Language schools » List of Languages » H

List of languages





LANGUAGE DESCRIPTION
Hadza Is a language isolate along the southern shores of Lake Eyasi in Tanzania, with less than a thousand speakers. The Hadza people are still primarily hunter-gatherers, though there have been repeated efforts to settle them. Despite the small number of speakers, language use is vigorous, with most children learning it. However, the recent eradication of the tsetse fly from Hadza lands has cleared the way for cattle herders, charcoal burners, game hunters, and farmers, and the Hadza are losing their water, forest, food, and land to overexploitation and pollution. Hadza has traditionally been classified as a Khoisan language, along with its neighbor Sandawe, primarily because they both have clicks. However, Hadza has very few proposed cognates with either Sandawe or the other Khoisan languages, and many of the ones that have been proposed appear doubtful. The links with Sandawe, for example, appear to be Cushitic loan words, while the links with southern Africa are so few and short (usually single CV syllables) that they could easily be coincidence.
Haida Is the language of the Haida people. It contains at least 46 consonants and only three vowels. Though sometimes thought to be a member of the Na-Dené language family, it is usually considered to be a language isolate. It is extremely endangered, with only 35 – 50 living speakers, all of whom are over the age of 70.
Haitian Creole Is a creole language based on the French language. It is spoken in Haiti by about 8.5 million people (as of 1998), which is nearly the whole population. Via immigration, about 1.5 million speakers live in other countries, including Canada, the United States, and France, as well as many Caribbean nations, especially the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and the Bahamas. There are linguistic influences from several West African languages, namely from Wolof, and some Gbe languages, notably Fon and Ewe/Anlo-Ewe. There are two dialects: Fablas and Plateau. Haitian Creole is not to be confused with Haïtian Vodoun Culture language.
Hakka Is a spoken variation of the Chinese language spoken predominantly in southern China by the Hakka ethnic group and descendants in diaspora throughout East and Southeast Asia and around the world. The Hakka language has numerous variants or dialects, spoken in Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan, Guizhou provinces, including Hainan island and Taiwan. Hakka is not mutually intelligible with Mandarin, Cantonese, Minnan or most of the significant spoken variants of the Chinese language.
Hän Is a Native American endangered language spoken in only two places: Eagle, Alaska and Dawson City, Yukon. There are only a few fluent speakers left (perhaps about 15), all of them elderly. It is a member of the Athabaskan language family, which is part of the larger Na-Dené family. The name of the language is derived from the name of the people, "Hän Hwëch'in", which in the language means "people who live along the river", the river being the Yukon. There are currently efforts to revive the language locally.
Harari (Sometimes Aderi or Adere) is the language of the Harari people of Ethiopia. According to the 1998 Ethiopian census, it is spoken by 21,283 people. Most of its speakers are multilingual in Amharic and/or Oromo. Harari is closely related to Zay and Silt'e.
Harauti Is a dialect of Rajasthani language of Indo-Aryan language family. It is spoken in Kota, Baran, Bundi and Jhalawar districts of Rajasthan and its adjacent areas of Madhya Pradesh. Its word order is typical SOV and its characteristic feature, unlike Hindi, is presence or absence of agentive marker in perfect tense depending on the nature of accusative marker.
Harzani Is a modern Northwestern Iranian language spoken in the north of the Iranian province of East Azarbaijan, around the village of Harzand. It is considered a dialect of the Tati language and is closely related to the Talishi (Taleshi) and Karingani dialects. The major difference between Harzandi and other related dialects is its tendency to use longer vowels. It also has the close vowel 'oe' which is absent in other Tati dialects. Like other Tati dialects, Harzandi tends to change the Iranian voiced dental 'd' into a liquid r, e.g. shuran (to go) for shudan (c.f. Middle Persian shudan-).
