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10 Languages You Probably Haven't Heard Of

Content 10 languages you probably havent heard of

‘What is the rarest language in the world?’ is definitely a question that might cross your mind now and then. If you’re looking for an answer, either for curiosity’s sake or because your brain wheels won’t stop spinning before sleep, then you’re in the right place. Below you will find 10 of the world’s unknown languages.

  1. Archi

Although Russia is pretty well-known, the small village of Archib is home to one of the unknown languages of the world. Archi is considered to be not only rare but also one of the most difficult existing tongues. Just to get an idea, one verb can be conjugated in about 1.5 million ways. So, if you plan to visit this particular spot, make sure to find another way to communicate!

  1. Basque

Even though it can be heard along the border of two well-known European countries: Spain and France, Basque is not related in any way to Spanish or French. Moreover, it is considered to be one of a kind: the last trace of a linguistic family native to Europe before the Romance languages spread. It can truly be viewed as an intangible museum exhibit.

  1. Faroese

The North Atlantic archipelago called Faroe is the keeper of an old North Germanic language called Faroese. This ancient tongue is pretty special. Why? Faroese stands out among all of the unknown languages around the globe, by allowing its speakers to easily read and understand Old Norse writings. Isn’t that amazing?

  1. Gothic

Widely known as a word that describes architecture or fashion, Gothic was once used to describe an old East Germanic language that is now extinct. The letters used in writing are a mix of Latin and Greek. This language was mostly studied from the Gothic Bible, dating back to the early Middle Ages.

  1. Tok Pisin

Papua New Guinea has a fascinating landscape of languages, encompassing 800 different tongues. Tok Pisin is one of the few officially recognized languages of these islands and it’s actually English-based. Anglophones might find it to be quite funny. Even the name of this exotic tongue, Tok Pisin, actually derives from ‘talk pidgin’.

  1. Sarcee

Canada might not seem to be a place where unknown languages dwell. However, you will find Sarcee spoken around Calgary. The keepers of this tradition are the Tsuu T’ina tribe and they are around 50 in number. Unfortunately, Sarcee has no written records, so it will probably go extinct if no speakers remain.

  1. Pirahã

Pirahã is one of the exotic languages hidden deep in the Amazonian region. Although this Brazilian tribe numbers about 380 speakers, the language is not in danger of dying off, as the community did not adopt any secondary tongues.

Considered to be the world’s simplest language, it also exists outside time, numbers or colors. Here, verbs are never conjugated in the past tense.

  1. Chamicuro

Although it’s an official mother tongue of Peru, Chamicuro is also one of the globe’s rarest languages. There are about 8 speakers left on earth, situated in the Amazonian area. Even though knowledge has been passed down to descendants, the new generation mostly uses Spanish. We can only hope that the Chamicuro dictionary will keep this language alive!

  1. Silbo Gomero

The locals of La Gomera do not need any nouns, verbs or pronouns. This is because they communicate through whistling. Yes, you heard it right! Silbo Gomero consists only of whistles and it’s also a World Cultural Heritage according to UNESCO.

  1. Taushiro

The first place on the world’s rarest languages list is occupied by Taushiro. Once spoken by thousands in the Amazonian jungles, now there’s only one person left. Together with him, this part of Peruvian heritage will sadly become extinct.

Final Thoughts

You might imagine that truly important languages are only those we hear about each day. However, if we could magically spin the globe, we would discover all of today’s 7111 spoken languages.

About 2000 of these tongues have less than 1000 speakers and some of them are very close to extinction. The process is silent and there is nothing much we can do, except embracing the world’s languages as a truly amazing form of intangible cultural heritage.