Language schools » List of Languages » D

List of languages

Dacian Was an Indo-European language spoken by the ancient people of Dacia. It is often considered to have been a northern variant of the Thracian language or closely related to it. Many of the characteristics of the Dacian language are unknown and disputed. There are almost no written documents in Dacian. What is known of the language derives from:
* the toponyms, hydronyms, proper names (including names of kings) and Dacian names of about fifty plants written in Greek and Roman sources (see List of Dacian plant names).
* the substratum words found in the current Romanian language, the language that is spoken in almost all the places Dacians lived: there are about 400 words with uncertain origin (like brânza=cheese, balaur=dragon, etc), some of which have cognates in Albanian. These words may have entered from the Dacian language in ancient times, and would be the remains of the Dacian language.
* Dacian writings; Decebalus Per Scorilo is the longest inscription known. The Roman poet Ovid learned the Dacian language after being exiled to Tomis (today Constanta) in Dacia. He composed poems in the language, but they were not preserved.
Dahlik Is a newly discovered language spoken exclusively in Eritrea off the coast of Massawa, on three islands in the Dahlak Archipelago: Dahlak Kebir, Nora and Dehil. It has around 2,500–3,000 speakers. It belongs to the Ethio-Semitic language group and is quite closely related to Tigre and Tigrinya. It is mutually intelligible with Tigre (see Shaebia below), but, according to Simeone-Senelle, is sufficiently different to be considered a separate language.
Dalecarlian (English: lit. "Älvdalen speech", also: Älvdalska, Övdalsk, English: Elfdalian) is a member of the Dalecarlian dialect a group of Swedish. It is spoken in Älvdalen Municipality in Northern Dalarna (Dalecarlia) province. . It is considered to be a dialect by some Scandinavian linguists, but a separate language by others. Other Dalecarlian diaelects are spoken around the Lake Siljan. The dialects are very distinct from Standard Swedish and have retained many archaic grammatical and phonological features, many of which have not changed considerably since Old Swedish, the form of Swedish spoken during the Middle Ages.
Recently there have been attempts to create a written standard language for Elfdalian through the establishment of the Ulum Dalska association with the help of the Råðdjärum (lit. 'Let us confer') group of Swedish linguists such as Östen Dahl. Älvdalska is highly endangered. However, it is possible that it will officially gain status as a minority language in Sweden.
Dalmatian Is an extinct Romance language formerly spoken along the Dalmatian coast of Croatia and as far south as Kotor in Montenegro. The Dalmatian speakers lived in the coastal towns and villages: (Zara, Traù, Spalato, Ragusa and Cattaro), each of these cities having a local dialect, and also on the islands of Veglia, Cherso and Arbe. Note that the term "Dalmatian" today is often used to refer to the Cakavian-ikavian Croatian dialect spoken in Dalmatia, which includes many words picked up from Italian and even some from German and Turkish. This dialect and the original Dalmatian language are not related, however, and should not be confused.
Danish Belongs to the North Germanic languages (also called Scandinavian languages), a sub-group of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages. It is spoken by around 6 million people mainly in Denmark including some 50,000 people in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, where it holds the status of minority language. Danish also holds official status and is a mandatory subject in school in the former Danish colonies of Greenland and the Faroe Islands, that now enjoy limited autonomy. In Iceland, which was a part of Denmark until 1944, Danish is still the second foreign language taught in schools (although a few learn Swedish or Norwegian instead).
Dargin Or Dargwa language is spoken by the Dargin people of western Dagestan. It is a dialect continuum with three principal dialects, and its people are Sunni-Muslims. Dargwa peoples use a modified version of the Cyrillic alphabets to write their language, which is one of the literary languages of Dagestan. As per the 2002 census, there are 429,347 speakers of Dargwa proper in Dagestan, 7,188 in neighbouring Kalmykia, 1,620 in Khantia-Mansia, 680 in Chechnya, and hundreds more in other parts of Russia. Figures for the Lakh dialect are 142,523 in Dagestan, 1,504 in Kabardino-Balkaria, 708 in Khantia-Mansia.
Dari Is the first language of an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 persons living in and around the cities of Yazd and Kerman in central Iran. While Dari is spoken in a geographical area that is predominantly Muslim, it is the ethnolect of the area’s Zoroastrians, followers of the pre-Islamic religion of Iran. Genetically, Dari is a member of the Northwestern Iranian language subfamily, which includes several other closely related languages, e.g. Kurdish, Gilaki, Balochi. The Northwestern Iranian languages themselves comprise a branch of the larger Iranian language family, which embraces in its Southwestern subgrouping the family’s best-known language, Persian. More distantly, Dari is related to European languages like English, German and French since the Iranian language group is itself a branch of the Indo-European language family.