Hattic Was a language spoken in Asia Minor between the 3rd and the 2nd millennia BC. Its heartland, before the arrival of Nesian (ie, "Hittite") speakers from its south, ranged from Hattusa (which they called "Hattus") northward to Nerik. The Nesians eventually absorbed or replaced the Hattic speakers (Hattians); but they retained the name Hatti for the region, and the use of Hattic for their religion. The Hittite term for Hattic was hattili, whereas the Hittites called their own language nesili. The form "Hittite" in English originally comes from biblical Heth, quite possibly connected to common Assyrian and Egyptian designations of "Land of the Hatti" (Khatti) west of the Euphrates.
Hausa Is the Chadic language with the largest number of speakers, spoken as a first language by about 24 million people, and as a second language by about 15 million more.
Havasupai Is a Yuman-Cochimí language spoken by less than 450 people on the Havasupai Indian Reservation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It is the only Native American language in the United States of America spoken by 100% of the indigenous population.
Hawaiian Is the ancestral language of the indigenous people of the Hawaiian Islands, the Hawaiians, a Polynesian people. Hawaiian, along with English, is an official language of the State of Hawai‘i. The ISO language code for Hawaiian is haw. Hawaiian is a member of the Austronesian language family (Lyovin 1997:257-258), most closely related to Polynesian languages like Marquesan, Tahitian, Samoan, Maori, and Rapa Nui (i.e., the language of Easter Island), as well as to other languages in the Pacific, like Fijian, and more distantly to Malay, Indonesian, Malagasy, and the indigenous languages of the Philippines (such as Tagalog, Ilokano, Visayan) and Taiwan (such as Paiwan, Rukai, Saaroa, Yami).
Hawaii Pidgin Sign Language Is a sign language used in Hawaii. Now largely supplanted by American Sign Language, it is almost extinct and is used only by a few elderly people, who are bilingual in ASL. The language is named for the Hawaii Pidgin spoken language and is not itself a pidgin.
Hazaragi Is a dialect of Persian, the primary difference with Standard Persian (spoken in Iran and Afghanistan) being that there is a larger borrowing of Turkic and Mongolian vocabulary. It is spoken by the Hazara people of central Afghanistan and in parts of Pakistan, such as Quetta as well as by a large refugee population found in northeastern Iran. Hazaragi is spoken by more than 2 million people.
Hebrew Is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family spoken by more than seven million people in Israel and Jewish communities around the world. In Israel, it is the de facto language of both the state and the people, as well as being one of the two official languages (together with Arabic), and in addition, it is spoken by an overwhelming majority of the population.
Herero Is a language of the Bantu family (Niger-Congo group). It is spoken by Herero people in Namibia (113,000) and Botswana. Total population in both countries is 133,000.
Hértevin Is a modern Eastern Aramaic or Syriac language. It was originally spoken in a cluster of villages in Siirt Province in southeastern Turkey. Speakers of Hértevin Aramaic have emigrated mostly to the West, and are now scattered and isolated from one another. A few speakers may remain in Turkey. The speakers of the Hértevin dialect of Neo-Aramaic are traditionally Chaldean Catholics. Their homeland in and around the village of Hertevin (called Hertevinler in Turkish and Härt?v?n in Kurdish), near the town of Pervari in Siirt Province is at the very northeastern extreme of the area where Eastern Neo-Aramaic languages used to be spoken, before the upheavals of the twentieth century. Thus, Hértevin is a peripheral dialect that has developed quite differently from related languages. Although belonging to the eastern, or northeastern, group of Neo-Aramaic dialects, Hértevin shares some features with the Turoyo language, of the central group, originating from nearby Mardin Province.
Hiligaynon Or Ilonggo is an Austronesian language spoken in Western Visayas in the Philippines. Hiligaynon is concentrated in the provinces of Iloilo and Negros Occidental. It is also spoken in the other provinces of the Panay Island group, such as Capiz, Antique, Aklan and Guimaras. There are approximately 7,000,000 people in and outside the Philippines who are native speakers of Hiligaynon, and an additional 4,000,000 who are capable of speaking it with a substantial degree of proficiency. Ilonggo is also the name of the culture associated with the people speaking Hiligaynon. It is a member of the Visayan language family.
