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List of languages





LANGUAGE DESCRIPTION
Badaga Is a southern Dravidian language (Tamil-Kannada branch) spoken by approximately 250,000 people (the Badagas) in the Nilgiri Hills in Southern India. It is known for its retroflex vowels.
Badeshi Is a Northwestern Iranian language spoken by over 10,000 people in upper reaches of Bishigram Valley (Chail), east of Madyan, Swat, Kohistan in Northern Areas of Pakistan. Badeshi people of Bishigram Valley and Tirat Valley are total around 1,500 in numbers. The figures of Pooran Chakesar, Alai, and Mansehra towns is not available. Badeshi people stopped using their native language completely few generations ago. In Bishigram Valley, they only speak Torwali and in Tirat Valley they speak Pashto.
Balinese Is the language spoken by people in the island of Bali, Indonesia. It is spoken by 3.8 million people, approximately 2.1% of Indonesia's population. It is spoken in Bali, in Lombok and in Java. Balinese is part of the Austronesian language family, and is closely related to the Sasak language and languages on western Sumbawa.
Balochi (Also Baluchi, Baloci or Baluci) is a Northwestern Iranian language. It is the principal language of the Baloch of Balochistan, a region in western Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui.
Balti Is a language spoken in Baltistan, in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Baltistan - before independence - was part of Ladakh province. The language is a sub-dialect of Ladakhi and an archaic dialect of the Tibetan language. Many of the consonants that are silent in most modern Tibetan dialects are pronounced in Balti.
Bambara Also known as Bamanankan in the language itself, is a language spoken in Mali by as many as six million people (including second language users). The differences between Bambara and Dioula are minimal. Dioula is a language spoken or understood, by fewer numbers of people, in Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, and Gambia. The Bambara language is primarily spoken by members of the Bambara ethnic group, numbering about 270,000 people, but serves also as an interethnic language of Mali.
Banyumasan In modern language classification, the Banyumasan language is usually considered a dialect of Javanese. The Banyumasan language is mainly spoken in the three areas of the island of Java: the Banyumasan region, located in westernmost Central Java Province and surrounding the Slamet mountain and Serayu river; a neighboring area inside West Java Province; and northern region of Banten Province.
The Banyumasan language belongs to the Sundic sub-branch of the Western Malayo-Polynesian (also called Hesperonesian) branch of the Malayo-Polynesian subfamily of the Austronesian super family.
Basaa (Also spelled Bassa, Basa, Bissa) is a Bantu language spoken in Cameroon. It is spoken by about 230,000 people in Centre and Littoral provinces.
Bashkir Is a Turkic language. The 1989 population census showed over 1,047,000 native speakers of the Bashkir language living in the USSR. Additional 26,737 claimed Bashkir to be their secondary language. Approximately 300,000 Bashkirs said that Tatar was their native language. Speakers of the Bashkir language mostly live in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan, as well as in neighboring Tatarstan and Udmurtia. Substantial number of the speakers also live in Perm Krai and in Chelyabinsk, Orenburg, Sverdlovsk, and Kurgan Oblasts. Large Bashkir minority groups also live in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Bats (Also Batsi, Batsbi, Batsb or Batsaw) is the language of the Bats people, a Caucasian minority group, and is part of the Nakh family of Caucasian languages. It had 2,500 to 3,000 speakers in 1975. There is only one dialect. It exists only as a spoken language, as the Bats people use Georgian as their written language. The language is not mutually intelligible with either Chechen or Ingush, the other two members of the Nakh family.
Bavarian Or Austro-Bavarian is an Upper Germanic language. Like standard German, Austro-Bavarian is a High Germanic language, but they are not the same. However, Austro-Bavarian and Standard German have influenced each other and the vast majority of Austro-Bavarian speakers speak Standard German as well. Austro-Bavarian is also used to refer to the dialect group which includes the Austro-Bavarian dialect discussed here, as well as the Cimbrian, Hutterite German, and Mócheno dialects of German.
