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Monday 21 June 2021
Lilian day 2176533.5967

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Here’s today’s date in 850 languages and dialects, complete with a profile of each. I’m favoring languages, both living and dead, that are at least a bit off the beaten track, offer Gregorian calendar terms that depart substantially from your run-of-the-mill neo-Latin, or both. (Spanish? No. Asturian? Yes.)

Heading terms in parentheses ( ) are alternate names for a language, while those in brackets [ ] specify a particular subdivision or dialect shown. Click the language name for its ISO code and profile info. A video screen icon link (  ) lets you hear how some of these languages sound.

j. JENUIER / LOUWMAAND
ij. FREUIER / SPROKKELMAAND
iij. MARCH / LENTEMAAND
iiij. AURIL / GRASMAAND
v. MAY / BLOEIMAAND
vj. JUING / ZOMERMAAND
vij. JUILLET / HOOIMAAND
viij. AUOUST / OOGSTMAAND
ix. SEPTĒBRE / HERFSTMAAND
x. OCTĒBRE / WIJNMAAND
xj. NOUĒBRE / SLACHTMAAND
xij. DECĒBRE / WINTERMAAND
<span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:194px;"><i><aside>j. JENUIER / LOUWMAAND</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:194px;"><i><aside>ij. FREUIER / SPROKKELMAAND</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:194px;"><i><aside>iij. MARCH / LENTEMAAND</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:194px;"><i><aside>iiij. AURIL / GRASMAAND</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:194px;"><i><aside>v. MAY / BLOEIMAAND</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:194px;"><i><aside>vj. JUING / ZOMERMAAND</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:194px;"><i><aside>vij. JUILLET / HOOIMAAND</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:194px;"><i><aside>viij. AUOUST / OOGSTMAAND</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:194px;"><i><aside>ix. SEPTĒBRE / HERFSTMAAND</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:194px;"><i><aside>x. OCTĒBRE / WIJNMAAND</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:194px;"><i><aside>xj. NOUĒBRE / SLACHTMAAND</aside></i></span> <span class="generic-slide-caption" style="width:194px;"><i><aside>xij. DECĒBRE / WINTERMAAND</aside></i></span>

What’s almost unbelievable here is how many non-European languages have Gregorian date terminology like this to dust off, at least for the record, even as their underlying cultures stand foursquare behind Islamic (Hijri), Hindu, Buddhist, or other calendar systems.

For those that expired before the advent of modern place-value numerals I’m using Roman. For Etruscan I’m using Etruscan numerals while pretending those serene, elbow-lounging folks used the Gregorian calendar and reckoned dates sequentially as we do.1 Traditional Chuvash numerals follow a similar scheme, but with the smaller units to the left of the larger ones, a slash for 5, and a star for 1000. Moksha resembled Chuvash but used a lambda for 10 and a kind of reflected sawhorse for 1000.

The only non-Gregorian date2 I’m displaying is a prorated estimate for the Gaulish, whose calendar was offset by about half a month from that used by their Roman contemporaries and whose months alternated between 29 and 30 days as opposed to 30 and 31. I’ve also fudged Tocharian a bit by pulling its 12-month year about two weeks back to synchronize what that mysterious culture considered its first month, naimaññe meñe, with our February.3 You’ll see those two entries marked off with an asterisk.

Peter


Abaza: Abaza ✧ ABQ ✧ Northwest Caucasian, akin to Abkhazian (page 2), 48,000 speakers in Russia and in Middle East diaspora communities. Natively it has 63 consonants but only two vowels. Abazin tribal identity goes back at least as far as Herodotus (ca. 484–425 BCE), when they inhabited the shores of the Black Sea.
21 пхынхъа [phənqa] 2021  
Abenaki [Western]: Abenaki [Western] ✧ ABE ✧ Algonquian family. As of 1991, spoken natively by fewer than 20 in Odanak, Quebec, and others in New York State and Connecticut; by 2006, only six. The English word “skunk” likely derives either from Abenaki, closely related Massachusett, or both.
21 Nokkahigas “Hoer” 2021
Abkhazian (Abkhaz): Abkhazian (Abkhaz) ✧ ABK ✧ Northwest Caucasian, closely related to Abaza (page 1). Approximately 100,000 speakers in Georgia’s heavily contested Abkhazia region, many more in diaspora communities elsewhere. Abkhazian uses 58 consonants, six of which are various types of k/q sounds.
21 рашәара́ [rašwará] 2021  
Abui: Abui ✧ ABZ ✧ Trans-New Guinea family, spoken by 17,000 on Alor Island in eastern Indonesia, just north of East Timor. Abui has no active/passive distinction.
21 ruwola ía “Chicken month” 2021  
Acehnese: Acehnese ✧ ACE ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Chamic, 3.5 million speakers in Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia. It traditionally used an Arabic script but through its Dutch colonizers’ influence switched to Roman, adding É, È, Ë, Ö, and Ô.
21 Buleuën Nam 2021  
Achang (Ngochang or Maingtha): Achang (Ngochang or Maingtha) ✧ ACN ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Lolo-Burmese, 70,000 speakers in northern Myanmar and China’s Yunan Province. Five tones, two of which are checked — i.e., with the voice cutting off abruptly at the end.
21 loeus-ywe khyvp 2021
Acholi: Acholi ✧ ACH ✧ Nilo-Saharan family, spoken in Uganda and South Sudan. Since Acholi is tonal and since there are several versions of each vowel, a given one-syllable word can have 14 different vocalizations.
21 Dwe me abicel 2021  
Achuar-Shiwiar [Achuar Chicham]: Achuar-Shiwiar [Achuar Chicham] ✧ ACU ✧ From the tiny Jivaroan family, spoken by around 7000 in Peru and Ecuador by the Achuar, Shiwiar and Maina tribes. For numerals greater than four, they switch to Spanish.
21 yumanch 2021
Achuar-Shiwiar [Shiwiar Chicham]: Achuar-Shiwiar [Shiwiar Chicham] ✧ ACU ✧ The other dialect of Achuar-Shiwiar
21 tuntiak 2021
Adele (Gidire): Adele (Gidire) ✧ ADE ✧ Niger-Congo family, Kwa, geographically of the Ghana Togo Mountain languages, 37,000 speakers in Ghana and Togo. Most are bilingual in Ewe (q.v.).
21 okyororo 2021
Afar (Qafár Af): Afar (Qafár Af) ✧ AAR ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic. Spoken in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia by 1.5 million. Ethiopic and Arabic scripts have been used to write Afar, though a Roman alphabet standard, shown here, was formalized in 1970.
21 Qasa Dirri 2021  
Aghem (Wum): Aghem (Wum) ✧ AGQ ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantu, Grasslands, 27,000 speakers (and increasing) in northwest Cameroon, informally taught in schools. Aghem speakers are traditionally associated with leopard-skin carpets.
21 ndzɔ̱ŋɔ̱nzùghò 2021
Aghul (Agul): Aghul (Agul) ✧ AGX ✧ Northeast Caucasian, 30,000 speakers mostly in southern Dagestan. The strength with which certain consonants are articulated — tense versus weak — is contrastive.
21 вил [vil] 2021  
Aguaruna: Aguaruna ✧ AGR ✧ Jivaroan family, 38,000 speakers in Peru along the Marañón, Potro, Mayo, and Cahuapanas rivers. Virtually all speak Spanish as a second language. Vowels can be short, long, or nasalized.
21 tegmatin 2021
Ahom: Ahom ✧ AHO ✧ Kra-Dai family, Brahmaputra river valley, reportedly extinct since 1899 though widely studied. Unique script.
21 jun [din ruk] 2021  
Ahtna [Central]: Ahtna [Central] ✧ AHT ✧ Athabaskan, around 80 speakers for all dialects combined, Alaska’s Copper River. Incorporates about 100 Russian loanwords.
21 łuk’ae na’aaye’ “Salmon month” 2021  
Ahtna [Lower]: Ahtna [Lower] ✧ AHT ✧ Another dialect of Ahtna
21 łuk’ae na’aaye’ “Salmon month” 2021
Ahtna [Upper, Mentasa]: Ahtna [Upper, Mentasa] ✧ AHT ✧ Another dialect of Ahtna
21 [June unknown] 2021
Ainu: Ainu ✧ AIN ✧ Aboriginal language of the Japanese archipelago, ancestry unknown, nearly extinct natively. Kayano Shigeru (1906-2006), author of Our Land Was a Forest, was a major force in promoting and popularizing his native language and craft culture.
21 momautachup -or- shinanchup -or- shinchichup 2021  
Aja {Benin-Togo}: Aja {Benin-Togo} ✧ AJG ✧ Niger-Congo, Gbe, spoken by half a million Aja in Benin and Togo. Closely related to Ewe and Fon (qq.v.), not to be confused with a Nilo-Saharan language also called Aja. The letter Ɖ/ɖ here and in many other languages represents a d sound with the tongue curled backwards.
21 afo 2021
Akan (Twi): Akan (Twi) ✧ AKA ✧ Niger-Congo Language native to Ghana and Ivory Coast, also brought to South America by slaves. Ghanaian-born UN Secretary General Kofi Annan spoke Akan.
21 Obirade-Ayɛwohomumu 2021  
Akha [Puli/Standard]: Akha [Puli/Standard] ✧ AHK ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Loloish, 600,000 speakers in Burma’s Shan State, northern Laos, and northern Thailand. Four tones shown by hacheks and circumflexes above and below vowels (-̌ -̂ -̬ -̭  ) but also the letter M, which too can be tonal.
21 leǔ pḙh 2021
Alabama (Alibamu): Alabama (Alibamu) ✧ AKZ ✧ Muskogean language, akin to Chickasaw and Choctaw (qq.v.), spoken in Texas. Regular versus nasalized vowels, contrastive vowel length.
21 hasiholtina istahánnàali 2021
Albanian [Gheg ]: Albanian [Gheg ] ✧ SQI ✧ Indo-European language with its very own branch. Unlike most languages it uses both the voiced and unvoiced th sounds (IPA symbols ð, θ). Former Albanian president Sali Berisha is Gheg.
21 qershor 2021  
Albanian [Tosk] (Arberesh): Albanian [Tosk] (Arberesh) ✧ ALS ✧ Albanian dialect spoken in Italy, partially interintelligible with its Gheg dialect on the previous page. Mother Teresa and Former Albanian prime minister Enver Hoxha were Tosk.
21 kërshor 2021  
Aleut [Atkan]: Aleut [Atkan] ✧ ALE ✧ Eskimo-Aleut family, Aleut branch, native to the Alaskan Peninsula and the Aleutian, Commander, and Pribilof Islands. Aleut in total has around 150 speakers. Two groups survive, Atkan being the smaller.
21 Lguuĝu tugidaa -or- Iyuunix̂ 2021  
Algonquin: Algonquin ✧ ALQ ✧ Algonquian family, closely related to (but divergent from) Ojibwe (q.v.), 1800 speakers in Quebec and Ontario. Like other Algonquian languages, Algonquin folds most of the information in a sentence into the verb.
21 otémin gizis “Strawberry month” 2021
Altai (Gorno-Altai): Altai (Gorno-Altai) ✧ ATV ✧ Turkic, Siberian Turkic branch, around 50,000 speakers in Russia’s Altai Republic where it is official. Previously written with the Roman alphabet, it has used the Cyrillic since 1938.
21 кичÿ изÿ ай [kičü izü ay] 2021  
Aluku: Aluku ✧ ??? ✧ A creole combining English, Dutch, African languages, and French that arose among escaped African slaves in Suriname and French Guiana. Generations ago Aluku was a pretty big deal, but as of 1980 there were only 33 speakers left.
21 sigisi mun fu baka yali 2021
Alutiiq [Kodiak]: Alutiiq [Kodiak] ✧ EMS ✧ An Eskimo-Aleut language, indigenous to the Alaska and Kenai Peninsulas and Kodiak Island, with around 200 native speakers. Two chief dialects, Kodiak (shown here) and Chugach.
21 Naut’staat Iraluat “Plants’ moon” 2021  
Amharic: Amharic ✧ AMH ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, spoken in Ethiopia by 22 million. Not to be confused with Syriac Aramaic (q.v.).
21 ሰኔ [säne] 2021  
Amis: Amis ✧ AMI ✧ Austronesian, East Formosan, the most popular aboriginal Taiwanese language at 181,000 speakers along the island’s eastern coast. Five dialects.
21 miheca enem 2021
Anejom̃ (Aneityum): Anejom̃ (Aneityum) ✧ ATY ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Southern Oceanic, spoken by several hundred people on Aneityum/Anatom, Vanuatu’s southernmost island. Vowel and consonant lengths are contrastive; noun genders are animate versus inanimate.
21 netupni “Good sugar cane” 2021
Angami (Tenyidie): Angami (Tenyidie) ✧ NJM ✧ Sino-Tibetan family, eight dialects, 130,000 speakers in India’s Nagaland. Angami has five tones plus “breathy.” Listed as vulnerable by UNESCO.
21 Chāchü o krö 2021  
Anii: Anii ✧ BLO ✧ A Niger-Congo language spoken by 49,000 in Benin and Togo. Anii observes strict vowel harmony (like many Turkic and Uralic languages such as Finnish) and is bitonal.
21 anɔɔɖuka kaŋɔrɔ 2021
Apache [Jicarilla]: Apache [Jicarilla] ✧ APJ ✧ Athabaskan family, New Mexico, about 500 speakers, tonal. Unusually rich sound inventory (34 consonants, 16 vowels) including ejectives and an n sound which like a vowel can carry tones.
21 Hóniiyo 2021  
Apache [Western]: Apache [Western] ✧ APW ✧ Athabaskan family, SE Arizona, 14,000 native speakers. Acute accents indicate a high tone on a vowel.
21 Itsáh Bizhaazh “Eaglet” 2021  
Apatani (Tani): Apatani (Tani) ✧ APT ✧ Sino-Tibetan family, Western Tani, 45,000 native speakers in India’s Arunachal Pradesh. Tonal, both vowel and consonant lengths are contrastive. Most nouns have two syllables.
21 empii piilo -or- piimii piilo 2021  
Arabic [Levantine]: Arabic [Levantine] ✧ APC ✧ Afro-Asiatic family, Semitic. Descended from Ancient North Arabian.
٢١ حزيران [ḣazirān] ٢٠٢١  
Arabic [Libyan] (Sulaimitian): Arabic [Libyan] (Sulaimitian) ✧ AYL ✧ An alternative terminology established under Muammar Gaddafi. Aside from that, this dialect has been influenced by Maltese and Sicilian.
٢١ الصيف [al s̱ayf] ٢٠٢١  
Arabic [Moroccan] (Darija): Arabic [Moroccan] (Darija) ✧ ARY ✧ From the Maghrebi subgroup of Arabic, heavily influenced by Berber languages along with French and Spanish. Between 50% and 70% of Moroccans speak Darija.
٢١ شهر ستة [šeher setta] ٢٠٢١
Aragonese (“fabla”): Aragonese (“fabla”) ✧ ARG ✧ Indo-European, Romance. Spoken by 25,500 in northern Aragon, endangered, mutually intelligible with Spanish.
21 chunio 2021
Arapaho: Arapaho ✧ ARP ✧ Algonquian, Arapahoan branch, natively spoken by 1000 mostly living on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Akin to Gros Ventre (q.v.). Uses a ȝ (Roman letter yogh or numeral 3) for the unvoiced th sound (IPA θ).
21 biiceniisiis -or- niinotunooɂoo 2021  
Arikara: Arikara ✧ ARI ✧ A North American indigenous language from the Caddoan family, related to Pawnee (q.v.) but not mutually intelligible with it. A handful of speakers remain in White Shield, North Dakota.
21 [June unknown] 2021
Aromanian (Vlach): Aromanian (Vlach) ✧ RUP ✧ A Romance language often considered a Romanian dialect, spoken throughout the Balkans, Greece, and Turkey. Aromanian has more Greek influence; Romanian, more Slavic.
21 cirișaru -or- pomåjiću 2021  
Arosi: Arosi ✧ AIA ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Solomonic, spoken by 6800 on Makira (San Cristobal) Island, east of Guadalcanal in the Solomons.
21 aotarau 2021
Arpitan (Franco-Provençal) [Lyonnais Bressan]: Arpitan (Franco-Provençal) [Lyonnais Bressan] ✧ FRP ✧ Arpitan is a group of Gallo-Romance languages heard in parts of France, western Switzerland, and northwestern Italy. This dialect is spoken in Bresse, Ain West; Revermont, French Jura Southwest; and Saône-et-Loire East.
21 jouan -or- jouin -or- zhouin 2021
Arpitan (Franco-Provençal) [Savoyard]: Arpitan (Franco-Provençal) [Savoyard] ✧ FRP ✧ An Arpitan dialect spoken around Savoy in western France
21 joen 2021  
Arpitan (Franco-Provençal) [Stéphenois]: Arpitan (Franco-Provençal) [Stéphenois] ✧ FRP ✧ An Arpitan dialect spoken around Saint-étienne in eastern central France
21 juéin 2021
Assiniboine 1 (Nakota): Assiniboine 1 (Nakota) ✧ ASB ✧ A Siouan language spoken by 150 or so in the northern US/Canadian Plains. Like Dalecarlian (q.v.) and Polish it has nasal vowels signaled with ogoneks, in this case Ą, Į, and Ų.
21 waȟpé uyé hą́wi 2021
Assiniboine 2 (Nakota): Assiniboine 2 (Nakota) ✧ ASB ✧ Alternative terminology
21 waȟpé wóšma 2021
Asturian: Asturian ✧ AST ✧ Indo-European, Romance, northern Spain (Oviedo/Gijón area), 350,000 native speakers. Its pre-Latin substrate shows Celtic elements along with Lusitanian, a mysterious, virtually unattested Indo-European language of the Iberian Peninsula.
21 xunu 2021  
Atayal: Atayal ✧ TAY ✧ Austronesian family, Northern Formosan, Atayalic, an indigenous language of northern Taiwan with 84,000 speakers. Two major dialects.
21 tay mtzyu’ byacing 2021
Atikamekw: Atikamekw ✧ ATJ ✧ Algonquian family, Cree complex, 5500 speakers in southwestern Quebec. Unlike many New World indigenous languages, Atikamekw is vigorously supported and spoken by virtually all of its natives.
21 otehimin pisimw 2021
Atong {India/Bangladesh}: Atong {India/Bangladesh} ✧ AOT ✧ Unlike many Sino-Tibetan languages, this one is non-tonal. Spoken by 10,000 in northeast India and adjacent regions of Bangladesh, most of whom are bilingual in Garo (q.v.). Not to be confused with the Niger-Congo Atong language.
21 jun 2021
Atsugewi: Atsugewi ✧ ATW ✧ This [possibly] Hokan, Shasta–Palaihnihan language of California went extinct with the death of Medie Webster in 1988. Atsugewis saw the Big Dipper as Coyote’s cane; the Milky Way, the Devil’s trail.
21 pEtaku niuwinas “Epos roots (Perideridia gairdneri) flowered” 2021
Austro-Bavarian: Austro-Bavarian ✧ BAR ✧ Akin to High German but highly divergent from it, using more Latin. Rural Austria, Bavaria, and South Tyrol. Three main dialects.
21 Juni 2021  
Avar [Premodern/Folk]: Avar [Premodern/Folk] ✧ AVA ✧ Northeast Caucasian language spoken in Dagestan and Azerbaijan. It uses either Cyrillic or Arabic script, and features a sound, the long unvoiced uvular affricate (IPA qX:), that’s particularly rare.
21 бакъгIедулъ / باقعېدۇڸ [baq’g̓edulh] 2021  
Awa Pit (Cuaiquer): Awa Pit (Cuaiquer) ✧ KWI ✧ Barbacoan family, seriously endangered, spoken by 13,000 on the Pacific slopes of the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador by the Awa-Kwaiker people. Most Awa-Kwaiker men also speak Spanish; most women and children, only Awa Pit.
21 ishmu 2021
Aymara: Aymara ✧ AYM ✧ South American indigenous language from the Aymaran family which has only two members, the other being Jaqaru (q.v.). Unusual time/space conceptualization, uses only a, i, and u for vowels.
21 juyphi phaxsi -or- marat'aqa 2021  