Hindi An Indo-European language spoken mainly in Northern and Central India is the official language of the central government of India. It is part of a dialect continuum of the Indo-Aryan family, bounded on the northwest and west by Panjabi, Sindhi, and Gujarati; on the south by Marathi; on the southeast by Oriya; on the east by Bengali; and on the north by Nepali. Seeing the popularity of Hindi, BBC World Service started News in Hindi in 1940.
Hiraya Or Kinaray-a, is a language of the Western Visayas in the Philippines. It is spoken in Iloilo, Antique and Capiz.
Hiri Motu Or Pidgin Motu is an official language of Papua New Guinea. It is a pidgin based primarily on Motu; phonology and grammar differences mean that Hiri Motu speakers cannot understand Motu, though the languages are lexically very similar. It has both Austronesian and Papuan dialects; the latter is considered to be the standard.
Hittite Is the extinct language once spoken by the Hittites, a people who once created an empire centered on ancient Hattusas (modern Bogazköy) in north-central Anatolia (modern Turkey). The language was spoken from approximately 1600 BC (and probably before) to 1100 BC. There is some attestation that Hittite and related languages continued to be spoken in Anatolia for a few hundred years following the collapse of the Hittite empire and the last of the Hittite texts. Hittite is one of the earliest attested Indo-European languages. Due to marked differences in its structure and phonology some early philologists, most notably Warren Cowgill, argued that it should be classified as a sister language to the Indo-European languages, rather than a daughter language. Recently, however, most scholars have come to accept Hittite as a traditional daughter language of Proto-Indo-European and some studies have shown that its unusal features are mainly due to later innovation.
Hixkaryana Is one of the Carib languages, spoken by just over 500 people on the Nhamundá river, a tributary of the Amazon River in Brazil. It is one of a few known natural languages that normally use Object Verb Subject word order, and may have been the first such language to be described (by linguist Desmond C. Derbyshire).
Hmong Is a Hmong-Mien language spoken by the Hmong people native to Sichuan, northern Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos. Almost 170,000 Hmong speakers now live in the United States as well, mostly in California, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. It consists of a large number of mutually unintelligible dialects, often considered languages.
Ho Is a Munda language of the Austroasiatic language family spoken primarily in India by about 1,077,000 people. It is written with the Devanagari and the Varang Kshiti scripts.
Hopi Is an Uto-Aztecan language spoken by the Hopi people of northeastern Arizona, although today some Hopi are monolingual English speakers. The use of the language gradually declined over the course of the 20th century. In 1990, it was estimated that over 5,000 other people could speak Hopi natively, at least 40 of them monolingual.
Hulaulá Is a modern Jewish Aramaic language, often called Neo-Aramaic or Judeo-Aramaic. It was originally spoken in Iranian Kurdistan. Most speakers now live in Israel. The name Hulaulá simply means 'Jewish'. Speakers sometimes call their language Lishana Noshan or Lishana Akhni, both of which mean 'our language'. To distinguish it from other dialects of Jewish Neo-Aramaic, Hulaulá is sometimes called Galiglu ('mine-yours'), demonstrating different use of prepositions and pronominal suffixes. Scholarly sources tend simply to call it Persian Kurdistani Jewish Neo-Aramaic.
Hungarian Is a Finno-Ugric language, unrelated to the other languages of central Europe. As one of the small number of modern European languages which do not belong to the Indo-European language family it has always been of great interest to linguists. It is spoken in Hungary and by the Hungarian minorities in seven neighbouring countries.
Hurrian Is a conventional name for the language of the Hurrians (Khurrites), a people who entered northern Mesopotamia around 2300 BC and had mostly vanished by 1000 BC.
Hutterite German Is an Upper German dialect of the Austro-Bavarian variety of the German language, which is spoken by Hutterite communities in Canada and the United States. Hutterite is also called Tirolean, but this is an anachronism. Hutterite is spoken in the US States of Washington, Montana, North and South Dakota, and Minnesota; and in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Its speakers belong to the Schmiedleit, Lehrerleit, and Dariusleit Hutterite groups, but there are also speakers among the older generations of Prairieleit (the descendants of those Hutterites who chose not to settle in colonies). Hutterite children who grow up in the colonies learn and speak first Hutterite German before learning English, the standard language of the surrounding areas.