Beja (Also called Bedawi, Bedauye, To Bedawie) is an Afro-Asiatic language of the southern coast of the Red Sea, spoken by about two million nomads in parts of Egypt, Sudan, and Eritrea. It is usually seen as Cushitic, but several scholars, notably Robert Hetzron (1980), have regarded it as an independent branch of Afro-Asiatic.
Belarusian Is the language of the Belarusian people. It is one of the three East Slavic languages and is spoken in and around Belarus. It shares some vocabulary with the languages of the neighboring Slavic nations, most notably with Ukrainian, Polish, and Russian. It is also known as "Belarusan", "Byelorussian", or "Belorussian". The word "Byelorussian" is an adjective derived from the transliteration of the Russian name of the country (Byelorussia). It was in predominant use in English earlier. The adjectives "Belarusian" and "Belarusan" and many other forms emerged in the 1990s by English-speaking people to denote something or somebody of or pertaining to present-day name of Belarus, its people and the language they speak, whereas in Russian and Belarusian no new forms of the adjective appeared in those days.
Berta Is spoken in Sudan and Ethiopia, and is generally classified as a branch of Nilo-Saharan. It has the typical word order Subject Verb Object. It is a tonal language. It has significantly influenced some of the Eastern Jebel languages. The Arabic name "Beni-Shangul" (as in the Ethiopian province of Benishangul-Gumaz) derives from a Berta expression (with bele "mountain" misanalyzed as Arabic beni "sons".)
Bemba Also known as Chibemba and Ichibemba, is a Bantu language that is spoken primarily in Zambia by the Bemba people (called "Ba-Bemba" in Zambia). It is also spoken in surrounding countries. Bemba and its dialects are spoken and understood by a sizable percentage of the population of Zambia. Over three million people are estimated to be native Bemba speakers in Zambia alone, with others using Bemba as a second language. Bemba is used as a lingua franca in Zambian cities and, according to Ethnologue, it "has higher social status than other languages except English" within Zambia. Bemba is also spoken, to a lesser extent, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, and Botswana.
Bangla Or Bengali is an Indo-Aryan language of East South Asia, evolved from Sanskrit and Prakrit. The traditional English rendering is "Bengali", but increasingly, the rendering "Bangla" is gaining currency in English. With nearly 200 million native speakers, Bangla is one of the most widely spoken languages of the world (it is ranked between four and seven based on the number of speakers). Bangla is the second most commonly spoken language in India (after Hindi-Urdu). Along with Assamese, it is geographically the most eastern of the Indo-European languages.
Bezhta (Also known as Kapucha) belongs to the Tsezic group of the North Caucasian language family. It is a language spoken by about 3000 people in southern Dagestan, Russia. Bezhta can be further divided into three dialects — Bezhta, Tljadali and Hochar-Hota — which are spoken in various villages in the region. Its closest linguistic relatives are Hunzib, Tsez, Khvarshi and Hinukh. It is also related to the Avar language, but the two are not mutually intelligible. Bezhta is an unwritten language, but various attempts have been made to develop an official orthography for the language. The Bezhta people use Avar as literary language. The first book ever printed in Bezhta was the Gospel of Luke.
Beothuk Was the language spoken by the Beothuk indigenous people of Newfoundland. As the Beothuk are extinct and few written accounts of their language exist, little is known about it. It is sometimes assumed to be part of the neighboring Algonquian language family, but there is insufficient evidence to draw any strong conclusions, and this theory has not gained general acceptance. The few words of the language which are known came from captives such as Demasduwit and Shanawdithit.
Berber languages (Or Tamazight) are a group of closely related languages mainly spoken in Morocco and Algeria. A very sparse population extends into the whole Sahara and the northern part of the Sahel. They belong to the Afro-Asiatic languages phylum. There is a strong movement among Berbers to unify the closely related northern Berber languages into a single standard, Tamazight.