Bafia: Bafia ✧ KSF ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu, spoken by 60,000 in southwestern Cameroon. Mostly oral, but efforts at establishing a written standard are underway.
21 ŋwíí akǝ táafɔk 2021
Bagirmi: Bagirmi ✧ BMI ✧ Nilo-Saharan family, approx. 45,000 speakers in Chad and Nigeria. This was the language of the Sultanate of Bagirmi which ruled southeast of Lake Chad between 1523 and 1897.
21 Nap miika 2021
Bagvalal (Bagulal): Bagvalal (Bagulal) ✧ KVA ✧ Northeast Caucasian, seriously endangered, 1500 speakers in Dagestan’s Tsumadinsky District. Features ejectives and nasalized vowels. Outside the home, speakers rely on Avar (q.v.) or Russian.
21 ийу́нбос̄ӏ [iyúnboss̓] 2021
Bahasa Banjar: Bahasa Banjar ✧ BJN ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, spoken by the Banjarese of South Kalimantan in Indonesia
21 Juni 2021  
Bakweri (Kpwe or Mokpwe): Bakweri (Kpwe or Mokpwe) ✧ BGM ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu Zone A, 25,000 speakers in Cameroon
21 Isofe-sofe 2021
Balochi (Baluchi): Balochi (Baluchi) ✧ BAL ✧ Indo-Iranian language related to Kurdish (q.v.), 7. 6 million speakers. Uses Pashto and Roman script. Former Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari is Baloch.
21 jalkán 2021  
Bambara: Bambara ✧ BAM ✧ Niger-Congo, Mande, Manding, spoken by 15 million in Mali. Two tones, many French loans, mutually intelligible with Dyula (q.v.). Same word used for hand and arm.
21 zuwen kalo 2021  
Bariai: Bariai ✧ BCH ✧ Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Ngero group. Of the 1400 speakers in Papua New Guinea, virtually all are bilingual with Bislama or Tok Pisin (qq.v.). The name Bariai means “at the mangrove.”
21 tamaea 2021
Basaa: Basaa ✧ BAS ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu. Four tones, 230,000 speakers in Cameroon. (Not to be confused with Bassa, page 37.)
21 hïìloèndáè 2021
Bashkir: Bashkir ✧ BAK ✧ Turkic language spoken by 1. 2 million, primarily in Bashkortostan between the Volga and Urals. Like all Turkics, agglutinative. (Bashkir’s Cyrillic character ы, transcribed as ɯ below, resembles in sound the oo in food pronounced without rounding the lips.)
21 һатай [hatai] 2021
Basque [Biscayan]: Basque [Biscayan] ✧ EUS ✧ Basque is an agglutinative Pre-Indo-European language isolate spoken in the Pyrenees area. This is the dialect heard on the Bay of Biscay, spoken by Basque Nationalist Party founder Sabino Arana.
21 bagil -or- ekain 2021  
Basque [Guipuzcoan]: Basque [Guipuzcoan] ✧ EUS ✧ Basque dialect spoken in Guipuzcoa, a tiny northern Spanish province at the eastern extreme of the Cantabrian sea. Originally studied and analyzed by Louis Lucien Bonaparte, Napoleon’s nephew.
21 garagarril -or- bagil 2021
Basque [Souletin]: Basque [Souletin] ✧ EUS ✧ Basque dialect spoken in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département of France. Heavily influenced by Occitan (q.v.) and correspondingly features an additional vowel sound, ü (IPA y).
21 ereiaro -or- arramaiatza -or- bagila 2021
Bassa: Bassa ✧ BSQ ✧ Niger-Congo, Kru. Seven vowels with five tones each, spoken by 400,000 in Liberia and Sierra Leone. (Not to be confused with Basaa, two pages back.)
21 Fúɖú 2021
Batak: Batak ✧ BYA ✧ Malayo-Polynesian family. Unique script, spoken in north Sumatra. Each day from 1 through 30 has its own name, shown here in angle quotes.
21 《samisara moraturun》 sipaha tolu 2021  
Bats (Batsbi or Tsova-Tush): Bats (Batsbi or Tsova-Tush) ✧ BBL ✧ Northeast Caucasian, Nakh branch but unintelligible with Chechen or Ingush (qq.v.). Approx. 2500 speakers. Vowels can be nasalized, and both vowels and consonants can be either long or short.
კა ტიბატ [tibat] ცკა  
Belarusian: Belarusian ✧ BEL ✧ East Slavic, closely related to Ukrainian [q.v.]. Though Belarusian is official in Belarus, only about 12% of the population uses it. Unlike Russian, it employs the characters І, Ї, and Ў.
21 чэрвеня [červenya] 2021  
Belep (Nyâlayu): Belep (Nyâlayu) ✧ YLY ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Southern Oceanic, northern New Caledonian, 1600 speakers in and around New Caledonia’s Belep Islands. Its two dialects, Pooc and Puma, are not mutually intelligible.
21 mwanok pwanem nua pwalaic 2021
Bemba (Chibemba): Bemba (Chibemba) ✧ BEM ✧ Niger-Congo family, Southern Bantu. Tonal, spoken in Zambia. In proper names, the letter C is written as Ch.
21 akapepo kakalamba 2021  
Bena: Bena ✧ BEZ ✧ Niger-Congo family, Northeast Bantu, spoken in south central Tanzania
21 pa mwedzi gwa sita 2021
Beothuk: Beothuk ✧ BUE ✧ Possibly Algonquian, spoken by a reclusive indigenous Newfoundland tribe, extinct since 1829 with the death of its last speaker, Shanawdithit. European encroachment deprived them of their food sources and wiped them out.
21 wasumaweeskeek (?) 2021  
Berta [Mayu]: Berta [Mayu] ✧ WTI ✧ Nilo-Saharan (tentatively), native to the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Sudan and Ethiopia. Of all five Berta dialects there are 370,000 speakers.
21 zigí sqúllá jún 2021
Bété [Eastern/Daloa]: Bété [Eastern/Daloa] ✧ BEV ✧ Niger-Congo, Kru. Bete is spoken by 400,000 in the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire; this is one of its five dialects. The language is tonal and its speakers count in base 20.
21 'napɛ -ngbʋplʋ -leyi 2021  
Beti [Ewondo] (Kolo): Beti [Ewondo] (Kolo) ✧ EWO ✧ Niger-Congo family, Southern Bantu, tonal, with half a million speakers of this dialect in Cameroon. It serves as a lingua franca, though French is gradually displacing it.
21 ngɔn saməna 2021
Bezhta (Kapucha): Bezhta (Kapucha) ✧ KAP ✧ Preliterate Northeast Caucasian language spoken by around 6800 in southern Dagestan.
21 ййун [yyun] 2021
Biete (Biate): Biete (Biate) ✧ BIU ✧ A Sino-Tibetan, Kuki-Chin language spoken by 30,000 in northeast India (Meghalaya, Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, and Tripura). Related to Mizo (q.v.).
21 Idoi 2021
Bishnupriya Manipuri: Bishnupriya Manipuri ✧ BPY ✧ Indo-Aryan, 120,000 native speakers in Bangladesh and Assam, not to be confused with Sino-Tibetan Meitei, also known as Manipuri (q.v.). Its Nāgarī script is ancestral to the Devanagari you more frequently see with Indian subcontinent languages.
২১ jun [jun] ২০২১  
Bislama: Bislama ✧ BIS ✧ English-Austronesian creole with 10,000 native and 200,000 non-native speakers, official in Vanuatu. Vocabulary is mostly English; grammar and sound inventory, Austronesian languages.
21 Jun 2021  
Blackfoot (Siksika): Blackfoot (Siksika) ✧ BLA ✧ Algonquian family, unusual pitch system. About 5000 speakers in Montana and southern Alberta.
21 ito’tsisamssootaa 2021  
Blin (Bilen): Blin (Bilen) ✧ BYN ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic. 91,000-120,000 speakers around Keren, Eritrea. Akin to Tigrinya (q.v.) and Tigre (Tigrayit).
21 jun [mkiel tngwaniri] 2021
Bonggi (Kamus Bonggi): Bonggi (Kamus Bonggi) ✧ BDG ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, North Bornean, 1400 speakers on the Banggi and Balambangan islands in Malaysia’s Kudat District.
21 buaidn onom 2021
Breton (Armoric): Breton (Armoric) ✧ BRE ✧ Indo-European, Celtic, Brythonic. Classed by UNESCO as severely endangered. Spoken in Brittany, related to Welsh and Cornish (qq.v.).
21 mis mezheven 2021  
Bukhori (Judaeo-Tajik): Bukhori (Judaeo-Tajik) ✧ BHH ✧ A Persian dialect with Hebrew, Turkic, and Slavic loans spoken by Bukharan Jews living in central Asia and diaspora communities in Israel and the US. Uses Hebrew script, but under Soviet influence it also appears in Roman and Cyrillic.
21 איִיוּן [iyun] 2021
Bulgar: Bulgar ✧ XBO ✧ Presumably Turkic, extinct since medieval times, unrelated to modern Bulgarian (which is South Slavic). Bulgar’s modern descendant is Chuvash (q.v.).
XXI pechen ae MMXXI
Bulgarian [Eastern Rup, 19th century]: Bulgarian [Eastern Rup, 19th century] ✧ BUL ✧ South Slavic. From the south-central Bulgarian town of Asenovgrad.
21 питроске [pitroske] 2021
Bulgarian [Rhodope, pre-1945]: Bulgarian [Rhodope, pre-1945] ✧ BUL ✧ Another Bulgarian, here from the Rhodope Mountains around Smolyan. The non-Russian vowel character Ѣ/ѣ, called yat, marks a demarcation in Bulgarian-speaking areas, known as the yat border, that affects how it’s pronounced. For Rhodope it’s transcribed as e.
21 прѣдай [preday] 2021  
Burgundian (Bourguignon-morvandiau): Burgundian (Bourguignon-morvandiau) ✧ ??? ✧ Endangered Langue d’oïl spoken in Burgundy. Not to be confused with East Germanic Burgundian, extinct since the 6th century, though there exist historic overlaps.
21 jin 2021
Burmese: Burmese ✧ MYA ✧ Sino-Tibetan. Spoken in Myanmar/Burma, tonal. Unusual sounds such as an unvoiced m and n. Script favors arcs and circles because the ancient Burmese wrote on palm leaves and straight lines would risk splitting them.
21 jun [zũ] 2021  
Burum (Somba-Siawari): Burum (Somba-Siawari) ✧ BMU ✧ Trans-New Guinea family, Finisterre–Huon, Western Huon, spoken by 9000 in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Province on the Huon Peninsula. Its alternate name cites its two dialects, Somba and Siawari.
21 arökahak 2021
Burushaski: Burushaski ✧ BSK ✧ A language isolate spoken by 90,000 in northern Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir in India. Three dialects: Hunza, Nagar, and Wershikwar. Burushaski has four genders, and its actions often specify how loud something was.
21 sarat̪aan 2021  
Burushaski [Wershikwar]: Burushaski [Wershikwar] ✧ BSK ✧ Native to the Yasin Valley, spoken by some 20,000 of the 90,000 total for Burushaski in general. More divergent than Hunza and Nagar, Wershikwar is seen by some as a separate language.
21 havelum shinikus 2021
Buryat [Premodern]: Buryat [Premodern] ✧ BUA ✧ Mongolic language related to Mongolian and Oirat (qq.v.). China, Mongolia, and eastern Russia.
21 зургадугаар һара [zurgadugaar ḥara] 2021  

Caddo: Caddo ✧ CAD ✧ Critically endangered member of the Caddoan family, related to Arikara and Pawnee (qq.v.), tonal, spoken by about two dozen individuals in Caddo County, Oklahoma.
21 ash’-nih-tsi’ 2021
Carrier (Dakelh): Carrier (Dakelh) ✧ CRX ✧ Na-Dené family, Athabaskan. A few hundred speakers in The Yekooche First Nation in British Columbia. Digraph LH signals the lateralized s sound (ɬ, IPA ɮ); the apostrophe, a glottal stop.
21 Dukai Ooza 2021
Catalan: Catalan ✧ CAT ✧ Indo-European, Romance. Spoken in Catalonia, Valencia, the Balearic Islands, and the country of Andorra where it’s the official language. Its name comes from the word “castle.”
21 de juny 2021  
Cayuga: Cayuga ✧ CAY ✧ Iroquoian family, heard on the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve in Ontario and the Cattaraugus Reservation in New York State. Only 79 fluent speakers. Vowels are lengthened by a colon; some can be nasalized, others whispered.
21 Hyá·ikneh “Ripe fruit” 2021
Cerma: Cerma ✧ CME ✧ Niger-Congo, Gur, 63,000 speakers in Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire. Three dialects: Banfora, Niangoloko, and Soubakanié Dougou.
21 gburgburu 2021
Cham [Eastern]: Cham [Eastern] ✧ CJM ✧ Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, 245,000 speakers in Cambodia and Vietnam. Akin to Rade (q.v.). Cham itself is the oldest-attested Austronesian language with inscriptions dating back to the fourth century CE.
21 balan nam 2021  
Cham [Western]: Cham [Western] ✧ CJA ✧ The other main Cham dialect, 73,000 speakers in Vietnam. Eastern and Western Cham have diverged so much that they are no longer mutually intelligible.
21 blaan năm 2021
Chamorro [Premodern]: Chamorro [Premodern] ✧ CHA ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, 58,000 speakers in the Marianas, about half of those in the US territory of Guam. This is their pre-Spanish terminology as cited by Louis Claude de Freycinet in 1819.
21 Mananaf “To go on all fours” 2021
Chamí Emberá: Chamí Emberá ✧ CMI ✧ From the Chacoan family, Emberá branch, 7800 speakers. The Chamí Emberá represent about 2% of Colombia’s indigenous population.
21 ‘ixawil junyo 2021
Chang (Mochungrr): Chang (Mochungrr) ✧ NBC ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Brahmaputran branch, 62,000 Scheduled Chang Naga tribe speakers in Nagaland, northeast India. Uses the Roman alphabet, introduced in 1928.
21 Molit 2021
Chatino [Zona Alta]: Chatino [Zona Alta] ✧ CLY ✧ Zapotecan language spoken by 23,000 in southern Oaxaca, Mexico. It has ten tones and uses nasal vowels.
21 ko' junio 2021
Chayahuita: Chayahuita ✧ CBT ✧ One of only two languages belonging to the Cahuapanan family, spoken by 14,000 in the department of Loreto in the Peruvian province of Alto Amazonas. Some area education is bilingual Chayahuita/Spanish.
21 sancoan yoqui 2021
Chechen 1: Chechen 1 ✧ CHE ✧ Northeast Caucasian family, Nakh branch, related to Ingush (q.v.). It features an unusually large vowel inventory for a Caucasian language. Traditionally written with the Georgian alphabet, later the Arabic, finally the Cyrillic.
21 къамуг [q’amug] 2021  
Chechen 2: Chechen 2 ✧ CHE ✧ A second alternative terminology for Chechen, inspired by the native Vainakh religion
21 мангал бутт [mangal butt] “Month of the scythe” 2021  
Chechen 3: Chechen 3 ✧ CHE ✧ A third alternative terminology for Chechen, entirely secular and based on the seasons
21 мангалан бутт [mangalan butt] “Month of the scythe” 2021  
Cherokee [Overhill]: Cherokee [Overhill] ✧ CHR ✧ Iroquoian family, Oklahoma. This is the Cherokee standard upon which Sequoyah based his unique script; further along he persuaded the Eastern Cherokee speakers of North Carolina to adopt it.
21 jun [Dehaluyi] “Green corn” 2021  
Chewa (Chichewa or Nyanja): Chewa (Chichewa or Nyanja) ✧ NYA ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantoid. Spoken in Malawi and Zambia. Unusually complex gender system.
21 mwezi wa June 2021
Cheyenne: Cheyenne ✧ CHY ✧ Algonquian family. Four principal tones, three principal vowels (a, e, o) which in some cases can be voiceless. About 2000 native speakers in Montana and Oklahoma.
21 Enano’eeše’he 2021  
Chickasaw: Chickasaw ✧ CIC ✧ Muskogean family, related to Alabama and Choctaw (qqv.), some 75 speakers total in Oklahoma, USA. Same word used for hand and arm.
21 Chun 2021
Chilcotin: Chilcotin ✧ CLC ✧ Athabaskan, approx. 860 native speakers in Chilcotin Country, central British Columbia. Chilcotin is bitonal and exhibits consonant harmony.
21 Daltsi Za 2021
Chimané [Mosetén]: Chimané [Mosetén] ✧ CAS ✧ Language isolate (?) spoken by around 2000 north of La Paz, Bolivia. Same word used for hand and arm.
21 jubuj’inyatyi’ ïwaj 2021  
Chinese [Hakka]: Chinese [Hakka] ✧ HAK ✧ Sino-Tibetan. Taiwan, SE China, diaspora communities worldwide. Unintelligible with Mandarin Chinese and, also unlike Mandarin, employs a final m.
21 六月 luk5 ŋiet6 2021  
Chinook Jargon (Wawa): Chinook Jargon (Wawa) ✧ CHN ✧ A trading language that thrived in the Pacific Northwest during the 19th century. Combined Native American and European vocabulary, though evidence suggests a form of it predated Old World contact. Its Chinuk Pipa script arose in the 1880s.
21 jun Shun 2021
Chiwere (Iowa-Otoe-Missouria): Chiwere (Iowa-Otoe-Missouria) ✧ IOW ✧ Western Siouan, akin to Winnebago (q.v.), natively extinct since 1996 though there are some 40 mostly older semi-fluent speakers in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Males and females speak with two different styles or registers.
21 Mąnðe 'Ųnye 2021
Choctaw: Choctaw ✧ CHO ✧ Muskogean, related to Alabama and Chickasaw (qq.v.). South-central USA, 18,000 speakers.
21 Chuni 2021  
Choyo (Queyu): Choyo (Queyu) ✧ QVY ✧ A Sino-Tibetan, Qiangic language of Yajiang and Xinlong Counties in Sichuan with approx. 7000 speakers. Choyo is closely akin to another Qiangic language, Zhaba, spoken by a similar number in Yajiang and Daofu Counties.
21 da35wa55tʂu35pa53 2021
Chukchansi: Chukchansi ✧ YOK ✧ Of uncertain family, classified as Yokutsan, Nim. Endemic to California’s San Joaquin Valley. Only eight native speakers listed as of 2011, but currently taught in area elementary schools.
21 Hayaalataw 2021
Chukchi: Chukchi ✧ CKT ✧ Chukotko-Kamchatkan family, about 10,000 speakers in extreme eastern Siberia. Uses vowel harmony. Also, words cannot begin or end with consonant blends.
21 кыткытйъэлгын [kytkytj”elgyn] 2021  
Chuukese (Trukese): Chuukese (Trukese) ✧ CHK ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Micronesian, spoken by around 50,000 ethnic Chuukese on the Chuuk Islands of the Carolines plus Pohnpei and Guam. Remarkably, begins some words with doubled consonants.
21 Suun 2021
Chuvash: Chuvash ✧ CHV ✧ Turkic, spoken in the Urals. Features “hard” versus “soft” words. Genderless, agglutinative.
IXX çĕртме [śĕrtme] IXX✳✳  
Cimbrian: Cimbrian ✧ CIM ✧ A Germanic language akin to Mocheno (q.v.) spoken by between 400 and 1200 — reports vary — in Italy’s Tyrol whose grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation render it unintelligible to Standard High German speakers. Italian has largely displaced it.
21 sunjo -or- prachmånat 2021  
Circassian (Cherkess) [Adyghe]: Circassian (Cherkess) [Adyghe] ✧ ADY ✧ Northwest Caucasian. Has 50-60 consonant sounds, mutually intelligible with the Kabardian dialect group on the next page. Circassian has many Persian, Turkish, Arabic, and Russian loans.
21 мэкъуогъу [mǎqʷoġ°] 2021  
Circassian (Cherkess) [Kabardian]: Circassian (Cherkess) [Kabardian] ✧ KBD ✧ The other major Circassian grouping, also called East Circassian. Mutually intelligible with Adyghe on the previous page. Kabardian uses at least one sound, the unvoiced labiodental ejective fricative (IPA f  ’), that’s particularly rare if it exists at all outside the Caucasian families.
21 гъэмахуэпэ [ʁamāχwapa] -or- мэкъуауэгъуэ [maqʷāwaʁʷa] 2021  
Coeur d’Alene: Coeur d’Alene ✧ CRD ✧ Salishan family, Interior, Southern. Natively spoken by two elders as of 2014, though knowledge of it is spreading and KWIS FM 88.3 in Plummer, Idaho offers Coeur d’Alene programming.
21 Sgwarpu’lmkhw “Land is flowering” 2021
Cofán: Cofán ✧ CON ✧ A seriously endangered language isolate spoken by 2400 Cofán people in Sucumbíos Province in northeast Ecuador and neighboring Colombia. Natively it counts in base 5.
21 ushan'chu kûñûsite 2021
Comanche [Eastern]: Comanche [Eastern] ✧ SWB ✧ Uto-Aztecan family, Numic; native to Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado, and Oklahoma; some two dozen speakers currently. Comanche was one of the languages used by the Code Talkers during World War II.
21 Puhi mua “Leaf moon” 2021
Comorian [Maore] (Shimaore): Comorian [Maore] (Shimaore) ✧ SWB ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantu. 80,000 speakers on French islands of Mayotte. Originally written in Arabic script.
21 jwî 2021
Coptic: Coptic ✧ COP ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Ptolemaic Egyptian. Extinct as vernacular, used for Coptic Orthodox liturgy. Greek-derived alphabet plus characters pulled from ancient Egyptian Demotic symbols. (The Church observes its own calendar, but these are Coptic’s Gregorian terms.)
21 Ⲓⲟⲩⲛⲓⲟⲥ [yoɣnios] 2021  
Cornish: Cornish ✧ COR ✧ Celtic, Brythonic. Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, natively extinct but nowadays actively studied and taught. Like all Celtic languages, a Cornish noun changes its initial consonant sound depending on its role in a sentence.
21 mys Efan 2021  
Corsican: Corsican ✧ COS ✧ Indo-European, Romance, and unlike Sardinian (q.v.) this language is mutually intelligible with Italian. Spoken on Corsica, endangered.
21 ghjugnu 2021  
Cotabato Manobo [Dulangan Manobo]: Cotabato Manobo [Dulangan Manobo] ✧ MTA ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, spoken by 30,000 in the Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato Provinces of Mindinao, Philippines. The Tasaday, once decried as a hoax tribe but long since confirmed, speak a dialect of Cotabato Manobo.
21 huniyu 2021
Cree: Cree ✧ CRE ✧ Algonquian family. Formerly creolized with French and Scottish Gaelic. Official in Canada’s Northwest Territories, almost 100,000 speakers. Related to Montagnais Innu (q.v.).
21 sagipukawipizun “Leaves sprout” 2021  
Creek (Muscogee or Seminole): Creek (Muscogee or Seminole) ✧ MUS ✧ Muskogean family, tonal with nasalizations, 5000 speakers in Oklahoma and Florida
21 kvco-hvsee “Blackberry” 2021
Crimean Tatar: Crimean Tatar ✧ CRH ✧ Half a million speakers. Although Turkic like Tatar, CT is not considered a Tatar dialect and they are not mutually intelligible.
21 ilk yaz ayı -or- bozarğan ayı -or- kiraz ayı 2021  
Croatian [Traditional]: Croatian [Traditional] ✧ HRV ✧ South Slavic, spoken in Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, and parts of Serbia. Uses the Roman alphabet as opposed to Serbian which uses Cyrillic.
21 lipanj “Linden tree month” 2021
Crow (Apsáalooke): Crow (Apsáalooke) ✧ CRO ✧ Siouan family, Western, as of 2007 spoken by 3500 in the Crow Nation in southwest Montana. Considered endangered, though schoolchildren are actively learning it and adolescents attend the Apsaalooke Language Camp for Crow language immersion.
21 akbaláapdeaxihche annitúua 2021  
Cuicatec: Cuicatec ✧ CUX ✧ A language of the Oto-Manguean family spoken natively by 13,000 in western Oaxaca, Mexico. Its tones are indicated with superscript numerals, and it forms verb tenses by attaching one of four different prefixes.
21 ju2nio4 -or- iyuu jóo 2021
Cuman (Polovetsian): Cuman (Polovetsian) ✧ QWM ✧ Turkic language spoken by Cuman-Kipchaks in eastern Europe, extinct by 1800. It was the Golden Horde Khanate’s lingua franca and it left a rich body of literature.
21 kz ay 2021  
Curonian: Curonian ✧ XCU ✧ Extinct Balto-Slavic language spoken until the 16th century in parts of modern Latvia, Lithuania, and Germany. It showed Finnic influences.
21 juni 2021
Czech (Bohemian): Czech (Bohemian) ✧ CZE ✧ West Slavic, distinct from but mutually intelligible with Slovak: Czech borrows more German; Slovak, Ukrainian and Hungarian. In both Czech and Slovak the same word, ruka, can refer to hand or arm.
21 červen “Red” or “Worm” 2021  

