language that dominates the world.

  • For example, although Chinese is spoken by more people, English is spoken in three times as many countries.

  • Furthermore, Chinese is considered more complicated to learn than English and is not used nearly as often in scientific communication.

  • It is also important to note that English has the considerable advantage of already being the predominant language for print, education, media, and most importantly, the internet.

  • Many estimates also predict that Spanish and Arabic will see a huge influx of both native and secondary speakers,

  • with Spanish already the second most spoken language in the United States.

  • The future of language is easy to see: Most languages will die out, and existing languages in countries with rapid population growth will naturally see the greatest rise.

  • But the most likely scenario is that the world will continue to globalize through the English language, largely through non-native speakers.

  • The world has over 7,000 languages; to learn more about the most common languages spoken, watch our video.

  • Technically, Chinese is a macro language made up of seven major groups, spread out over more than 200 different dialects.

  • In particular, Mandarin represents the vast majority of Chinese speakers, some 70%.

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  • And we'll see you next time.

For decades, English has dominated the world's languages.

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