Among the Berber languages are Tarifit or Riffi (northern Morocco), Kabyle (Algeria) and Tachelhit (central Morocco). Tamazight has been a written language, on and off, for almost 3000 years; however, this tradition has been frequently disrupted by various invasions. It was first written in the Tifinagh alphabet, still used by the Tuareg; the oldest dated inscription is from about 200 BC. Later between about 1000 AD and 1500 AD, it was written in the Arabic alphabet (particularly by the Shilha of Morocco); in this century, it is often written in the Latin alphabet, especially among the Kabyle. A variant of the Tifinagh alphabet was recently made official in Morocco, while the Latin alphabet is official in Algeria, Mali, and Niger; however, both Tifinagh and Arabic are still widely used in Mali and Niger, while Latin and Arabic are still widely used in Morocco.
Bété languages Are spoken in south-eastern Côte d'Ivoire. There are many dialects but they can be grouped as follows:
Western: Bété of Gagnoa and Kouya. Eastern: Bété of Guiberoua, Bété of Daloa and Godié. They belong to the Kru language family.
Bhili Is a Central Indo-Aryan language spoken in west-central India, in the region east of Ahmadabad. Other names for the language include Bhagoria, Bhil, Bhilbari, Bhilboli, Bhilla, Lengotia, and Vil. Bhili is a member of the Bhil language family, which are related to Gujarati and the Rajasthani languages. The language is written using a variation of the Devanagari script.
Bhojpuri Is a popular regional language spoken in northeastern India in the western part of state of Bihar, the northwestern part of Jharkhand, and the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh, as well as an adjoining area of southern plains of Nepal. Bhojpuri is also spoken in Guyana, Suriname, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago and Mauritius and is often said to be the only Indian language to be spoken on all continents.
Bhojpuri shares vocabulary with Sanskrit, Hindi, Urdu and other Indo-Aryan languages of northern India. Bhojpuri and several closely related languages, including Maithili and Magahi, are together known as the Bihari languages. They are part of the Eastern Zone group of Indo-Aryan languages which includes Bengali and Oriya. There are numerous dialects of Bhojpuri, including three or four in eastern Uttar Pradesh alone.
Biafran Or Igbo is a language spoken in Nigeria by around 18 million speakers (the Igbo), especially in the southeastern region once identified as Biafra. The language was used by John Goldsmith as an example to justify going away from the classical linear model of phonology as laid out in The Sound Pattern of English. It is written in the Roman script. Igbo is a tonal language, like Yoruba and Chinese. Most Igbo people prefer that the language be spelled Igbo rather than Ibo.
Bihari Is a name given to a group of Indo-Aryan languages spoken in Bihar and neighboring states in India. The Bihari group consists of:
Angika (30,000,000 speakers). Written in Anga, Kaithi and Devanagari scripts.
Bhojpuri (26,254,000 speakers). Written in the Kaithi and Devanagari scripts.
Kudmali (37,000 speakers).
Magahi (11,362,000 speakers).
Maithili (7,500,00 speakers). Written in the Maithili and Devanagari scripts.
Panchpargania (274,000 speakers).
Sadri (1,965,000 speakers).
Surajpuri (273,000 speakers).
Vajjika (500,000 speakers).
Barzani Jewish Neo-Aramaic Is a modern Jewish Aramaic language, often called Neo-Aramaic or Judeo-Aramaic. It was originally spoken in three villages near Aqra in Iraqi Kurdistan. The native name of the language is Lishanid Janan, which means 'our language', and is similar to names used by other Jewish Neo-Aramaic dialects (Lishan Didan, Lishanid Noshan).
Bikol Or Bicolano is an Austronesian language used in the Philippines particularly on the Bicol Peninsula on the island of Luzon.
Bikya (Also known as Furu) is a language of the Niger-Congo family that is spoken in Cameroon. It is unknown if this language is still extant. In 1986 four surviving speakers were identified, although only one (a man in his seventies) spoke the language fluently. Bikya is probably best know for the work of English linguist Dr. David Dalby who filmed an 87 year old African woman, who spoke Bikya as her native tongue. All records indicate that she was the last fluent speaker of the tongue. The archival footage was shot to perserve the language before it was lost forever.