Dagaare: Dagaare ✧ DGA ✧ Niger-Congo, Gur branch. Unusual consonant blends such as gb, kp, and mgm.
21 KyuuraayoOosobO 2021
Dagur (Daur): Dagur (Daur) ✧ DTA ✧ Mongolic family, spoken by 96,000 Daur in Inner Mongolia’s Hailar District and China’s Qiqihar and Tacheng Prefectures. Exhibits vestiges of vowel harmony.
21 ninggumbie 2021
Dakota (Dakhota): Dakota (Dakhota) ✧ DAK ✧ Siouan family, mutually intelligible with Lakota. Around 20,000 speakers in an area centered on eastern South Dakota and taking in parts of North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana.
21 Wažuštecašawi 2021
Dalecarlian (Elfdalian): Dalecarlian (Elfdalian) ✧ OVD ✧ North Germanic, endangered, originally expressed with runes. Unlike Swedish, with which it isn’t mutually intelligible, it uses nasalized vowels (Ą, Ę, Į, Ų, Y̨, Ą̊) and like Icelandic uses eth (Ð). The video game Minecraft features Dalecarlian.
21 jun juni 2021  
Dalmatian: Dalmatian ✧ DLM ✧ Extinct Romance language once spoken on the Adriatic east coast. Marine mail carrier Tuone Udaina, its last native speaker, died in a roadwork accident in 1898 but Italian linguist Matteo Bartoli had had about a year to study with him intensively.
21 giun 2021  
Dangaléat: Dangaléat ✧ DAA ✧ Afro-Asiatic, East Chadic, 60,000 speakers in Central Chad. Vowel length is contrastive, uses implosive consonants (see Appendix).
21 saliiga 2021
Danish [Premodern/Folk]: Danish [Premodern/Folk] ✧ DAN ✧ North Germanic. Unlike sister languages Swedish and Norwegian, it uses a uvular r. Shown here is traditional Danish before it adopted neo-Latin month conventions.
21 Hømåned 2021
Dan: Dan ✧ DNJ ✧ Niger-Congo family, Mande, 1.6 million speakers in Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia plus another 800 in Guinea. Tonal. Its three dialects are Gweetaawu, Blowo, and Kla, though the last is often considered a separate language.
21 Ʒuɛn -or- ˈˈplɛɛ 2021  
Deg Xinag: Deg Xinag ✧ ING ✧ Athabaskan language, virtually extinct. Area around the lower Yukon River, Alaska.
21 Vinginh xiniłyagh “Month things grow” 2021
Denaakk’e (Koyukon Athabascan): Denaakk’e (Koyukon Athabascan) ✧ KOY ✧ Athabascan, spoken by approx. 300 in east central Alaska, three dialects
21 Menenh Hu̶denyaaghee 2021  
Dena’ina (Tanaina) [Outer Inlet]: Dena’ina (Tanaina) [Outer Inlet] ✧ TFN ✧ Athabaskan, seriously endangered, Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. Same word can refer to hand or arm.
21 ɬuq’a ni’u 2021
Denya: Denya ✧ ANV ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantoid, Mamfe. Spoken in Cameroon by around 11,000
21 zuwen 2021
Dhivehi (Maldivian): Dhivehi (Maldivian) ✧ DIV ✧ Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, uses its exclusive right-to-left Thāna script which unlike Arabic explicitly indicates vowels. Spoken in the Indian Ocean Republic of Maldives.
21 jun [jūn] 2021  
Digaro Mishmi (Darang/Taraon): Digaro Mishmi (Darang/Taraon) ✧ MHU ✧ “Possibly” Sino-Tibetan, 35,000 speakers in India’s Arunachal Pradesh and China’s Zayü County.
21 xɑ55 lo53 tɑ31 xɹo53 2021
Dinka [Northwestern]: Dinka [Northwestern] ✧ DIW ✧ Nilo-Saharan, spoken in Sudan and by a refugee population in Jacksonville, Florida. Tonal, breathy vowels, five principal dialects.
21 bildit 2021
Ditidaht (Nitinaht or Southern Nootkan): Ditidaht (Nitinaht or Southern Nootkan) ✧ DTD ✧ Wakashan family, Vancouver Island, virtually extinct. An unusual feature is that it uses no nasal consonants (sounds such as m, n, and ng/ŋ).
21 qawašpaał 2021
Djimini (Jinmini): Djimini (Jinmini) ✧ DYI ✧ Niger-Congo, Senufo, 96,000 speakers in Ivory Coast’s Debakala Department
21 karimanɔyeri 2021
Dogrib (Tłı̨chǫ Yatıì): Dogrib (Tłı̨chǫ Yatıì) ✧ DGR ✧ Na-Dené, Athabaskan. Canada Northwest Territories, 2600 speakers. Not to be confused with Dogri, an Indo-European language spoken in India.
21 Eyègôhsa 2021  
Duala: Duala ✧ DUA ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu, spoken natively by 90,000, and as an acquired language by 2 million, in Cameroon. Duala is tri-tonal and first appeared in print in 1862.
21 esɔpɛsɔpɛ 2021
Dukhan: Dukhan ✧ DKH ✧ A Turkic amalgam related to Tuvan, Buryat, and Tofalar (qq.v.) spoken, often mixed with Mongolian, by approx. 500 Dukha reindeer herders in northernmost Mongolia. (The ISO language code DKH is unofficial.)
21 şоvur аy 2021
Dupaningan Agta: Dupaningan Agta ✧ DUE ✧ A Malayo-Polynesian language of uncertain classification, spoken in the Philippines’ Cagayan and Isabela provinces in northeastern Luzon by approximately 1,400 semi-nomadic Negrito hunter-gatherers
21 make-annam a bulan 2021
Duru [Dii]: Duru [Dii] ✧ DUR ✧ Niger-Congo, Leko-Nimbari, Duru, between 50,000 and 60,000 speakers in Cameroon. Dii Duru divides further into eight recognized dialects.
21 nɛ̀ŋ̀ kààd 2021
Dusun (Bunduliwan): Dusun (Bunduliwan) ✧ DTP ✧ A Malayo-Polynesian language, standardized by the Kadazandusun Cultural Association Sabah, and spoken by 140,000 in Malaysia and Brunei.
21 Tulan Mahas “Look month” 2021
Dutch [Old]: Dutch [Old] ✧ ODT ✧ Indo-European, Germanic, 9th to 12th centuries CE. Literary examples include The Leiden Willeram, a commentary on the Song of Solomon, and Hebban olla vogala (“Have all birds begun nests”), both from ca. 1100.
XXI jun / zomermaand “Summer Month” MMXXI  
Dutch [West Flemish] (Vlaams): Dutch [West Flemish] (Vlaams) ✧ ODT ✧ The Dutch dialect majority language of northern Belgium, spoken also in Hauts-de-France and Zeeland, by some 6.5 million. This is its premodern terminology. Unlike standard Dutch, weekdays and months are usually capitalized.
XXI Zomermaand “Summer Month” MMXXI
Dyula (Jula): Dyula (Jula) ✧ DYU ✧ Niger-Congo, Western Mande, East Manding, spoken by 6.9 million in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and Mali. Used as a trade language, akin to Bambara (q.v.) and mutually intelligible with it.
21 dannikalo “Month of sowing” 2021
Dzongkha (Bhutanese): Dzongkha (Bhutanese) ✧ DZO ✧ Sino-Tibetan family, approx. 170,000 native speakers (and an additional 470,000 non-native) in Bhutan where it is the only official language.
21 jun [spyi.zlaw.drug.pa] 2021

Edo (Bini): Edo (Bini) ✧ BIN ✧ Niger-Congo family. Spoken by 1.6 million who are largely Benin Empire descendants.
21 uki ikpesi 2021  
Embu (Kîembu): Embu (Kîembu) ✧ EBU ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantu. Spoken by 320,000 in two dialects, northeast of Nairobi, Kenya.
21 Mweri wa gatantatũ 2021
Emilian-Romagnol (Sammarinese): Emilian-Romagnol (Sammarinese) ✧ EGL/RGN ✧ Romance language spoken in Italy (Emilia-Romagna region, Urbino, and Pesaro) and in San Marino. Recognized by UNESCO as “worthy of protection,” E-R is said to be entirely unintelligible to an Italian speaker.
21 żógn 2021  
Emilian-Romagnol [Ferrarese]: Emilian-Romagnol [Ferrarese] ✧ EGL/RGN ✧ E-R dialect heard in the Province of Ferrara which includes the city of Comacchio.
21 źugn 2021
Enets (Entsy) [Forest]: Enets (Entsy) [Forest] ✧ ENF and ENH ✧ Moribund Samoyedic language spoken by 70 out of 260 ethnic Enets of Krasnoyarsk Krai in central Siberia. Sixty of those speak the Forest shown here; ten, Tundra. Unusual destinative noun case (someplace you’re going, or something destined to become something else).
21 наарэ дири [naare diri] “Month when the river floods” 2021  
English [Old] (Anglo-Saxon): English [Old] (Anglo-Saxon) ✧ ANG ✧ Indo-European, Germanic, spoken 5th to 12th centuries CE. Four noun cases; three genders; definite articles were se, sēo, þæt, and þā. Literary examples, Beowulf (975-1025) and the Charter of Cnut (ca. 1017).
XXI jun / Ærra Līþa “Before mild [weather]” MMXXI  
Erromangan (Sie) [Folk/Traditional]: Erromangan (Sie) [Folk/Traditional] ✧ ERG ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Southern Oceanic, spoken by 1900 on Vanuatu’s Erromango Island. This was traditional before Erromangan borrowed quasi-English month names from Bislama (q.v.).
21 Movkimetu 2021
Erromintxela: Erromintxela ✧ EMX ✧ A unique hybrid of Basque and Vlax Romani (qq.v.) spoken by around a thousand Pyrenees-dwelling Roma. Preliterate until the second half of the 20th century.
21 hékaña 2021
Ersu [Ganluo]: Ersu [Ganluo] ✧ ERS ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Qiangic, around 13,000 speakers in western Sichuan. Like Nakhi (q.v.) this language employs a pictographic script for folkloric purposes, additionally using different colors for more detailed meaning.
21 əɹi55ɬɑ33 2021
Erzya: Erzya ✧ MYV ✧ Uralic, Mordvinic, 37,000 speakers, akin to [but quite distinct from] Moksha (q.v.). It uses the exact same alphabet as Russian, though the letters Х, Щ, Ъ (hard sign), and Ь (soft sign) occur only in loans.
21 аштемков [aštemakov] 2021  
Estonian: Estonian ✧ EST ✧ Uralic, Finnic. Features three vowel lengths, 15 noun cases. Estonian and Finnish (q.v.) are mutually intelligible with practice though there are many “false friends,” i.e., words that seem identical but carry different meanings in each language.
21 jaanikuu 2021  
Estonian [Southern] (Seto): Estonian [Southern] (Seto) ✧ VRO ✧ In many respects closer to Võro (q.v.) than standard Estonian, spoken by 12,500 in the Setomaa region (Estonia/Russia). Germanic influences.
21 piimäkuu “Start of milking month” 2021
Etruscan: Etruscan ✧ ETT ✧ Assigned to the hypothetical Tyrrhenian family, spoken on the Italian peninsula in classical times. Written right-to-left, the Etruscan language lacked the sounds of o, d, b, and g.
XXI jun acall ⊕⊕XXI  
Even (Lamut): Even (Lamut) ✧ EVE ✧ Tungusic, akin to Evenki below, 7000 speakers in Siberia. Used Church Slavonic script until the 1920s, then switched to Cyrillic, to Roman, then back to Cyrillic in 1953. It adds Ӈ, Ө, and Ӫ to it but reserves Ё, Щ, Ъ (hard sign) and Ь (soft sign) for Russian loans.
21 эври чордакич [ėvri čordakič] 2021  
Evenki (Solon): Evenki (Solon) ✧ EVN ✧ Tungusic, related to Even above, but four times as many speakers. In descending order of frequency, Evenki appears in Roman, Cyrillic, and Mongolian script.
21 imuchun “Return” 2021  
Ewe: Ewe ✧ EWO ✧ Niger-Congo family, tonal, spoken by 5 million in western Africa. A tilde nasalizes a vowel: ã, ẽ, ɛ̃, ɔ̃, ĩ, õ, and ũ. Related to Aja and Fon (qqv.).
21 Masa 2021
Extremaduran: Extremaduran ✧ EXT ✧ Romance language spoken in west central Spain. Some differences from Spanish/Castilian: Infinitive verbs end in L, questions are reinforced by prepending the particles lo, lu, pu, or pui.
21 juñu -or- juniu 2021  

Falam (Falam Chin): Falam (Falam Chin) ✧ CFM ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Kuki-Chin, 107,000 speakers of four main dialects in Myanmar (Chin State) and India. Roman alphabet.
21 thlaruknak 2021
Fang: Fang ✧ FAN ✧ Niger-Congo, Southern Bantoid, one million speakers predominantly in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, beyond that in Cameroon, São Tomé and Príncipe, and The Republic of the Congo. Tonal, eight major dialects, spelling not currently standardized.
21 ngon-samane 2021
Fe’fe’ (Nufi or Bafang): Fe’fe’ (Nufi or Bafang) ✧ FMP ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantoid, Grassfields. Nine dialects, 120,000 speakers in the area of Bafang, Cameroon.
21 monoshù 2021
Finnish: Finnish ✧ FIN ✧ Uralic, Finnic, 5.4 million speakers in Scandinavia and Russia. Preliterate until the 16th century, highly inflected (15 noun cases), genderless, and both consonants and vowels can be long or short.
21 kesäkuu “Summer month” 2021
Flemish (West Flemish or West-Vlaams): Flemish (West Flemish or West-Vlaams) ✧ VLS ✧ A highly divergent Dutch dialect — or separate language, to many — with 1.2 million speakers in Belgium and southwestern Netherlands. The term “Flemish” is more geopolitical than linguistic.
21 juni 2021  
Fon: Fon ✧ FON ✧ Niger-Congo, Gbe, related to Aja and Ewe (qq.v.). Spoken by 2.2 million in Togo and Benin in over 50 dialects. Efforts are underway to consolidate them into a single spoken and literary standard.
21 ayido sùn 2021
Fox (Meskwaki or Sauk) 1: Fox (Meskwaki or Sauk) 1 ✧ SAC ✧ Algonquian, endangered, approx. 2000 speakers distributed through Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, and Coahuila (Mexico). It has two indigenous writing systems known as Fox I and Fox II, shown next.
21 chôna 2021  
Fox (Meskwaki or Sauk) 2: Fox (Meskwaki or Sauk) 2 ✧ SAC ✧ Fox as above, written with the Fox I script. This is an abugida — halfway between an alphabet and a syllabary, like most of the scripts used in India.
21 tt..n 2021
Fox (Meskwaki or Sauk) 3: Fox (Meskwaki or Sauk) 3 ✧ SAC ✧ This is Fox written with the Fox II script, a true alphabet showing consonants and vowels explicitly.
21 jun 2021
Frafra (Gurenɛ): Frafra (Gurenɛ) ✧ GUR ✧ Niger-Congo, Gur, Mooré, related to Mossi (q.v.), spoken by 720,000 in Ghana and Burkina Faso. Its alphabet doesn’t use C, J, Q, or X, though adds Ɛ, Ɔ, Ŋ, Ʋ, and Ɣ.
21 dõorɔ wõrga 2021
Frankish (Old Franconian): Frankish (Old Franconian) ✧ FRK ✧ Germanic language spoken in France between the 4th and 9th centuries, evolved into Old Dutch (q.v.). Charlemagne would have spoken a dialect of Frankish.
XXI Brachmanoþ MMXXI
Frisian [West]: Frisian [West] ✧ FRY ✧ Indo-European, West Germanic, considered to be the closest foreign language to English. About 470,000 speakers in the Friesland province of the Netherlands.
21 simmermoanne “Summer month” 2021  
Frisian [West Schiermonnikoog]: Frisian [West Schiermonnikoog] ✧ FRY ✧ Heard on the Island of Schiermonnikoog off northern Netherlands, seriously endangered with fewer than 100 speakers
21 sommermond 2021
Frisian [North] (Mooring): Frisian [North] (Mooring) ✧ FRR ✧ About 10,000 speakers in the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany
21 jüüne -or- samermoune “summer month” 2021  
Friulian: Friulian ✧ FUR ✧ Indo-European, Romance. Spoken by half a million in northeast Italy near the Slovenian border. When C is followed by anything other than an E or an I or stands alone, but must still remain soft (č, IPA tɕ, as in English cherry), it takes a cedilla: Ç.
21 jugn 2021  
Fula: Fula ✧ FUL ✧ Niger-Congo family, western Africa, official in Senegal. Most commonly written with the Roman alphabet, less so with the Arabic; but a unique alphabet for Fula called Adlam arose in the 1980s and has been widely adopted.
21 korse 2021  
Fur: Fur ✧ FVR ✧ Tentatively attributed to the Nilo-Saharan family, spoken in south central Darfur in western Sudan.
21 Potáŋ 2021
Futunan: Futunan ✧ FUT ✧ Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by 6600 on Vanuatu’s Futuna Island and in New Caledonia. Its words for hand and arm are identical.
21 sunio 2021
Fuyu Kyrgyz (Manchurian Kirghiz): Fuyu Kyrgyz (Manchurian Kirghiz) ✧ ??? ✧ Turkic. Not a dialect of Kyrgyz, but instead closer to Khakas (qq.v). Spoken by fewer than a dozen in Heilongjiang, China, 300 km northwest of Harbin.
21 altʰï ay 2021  