Dari-Persian Is a language spoken in Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and in Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Southern Russia, neighboring countries, and elsewhere.
Dena’ina (Also Tanaina) is the Athabaskan language of Eklutna, Cook Inlet and the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. The ancestral territory of the Dena’ina tribe surrounds Cook Inlet, including the present-day location of Anchorage, Alaska. Nondalton on Lake Clark and Lime Village on the Stony River are also current and ancestral regions of Dena’ina. It is commonly held to have four dialects:
- Upper Inlet, spoken in Eklutna, Knik, Susitna, Tyonek.
- Outer Inlet, spoken in Kenai, Kustatan, Seldovia.
- Iliamna, spoken in Pedro Bay, Old Iliamna, Lake Iliamna area.
- Inland, spoken in Nondalton, Lime Village
Dida Is a Kru language, or two languages, spoken in Côte d'Ivoire. Dida can be divided into two groups, Yocoboué Dida (101,600 speakers) and Lakota Dida (93,800 speakers), which may be regarded as dialects of a single Dida language, or as two separate languages.
Dhivehi Is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 300,000 people in the Republic of Maldives where it is the official language of the country and in the island of Minicoy (Maliku) in neighbouring India where it is known as Mahl. Dhivehi is thought to be a descendent of Maharashtri, one of the Prakrit languages which developed from Sanskrit. Dhivehi is closely related to Sinhala. Many languages have influenced the development of Dhivehi through the ages, Arabic being one of the main ones. Others include Sinhala, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, French, Persian, Portuguese, and English.
Dogri Is an Indic language spoken by some two million people in South Asia, chiefly in the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir but also in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, other parts of Kashmir and elsewhere. The people speaking Dogri are called Dogras. Dogri has in the past been widely considered a dialect of Punjabi, but it has taken on a literary life of its own. Recently Dogri was recognized as a scheduled language in the Indian constitution. Amir Khusrao was the first person to record the existence of Dogri as a distinct North Indian dialect, in the 14th century. Dogri is one of the state languages of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is written either in Nagari, or in the Nasta'liq form of the Perso-Arabic script.
Dogrib Is a language spoken by the First Nations Tlicho people of the Canadian territory Northwest Territories. According to Statistics Canada in 1999, there were approximately 2,085 people whose first language is Dogrib. The Dogrib region covers the northern shore of Great Slave Lake, reaching almost up to Great Bear Lake. Rae-Edzo is the largest community in the Dogrib Region.
Dolgan Is a Turkic language with around 5,000 speakers that is spoken in the Taymyr Peninsula in the Russian Federation. Its speakers are known as the Dolgans. Like Finnish, Hungarian, and Turkish, Dolgan has vowel harmony, is agglutinative and has no grammatical gender. Word order is usually Subject Object Verb.
Dongxiang Is a Mongolic language spoken by the Dongxiang people of northwestern China.
Duala (Also known by the French spelling Douala) is the language spoken by the Duala. The language belonges to the Bantu language family.
Dungan Is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by the Dungan or (Hui) of Central Asia. Dungan is spoken primarily in Kyrgyzstan, with speakers in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Russia as well. The Dungan ethnic group are the descendants of refugees from China who migrated west into Central Asia. It is used in the school system. The first Dungan-language newspaper was established in 1932; it continues publication today in weekly form.
Dutch Sometimes referred to as Netherlandic in English, is a Low Germanic language spoken by around 22 million people, mainly in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Dzhidi Is the Jewish language spoken by the Jews living in Iran. As a collective term, Dzhidi refers to a number of Indo-Iranian languages or dialects spoken by Jewish communities throughout the formerly extensive Persian Empire. On a more limited scale, spoken Dzhidi refers to the Judæo-Persian dialect spoken by the Jewish communities of the area around Tehran and Mashhad. The language is also known, especially in its literary form, as Latorayi, literally "not [the language] of the Torah". The earliest evidence of the entrance of Persian words into the language of the Israelites is found in the Bible. The post-exilic portions, Hebrew as well as Aramaic, contain besides many Persian proper names and titles, a number of nouns (as "dat" = "law"; "genez" = "treasure"; "pardes" = "park") which came into permanent use at the time of the Achæmenidæ.
Dzongkha Is the national language of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Dzongkha bears a linguistic relationship to modern Tibetan as that between Spanish and Italian. The modern language pairs have lost mutual comprehensibility but they share a common ancestor language which is still used in liturgical contexts. Thus religious professionals in Spain and Italy study Latin the religious language of Roman Catholicism, while monks in Tibet and Bhutan study Old Tibetan the sacred language of Tibetan Buddhism. In Bhutan this preserved sacred language is referred to as Chhokey.