Amazing facts about translation and languages

While pondering over an amazing profession of translation and transcreation of content, it came to my mind to Google for amazing facts about it. And what, many results were thrown in front of my eyes within no time! Reading them not only amazed me but also tempted to present you all a nice compilation of the same.

So, here we go!

How old languages are: With progress of civilization, not only technology but languages also kept growing. According to studies, language is believed to be around two lakh years old.

Which country uses most languages: We Indians believe that we have a vast variation of languages in our country and that is true also, However, when it comes to using most languages, Papua New Guinea tops the chart with as many as 820 languages! So far as India is concerned, Wikipedia says, “There are 1,635 rationalised mother tongues, 234 identifiable mother tongues and 22 major languages. Of these, 29 languages have more than a million native speakers, 60 have more than 100,000 and 122 have more than 10,000 native speakers.”

Languages in world: According to the Ethnologue Catalogue of World Languages, our planet has as many as 6909 languages in circulation. Of these, some 6% languages are used by at least 10 lakh or more people. They constitute around 94% world population.

Languages world has already lost: Because many languages have very few users or speakers, the world is continuously losing one after the other language. Research says that around 500+ languages are near extinct and many more would follow with passing generations.

World’s most translated book: That is Bible. It is translated in, well, more than 600 languages!

World’s most translated document: That is United Nations Organization’s Declaration of Human Rights, with translation into around 400 languages.

Most used languages: If we talk about native speakers, Mandarin Chinese is  the top language in the world with most number of native speakers. If we talk about a language used by non-native speakers, English tops the chart.

Language spoken by the greatest number of non-native speakers: Obviously, it is English. No other language in this world has moved from one corner to another and became local people’s language. This mostly happened because British people ruled so many countries! English has around 350 million non-native users. English is also the most published language.

Modern day translation fancy: That is J. K. Rowling’s creation Harry Potter. It is believed to be translated into 70 languages.


International Translation Day or World Translation Day: Is celebrated every year on 30 September. We at Mangrol Multimedia also celebrate it with much excitement. Currently, we are serving our clients in around 40 languages and looking forward to meet a target of 100 languages soon.

World’s oldest language: According to available information, it is Chinese or Greek. They are believed t o be in existence since 1500 BC.

Which language has the least number of words: That is Taki Taki, which is also called Sranan. It has just about  340 words. This language is used by 1,20,000 people the South American country of Suriname.

Braille language: Meant for those who can’t see, this language has evolved unbelievably with passing time. Most of languages have their Braille version. If that is not all, it also has its own version for codes, maths, science and more!

Indian languages: Wikipedia says, “The 2001 census recorded 29 languages as having more than 1 million native speakers (0.1% of total population). The languages in bold are scheduled languages (the only scheduled language with less than 1 million native speakers is Sanskrit). The first table is restricted to only speaking populations for scheduled languages.”

Writers with most translation: They are Agatha Christie with 7,233 translations, Jules Verne with 4,751 translations and William Shakespeare with 4,293 translations.

Unesco’s Index Translationum: Above information about writers with most translation of their work, and other interesting information is available at this Unesco operated mission. Check it and you’d love it.

Number of translators in world: While we really can’t know the exact number of them, few studies have claimed that the world has more than three lakh professional translators. However, Mangrol’s view is that several countries including India do not have any systematic way of counting or even keeping records of translators. So, the actual number could be way above the estimations.  

Language with most words: English has more than 2,50,000 words! No wonder, as it is used, cultivated and explored by so many people!