Gaelic [Irish] (Irish): Gaelic [Irish] (Irish) ✧ GLE ✧ Indo-European, Celtic, Goidelic. Spoken as a first language along the western coast of Ireland, also widely spoken in Newfoundland until the early 1900s.
21 Mí Meitheamh “Midsummer” 2021  
Gaelic [Scottish]: Gaelic [Scottish] ✧ GLA ✧ Like Irish Gaelic (q.v.), also Celtic, Goidelic. This is Highland Gaelic; Lowland Gaelic is extinct. Scottish Gaelic hyphenates its prefixes and uses vowels with grave accents (à è ì ò ù), unlike Irish.
21 An t-Ogmhìos “New moon” 2021  
Gaelic [Scottish Archaic]: Gaelic [Scottish Archaic] ✧ GLA ✧ As Scottish Gaelic above, but older
21 Mìos Meadhanach an t-Samhraidh 2021
Gagauz: Gagauz ✧ GAG ✧ Turkic, Western Oghuz, 140,000 speakers in Moldova, Ukraine, Turkey, and Russia. Gagauz’s oldest texts used the Greek alphabet. It switched to the Cyrillic in 1957, then to the Roman in 1996 using the Turkish range but adding Ä, Ê, and Ț.
21 кирезь айы [kirez ayı] 2021
Galician: Galician ✧ GLG ✧ Ibero-Romance, sharply divergent from Portuguese, spoken in Galicia in northern Spain. It’s co-official there, regulated by the Royal Galician Academy. Fidel Castroʼs father was Galician and emigrated to make his sugar cane fortune.
21 xuño 2021  
Gallong (Galo) [Lare]: Gallong (Galo) [Lare] ✧ ADL ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Tani branch, at least four dialects though likely more, 30,000 speakers. Arunachal Pradesh, northeast India.
21 `ilo 2021
Gallo: Gallo ✧ ROA-GAL ✧ Indo-European, Romance, Langue d’oïl. Approx. 28,000 speakers in the upper Brittany region. Gallo bears some mutual intelligibility with Norman (q.v.) dialects, though it displays Celtic influences as opposed to Old Norse.
21 juen 2021  
Garifuna: Garifuna ✧ CAB ✧ Arawakan language with French and Carib loans, Central America, 170,000 speakers. Men’s and women’s speech differ. Men’s Garifuna tends to borrow more heavily from Carib while women’s leans more toward Arawak.
21 sisi hati 2021  
Garo: Garo ✧ GRT ✧ Sino-Tibetan family, Brahmaputran, spoken in the Garo Hills of Meghalaya and in parts of Assam and Tripura, India, and also in Bangladesh. In its Roman writing system, the letters F, Q, V, X, Y, and Z are non-native and occur only in loans.
21 bilsini dokgipa ja 2021
Gaulish *: Gaulish * ✧ XTG ✧ Indo-European, Celtic. Pre-Roman France, extinct by the 7th century CE. Modern French uses several hundred Gaulish loans, among them the words alouette (lark) and petit (small).
XXI samonios “Summer” MMXXI  
Ga: Ga ✧ GAA ✧ Niger-Congo family, Kwa division, first written in 1764. Tonal, three vowel lengths.
21 Otukwadan 2021
Gciriku (Rumanyo): Gciriku (Rumanyo) ✧ DIU ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu, 36,000 speakers along the Okavango River in Angola, Botswana, and Namibia. Most Bantu languages don’t have clicks, but Gciriku uses half a dozen, typically in place names and in words that refer to natural features.
21 Pémbona 2021
Georgian: Georgian ✧ KAT ✧ Kartvelian family, lacks an f sound natively. Akin to, but unintelligible with, Svan (q.v.). Each vowel is always a separate syllable, so an aa (აა) would sound out as a-a. The native term for Georgia is საქართველო [sakartvelo] “Land of Kartvelians.”
კა ივნისი [iwnisi] ცკა  
Georgian [Old]: Georgian [Old] ✧ KAT ✧ Georgian from approximately 800-1000 CE
კა თიბათვე [tibatve] “Mowing month” -or- ივანობისთვე [ivanobistve] “Saint John’s month” ცკა
German [Alsatian]: German [Alsatian] ✧ GSW ✧ Alsace in eastern France. 100,000 speakers, all bilingual with French. Unlike German, the Alsatian alphabet also includes the letters À and É.
21 Jüni -or- Juni 2021  
German [Alsatian Folk]: German [Alsatian Folk] ✧ GSW ✧ Alsatian terms previous to, or aside from, the modern neo-Latin
21 Brachmond -or- Brachmonat -or- Rosenmonat 2021
German [Brazilian Pomeranian]: German [Brazilian Pomeranian] ✧ NDS ✧ Not to be confused with West Slavic Pomeranian, this is a Low German dialect spoken in the Brazilian State of Santa Catarina, chiefly in Pomerode by 90% of its residents.
21 im Júni 2021
German [Old High]: German [Old High] ✧ GOH ✧ Earliest attested German language, ca. 500-1050 CE. Old High German appears in the Oaths of Strasbourg, 12 February 842, between Louis the German and Charles the Bald.
XXI Brāhmānōd MMXXI  
German [Plautdietsch]: German [Plautdietsch] ✧ PDT ✧ North Sea Germanic, Low German, akin to Dutch. Spoken in northern Germany, eastern areas of the Netherlands, and by Mennonites worldwide.
21 Jüni -or- Juni 2021  
German [Ripuarian] (Kölsch): German [Ripuarian] (Kölsch) ✧ KSH ✧ Indo-European, West Germanic, Central Franconian. Cologne area, around a million speakers. Its various subdialects can identify a speaker’s region.
21 Juuni 2021
German [Walser]: German [Walser] ✧ WAE ✧ Germanic, uppermost Swiss Alps, 23,000 native speakers. Poor interintelligibility with Standard German. Approximately nine highly divergent dialects.
21 Bráčet 2021  
German [mid 17th century]: German [mid 17th century] ✧ GER ✧ The High German shown on a 1665 calendar
21 Brachmond 2021
Gitxsan (Gitksan or Gitsenimx): Gitxsan (Gitksan or Gitsenimx) ✧ GIT ✧ Tsimshianic family, British Columbia, < 1000 speakers, closely related to Nisga’a (q.v.). Underscores (g/g̱, k/k, x/x) indicate back as opposed to ordinary front articulation.
21 hlox̱sa maa’y 2021
Gothic: Gothic ✧ GOT ✧ Indo-European, extinct by the 10th century. IE’s Germanic branch splits into West, North, and East; Gothic belonged to the latter, along with Vandalic and Burgundian which are both only poorly attested.
XXI jun [afar linthja] MMXXI  
Gourmantché (Migourmantchema): Gourmantché (Migourmantchema) ✧ GUX ✧ Niger-Congo, Gur, spoken by 900,000 in Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Togo. Its nouns use circumfixes — prefix-suffix pairs that enclose them. Language names, for example, begin with mi- and end with -ma; thus Gourmantché becomes migourmantchema.
21 ciluoba 2021
Greenlandic [Kalaallisut] (West Greenlandic): Greenlandic [Kalaallisut] (West Greenlandic) ✧ KAL ✧ Eskimo-Aleut, official in Greenland. Three more dialects are East (Tunumiisut), North or Thule (Avanersuarmiutut), and South (Eskimo). A fourth, Qavak, is extinct.
21 juunip 2021  
Griko (Grecanic or Italiot Greek): Griko (Grecanic or Italiot Greek) ✧ GRE ✧ Variety of modern Greek, with which interintelligibility is described as poor. About 28,000 speakers in the heel and toe of Italy. Griko uses a Greek alphabet with the addition of Б, G, Ǵ, Ḱ, Λ̌, Ν̌, and Σ̌ while reserving Ξ and Ψ strictly for older Greek loans.
21 Tero 2021  
Gros Ventre (Atsina): Gros Ventre (Atsina) ✧ ATS ✧ Algonquian, Arapahoan language of the Gros Ventre people of Montana, natively extinct since 1981 but currently spoken in revival by 45 individuals. Closely related to Arapaho (q.v.) but with a wider consonant inventory.
21 bíínɔh ɂɔhúúúθitééíh “When berries are ripe” 2021
Guahibo: Guahibo ✧ GUH ✧ From the Guahiban family, 34,000 speakers in Colombia and in the Orinoco River area in Venezuela. Unusually complex stress patterns for syllables.
21 pebubutsi juameto “Floods” 2021  
Guan [Dungan]: Guan [Dungan] ✧ DNG ✧ A Sino-Tibetan language that, unusually, uses the Cyrillic alphabet. Three tones. Spoken by 90,000 in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, it evolved from Mandarin Chinese but drew heavy influences from Turkic languages and Russian.
21 люйүә [lyujyә] 2021
Guaraní [Paraguayan]: Guaraní [Paraguayan] ✧ GUG ✧ Tupian family. This is the standard Guaraní spoken in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay. Genderless. Oldest writings date from 1639.
21 jasypoteï 2021  
Guhu-Samane: Guhu-Samane ✧ GHS ✧ An isolate related to the Binanderean family, Papua New Guinea, five dialects recognized, 13,000 speakers.
21 Dzuni 2021
Guiqiong: Guiqiong ✧ GQI ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Qiangic. A preliterate, poorly documented language spoken in Sichuan and Tibet. Four tones, shown as superscripts 33, 35, 53, and 55. There are approx. 6000 native speakers, who switch to Chinese when they travel outside their villages.
21 dʐu35pu53 2021
Gullah (Sea Islands Creole): Gullah (Sea Islands Creole) ✧ GUL ✧ English-based, Niger-Congo influences. The word “kumbaya” comes from Gullah, and some characters in Daughters of the Dust (1991) speak Gullah over English captions.
21 Joon 2021  
Gungu (Lugungu): Gungu (Lugungu) ✧ RUB ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantoid, Great Lakes Bantu, 49,000 speakers in Buliisa, Hoima, and Masindi districts in northwestern Uganda. No dictionary existed until 2012.
21 Mweri̱ Gwakataanu 2021
Gusii (Ekegusii or Kisii): Gusii (Ekegusii or Kisii) ✧ GUZ ✧ Niger-Congo family, Northeast Bantu, spoken by 2.2 million in western Kenya’s Gusii district. Contrastive vowel lengths.
21 Ebwagi 2021  
Gusilay: Gusilay ✧ GSL ✧ Niger-Congo family, Jola branch, spoken by 15,000 in southwest Senegal. Its speakers also use other languages such as Mandinka and Wolof (qq.v.), and also Pulaar, but their literacy in Gusilay itself is less than 1%.
21 Fútiiŋa 2021
Gutnish (Gotlandic): Gutnish (Gotlandic) ✧ - ✧ Endangered North Germanic language some assign to its own sub-branch, spoken by between 2000 and 5000 on the islands of Fårö (not to be confused with the Faroe Islands) and Gotland. Vowels and vocabulary differ significantly from Swedish.
21 jäuni 2021
Gwere (Lugwere): Gwere (Lugwere) ✧ GWR ✧ Niger-Congo, Great Lakes Bantu, 410,000 speakers in Uganda. Contrastive (long versus short) vowel length.
21 Gwamukaaga -or- Nairima 2021  
Gwich’in [Western]: Gwich’in [Western] ✧ GWI ✧ Na-Dené family, Athabaskan. 700 speakers in Alaska and northwest Canada.
21 Vanan Ch’iighoo 2021  

Haida: Haida ✧ HAI ✧ Language isolate native to the Haida Gwaii archipelago off the coast of British Columbia, with 14 reported speakers. Instead of adjectives, it uses verbs to assign qualities. Some linguists submit that Haida uses a sound, the voiced epiglottal affricate (IPA ʡʢ), that occurs in no other known language.
21 Gáan Kungáay “Berries ripen moon” 2021
Haitian Creole: Haitian Creole ✧ HAT ✧ Based on 18th century French with influences from other Romance languages, English, Taíno, and African languages such as Asante, Edo, Fongbe, Fulani, and Kikongo. Spoken by 8.9 million, partially interintelligible with French.
21 jen 2021  
Hakha Chin (Lai): Hakha Chin (Lai) ✧ CNH ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Kuki-Chin, Central, spoken by 130,000 in Burma, Bangladesh, and India. Tonal.
21 June thla 2021
Hani (Ho): Hani (Ho) ✧ HNI ✧ Sino-Tibetan family, Lolo-Burmese branch, spoken by the 760,000 Ho people in Burma, southern China, Laos, and Vietnam. Tones shown with superscripts: 24 (rising), 31 (low-falling), 33 (mid-level), and 55 (high-level).
21 ɣaŋ55 la33 2021
Harari: Harari ✧ HAR ✧ Afro-Asiatic family, Semitic, approx. 25,000 speakers in Ethiopia. Once written with Arabic script, but nowadays with the Ethiopic abugida and the Roman alphabet.
21 saddistí-khá warhay 2021  
Havasupai-Hualapai: Havasupai-Hualapai ✧ YUF ✧ Yuman family, around 550 speakers in northwest Arizona. About 200 Havasupai (“people of the blue-green waters”) live in the Grand Canyon village of Supai, Arizona, accessible only by foot, mule, or helicopter.
21 Haywaa Daawaatra “Cicadas audible” 2021
Hawaiian [Premodern]: Hawaiian [Premodern] ✧ HAW ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Marquesic, 24,000 native speakers on the Hawaiian Islands, terminology cited in 1895 for Hawaii as a whole: The first word shown was used by fishermen; the second, by farmers.
21 Kaaona “City”-or- Mahoe Mua 2021  
Hawaiian [Premodern Kauai]: Hawaiian [Premodern Kauai] ✧ HAW ✧ Premodern Hawaiian terminology native to the Island of Kauai.
21 Nana “See?” 2021
Hawaiian [Premodern Maui]: Hawaiian [Premodern Maui] ✧ HAW ✧ Premodern Hawaiian terminology native to the Island of Maui.
21 Kaaona “City” 2021
Hawaiian [Premodern Oahu]: Hawaiian [Premodern Oahu] ✧ HAW ✧ Premodern Hawaiian terminology native to the Island of Oahu.
21 Mahoe Mua 2021
Heiltsuk-Oowekyala [Heiltsuk]: Heiltsuk-Oowekyala [Heiltsuk] ✧ HEI ✧ Wakashan family, spoken natively by 60 people around Bella Bella and Klemtu on British Columbia’s northern coast. Two discourse styles. The Yílístis Society devised this Gregorian terminology for Heiltsuk in 1978.
21 miásǧṃ “Fish moon” 2021
Herero (Otjiherero): Herero (Otjiherero) ✧ HER ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu, spoken by around 200,000 of at least six different ethnicities in Angola, Botswana, and Namibia. Roman script was introduced by missionaries in the 19th century.
21 Ongarano 2021  
Hidatsa: Hidatsa ✧ HID ✧ Western Siouan, spoken by 200 in North and South Dakota and Montana. A relatively modest sound inventory of five vowels, two diphthongs, and ten consonants.
21 Máacu Arurágabagi Mirísh 2021
Hiligaynon (Ilongo): Hiligaynon (Ilongo) ✧ HIL ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Visaya group, spoken in Philippines. The indigenous abugida script shown here, Baybayin, dates from the 13th century.
21 jun [kabay] 2021
Hmong Daw [White Miao]: Hmong Daw [White Miao] ✧ MWW ✧ Hmong-Mien family, native to mountainous areas in SE Asia. Seven tones, including creaky and breathy. Hmong languages have an unvoiced m sound (IPA m̥), signified in English by the digraph HM — hence the spelling of the name. See Mong Njua.
21 Rau hlis ntuj 2021  
Holikachuk: Holikachuk ✧ HOI ✧ Athabaskan language, central Alaska. Its last fluent speaker, Wilson “Tiny” Deacon, died in March 2012.
21 Mininh Xiniłyaxiy 2021
Homshetsi (Hamshen): Homshetsi (Hamshen) ✧ HYW ✧ Archaic Armenian dialect spoken by 14,000 in Turkey, preliterate until 1995. Homshetsi and modern Armenian are not mutually intelligible. I had the Romanizations reverse-transliterated into Homshetsi’s more authentic Armenian script.
21 jun [kiyaz] 2021  
Hopi: Hopi ✧ HOP ✧ Uto-Aztecan family, approx. 7000 native speakers in northeast Arizona. Bitonal with four distinct dialects, identified by linguist Benjamin Whorf, that differ in their consonant inventory.
21 Wukouyis “Major Planting moon” 2021  
Hrê: Hrê ✧ HRE ✧ Austroasiatic family, Bahnaric, Sedang-Todrah, 94,000 speakers among the Hrê/H’re people of Vietnam’s Binh Dinh, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, and Quang Ngai provinces. Its closest living relative is Sedang (q.v.).
21 khê tadràu 2021
Huichol [Wixarika]: Huichol [Wixarika] ✧ HCH ✧ Uto-Aztecan language with 45,000 speakers, native to west-central Mexico. Creates long “sentence words” with prefixes and suffixes.
21 cürüpüxi -or- ataxewi metseeri 2021  
Hungarian [Premodern secular]: Hungarian [Premodern secular] ✧ OHU ✧ Uralic family, closely akin to only two other surviving languages — Khanty and Mansi (qq.v.). This was secular Hungarian, before it adopted neo-Latin month conventions
21 napisten hava “Sun god month” 2021  
Hungarian [Premodern religious]: Hungarian [Premodern religious] ✧ OHU ✧ Church-based Hungarian, before it adopted neo-Latin month conventions
21 szent iván hava “St John month” 2021
Hungarian [Reform Era]: Hungarian [Reform Era] ✧ HUN ✧ Hungarian during the nationalistic fervor of 1825-1848
21 nyárelő 2021
Huron (Wendat) [17th-18th centuries]: Huron (Wendat) [17th-18th centuries] ✧ WYA ✧ Iroquoian family, Five Nations, Huronian, native to Quebec. As recorded by French Jesuits from the 1650s to 1740s. No native speakers but currently under revival.
21 tichiont a8ahiari “Strawberry time” 2021

Iaai: Iaai ✧ IAI ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Southern Oceanic, spoken by around 4000 on Ouvéa Island, New Caledonia. Sports a highly unusual set of sounds for a Polynesian (or any) language, including an unvoiced, tongue-curled-backwards n sound, expressed in IPA as ɳ̊.
21 juun 2021
Iatmül: Iatmül ✧ IAN ✧ Sepik family, spoken in four dialects by 8400 in the Sepik River Basin of Papua New Guinea. Iatmüls count in base 5, 10, and 20; their word for 5 translates as “one hand,” for 10, “two hands,” for 20, “one whole man.”
21 si՚ lakwa 2021
Iban: Iban ✧ IBA ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, spoken natively by 790,000 ethnic Dyak in Malaysia’s state of Sarawak, Indonesia’s province of West Kalimantan, and Brunei. Uses the Roman alphabet, though a syllabary devised during the 1950s is undergoing revival.
21 tujuh 2021
Idu Mishmi (Chulikata): Idu Mishmi (Chulikata) ✧ CLK ✧ Sino-Tibetan, endangered. India’s Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh, three dialects. Features retracted (jaw pulled inward during articulation) and creaky vowels.
21 jun [mawu] -or- thālā 2021  
Igbo: Igbo ✧ IBO ✧ Niger-Congo, tonal, proverb-heavy, Nigeria. Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (Amistad, Twelve Years a Slave, etc.) is Igbo.
21 ónwa íshiìn’áfò 2021
Ik: Ik ✧ IKX ✧ Nilo-Saharan, Kuliak branch, 7500 speakers in Uganda along the northwest border of Kenya. Severely endangered. Features implosive consonants.
21 Yɛlíyɛ́l -or- Nàmàƙàr 2021
Ingrian (Izhorian): Ingrian (Izhorian) ✧ IZH ✧ Uralic, Finnic language with only 120 speakers around Gulf of Finland
21 juuni 2021  
Ingush 1: Ingush 1 ✧ INH ✧ Northeast Caucasian family, Nakh branch, tonal. Related to Chechen (q.v.) and like that language it went through a Georgian, Arabic, and finally Cyrillic alphabet writing phase.
21 аьтинг [äting] 2021  
Ingush 2: Ingush 2 ✧ INH ✧ Alternative terminology
21 мангал бутт [mangal butt] 2021
Inuktitut: Inuktitut ✧ IKU ✧ Eskimo-Aleut family, north of Canada’s tree line. There are some 35,000 speakers and, unlike the case with most “minority” languages, that number is growing. Syllabary first conceived by Moravian missionaries.
21 jun [juni] 2021  
Inuktitut [Nunavik]: Inuktitut [Nunavik] ✧ IKU ✧ A dialect of Inuktitut spoken in fourteen coastal villages of Nunavik — a semi-autonomous region occupying the northern third of Quebec.
21 Manniliuti 2021
Inuktitut [Nunavut Paallirmiutut]: Inuktitut [Nunavut Paallirmiutut] ✧ IKU ✧ A dialect of Inuktitut spoken in Canada’s Nunavut province, primarily in Arviat, Wale Cove, and Rankin Inlet
21 jun [juuni manniit] 2021
Inuktitut [Qikiqtaaluk]: Inuktitut [Qikiqtaaluk] ✧ IKU ✧ Inuktitut terminology used in the Baffin Region
21 Nurrait 2021
Inupiaq [North Slope]: Inupiaq [North Slope] ✧ IPK ✧ Eskimo-Aleut family, extreme northwest Alaska. Including all Inupiaq dialects, there are about 2000 native speakers. Agglutinative.
21 ibeivik 2021  
Inupiaq [Malemiut]: Inupiaq [Malemiut] ✧ IPK ✧ Inupiaq dialect native to northwest Alaska’s Kotzebue Sound, around the towns of Deering, Kivalina, Kotzebue, and Kobuk
21 iġñivik “Egg laying” 2021  
Iraqw: Iraqw ✧ IRK ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, spoken by 600,000 in the Tanzania’s Arusha Region. Three genders, sentences end with a verb. An apostrophe indicates a glottal stop; a slash, a throaty hiss with a creaky voice.
21 quua 2021
Istriot (Rovignese): Istriot (Rovignese) ✧ IST ✧ Romance language spoken by around 400 on Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula, closely related to extinct Dalmatian (q.v.). Not to be confused with Istro-Romanian (1100 speakers) or the Istrian dialect of Venetian.
21 zoûgno 2021
Itelmen: Itelmen ✧ ITL ✧ The sole surviving Kamchatkan language, spoken by fewer than 100 in and around the villages Kovran and Verkhnee Khayryuzovo on the Kamchatka Peninsula.
21 коакуач [koakuač] 2021
Iu Mien (Yao): Iu Mien (Yao) ✧ IUM ✧ Hmong-mien family, spoken by 840,000 of a Yao subgroup called the Iu Mien in China, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and diaspora communities in the US. Tonal, several unvoiced nasals as well as an unvoiced l.
21 luoqc hlaax 2021
Izere [Ibor]: Izere [Ibor] ✧ IZR ✧ Niger-Congo family, Plateau, between 50,000 and 100,000 speakers total. Of its five dialects, Ibor Izere is the most heavily influenced by modern world exposure.
21 Kufén kùshìk kufé àfà 2021