Blackfoot Is the name of any of the Algonquian languages spoken by the Blackfoot tribe of Native Americans, who currently live in the northwestern plains of North America. Like the other Algonquian languages, Blackfoot is typologically polysynthetic. Whorf hypothesized that it was oligosynthetic, but mainstream linguistics has rejected this. Of all the Algonquian languages, Blackfoot is often said to have diverged most drastically from Proto-Algonquian. It is significantly different both phonologically and, especially, grammatically from the other languages in the family.
Boholano Is a dialect of Cebuano that is spoken on the island of Bohol in the Philippines, although it is sometimes described as a separate language. Boholano, especially the dialects used in Central Bohol, can be distinguished from other Cebuano dialects by a few phonetic changes. The "y" sound in Cebuano becomes "j" ("iya" in Cebuano becomes "ija") and the "k" sound sometimes becomes "h" ("ako" in Cebuano becomes "aho"). The dialects used in the coastal areas of Bohol though, including Tagbilaran City, are almost indistinguishable from other Cebuano-speaking areas.
Bohtan Neo-Aramaic Is a modern Eastern Aramaic or Syriac language. Originally, Bohtan Neo-Aramaic was spoken on the Plain of Bohtan in Sirnak Province of southeastern Turkey, but it is now spoken mostly around the village of Garbadani, near Rustavi in Georgia. Before the First World War, there were around 30,000 speakers of Bohtan Neo-Aramaic on the Plain of Bohtan, around the town of Cizre in Turkey's Sirnak Province. Mostly Assyrian Christians, their language was a northern dialect of Chaldean Neo-Aramaic, but already somewhat more conservative than the standard Alqosh dialect. With the turmoil that hit eastern Turkey at the end of the war, many Christian peoples were forced from their homes. A decimated population travelled from Bohtan and eventually resettled in Garbadani in southeastern Georgia, 530 km from their original home. Many of the speakers of Bohtan Neo-Aramaic are over sixty year of age. The younger generations tend to use Georgian or Russian instead. The latest study of the language was carried out by Samuel Ethan Fox in 1999, showing that Bohtan Neo-Aramaic has retained many conservative features of Chaldean and Assyrian Neo-Aramaic which are not present in the standard Alqosh and Urmia dialects, but has also developed new features that are not present in other dialects.
Bolaang Mongondow Is spoken in the district (Kabupaten) of Bolaang Mongondow in North Sulawesi (Celebes), Indonesia. The most interesting character is that they have the l alphabet but cannot pronounce it, so they would say a bit like r instead.
Bolgar (Also Bolgar), also Proto-Bulgarian is the language of the Bulgars, now extinct, whose classification is unclear. There is variation of suppositions about its origins whether it is a Turkic language, or that it links to the Iranian language group. It was used in Great Bulgaria, and later in Volga Bulgaria and in Danubian Bulgaria. The language became extinct in Danubian Bulgaria in the 9th century as the Bulgar nobility became gradually Slavicized through intermarriages with the Slavic majority there.
The language remained, however, in use by the population of Volga Bulgaria until the 13th or the 14th century when it adopted a number of words and constructions from the Kypchak language. The language spoken by the present-day Volga Tatars represents a mixture of Bolgar and Kypchak. The Chuvash group of the Volga Bolgars kept their language and it evolved into the modern Chuvash language.
The Old Tatar language also absorbed elements of the Bolgar language, because it appeared before the extinction of Bolgar.
Inscirptions of Proto-Bulgarian are found in Pliska in Greek alphabet, because of the khans and kings of Bulgaria frequently used Greek in their court. These iscriptione are found along with inscriptions in Greek.
Bonan Is the Mongolic language of the Bonan ethnic group of China.