Japanese [Premodern]: Japanese [Premodern] ✧ OJP ✧ This would represent Middle Japanese dating from the Heian Period (794-1185)
21 水無月 [minazuki] “Month of no water” 2021
Japhug [Kamnyu Village]: Japhug [Kamnyu Village] ✧ OJP ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Qiangic, Rgyalgrongic, as spoken in Mbarkham County in Sichuan, China. Borrows heavily from Chinese, but non-tonal.
21 tʂɯxpa jamar 2021
Jaqaru: Jaqaru ✧ JQR ✧ With Aymara (q.v.), the other member of the Aymaran family, natively spoken by 740 in the Yauyos Province of the Lima Region in Peru. Like Aymara, its only vowels are a, i, and u.
21 júniyu 2021
Jarai: Jarai ✧ JRA ✧ Malayo-Polynesian language akin to Cham (q.v.), spoken in Vietnam and Cambodia and by Vietnam War refugees in the United States.
21 blan năm 2021
Jebero (Shiwilu): Jebero (Shiwilu) ✧ JEB ✧ Cahuapanan family, moribund, spoken by a few dozen elders. The Jeberos number around 2500 and live along the Río Platanayacu and the Río Marañon in the district of Jeberos, in Peru.
21 Sankuan-duker 2021
Jemez (Towa): Jemez (Towa) ✧ TOW ✧ From the tiny Tanoan family, spoken by 3000 exclusively in Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico. Tonal. Jemez has no written standard and its speakers strongly discourage transliteration. In observance of that, I’m showing only the English translations for its months.
21 St. John month 2021
Jerba Berber: Jerba Berber ✧ JBN ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Zenati branch, spoken on the Tunisian island of Jerba — the supposed home of the Lotus Eaters of Greek folklore.
21 yunyu 2021
Jingpho (Kachin): Jingpho (Kachin) ✧ KAC ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Bramaputran. Kachin State, Burma, and Yunan Province, China. Five tones, commonly written with the Roman alphabet.
21 shăngan 2021  
Jju: Jju ✧ KAJ ✧ Niger-Congo, West Plateau. 300,000 speakers in Nigeria’s Southern Kaduna state.
21 Hywan A̱kitat 2021
Jola-Fonyi: Jola-Fonyi ✧ DYO ✧ Niger-Congo family, Central Jola group, spoken by 410,000 in Senegal and The Gambia. The 2004 Oscar-nominated short film Binta and the Great Idea, made in collaboration with UNICEF, is in French and Jola.
21 sueŋ 2021
Jurchen: Jurchen ✧ DTA ✧ Extinct language from the Tungusic family which evolved into Manchu (q.v.) around the 17th century. It used its own unique Chinese-style script.
21 ninggu bie 2021

Kabiye: Kabiye ✧ KBP ✧ Niger-Congo, Gur, Grũsi. Tonal, ten noun classes, spoken by 1.2 million in Togo, Benin, and Ghana.
21 loɖo fenaɣ 2021
Kabuverdianu (Cape Verdean Creole): Kabuverdianu (Cape Verdean Creole) ✧ KEA ✧ The oldest surviving creole, based on 15th century Portuguese, native to the Island nation of Cabo Verde, 870,000 speakers
21 junhu 2021  
Kabwa (Ekikabwa): Kabwa (Ekikabwa) ✧ CWA ✧ Niger-Congo family, Northeast Bantu, 14,000 speakers in Tanzania’s Mara Region adjacent to Lake Victoria.
21 Ndimira 2021
Kabyle (Taqbaylit): Kabyle (Taqbaylit) ✧ KAB ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Berber, spoken by 5.6 million in Algeria. Like other Berber languages, uses Neo-Tifinagh script which unlike Arabic reads left-to-right. Masculine nouns begin with A (N-T character A); feminine nouns begin and end with T (character T).
21 jun [yunyu] 2021  
Kaili [Ledo] (Ledo Kaili): Kaili [Ledo] (Ledo Kaili) ✧ LEW ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Celebic, native to Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Of the 13 Kaili dialects, Ledo, with 350,000 speakers, carries the highest prestige. Uses the Roman alphabet, though F, Q, and X are non-native and reserved for loans.
21 bula aono 2021
Kako (Mkako): Kako (Mkako) ✧ KKJ ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantu. Spoken by around 120,000 who are mostly Batouri and Ndélélé in Cameroon, including smaller numbers in the Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo. Three main mutually intelligible dialects.
21 Nyaŋgwɛ ŋgbanja 2021
Kalapuya: Kalapuya ✧ KYL ✧ Tiny language family with three members, once spoken in western Oregon, extinct. Central Kalapuya’s last speaker, John B. Hudson, died ca. 1954.
21 anishnalya “Camas ripe” 2021
Kalinga [Lubuagan]: Kalinga [Lubuagan] ✧ KNB ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Philippine, Central Cordilleran. Kalinga is spoken by 110,000 Igorot people, 12,000 of whom speak this particular dialect in Kalinga Province. The special letter y with a horizontal bar is pronounced with the tongue extending further forward.
21 kitkiti 2021  
Kamba {Kenya}: Kamba {Kenya} ✧ KAM ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu, spoken in Kenya and Tanzania. First recorded in audio in 1911. Not to be confused with Kaamba {Congo}, Kamba {New Guinea}, and yet another Kamba {Bolivia}.
21 Mwai wa thanthatũ 2021
Kanji [Piti-Atsam]: Kanji [Piti-Atsam] ✧ PCN ✧ Niger-Congo family, Platoid, native to Nigeria’s Kainji Lake region. The 60-odd Kanji languages have around a million speakers in total; this dialect, 8000.
21 pen achirim 2021
Kankanaey [Northern]: Kankanaey [Northern] ✧ XNN ✧ A Malayo-Polynesian language spoken on Luzon in the Philippines. Kankanaey has 240,000 speakers; Northern Kankanaey, 94,000. This dialect is spoken in the Philippines' western Mountain Province, Ilocos Sur Province, and Abra Province in the Tubo municipality.
21 panaba 2021
Kannada (Kanarese): Kannada (Kanarese) ✧ KAN ✧ Dravidian, Southern, Tamil-Kannada, 45 million speakers in India’s Karnataka State and surrounding areas. It has no f or z sounds. Kannada and Tamil/Malayalam grew out of Dravidian stock between 1500 and 300 BCE.
21 jun [jūn] 2021
Kanza (Kaw): Kanza (Kaw) ✧ KSK ✧ A language from the Siouan family spoken by the Kaw people of Kansas, natively extinct. Its last first-language speakers were Maud McCauley Rowe (d. 1978), Ralph Pepper (d. 1982), and Walter Kekahbah (d. 1983).
21 cedóⁿga maⁿnaⁿghabe 2021
Kapingamarangi (Kirinit): Kapingamarangi (Kirinit) ✧ KPG ✧ Polynesian language with around 3000 speakers on the Kapingamarangi and Pohnpei Islands of Micronesia
21 ono malama 2021
Kaqchikel: Kaqchikel ✧ CAK ✧ Mayan family, 450,000 speakers in Guatemala’s Central Highlands. Kaqchikel intensifies adjectives by reduplication — in other words, repeating them twice.
21 ruwaq ik’ 2021  
Karachay-Balkar: Karachay-Balkar ✧ KRC ✧ Turkic language spoken in the Kabardino-Balkaria region of the North Caucasus. Closely related to Kumyk (q.v.).
21 луккул ай [lukkul ay] 2021  
Karakalpak: Karakalpak ✧ KAA ✧ Turkic, closely related to Kazakh (q.v.), approx. 400,000 speakers in Uzbekistan. Observes vowel harmony except with Russian and other loans, and natively lacks labiodental (f and v) sounds.
21 саратан [saratan] 2021  
Karang: Karang ✧ KZR ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu. Four dialects, 18,000 speakers in Cameroon. Adds letters Ɓ (B with hook), Ɗ (D with hook), Ŋ (eng), Ɔ (open O), and several multigraphs treated as single characters. Has two tones, signals nasalized vowels either with an ogonek (Ą) or a cedilla (A̧).
21 few rįnma ŋgur kpuh 2021
Karbi (Mikir): Karbi (Mikir) ✧ MJW ✧ Sino-Tibetan, though its position within that family remains speculative. Two main dialects, half a million speakers in the northeastern parts of both India and Bangladesh. Rated “vulnerable” by UNESCO.
21 vosik 2021  
Karelian [Standard]: Karelian [Standard] ✧ KRL ✧ Uralic, Finnic, 36,000 speakers. Non-Karelians typically call it a Finnish (q.v.) dialect, though in fact Old Karelian, spoken in medieval times, was Finnish’s forebear.
21 kezäkuu “Summer month” 2021  
Karelian [Livvi/Olonets]: Karelian [Livvi/Olonets] ✧ OLO ✧ About 30,000 speakers, mostly clustered northeast of Saint Petersburg, adjacent to the eastern shore of Lake Ladoga.
21 kezäkuudu 2021
Karen [S’gaw]: Karen [S’gaw] ✧ KAR ✧ Sino-Tibetan family, spoken by four million in Myanmar and Thailand. Five tones, uses a true alphabet derived from the Burmese script.
21 jun [lah nwee] 2021  
Karuk: Karuk ✧ KYH ✧ Language isolate native to northwest California’s Siskiyou, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties. As of 2007 a dozen native speakers remained along with 30 or so who had acquired it, largely through the efforts of the Karuk Language Restoration Committee.
21 kuyrakinívkihan 2021
Kasena (Kasem): Kasena (Kasem) ✧ XSM ✧ Niger-Congo, Gur, 250,000 speakers in Ghana (where it’s official) and Burkina Faso. The alphabets the two countries use for it are slightly different. Shown below, the Burkina Faso style.
21 parɩ cana 2021
Kaska: Kaska ✧ KKZ ✧ Na-Dené, Athabaskan. Fewer than 300 native speakers in towns in the Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory, and northern British Columbia. Tonal with contrastive vowel length and nasalization.
21 Géngeʼḗlī Sā “Ducklings swim around month” 2021
Katso (Kazhuo): Katso (Kazhuo) ✧ KAF ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Loloish, 4000 ethnic Mongol speakers, Tonghai County in Yunnan, China. Eight tones.
21 lv̩32333 2021
Kayan {Malayo-Polynesian} [Baram]: Kayan {Malayo-Polynesian} [Baram] ✧ KCT ✧ Malayo-Polynesian language spoken in central Borneo, in two dialects of weak interintelligibity. Not to be confused with Sino-Tibetan Kayan, also known as Padaung.
21 bulan nem 2021
Kazakh: Kazakh ✧ KAZ ✧ Altaic, Turkic, akin to Karakalpak (q.v.). Cyrillic alphabet. In 2017 Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev decreed that the language will switch completely to the Roman alphabet by 2025.
21 маусым [mausım] -or- отамалы ай [otamalı ay] 2021  
Kemezung (Dumbo): Kemezung (Dumbo) ✧ DMO ✧ Niger-Congo family, Southern Bantoid, 3500 speakers in western Cameroon
21 mbɔndu 2021
Kenyah [Lepo’ Tau]: Kenyah [Lepo’ Tau] ✧ XKL ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, North Bornean, Kenyah, Highland B group. There are about a dozen Kenya dialects spoken on Borneo. Lepo’ Tau is preliterate and hasn’t been studied to any great extent.
21 bulan nem 2021
Keres (Keresan): Keres (Keresan) ✧ KEE/KJQ ✧ Language isolate group spoken in New Mexico, tonal, with an extremely large consonant and vowel inventory — about 95 in total. Vowel length is contrastive, and some are whispered. 10,000 speakers.
21 sauhua daawaatra 2021  
Ket: Ket ✧ KET ✧ The only surviving language from the Yeniseian family and seriously endangered, with 150 speakers in Siberia’s Yenisei River valley
21 ӄалнас ӄип [qalnas qip] 2021  
Khakas [Koybal]: Khakas [Koybal] ✧ KJH ✧ Turkic language spoken by 43,000 (most of whom are bilingual in Russian) in the Khakassia Republic, north of the Altai Mountains
21 kit’ik silkär 2021
Khakas [Sagay]: Khakas [Sagay] ✧ KJH ✧ Another dialect of Khakas
21 xandïx ayï 2021
Khanty: Khanty ✧ KCA ✧ Uralic language related to Mansi (q.v.) and Hungarian. 12,000 speakers in Russia’s Khanty–Mansi and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrugs and in the Tomsk Oblast. Khanty’s major dialects differ significantly and are not mutually intelligible.
21 қөйәм тыӆәс [qŏyĕm tyl̦ĕs] 2021  
Khanty [Eastern]: Khanty [Eastern] ✧ KCA ✧ Eastern Khanty terms collected 1956-1957
21 aiväriki “Small constipation month” 2021
Kharia: Kharia ✧ KHR ✧ Austroasiatic family, Munda branch, about 300,000 speakers in mainland India, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Nepal. Not closely related to any other Munda language.
21 sar.bu.ɖaʔă 2021
Khasi: Khasi ✧ KHA ✧ Austroasiatic family, spoken by about one million in the Meghalaya state in India. Uses the Roman alphabet, deleting C, F, Q, V, X, and G (by itself) but adding Ng, Ï, and Ñ.
21 'nái-jylliew 2021  
Khmer (Cambodian): Khmer (Cambodian) ✧ KHM ✧ Austroasiatic family, Mon-Khmer branch, heavy Sanskrit influences. Oldest inscription dates from 611 CE. Like Thai, Khmer uses a Brahmic abugida (halfway between an alphabet and a syllabary) and usually runs its words together without spaces.
21 jun [mik thok na] 2021  
Khowar (Chitrali): Khowar (Chitrali) ✧ KHW ✧ Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, 450,000 speakers mostly in Pakistan. Five dialects, month names can vary from one Chitrali village to another.
21 yoɣ -or- šetu drek -or- yorvan 2021
K’iche’ (Quiché): K’iche’ (Quiché) ✧ QUC ✧ Mayan family, spoken by 2.3 million in Guatemala, 13 percent of whom are monolingual. The famous Popol Vuh (Book of the people) was written in Classical K’iche’. Not to be confused with the Quechua languages (q.v.), from a different family.
21 uwaq ik’ 2021  
Kiga 1 (Rukiga): Kiga 1 (Rukiga) ✧ CGG ✧ Niger-Congo, Central Bantu. Uganda and Rwanda. Prefixes indicate the class of a noun, e.g.: nu- indicates person; ki-, customs; ru-, languages (hence Kiga => Rukiga). Closely related to Nkore (q.v.).
21 Okwamukaaga 2021
Kiga 2 (Rukiga): Kiga 2 (Rukiga) ✧ CGG ✧ Alternate Kiga terminology, considered “Classical”
21 Kyabahezi “Premature sorghum harvest (during famine)” 2021
Kikuyu (Gikuyu): Kikuyu (Gikuyu) ✧ KIK ✧ Niger-Congo, Northeast Bantu, 6.6 million speakers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Three tones: high, low, low-rising. Spoken by a character in the 1983 Star Wars movie Return of the Jedi.
21 Mwere wa gatandatũ 2021
Kiliwa: Kiliwa ✧ KLB ✧ Yuman language, three pitch accents, four native speakers reported as of 2018, northern Baja California. Its term for Pacific Ocean is xaʔ tay; Tijuana, ʔipaʔ cʔaa.
21 'págu 2021
Kiowa: Kiowa ✧ KIO ✧ One of seven languages belonging to the Tanoan family, seriously endangered, 100 speakers in western Oklahoma. Uses aspirated and ejective consonants; vowels can be oral or nasal, long or short.
21 Ah-law tdoe tday p’aw “Picking plums time” 2021
Kiribati (Gilbertese): Kiribati (Gilbertese) ✧ GIL ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, 120,000 speakers. Its alphabet has 13 letters. “Kiribati” is pronounced keer-i-bass, as natively this language has no S and so uses the digraph TI to indicate that sound from foreign loans. This includes the language’s very name.
21 Tuun 2021  
Koasati (Coushatta): Koasati (Coushatta) ✧ CKU ✧ Muskogean language, tonal, spoken by 200 Coushatta people who live just north of Elton, LA and near Livingston, TX. Akin to Alabama (q.v.) though the two aren’t mutually intelligible.
21 cónka -or- hasí stahanná:lin 2021
Kơho: Kơho ✧ KPM ✧ Austroasiatic, Bahnaric, spoken in twelve dialects by 200,000 in Vietnam’s Lâm Đồng Province. Vowel length is contrastive; prefix tön- makes a passive verb active.
21 kəənhaj praw 2021
Kokborok (Tripuri): Kokborok (Tripuri) ✧ TRP ✧ Sino-Tibetan language of India and Bangladesh, spoken by 900,000. Uses high and low tones. Its speakers, predominately Twipra Kingdom descendants, are sharply divided between the use of Bengali versus Roman script for it.
21 remdok talni mung 2021
Komi (Ziryan): Komi (Ziryan) ✧ KOM ✧ Uralic, Permic, akin to Udmurt (q.v.). Spoken by 220,000 in Russia’s Komi Republic. Many would follow, but this was the first non-Slavic language to derive its own alphabet from the Cyrillic.
21 лӧддза-номъя [löddza-noma] 2021  
Komo: Komo ✧ XOM ✧ Nilo-Saharan (possibly), Koman; 10,000 speakers in Sudan, 8500 in Ethiopia. Three tones, uses ejective and implosive consonants.
21 pay kkosh kkolo 2021
Kom: Kom ✧ BKM ✧ Niger-Congo, northwest Cameroon. Most of its 127,000 speakers are bilingual with English. Although Kom is tri-tonal, it’s been noted that written Kom without its tone marks is easily understandable simply through context.
21 njoñ ïìtem 2021
Kongo: Kongo ✧ KON ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu, spoken by over six million in Angola and both Congos. The words “zombie” and “goober” are Kongo loans derived from nzambi and nguba.
21 sánza ya motóba 2021
Konso: Konso ✧ KXC ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, spoken by 240,000 South of Lake Chamo in Ethiopia. Serves as a lingua franca in the area.
21 tela 2021  
Korku: Korku ✧ KFQ ✧ Austroasiatic, Munda. 727,133 speakers in rural central and eastern India. UNESCO considers Korku “vulnerable to extinction” as it’s being rapidly displaced by Hindi.
21 rando bhave 2021
Kosraean (Kusaiean): Kosraean (Kusaiean) ✧ KOS ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Micronesian, spoken by 8000 on Kosrae of the Caroline Islands (where it’s the official language) and Nauru. Possessive pronouns — my, your, etc. — vary according to the subject being referenced.
21 sun 2021
Koyra Chiini (Western Songhay): Koyra Chiini (Western Songhay) ✧ KHQ ✧ Nilo-Saharan, Songhay, 200,000 speakers in a narrow southwest-to-northeast band taking in Timbuktu, Mali. Differing from most other Songhay languages in its syntax and also in being non-tonal.
21 žuweŋ 2021
Kpelle: Kpelle ✧ KPE ✧ Niger-Congo, Western Mande, 1.3 million speakers total in Guinea and Liberia. Three dialects, three tones.
21 Niɣe-liɣɛi 2021
Kposo (Ikposo): Kposo (Ikposo) ✧ KPO ✧ Niger-Congo, Kwa, 160,000 speakers in Togo and Ghana. Consonant blends kp and gb frequently occur, along with ɣl.
21 inaglo 2021
Ksingmul: Ksingmul ✧ PUO ✧ Austroasiatic, Mon-Khmer, spoken by 27,000 ethnic Ksingmul (Xinh Mul in Vietnamese) in Vietnam and Laos.
21 bluən hok 2021
Kumyk: Kumyk ✧ KUM ✧ Turkic language, related to Karachay-Balkar (q.v.), spoken by approx. 400,000 in Dagestan. Influenced by Northeast Caucasian languages — Avar, Dargwa, Chechen — as well as by Ossetian (qq.v.) and Russian.
21 кюржан [kyurzhan] 2021  
Kumzari: Kumzari ✧ ZUM ✧ Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, preliterate, spoken by 4000-5000 on northern Oman’s Musandam Peninsula on the Strait of Hormuz. Combines Persian and Arabic vocabulary, though grammar leans Persian. Unique, threatened.
21 mā šaš 2021
Kuna (Cuna or Guna): Kuna (Cuna or Guna) ✧ CUK ✧ Chibchan family, spoken by 60,000 Kuna people of Panama’s San Blas Islands and the northern coast of Colombia, who launched a successful rebellion in 1925 and won partial autonomy.
21 masarnii “White flowered cane month” 2021
Kurdish [Kurmanji/North]: Kurdish [Kurmanji/North] ✧ KMR ✧ Indo-European family, Indo-Iranian. The dialect of 75% of Kurdish speakers. Unlike Sorani below, Kurmanji usually appears in Roman characters.
21 ẖezîran 2021  
Kurdish [Kurmanji/North/Ezdîkî]: Kurdish [Kurmanji/North/Ezdîkî] ✧ KMR ✧ The Yazidi people speak Kurmanji Kurdish. To distinguish themselves from the Kurds, they call their own language Ezdîkî. These are the Yazidis’ preferred Gregorian month names.
21 hezîran 2021
Kurdish [Sorani/South]: Kurdish [Sorani/South] ✧ CKB ✧ The Kurdish dialect second in number of speakers to Kurmanji. Sorani uses a modified Arabic script that, unlike Arabic, expresses vowels with separate characters.
21 ḥuzayrân -or- ḥazîrân 2021  
Kusasi (Kusaal) [Western or Mowed]: Kusasi (Kusaal) [Western or Mowed] ✧ KUS ✧ Niger-Congo, Gur, 17,000 speakers in Burkina Faso. Tonal. There’s also an Eastern dialect, spoken in Ghana.
21 sigit wãrk 2021
Kutenai (Ktunaxa): Kutenai (Ktunaxa) ✧ KUT ✧ Language isolate spoken by 100 in British Columbia, Montana, and Idaho. No distinction between voiced versus unvoiced consonants. The ¢ represent a ts sound; ǂ, an s out the sides of the tongue rather than the front (ɬ, IPA ɮ); ʔ, the glottal stop. Uses challenging blends like k¢ǂ.
21 kuq’ukupku 2021
Kuu-Kizhi: Kuu-Kizhi ✧ ??? ✧ Turkic, Central Turkic, Northern Altay Proper. Around 2000 speakers in Russia’s Altay Republic along the Lebed’ River. Scant information on this, but you’ll notice the first word for February sounds like a sneeze.
21 тьыду ай [t̓ïdu ay] 2021
Kven: Kven ✧ FKV ✧ A seriously endangered Finnic language spoken by a few thousand mostly in the communities of Storfjord and Porsanger in northern Norway. Kven and Finnish (q.v.) are mutually intelligible.
21 juunikuu 2021  
Kwangali: Kwangali ✧ KWN ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantu, spoken by 84,000 in the Okavango River area of Namibia and Angola. Unusually for a Bantu language it uses clicks, likely borrowed from its Khoisan neighbors.
21 Pembagona 2021
Kwasio: Kwasio ✧ NMG ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantu Zone A, Mvumboic, spoken by 26,000 in the coastal area north and south of the Cameroon/Equatorial Guinea border. Tonal.
21 ngwɛn ńtuó 2021
Kyrgyz: Kyrgyz ✧ KIR ✧ Turkic, Kipchak, spoken by 4 million in Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China. Originally written with Turkish runes, then an extended Arabic script, then Roman, then Cyrillic.
21 кулжа [kulca] 2021  

Lach: Lach ✧ ??? ✧ Either a dialect of Czech, Polish, or Silesian — depending on whom you believe. Óndra Łysohorsky (1905-1989), arguably the most celebrated Lach poet who resolutely refused to compose in either Polish or Czech, almost singlehandedly set its literary standard.
21 červjec 2021
Ladakhi (Bhoti or Balti): Ladakhi (Bhoti or Balti) ✧ LBJ ✧ Sino-Tibetan language spoken by around 130,000 in India, Nepal, China, and Pakistan. Ladakhi and Tibetan are closely related but not mutually intelligible.
21 dawa tuk pa 2021  
Ladin [Badiotto]: Ladin [Badiotto] ✧ LLD ✧ Ladin is a Romance language related to Romansh (q.v.). This particular dialect is spoken by a few in the South Tyrol.
21 jügn 2021
Ladin [Cadorean]: Ladin [Cadorean] ✧ LLD ✧ Ladin dialect of a handful of speakers in Cadore in the Italian province of Belluno bordering on Austria
21 iunio 2021
Ladin [Fassa Valley]: Ladin [Fassa Valley] ✧ LLD ✧ Another Ladin dialect, 600 speakers in Trentino in the Italian Alpines
21 jugn 2021
Ladin [Gardenese]: Ladin [Gardenese] ✧ LLD ✧ A fourth Ladin dialect, 8000 speakers in the Dolomites of South Tyrol in northern Italy
21 juni 2021  
Ladin [Nones]: Ladin [Nones] ✧ LLD ✧ A fifth Ladin dialect spoken by 30,000 in the Non Valley of northern Italy. Whether Nones should be considered a dialect of Ladin or simply another Gallo-Italic/Romance language on its own is still open to debate.
21 zugn 2021
Ladino (Judaeo-Spanish or Judezmo): Ladino (Judaeo-Spanish or Judezmo) ✧ LAD ✧ Medieval Spanish substrate with Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish loans. Spoken by Sephardic Jews worldwide. Traditionally written with the 15th century Hebrew script called Rashi, shown here.
21 jun [čúnio] 2021  
Lahu: Lahu ✧ LHU ✧ Sino-Tibetan family, Tibeto-Burman branch, 600,000 speakers in China, Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos
21 jōnē 2021
Lakota: Lakota ✧ LKT ✧ Siouan-Catawban family, spoken by approx. 6000 in the US Dakotas. Heard in the 1990 movie Dances with Wolves and spoken by Chief Crazy Horse.
21 Wipazutkan Wi “Moon of June berries” 2021  
Lak: Lak ✧ LBE ✧ Northeast Caucasian, approx. 160,000 speakers in southern Dagestan. Heavy influences from Russian, Turkish, Arabic, and Persian. Written with Arabic, Cyrillic, Roman, and Georgian scripts.
21 ряххилчинмур барз [ryaχχilčinmur barz] 2021
Lama: Lama ✧ LAS ✧ Niger-Congo, Gur, Gurunsi, 260,000 speakers in Benin and Togo in three dialects. Three tones: high, low, falling.
21 namʋka honɖɔ 2021
Lao [Standard]: Lao [Standard] ✧ LAO ✧ Kra-Dai family, Laos, six tones. As in Thai, many Indo-European loans via Pali/Sanskrit. When the US 1960s sitcom “The Beverly Hillbillies” was broadcast in Thailand, the city folk spoke Thai; the backwoods Clampetts, Lao.
21 jun [deuan meetuna] 2021  
Lao [Isan]: Lao [Isan] ✧ TTS ✧ A group of Lao dialects spoken in northeast Thailand by ethnic Isans.
21 mithunayon 2021
Latgalian: Latgalian ✧ LTG ✧ Indo-European, Baltic, 150,000 speakers. Akin to Latvian, Samogitian, and Lithuanian (q.v.). Its popularity has increased markedly since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
21 vosorys mieness 2021  
Laz (Lazuri): Laz (Lazuri) ✧ LZZ ✧ Kartvelian family, spoken in five major dialects by approx. 22,000 on the southeast shore of the Black Sea. Many Greek and Turkic loans. All its nouns end with a vowel, and unlike Georgian and Mingrelian, Laz uses an f sound (ჶ, derived from the Greek φ).
21 მბულო რა [mbulora] 2021  
Lenape (Delaware): Lenape (Delaware) ✧ DEL ✧ Algonquian, native to the lower Delaware and Hudson Rivers and northern New Jersey in the US. Many Dutch loans from early contact. As of this writing only two speakers remain.
21 Kitschinipen “Summer” 2021
Leonese: Leonese ✧ AST ✧ Endangered Romance language undergoing a revival in northwest Spain. Oldest writings date from ca. 959-974 CE.
21 xunu 2021  
Lepcha: Lepcha ✧ LEP ✧ Sino-Tibetan family, non-tonal, unique syllabary script dating from the 1600s. India’s Sikkim and Darjeeling districts, Nepal’s Ilam district, and southwestern Bhutan; 65,000 speakers.
21 jun [bloong lavo] 2021  
Lezgian: Lezgian ✧ LEZ ✧ Northeast Caucasian, uses 54 consonant sounds, numerals 20 to 99 are expressed vigesimally (by 20s). Official in Dagestan, 665,000 speakers.
21 къамуг [q’amug] 2021  
Lezgian [Premodern]: Lezgian [Premodern] ✧ LEZ ✧ Conjectured Lezgian terminology of yore
21 кьамуг [k’amug] -or- мулал [mulal] 2021
Lhao Vo (Langsu or Maru): Lhao Vo (Langsu or Maru) ✧ MHX ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Lolo-Burmese, 100,000 speakers. Heard in Luxi City, Lianghe and Longchuan Counties in China, and eastern Kachin State in Myanmar.
21 lɔ̱55 khjauk55 khjɛʔ55 2021
Ligurian [Genoese]: Ligurian [Genoese] ✧ LIJ ✧ Indo-European, Romance, northern Italy, endangered. Its written standards are administered by the Genoese Académia Ligùstica do Brénno. Composer and virtuoso violinist Niccolò Paganini was a native Ligurian speaker.
21 zûgnu 2021  
Ligurian [Monégasque]: Ligurian [Monégasque] ✧ LIJ ✧ Ligurian dialect spoken by 5600 in Monaco including Princess Stephanie. Employs the non-Italian ü, œ, and ç. “Greetings” is Benvegnüu.
21 giugnu 2021  
Limburgish: Limburgish ✧ LIM ✧ Germanic, East Low Franconian, Limburg (in both The Netherlands and Belgium) & Rhineland areas. Unlike many of its sister Germanic languages, Limburgish does not capitalize the months.
21 juni 2021  
Lingala: Lingala ✧ LIN ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu, tonal. Spoken by 15 million in both Congos. Lingala prefixes to signify noun classes; but unusually, these prefixes tend to recur throughout the sentence with its adjectives and verbs.
21 sánzá ya motóbá 2021  
Lingarak (Neverver): Lingarak (Neverver) ✧ LGK ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Malekula subgroup, spoken by 500 central Malekula Island natives in Vanuatu. It’s under serious threat from Bislama (q.v.), English, and French.
21 nekkanbor 2021
Lisu [Northern]: Lisu [Northern] ✧ LIS ✧ Sino-Tibetan, related to similarly named Lahu (q.v.). There are 940,000 speakers of all dialects of Lisu inclusive in China, India, Myanmar, and Thailand. The Northern dialect is considered the Standard.
21 qorhan 2021
Lisu [Southern]: Lisu [Southern] ✧ LIS ✧ Another Lisu dialect. Uses unusual Fraser alphabet from 1915 in which dots, commas, apostrophes, and bars serve to indicate tones. For Roman transcription, tones are indicated by superscript numbers.
21 jun [tʃho21 ha21] 2021
Lithuanian: Lithuanian ✧ LIT ✧ Indo-European, Baltic, 3 million speakers. Unusually, its alphabet places Y after Į. Earliest writings date from the sixteenth century.
21 birželio “Birch” 2021
Livonian: Livonian ✧ LIV ✧ Uralic, akin to Finnish and Estonian (qq.v.). Its last native speaker was Grizelda Kristina (1910-2013) but many are acquiring it as a second language through programs at universities in Estonia, Latvia, and Finland.
21 jónpävakú “Midsummer day month” 2021  
Lombard [Eastern]: Lombard [Eastern] ✧ LMO ✧ Romance, spoken in northern Italy around Bergamo, Brescia, Mantua, Crema, and Trentino. Lombard and its dialects are not mutually intelligible with Italian.
21 giügn 2021  
Lombard [Eastern Bergamasque]: Lombard [Eastern Bergamasque] ✧ LMO ✧ A subdivision of Eastern Lombard spoken by 700,000. One non-Italian feature of Lombard is its vowel spelled either Œ or Ö (IPA ø), equivalent in sound to the ö in German and Hungarian.
21 jögn 2021
Lombard [Mantuan]: Lombard [Mantuan] ✧ LMO ✧ Lombard dialect spoken in the city and commune of Mantua in Lombardy
21 giugn 2021
Lombard [Western] (Insubric): Lombard [Western] (Insubric) ✧ LMO ✧ The Lombard spoken in southern Switzerland and northern Italy around Milan
21 giügn 2021  
Lorrain [Vosgien La Bresse]: Lorrain [Vosgien La Bresse] ✧ ??? ✧ Romance, Langue d’oïl, Lorraine subgroup. Lorraine’s dialects are spoken in France in Vosges, St. Quirin, eastern Badonviller, and two Alsace Departments.
21 djuin 2021  
Lorrain [Vosgien La Haye]: Lorrain [Vosgien La Haye] ✧ ??? ✧ Another Vosgien subdialect
21 jin 2021
Lorrain [Vosgien Ville sur Illon]: Lorrain [Vosgien Ville sur Illon] ✧ ??? ✧ Another Vosgien subdialect
21 jin 2021
Louisiana Creole: Louisiana Creole ✧ LOU ✧ French-derived, African plus other elements. Unlike French, verbs don’t conjugate. Not to be confused with Louisiana French, ᴀᴋᴀ Cajun, a dialect of Metropolitan (Standard) French.
21 jwin 2021  
Lower Tanana (Minto): Lower Tanana (Minto) ✧ TAA ✧ Endangered Athabaskan language with a dozen or so speakers. Minto, Alaska. “How are you?” is Do’int’a?
21 benen-ch'edegoyi 2021
Loxrlavu [Yao'an] (Lolopo): Loxrlavu [Yao'an] (Lolopo) ✧ YCL ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Ngwi-Burmese, Ngwi. Spoken by 60,000 Loxrlapor in China’s Chuxiong Prefecture and Xiangyun County, Midian Township. Greeting: “May you have peace,” Ni leil zzaso lol nia [ni 33 le 55 dza 33so 33 lo 55 n ja 33].
21 qiuxlxiu 2021
Lozi: Lozi ✧ LOZ ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantu, spoken in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa. It arose as a hybrid of two other Bantu languages, Luyana and Kololo.
21 Mbuwana 2021
Luba-Kasai (Ciluba or Western Luba): Luba-Kasai (Ciluba or Western Luba) ✧ LUA ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantu, spoken in the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Closely related to, but not to be confused with, Luba-Katanga below.
21 ngondo muisambombo -or- kabala shipu -or- kashipu nkenza 2021
Luba-Katanga: Luba-Katanga ✧ LUB ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantu, spoken in the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Closely related to, but not to be confused with, Luba-Kasai.
21 Lufuimi 2021
Ludic: Ludic ✧ LUD ✧ Uralic, Finnic, critically endangered. 3000 speakers near the northeastern shore of Lake Onega, Republic of Karelia, Russia. Described as a transitional language between Veps and the Livvi/Olonets dialect of Karelian (qq.v.).
21 kezakuu 2021  
Luganda (Ganda): Luganda (Ganda) ✧ LUG ✧ Niger-Congo, Northeast Bantu, 4 million speakers mostly in the Baganda area of Uganda, tonal (high, low, falling). Both consonants and vowels can be long, shown by doubling the letter, or short.
21 ssebaseka -or- omwezi ogw'omukaaga 2021  
Lugbara: Lugbara ✧ LGG ✧ Nilo-Saharan family, Uganda (west Nile region) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. First written in 1918, uses Roman alphabet except for Q and X. Lugbarans greet you in the morning with Mi ifu ngoni?
21 Emveki 2021
Luo (Dholuo): Luo (Dholuo) ✧ LUO ✧ Nilo-Saharan family, Western Nilotic, Mutually intelligible with Acholi (q.v.), 4.2 million speakers in Kenya and Tanzania. Barak Obama Sr. was Luo.
21 Dwe mar auchiel 2021
Lurish (Luri) [Southern]: Lurish (Luri) [Southern] ✧ LUZ ✧ Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, descended from Middle Persian, 4-5 million speakers. This Lurish dialect is heard in Iran’s Kohgiluyeh, Boyer-Ahmad, Fars, Bushehr, and Khouzestan provinces.
21 tir 2021
Luxembourgish [Traditional]: Luxembourgish [Traditional] ✧ LTZ ✧ Indo-European, Germanic, significant French influences (its term for “Goodbye” is Äddi), 390,000 speakers. “Moselle Franconian” is an umbrella term for Luxembourgish and its related West Germanic dialects.
21 Broochmount 2021  