Bosnian Is one of the standard versions of the Central-South Slavic diasystem, based on the Štokavian dialect. The language is used by Bosniaks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the region of Sandžak (in Serbia and Montenegro) and elsewhere. It is based on the Western variant of the Shtokavian dialect and uses both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets,[citation needed] although Latin is used to the almost total exclusion of Cyrillic. The spoken language may not differ at all from the Serbian and Croatian spoken by the Bosniaks' Serb and Croat neighbours. The name Bosnian language is the commonly accepted name among Bosniak linguists, and the name used by the ISO-639 standard.
Brahui Is mainly spoken in Balochistan, Pakistan, although also in Afghanistan and Iran by the Brahui. It reportedly has about two million speakers in Pakistan (1998), and a tenth that number elsewhere. In Pakistan it is mainly spoken in the Kalat region of Balochistan. Although it is a Dravidian language, it has been heavily influenced by the Iranian languages spoken in the area such as Balochi. Brahui is generally considered to be a remnant of a formerly more widespread Dravidian language family that was reduced during the Indo-Aryan migration. It is also sometimes speculated that Brahui might be a direct legacy of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
Breton (Breton: Brezhoneg) is a Celtic language spoken by some of the inhabitants of Brittany (Breizh) and Loire-Atlantique (historically part of Brittany) in France.
British Sign Language Is the sign language used in the United Kingdom (UK). BSL is the first or preferred language of nearly 250,000 deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the UK. It is a language of space and movement using the hands, body, face and head. Many thousands of hearing people also use BSL.
Bua Is spoken by some 7,708 people (as of 1993) north of the Chari River around Korbol and Gabil; it is the largest member of the small Bua subgroup of the Mbum-Day subgroup of the Adamawa languages. It is mutually comprehensible with Fanian.
Buginese (Locally Basa Ugi, elsewhere also Bahasa Bugis, Bugis, Bugi, De') is the language spoken by about four million people mainly in the southern part of Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Bukusu (Native name: Lubukusu) is a Bantu language spoken by the Bukusu people of western Kenya. It is one of the related languages of the Luhya people. The language is, however, more closely related to the Gisu and Masaaba languages of Eastern Uganda, and is mutually intelligible with those two languages.
Bulgarian Is an Indo-European language, a member of the Southern branch of the Slavic languages. Bulgarian demonstrates several linguistic innovations that set it apart from other Slavic languages, such as the elimination of noun declension, the development of a suffixed definite article (see Balkan linguistic union), the lack of a verb infinitive, and the retention and further development of the proto-Slavic verb system. There are various verb forms to express nonwitnessed, retold, and doubtful action.
Burmese Is the official language of Myanmar. Although the government officially recognises the language as Myanmar, most continue to refer to the language as Burmese. It is the mother tongue of the Bamar, Rakhine, and other related sub-ethnic groups of the Bamar. Burmese is a member of the Tibeto-Burman languages, which is a subfamily of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. It is spoken by 32 million as a first language, and as a second language by minorities in Myanmar. Burmese is a tonal and analytic language. The language utilises the Burmese script, which derives from the Mon script and ultimately from the Brahmi script.
Burushaski Is a language isolate spoken by some 50,000-60,000 Burusho people in the Hunza, Nagir, Yasin, and parts of the Gilgit valleys in northern Pakistan. Other names for the language are Kanjut (Kunjoot), Khaguna, Werchikwar, Boorishki, Brushas (Brushias). Calvert Watkins, editor of the Indo-European etymologies in the American Heritage dictionaries, suggested that the word *abel (apple), the only fruit tree reconstructed for Proto-Indo-European, may have been borrowed from a language ancestral to Burushaski. Today Burushaski contains numerous loanwords from Urdu and a few from neighbouring Dardic languages such as Khowar and Shina, but the original vocabulary remains largely intact. The Dardic languages also contain large numbers of loan words from Burushaski.
Buryat Is a Mongolic language spoken by the Buryats. It is considered a macrolanguage. The individual languages within this macrolanguage are:
* China Buriat (65,000 speakers by Ethnologue).
* Mongolia Buriat (64,900).
* Russia Buriat (318,000).
Russia Buriat is official language in Buryat Republic.