Maa [Maasai]: Maa [Maasai] ✧ MAS ✧ Nilo-Saharan family (possibly), spoken in Kenya & Tanzania by 1.3 million. Highly tonal and features implosive consonants.
21 kújúòròk 2021
Maa [Samburu]: Maa [Samburu] ✧ SAQ ✧ Maa dialect of the northern Kenya highlands, 240,000 speakers. Maasai and Samburu are primarily oral and rarely appear in written form.
21 Lapa le ile 2021
Macedonian [Archaic/Folk]: Macedonian [Archaic/Folk] ✧ MKD ✧ Indo-European, South Slavic. Lacks the noun case system characteristic of most other Slavic languages. Not to be confused with Macedonian Greek, an unrelated Hellenic language spoken during the first millennium BCE.
21 жетвар [žitar] “Grain” 2021  
Mada [Rija]: Mada [Rija] ✧ MDA ✧ Niger-Congo, Plateau, Ninzic, spoken by over 100,000 (all dialects) in Nigeria’s Plateau and Kaduna States. Tonal. Not to be confused with Maɗa, an Afro-Asiatic language of Cameroon.
21 hwə yə̄ tānnɛn 2021
Maguindanao [Pre-Spanish Conquest]: Maguindanao [Pre-Spanish Conquest] ✧ MDH ✧ Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by 1.1 million descendants of the Sultanate of Maguindanao on southwest Mindanao in the Philippines
21 ilalen 2021
Makasai [Makalero]: Makasai [Makalero] ✧ MJB ✧ From the Trans-New Guinea family, Makasai itself is spoken by 100,000 in the Baucau and Viquequ districts of East Timor; of those, 6000 speak the Makalero dialect. This is their rarely used Gregorian month terminology.
21 uata-hasa “When coconut leaves fall” 2021
Makassarese [Traditional, before 1605]: Makassarese [Traditional, before 1605] ✧ MAK ✧ Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by 2.1 million, native to the South Sulawesi province of Indonesia. Terminology shown was that of the Pre-Islamic Kingdgom of Goa.
XXI bulang Pe’dawaranai MMXXI
Makhuwa-Meetto: Makhuwa-Meetto ✧ MGH ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu, spoken by 6.6 million Makua in Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. Few vowels but rich consonant inventory that includes both English th sounds (IPA θ and ð), a ph ( pʰ), as well as č (tɕ, cherry) and š ( ʃ, shine).
21 Mweri wo thanu na mocha 2021
Makonde (Kimakonde): Makonde (Kimakonde) ✧ KDE ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu, Ruvuma, 1.4 million speakers in Kenya, Malawi, and Tanzania. Beyond the standard, the dialects Matembwe and Mabiha differ enough from it to be considered separate languages.
21 Mwedi wa Nnyano na Umo 2021
Malagasy [Standard]: Malagasy [Standard] ✧ MLG ✧ In all dialects inclusive, spoken by 25 million in Madagascar but — surprise! — it’s Malayo-Polynesian rather than anything African. The first southeast Asians began arriving by boat here only about 1800 years ago. They were the island’s first permanent inhabitants.
21 Jiona 2021  
Malagasy [Antankaraña]: Malagasy [Antankaraña] ✧ XMV ✧ Dialect spoken by 156,000 ethnic Antankaraña in the north. Malagasy’s demonstrative pronouns specify seven degrees of distance, as compared to only two (“this” versus “that”) for English.
21 Lo-Tsoa 2021
Malagasy [Sakalava]: Malagasy [Sakalava] ✧ SKG ✧ Dialect spoken by 1.2 million ethnic Sakalava in northern Madagascar
21 Vema Hifitry 2021
Malagasy [Tandroy-Mahafaly]: Malagasy [Tandroy-Mahafaly] ✧ TDX ✧ Dialect spoken by 1.3 million ethnic Tandroy and Mahafaly in southwestern Madagascar
21 Jona 2021
Malecite-Passamaquoddy: Malecite-Passamaquoddy ✧ PQM ✧ Algonquian family, Eastern, endangered, spoken by several hundred in New Brunswick and Maine. It has twelve consonants with no distinction between voiced and unvoiced forms.
21 pili-kisuhs “Fresh moon” -or- niponi-kisuhs “Summer moon” 2021
Maltese: Maltese ✧ MLT ✧ Afro-Asiatic family, descendent from an extinct variety of Arabic that developed on Sicily. Spoken on Malta by 370,000. It’s been heavily influenced by Sicilian (q.v.) and Italian and uses many English loans. You can recognize Maltese by its use of the letters Ċ, Ġ, Ħ (representing a stage whisper sound), and Ż.
21 Ġunju 2021  
Manchu: Manchu ✧ MNC ✧ Tungusic, spoken natively by fewer than 20 in northeast China, but also by several thousand as an acquired language thanks to recent revival efforts
21 jun [niŋgun biya] 2021  
Mandinka(Mandingo): Mandinka(Mandingo) ✧ MNK ✧ Niger-Congo family, Mande branch, Manding group. Bitonal. Its dialects don’t diverge very much. Officially Mandinka uses the Roman alphabet but its 17-character Arabic-derived script is more popular and enjoys a longer tradition.
21 juunu karoo 2021
Mandinka (Mandingo) [Traditional]: Mandinka (Mandingo) [Traditional] ✧ MNK ✧ These were the Mandinka terms before it adopted the neo-Latin.
21 arajaba konongo 2021
Mang: Mang ✧ ZNG ✧ Austroasiatic family, 3200 speakers in Lai Châu Province, Vietnam and neighboring areas in China. The outside world only discovered this language in 1974.
21 meː6 ʑɔm2 2021
Mangarevan: Mangarevan ✧ MRV ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, spoken by 600 in French Polynesia’s Mangareva and Gambier Islands. Though many speakers are bilingual with French, Mangarevan itself borrows little from unrelated languages.
21 pipiri 2021
Mangbai: Mangbai ✧ ZNG ✧ Niger-Congo, Mbum, Tupuri–Mambai, 14,000 speakers in Cameroon (Bénoué) and Chad (Lac-Léré). First studied academically in 1971, official alphabet published in 2004. Mangbai has tones but they’re not indicated in its writing.
21 dag bah -or- fee kuulo -or- fee puugo 2021
Mankanya: Mankanya ✧ KNF ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bak branch, spoken natively by 75,000 in Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal.
21 Pli pwajënţën pi pubël 2021
Mansi: Mansi ✧ MNS ✧ Uralic, related to Hungarian and Khanty (qq.v.), 3000 speakers in central Siberia. Word order is fixed.
21 лупта этпос [lupta etpos] 2021  
Manx: Manx ✧ GLV ✧ Celtic, Goidelic (related to Irish Gaelic), native to the Isle of Man. Its last native speaker was Ned Maddrell (1877-1974). The local folk band Briskee Brisht performs songs in both English and Manx.
21 Mean Souree 2021  
Māori [New Zealand]: Māori [New Zealand] ✧ MRI ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, closely related to Tahitian. Personal pronouns come in singular, dual, and plural. Vowel length is contrastive, the long version signaled with a macron.
21 Pipiri 2021  
Māori [Cook Islands] (Rarotongan): Māori [Cook Islands] (Rarotongan) ✧ MRI ✧ This is the Māori dialect official in the Cook Islands with approx. 14,000 speakers there and another 8000 in New Zealand.
21 Tiūnu 2021  
Māori [Moriori]: Māori [Moriori] ✧ MRI ✧ Māori dialect of the Chatham Islands, east of New Zealand’s South Island. In 1835 two waves of Māori invaded the Moriori and virtually annihilated them. Their dialect died natively with its last speaker Hirawanu Tapu in 1898.
21 Morero 2021  
Mapudungun (Mapuche): Mapudungun (Mapuche) ✧ ARN ✧ Language isolate native to Chile and Argentina, 260,000 speakers. Writing system under dispute.
21 thor-cújen 2021  
Mari [Meadow or Eastern] (Cheremis): Mari [Meadow or Eastern] (Cheremis) ✧ MHR ✧ Uralic language spoken in Russia’s Mari Republic. Nine noun cases, 470,000 speakers. The other chief dialect is Hill Mari, which in contrast to Meadow relies on Russian/Neo-Latin Gregorian month terms.
21 пеледыш [peledǝš] 2021  
Marshallese: Marshallese ✧ MAH ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, two main dialects, spoken by 44,000 on the Marshall Islands.
21 Juun 2021
Mashi (Kwandu): Mashi (Kwandu) ✧ MHO ✧ A Niger-Congo, Bantu language spoken by 22,000 in parts of Angola, DR Congo, and Zambia.
21 Kahya-kazinda 2021
Matlatzinca: Matlatzinca ✧ MAT ✧ From the Oto-Manguean family, spoken by 650 in and around San Francisco Oxtotilpa, Mexico. Matlatzinca is seriously endangered, though with 61 other languages Mexico recognizes it as official.
21 ratonbë 2021  
Mavea: Mavea ✧ MLV ✧ A moribund Malayo-Polynesian, Southern Oceanic language spoken by 34 (as of 2008) on Vanuatu’s Mafea Island. Rapidly being displaced by Bislama (q.v.) with little or no effort being made to preserve it.
21 sarako 2021
Maxakalí: Maxakalí ✧ MBL ✧ Macro-Gê family, spoken by a few hundred in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Maxakalí forms compound terms by combining various adjectives, nouns, and verbs: house, for example, is mĩptut (“wood mother”), while vehicle is mĩptutmog (“wood mother go”).
21 yoîy 2021
Mazanderani (Tabäri): Mazanderani (Tabäri) ✧ MZN ✧ Indo-European, Western Iranian, spoken by 3 million in Iran’s provinces along the southern Caspian coast. Famous for its rich literary heritage. Not mutually intelligible with Persian.
21 ژوئن [žu’en] 2021
Mbuko: Mbuko ✧ MHW ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Chadic. 13,000 speakers in northern Cameroon. Not to be confused with Mbukushu on the next page, from the Niger-Congo family.
21 kiya cuwäe 2021
Mbukushu: Mbukushu ✧ MHW ✧ Niger-Congo family, a Bantu language that unlike most uses clicks, spoken by 50,000 along Namibia’s Okavango River and in Batswana, Angola, and Zambia. Not to be confused with Afro-Asiatic Mbuko on the previous page.
21 kavatwire 2021
Mbula: Mbula ✧ MNA ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, spoken by 4500 in Morobe, Papua New Guinea. Many bilingual in Tok Pisin (q.v.) and/or English. Five first-person pronouns.
21 Muna -or- Daudau biibi 2021
Mbèlimè: Mbèlimè ✧ MBL ✧ Niger-Congo, Gur, Oti-Volta, 40,000 speakers in the communes of Cobly and Boukoumbé in the department of Atacora in northwest Benin and areas of Togo adjacent. Related to Waama and Moba (qq.v.).
21 mhaàdaàmɛ̀ 2021
Meitei (Manipuri): Meitei (Manipuri) ✧ MNI ✧ Sino-Tibetan. Spoken in India, Bangladesh, Burma and not to be confused with Bishnupriya Manipuri (q.v.) which is Indo-European. Unique script.
21 jun [laangban] 2021
Mele (Atara Imere): Mele (Atara Imere) ✧ MXE ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, one of two interintelligible languages (the other is Fila) spoken natively by 3500 on Vanuatu’s Efate Island. Mele uses a sound that’s rare for a Polynesian language, č (IPA tɕ͡, close to the ch in cherry).
21 Juun 2021
Menominee: Menominee ✧ MEZ ✧ Algonquian family, spoken by about three dozen in northern Wisconsin and nearly extinct natively but enthusiastically supported and taught in local schools. Menominee is distinctive in its rather singsong pitch modulations.
21 Atāēhemen kēsoq “Strawberry moon” 2021
Meriam Mir (Eastern Torres Strait): Meriam Mir (Eastern Torres Strait) ✧ ULK ✧ Trans-Fly family of Papua New Guinea, spoken by around 200 on six islands in the Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea. Almost half its vocabulary comes from the unrelated Kala Lagaw Ya language spoken in the Western Torres Strait.
21 Zun 2021
Meta': Meta' ✧ MGO ✧ This impossible-to-Google Niger-Congo, Bantu language is spoken by 190,000 in Cameroon. There is radio programming in Meta' and the language is used informally in schools there.
21 iməg ichiibɔd 2021
Meänkieli: Meänkieli ✧ FIT ✧ Endangered Finnish dialect group spoken in Sweden’s Norrbotten province. Unlike Finnish (q.v.), it borrows neo-Latin terms for the months.
21 jyyni 2021  
Miami-Illinois (Myaamia): Miami-Illinois (Myaamia) ✧ MIA ✧ Algonquian, originally midwestern US. Extinct but under revival. Uses an iambic stress pattern (de-DA de-Da de-DA) with the syllables in a word.
21 wiihkoowia kiilhswa 2021  
Michif: Michif ✧ CRG ✧ A French-Cree hybrid, < 1000 speakers. North Dakota, Saskatchewan, Manitoba. It borrows its Gregorian calendar terms from French.
21 jweañ 2021
Micmac: Micmac ✧ MIC ✧ Eastern Algonquian family, approx. 7000 speakers in extreme eastern Canada and northern New England. At one time Micmac used a system of Egyptianesque hieroglyphics called Komqwejwi’kasikl.
21 Nipniku’s “Leaf budding time” 2021  
Miju Mishmi (Kaman): Miju Mishmi (Kaman) ✧ MXJ ✧ Either Sino-Tibetan (?) or an isolate (?), spoken by 18,000 in India’s Arunachal Pradesh and Zayü County in Tibet. Features both voiced and unvoiced th sounds (IPA ð and θ). Two tones, shown with acute and grave accent marks; plus level, shown with a macron.
21 yāshī 2021
Min Dong [Fuzhou]: Min Dong [Fuzhou] ✧ CDO ✧ Sino-Tibetan, unintelligible with Mandarin or Cantonese, ultra-complex tonality, southern China,
9. 5 million speakers
21 dâ̤ lĕ̤k nguŏk 2021
Mingrelian: Mingrelian ✧ XMF ✧ An endangered Kartvelian language akin to Georgian and Laz (qq.v.), with some mutual intelligibility with the latter. Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia spoke Mingrelian.
კა მანგი [mangi] ცკა  
Mirandese: Mirandese ✧ MWL ✧ Romance language, over 1000 years removed from Portuguese, spoken by around 5000 in Portugal’s municipalities of Miranda do Douro (where its regulatory academy, the Anstituto de la Lhéngua, resides), Mirandesa, Vimioso and Mogadouro.
21 junho 2021  
Miskito: Miskito ✧ MIQ ✧ From the small Misumalpan family, spoken by approx. 150,000 in Honduras and Nicaragua. English loans are numerous in Miskito; Spanish, less so.
21 li kâti 2021  
Mixe [Isthmus or Coatlán]: Mixe [Isthmus or Coatlán] ✧ MCO ✧ Mixe–Zoquean family, Mixean, Lowland, 45,000 speakers in northeastern Oaxaca, Mexico. Agglutinative — i.e., words grow from stems with arbitrarily large numbers of prefixes and suffixes.
21 äämbë junië 2021
Mixtec [Magdalena Peñasco]: Mixtec [Magdalena Peñasco] ✧ XTM ✧ Oto-Manguean family, Mixtecan branch, Mixtec subgroup. Magdalena Peñasco, “Language of the Rain People,” is spoken by 9100 in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.
21 yoo juniu 2021
Mixtec [Tututepec]: Mixtec [Tututepec] ✧ MTU ✧ A Mixtec language spoken by 1200 in Santa María Acatepec, Santa Cruz Tututepec, and San Pedro Tututepec in Oaxaca, Mexico. Of over 30 Mixtec languages total, Tututepec is among the most divergent.
21 yòò tyí"i 2021
Miyako: Miyako ✧ MVI ✧ Japonic, Southern Ryukyuan, with an estimated 10,000 speakers, mostly over 60, on the Miyako Islands of Okinawa, Japan. “Definitely endangered” per UNESCO.
21 ruku-gacї 2021  
Mizo (Lushai): Mizo (Lushai) ✧ LUS ✧ Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and India. Akin to Biete (q.v.).
21 nikir thla 2021  
Moba [Ben]: Moba [Ben] ✧ MFQ ✧ Niger-Congo family, Gur, Oti-Volta, Gurma, spoken by 300,000 in extreme northwest Togo concentrated in the city of Dapaong, then extending further west to Ghana and northward to Burkina Faso. Related to Waama and Mbèlimè (qq.v.).
21 nyaapolmɔnn -or- nyaapolmɔna 2021
Moba [Bimoba or Moar]: Moba [Bimoba or Moar] ✧ BIM ✧ This is the rarer Moba dialect spoken by 32,000 in Ghana and Burkina Faso. Not to be confused with another language called Moar (aka Liki) spoken in Indonesia.
21 mɔjoot -or- ŋmaariŋanloob 2021
Mòcheno: Mòcheno ✧ MHN ✧ West Germanic, Bavarian, akin to Cimbrian (q.v.), spoken by 1900 in Italy’s Bersntol region. In Trentino it’s official where many street signs are bilingual Italian /Mòcheno.
21 prochet 2021
Mochica (Chimú): Mochica (Chimú) ✧ OMC ✧ A language native to the northwest Peruvian coast, tentatively assigned to the hypothetical Chimuan family, extinct since the early 20th century.
21 shiac “Fish” 2021
Mohawk: Mohawk ✧ MOH ✧ Iroquoian family, 3500 speakers in Ontario, Quebec, and northern New York State. Like all Iroquoian languages, it has no bilabial consonants (m, b, p, etc.). Correspondingly, Mohawk speakers call their own language Kanienʼkéha (“of the flint place”).
21 ohiarí:ha “Ripening time” 2021  
Mokilese: Mokilese ✧ MKJ ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Chuukic-Pohnpeic, native to Mwoakilloa Island in the Federated States of Micronesia, 1200 speakers. Uses four sets of numbers for different classes of objects.
21 juhn 2021
Moksha: Moksha ✧ MDF ✧ Uralic language, Mordvinic, spoken along the central Volga. Related to Erzya (q.v.). There are three main dialects, of which the central, called “ä,” is the literary standard.
IΛΛ ijunjkov IΛΛ10001000  
Mong Njua [Green Miao]: Mong Njua [Green Miao] ✧ HNJ ✧ Unlike Hmong Daw (q.v.), this dialect lacks the unvoiced m, thus it’s spelled Mong without the initial H. Hmong Daw and Mong Njua are “mutually intelligible to a well-trained ear” according to a US agency assisting post-Vietnam War refugees.
21 lú čau.hli 2021
Mongolian: Mongolian ✧ MON ✧ Central Mongolic, as are Buryat and Oirat (qq.v.), with 5.2 million speakers. Observes vowel harmony and lacks the standard l sound, instead treating it more like an s, voiced or unvoiced, with the air escaping from the sides rather than the front (IPA ɮ).
21 зургадугаар сар [dzurgadugaar sar] 2021  
Monguor (Tu): Monguor (Tu) ✧ MJG ✧ Mongolic family, Shirongolic branch, 150,000 speakers in China’s Qinghai and Gansu provinces. Two chief dialects are Mongghul and Mangghuer; speakers of the latter count in Chinese. Unlike its kin, it uses the Roman alphabet.
21 jirighun sara 2021
Montagnais Innu: Montagnais Innu ✧ MOE ✧ Algonquian language related to Cree (q.v.), spoken by 11,000 in Labrador and Quebec. Contrastive vowel length. Popularized through Montagnais Innu songs by the Canadian folk rock duo Kashtin.
21 uapikun-pishimu 2021  
Moro: Moro ✧ MOR ✧ Niger-Congo, Kordofanian, spoken in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains. Though there were 30,000 speakers in six clans reported in 1982, subsequent warfare may have altered this. The area is remote; information, sparse.
21 ubwa gə'Đəwađa 2021
Mossi (Mòoré): Mossi (Mòoré) ✧ MOS ✧ A Niger-Congo language, akin to Frafra (q.v.), spoken by 5 million, mostly in Burkina Faso
21 sigri 2021
Moxo [Trinitario]: Moxo [Trinitario] ✧ TRN ✧ Arawakan family, Southern, native to northeast Bolivia. The Endangered Languages Project reports 3100 speakers.
21 juño 2021
Mozarabic (Andalusi Romance): Mozarabic (Andalusi Romance) ✧ MXI ✧ A set of non-standardized, extinct Romance languages spoken in the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula (Al Andalus) between the eighth and sixteenth centuries. Three writing systems.
XXI jun / yúnyu MMXXI  
Mundang: Mundang ✧ MUA ✧ A Niger-Congo language spoken by 250,000 in southern Chad. Its writing system adds Ɓ, Ɗ, Ə, and Ŋ and eliminates Q and X. Contrastive vowel length; nasalizations are shown with tildes (ã, ẽ, ə̃, ĩ, õ).
21 mamǝŋgwãafahbii 2021
Mussau-Emira: Mussau-Emira ✧ EMI ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, St. Matthias, with 5000 speakers based primarily on Papua New Guinea’s islands of Mussau and Emira. All Mussau-Emiraphones are bilingual in Tok Pisin (q.v.) and many can read English.
21 ghaonomina ateva ulana 2021
Muyang: Muyang ✧ MUY ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Chadic, Central, South, spoken by 30,000 in Cameroon’s Far North Province, arrondissement of Tokombéré. Tonal, uses a confirmation tag (“a”).
21 kiye madav aku 2021
Muya: Muya ✧ MVM ✧ Sino-Tibetan family, Northern Qiangic; two chief dialects not mutually intelligible. There are 10,000 speakers, of which 2000 speak only Muya. China’s Sichuan Province, Kangbo and Jiulong, Ganzi Tibetan autonomous prefecture, Simian county, Ya’an district.
21 dε3355tʂu3553 2021
Mwotlap [Folk/Traditional]: Mwotlap [Folk/Traditional] ✧ MIV ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Southern Oceanic, spoken natively by 2100 on Vanuatu’s Mota Lava, Ra, and Banks Islands. Uses four numbers for humans: singular, dual, trial, plural. Non-human subjects are inflected as singular.
21 wuyvegsa -or- tētmalet 2021  
Myene (Omyene): Myene (Omyene) ✧ MYE ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu, 45,000 speakers of the Mpongwe, Nkomi, Galwa, and Bongo Pygmy groups in Gabon.
21 fogwɛrowa 2021

Nāhuatl: Nāhuatl ✧ NAH ✧ Uto-Aztecan, from the original language group of the Aztecs, presently 1.7 million speakers. Of its many dialects, Huasteca Nāhuatl is the most heavily spoken. Many English words trace back to Nāhuatl such as guacamole, tomato, avocado, and ocelot.
21 tlachicuazti 2021  
Na [Yongning]: Na [Yongning] ✧ NRU ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Qiangic, Naish, spoken in Yongning township, Lijiang municipality in China’s Yunnan Province. Akin to Nakhi (q.v.) and previously classified as a dialect of it.
21 kheulhimi 2021
Nafsan (South Efate): Nafsan (South Efate) ✧ ERK ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, native to Efate Island of northeast Vanuatu with 6000 speakers. They count in base 5.
21 atlag kalates 2021
Nakhi (Naxi): Nakhi (Naxi) ✧ NXQ ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Qiangic, spoken in Yunnan by 350,000, famous for its Dongba “picture” writing. Related to Na (q.v.).
21 cualmei -or- lufyui 2021
Nàmá (Khoekhoe): Nàmá (Khoekhoe) ✧ HQM ✧ Khoisan family, 200,000 speakers. Consonants include 20 clicks. Formerly called Hottentot, the most widely spoken non-Bantu click language.
21 ǁheiǁkhab -or- gamaǀaeb 2021  
Nanai (Gold): Nanai (Gold) ✧ GLD ✧ Tungusic. 1400 speakers, descendants of Manchurian Jurchen. Switched from Roman to Cyrillic in 1937. Compared with Russian Cyrillic, Nanai adds Ӈ for an ŋ sound (as in fang).
21 дякпон биа [dyakpon bia] 2021  
Nandi: Nandi ✧ KLN ✧ Nilo-Saharan family, Nilotic, Kalenjin group, spoken in east Africa’s Rift Valley. Tonal, contrastive vowel length. Not to be confused with Nande (Kinande), a Niger-Congo language.
21 Waki 2021  
Nandi [Cemual]: Nandi [Cemual] ✧ NIQ ✧ A Nandi subdivision spoken by 950,000 in Kenya’s Rift Valley Province.
21 Roptui 2021
Naskapi: Naskapi ✧ NSK ✧ Algonquian family, spoken by 1,230 in Quebec and Labrador. Uses the Cree syllabic writing system.
21 jun [chuun-piisim na] 2021
Navajo (Diné bizaad): Navajo (Diné bizaad) ✧ NAV ✧ Athabaskan family, southwest US. Tonal, uses ejectives like the Caucasian languages.
21 Yaʼiishjááshchilí 2021  
Nawdm: Nawdm ✧ NMZ ✧ Niger-Congo, Gur, Northern, 150,000 speakers in Togo plus more in Ghana. Nawdm’s alphabet includes six digraphs: gw, gb, kw, kp, ny, ŋm. To distinguish paired consonants as not part of a digraph, the first takes a dieresis (e.g., g̈w).
21 nɛ̀ŋ̀ kààd -or- figmoogb 2021
Ndebele [Northern] (Zimbabwean Ndebele): Ndebele [Northern] (Zimbabwean Ndebele) ✧ NDE ✧ Niger-Congo, Southern Bantu, Nguni. Native to Zimbabwe and part of Botswana, spoken by descendants of Zulu leader Mzilikazi (1790-1868). Politician Joshua Nkomo was Northern Ndebele.
21 uNhlangula 2021  
Ndebele [Southern] (Transvaal Ndebele): Ndebele [Southern] (Transvaal Ndebele) ✧ NBL ✧ Niger-Congo, Southern Bantu, Nguni. Spoken in South Africa’s provinces of Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng, and North West.
21 uMgwengweni 2021
Ndyuka (Aukan): Ndyuka (Aukan) ✧ DJK ✧ English-based creole spoken by 25,000 to 30,000 rainforest dwellers known as the Maroon in Surinam and French Guiana. Afáka Atumisi’s 56-character syllabary from 1908, which he attributed to angelic revelation, is still used today.
21 sigisi mun 2021
Neapolitan: Neapolitan ✧ NAP ✧ Romance language named not after the city but the Kingdom of Naples, spoken in central Italy. The term paparazzo from Federico Fellini’s film La Dolce Vita (1960) arose from the Abruzzo dialect of Neapolitan spoken by one of his screenwriters.
21 ggiugñ 2021  
Neapolitan [Tarantine]: Neapolitan [Tarantine] ✧ NAP ✧ Dialect of Neapolitan with Ancient Messapic roots, spoken by 300,000 in and around the city of Taranto in the Italian heel area.
21 sciugne 2021
Nenets 1: Nenets 1 ✧ YRK ✧ Uralic family, Samoyedic, spoken by 22,000 in a swath starting from Russia’s Kola Peninsula, eastward along the northern Siberian coast, then to the whole of Krasnoyarsk Krai approaching Russia’s southern border. The word “parka” comes from Nenets.
21 неняӈгь иры [nyenyaŋg  j  yiri] 2021  
Nenets 2: Nenets 2 ✧ YRK ✧ Alternate terms from a different source, corresponding to January through September
21 саво′ иры [sаwoʔ yiri] “Inundation month” -or- махг ты″ иры [mаχg tiq yiri] 2021
Nez Perce: Nez Perce ✧ NEZ ✧ Plateau Penutian family, Idaho, < 200 speakers, revival underway. Observes vowel harmony, acute accents show stress. Actress Elaine Miles of Northern Exposure is Nez Perce and speaks the language.
21 Tustimasáat’al 2021
Nganasan: Nganasan ✧ NIO ✧ Uralic family, Samoyedic. Extreme north central Russia, approx. 1000 speakers.
21 büpsä 2021  
Ngiemboon: Ngiemboon ✧ NNH ✧ Niger-Congo family, Southern Bantoid, Grassfields. Spoken in Province de l’Ouest and Bamboutos in Cameroon by 250,000.
21 saŋ njÿoláʼ 2021
Ngomba: Ngomba ✧ JGO ✧ A Niger-Congo family, Southern Bantoid, Grassfields language like Ngiemboon on the previous page. Spoken in Province de l'Ouest and Bamboutos in Cameroon by 63,000.
21 pɛsaŋ pɛ́nɛ́ntúkú 2021
Ngwo (Engwo): Ngwo (Engwo) ✧ NGN ✧ Niger-Congo, Southern Bantoid, 22,000 speakers in the Northwest Region of Cameroon — Momo Division, Njikwa Subdivision. Ngwo is tonal and agglutinative.
21 Jùnu 2021
Nheengatu: Nheengatu ✧ YRL ✧ Tupi-Guaraní family, spoken by 19,000 in Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela. The name means “good tongue.”
21 îasypoîepé 2021  
Nisga’a: Nisga’a ✧ NCG ✧ Tsimshianic family, seriously endangered, British Columbia, Canada. A close kin to Gitxsan (q.v.).
21 Miso’o 2021  
Niuean: Niuean ✧ NIU ✧ Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by 2000 in the South Pacific island nation of Niue and another 5700 elsewhere. Unlike Hawaiian, it uses no glottal stop.
21 Iuni 2021
Nivkh (Gilyak): Nivkh (Gilyak) ✧ NIV ✧ Language isolate spoken on western Sakhalin Island and adjacent mainland by around 1000. Nivkh is genderless, gets along without adjectives, and uses at least one sound, the unvoiced aspirated palato-alveolar plosive (IPA t_h), that’s exceedingly rare among languages.
21 tenga vota long 2021  
Nkore (Runyankore): Nkore (Runyankore) ✧ CGG ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu. Spoken by 2.3 million in southwestern Uganda. So close to Kiga /Rukiga (q.v.) that many consider them dialects of the same language.
21 Kahingo 2021
Nogai (Alabugat Tatar): Nogai (Alabugat Tatar) ✧ NOG ✧ Turkic, spoken by 87,000 in southwestern Russia’s Tuva region by Golden Horde descendants. Nogai Khan (died ca. 1300) was a grandson of Genghis Khan.
21 тамбыз ай [tambyz ay] 2021  
Noni (Noone): Noni (Noone) ✧ NHU ✧ Niger-Congo, Southern Bantoid, Eastern Beboid, 50,000 speakers in Cameroon. Noni is said to have been heard as a cryptolect (secret language) in an Indiana Jones movie.
21 kpwee Mbacɛ 2021
Norman: Norman ✧ NRF ✧ Romance, Langue d’oïl with a substantial Norse element, spoken by approx. 100,000 in Normandy. The Channel Island languages Guernésiais, Jèrriais, and Sercquiais described further on descended from medieval Norman.
21 juin 2021
Norman [Guernésiais/Dgèrnésiais]: Norman [Guernésiais/Dgèrnésiais] ✧ NRF ✧ Norman dialect spoken by approx. 200 on the Channel Island of Guernsey. Victor Hugo contemporary George Métivier (1790–1881) was a widely celebrated author in Guernésiais.
21 juin 2021  
Norman [Jèrriais]: Norman [Jèrriais] ✧ NRF ✧ Norman dialect spoken natively by 2000 on the Channel Island of Jersey. Actress and socialite Lillie Langtry (1853-1929), whose father was Dean of Jersey, spoke Jèrriais.
21 juin 2021  
Norman [Sercquiais] (Sarkese): Norman [Sercquiais] (Sarkese) ✧ NRF ✧ The Norman dialect spoken by about 20 on the Channel Island of Sark, descended from 16th century Jèrriais. The word for August below isn’t a misprint.
21 djwĩ 2021
Nuer: Nuer ✧ NUS ✧ Nilo-Saharan. South Sudan and Ethiopia, 900,000 speakers. Breathy vs. non-breathy vowels. Related to Reel (q.v.).
21 Kornyoot 2021
Nukuoro: Nukuoro ✧ NKR ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, approx. 860 speakers on Nukuoro Atoll and Pohnpei Island (Federated States of Micronesia). Five vowels, each of which can be long or short, and ten consonants total.
21 ono-malama -or- alamooi 2021  
Nusu (Nu) [Northern] (Wawa-Kongtong dialect): Nusu (Nu) [Northern] (Wawa-Kongtong dialect) ✧ NUF ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Lolo-Burmese, preliterate, 2,000 speakers in China’s Fugong, Wawa, Kongtong, and Youduoluo Counties. Not to be confused with Yi /Nuosu (q.v.), or with the distaff Nüshu script used to write another Sino-Tibetan language called Shaozhou Tuhua.
21 khɹu̱53 ɬa55 2021
Nuuchahnulth (Nootka) [Hesquiaht, Muwač’atḥ]: Nuuchahnulth (Nootka) [Hesquiaht, Muwač’atḥ] ✧ NUK ✧ Of the Southern Wakashan family, Nuuchahnulth as a whole is spoken natively by 130 on Vancouver Island’s west coast. There were at least 15 dialects; this one survives through the efforts of the Hesquiaht Language Program.
21 qawašumł 2021  
Nuuchahnulth (Nootka) [Ahousaht, ʕaaḥusʔatḥ]: Nuuchahnulth (Nootka) [Ahousaht, ʕaaḥusʔatḥ] ✧ NUK ✧ Another dialect of Nuuchahnulth
21 t’aakƛaatasumł 2021
Nuuchahnulth (Nootka) [Tseshaht, C’išaaʔatḥ]: Nuuchahnulth (Nootka) [Tseshaht, C’išaaʔatḥ] ✧ NUK ✧ Another dialect of Nuuchahnulth
21 qawašimł 2021
Nyole (Lunyole) [Ugandan]: Nyole (Lunyole) [Ugandan] ✧ NUJ ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantu, 340,000 speakers in the Tororo District of Uganda. It shares approx. 60% of its vocabulary with Kenyan Nyole.
21 Negesa 2021
Nzime (Badweʼe): Nzime (Badweʼe) ✧ PAC ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu Zone A, spoken by 40,000 Dweʼe and Nzime people in Cameroon. Two dialects, Koonzime and Bajue.
21 ankʉnkono -or- kub-ntaa-zi 2021

Occitan [Aranese]: Occitan [Aranese] ✧ OCI ✧ Indo-European, Romance, Langue d’òc (after its word for yes, oc rather than oui, hence the term Occitan). Spoken in northeast Spain’s Aran Valley, official in Catalonia alongside Catalan (q.v.) and Spanish.
21 junh 2021  
Occitan [Gascon]: Occitan [Gascon] ✧ OCI ✧ Indo-European, Romance, Langue d’òc, Gascony in southern France. Considered by some linguists to be a separate language, as opposed to an Occitan dialect.
21 junh 2021  
Occitan [Provençal]: Occitan [Provençal] ✧ OCI ✧ Indo-European, Romance, closely related to Catalan (q.v.). A Langue d’òc spoken in southern France.
21 jun 2021  
Occitan [Vivaro-Alpine]: Occitan [Vivaro-Alpine] ✧ OCI ✧ Seriously endangered Occitan dialect spoken by 200,000 in SE France and northwest Italy. The term “Vivaro-Alpine” was coined only in the 1970s.
21 junh 2021
Oirat [Kalmyk]: Oirat [Kalmyk] ✧ XAL ✧ Mongolic, grammatically genderless, earliest written samples dating from the 11th century. The Ewok speech in Return of the Jedi was inspired by the distinctive sound of Oirat.
21 мөчн сар [möčn sar] 2021  
Ojibwe (Chippewa) [Eastern]: Ojibwe (Chippewa) [Eastern] ✧ OJG ✧ Algonquian family, akin to Algonquin (q.v.), 100,000 speakers of all dialects inclusive in north-central US and Canada. Ojibwe tends to avoid borrowing terms from other languages.
21 Baashkaabigonii Giizis “Blooming Moon” 2021  
Ojibwe (Chippewa) [Western]: Ojibwe (Chippewa) [Western] ✧ OJW ✧ The other major dialect of Ojibwe
21 Ode’Imini Giizis “Strawberry Moon” 2021
Oneida: Oneida ✧ ONE ✧ Iroquoian family, approx. 250 native speakers in Ontario, New York State, and Green Bay, Wisconsin. Consonant inventory is relatively spare: K, L, N, S, T, H, W, Y, plus a glottal stop.
21 Awʌhíht̲e̲’ “Strawberry” 2021  
Onondaga: Onondaga ✧ ONO ✧ Iroquoian family, approx. 50 speakers in Ontario and New York State. Like Palawano (q.v.) and other Iroquoian languages its consonant inventory is small, but its five vowels can be long or short as well as nasal or non-nasal.
21 ichakka 2021
O’odham (Papago-Pima): O’odham (Papago-Pima) ✧ OOD ✧ From the Uto-Aztecan family, spoken by some 10,000 in south-central Arizona and northern Sonora. No f, r or z sounds; extremely fluid word order.
21 ha:ṣañ ba:k maşad “Saguaro fruit ripening month” -or- stoñ maşad “Hot month” 2021
Oroch: Oroch ✧ OAC ✧ Northern Tungusic language, eight (as of 2010) native speakers in Khabarovsk Krai in eastern Siberia and thus critically endangered, three dialects. Not to be confused with the Southern Tungusic language called Orok.
21 беэ джумачи [bjey džumači] 2021
Oromo: Oromo ✧ ORM ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic. Non-Roman scripts were once banned. Oromo’s modern Roman standard, called Qubee, was formalized in 1991.
21 waxabajjii 2021
Ös (Chulym): Ös (Chulym) ✧ CLW ✧ Western Turkic, moribund, spoken by a few dozen in southwestern Siberia north of the Altay Mountains. Soviet-era school children were punished when caught speaking Ös.
21 kiči šilgai 2021  
Osage: Osage ✧ OSA ✧ This Oklahoma-based Siouan language went natively extinct in 2005 with the death of its last speaker, Lucille Roubedeaux. Like European languages such as Dalecarlian, Lithuanian (qq.v.), and Polish, Osage features nasalized vowels.
21 mį́įǫpa wešáhpe 2021
Ossetian [Digor]: Ossetian [Digor] ✧ OSS ✧ Indo-European, Indo-Iranian. Ossetian is spoken by around 600,000 in Ossetia, a semi-autonomous region divided into North — Alania (in Russia) and South (in Georgia). This is the less popular of its two dialects, spoken by about 100,000.
21 amystol 2021
Ossetian [Iron]: Ossetian [Iron] ✧ OSS ✧ Indo-European, Indo-Iranian. Pronounced ee-ron, this is the more popular Ossetian dialect, with slightly under half a million speakers. Digorians can understand Iron pretty well while Iron speakers tend to have a great deal of trouble with Digor.
21 хурхæтæны мæй [khurkhætæni mæy] 2021  
Ozolotepec: Ozolotepec ✧ ZAO ✧ Oto-Manguean family, Zapotecan group, spoken by 6500 in Oaxaca, Mexico. Zapotecan languages like Ozolotepec are tonal.
21 jun 2021

Pacoh: Pacoh ✧ PAC ✧ Austroasiatic, Eastern Mon-Khmer, Katuic, 32,000 speakers in Laos and Vietnam. Six vowels which can be long or short, and use either normal or creaky voicing. Heavy Vietnamese influence.
21 kixay tupát 2021
Paicî: Paicî ✧ PRI ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Southern Oceanic, Northern New Caledonian, 7300 speakers on New Caledonia’s east coast and inland valleys. Paicî’s consonant inventory is spare but it has many nasal vowels. It’s also tri-tonal.
21 toro 2021
Palauan: Palauan ✧ PAU ✧ Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, approx. 15,000 speakers. Palau, Guam, Mariana Islands. It employs different sets of numerals for different classes of objects, such as people, units of time, and banana bunches.
21 ongelolem el buil 2021  
Palawano [Brook’s Point]: Palawano [Brook’s Point] ✧ PLW ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Greater Central Philippine. Of three dialects, this one is spoken by 25,000 on Palawan Island, Philippines.
21 pengingilamunan 2021
Palor (Sili-Sili): Palor (Sili-Sili) ✧ FAP ✧ Niger-Congo family, Cangin, 11,000 speakers in the Thies area of Senegal
21 suwe 2021
Pame (Xi’iui): Pame (Xi’iui) ✧ PBS ✧ From the Oto-Manguean family, tonal, spoken by 11,000 in central Mexico’s State of San Luis Potosí. Pame speakers traditionally count in base 8, as they use their knuckles rather than their fingers.
21 ngum’au ngumajau nilyjiaiñ 2021
Pashto [Northern/Eastern]: Pashto [Northern/Eastern] ✧ PUS ✧ Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, spoken by the Pashtuns of northeast Pakistan. Of all Pashto dialects inclusive, there are 60 million speakers. Arabic, French, German, and English loans.
21 thalorema chor 2021  
Pashto [Southern/Western]: Pashto [Southern/Western] ✧ PUS ✧ Pashto dialect spoken in western Afghanistan and Iran
21 thalarema khor 2021
Pawnee [South Band]: Pawnee [South Band] ✧ PAW ✧ Caddoan family, north-central Oklahoma, seriously endangered, fewer than a dozen native speakers. Along with Arikara (q.v.), we hear Pawnee spoken in the 2015 film The Revenant.
21 Paaraáraruks (source: Dunbar) 2021
Pecheneg: Pecheneg ✧ XPC ✧ A mysterious, poorly attested Turkic language with no known descendants, spoken on Crimea and large expanses beyond the northern shore of the Black Sea, extinct by 1300
21 altem 2021
Pemon (Arekuna): Pemon (Arekuna) ✧ AOC ✧ From the Cariban family, spoken by 30,000 in SE Venezuela, Brazil’s Roraima State, and Guyana. It was preliterate until the 20th century.
21 Ewu kapüyi “Fish spawning month” 2021
Penan-Nibong: Penan-Nibong ✧ PEZ ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, North Sarawakan, spoken by 13,000 nomadic Penan in Sarawak, Borneo. Two main dialects. “Nice to meet you” is Jian temeu.
21 laseh nem 2021
Pennsylvania “Dutch” (Deitsch): Pennsylvania “Dutch” (Deitsch) ✧ PDC ✧ A Palatinate German spoken by approximately a quarter million Old Order Amish, Old Order Mennonites, and others of German descent in the US and Canada. It’s almost exclusively oral and lacks a widely recognized written standard.
21 Tschun 2021  
Penrhyn (Tongarevan): Penrhyn (Tongarevan) ✧ PNH ✧ Seriously endangered Polynesian language spoken by around 200 in the northern Cook Islands
21 tiunu 2021
Picard (Ch’ti or “Patois”): Picard (Ch’ti or “Patois”) ✧ PCD ✧ Indo-European, Romance, Langue d’oïl, extreme northern France. As its 700,000 speakers are mostly elderly, UNESCO has declared it seriously endangered. Final consonants are more often sounded than they are in French.
21 juin 2021  
Picard [Medieval]: Picard [Medieval] ✧ PCD ✧ As seen on the Astrolabe of Berselius (14th century)
XXI juing MMXXI
Piedmontese: Piedmontese ✧ PMS ✧ Indo-European, Romance; 3 million speakers in northern Italy. Curiously, Piedmontese lacks ordinal numbers exceeding “sixth” and instead resorts to phrases (“the one that makes seven,” etc.) to express ordinals beyond that.
21 giugn 2021  
Pingelapese: Pingelapese ✧ PIF ✧ Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by < 1000. Micronesia, Pingelap atoll. Like Batak above, each day in the month has its own name, shown here in angle quotes. Another quirk: 1 in 10 Pingelapese are so colorblind they see only in black and white.
21 《apeleng》 solodon 2021
Pipil (Nawat): Pipil (Nawat) ✧ PPL ✧ Uto-Aztecan language under revival, El Salvador. There are now over 3000 speakers.
21 metzi chikwasen 2021
Piro [Yine]: Piro [Yine] ✧ PIB ✧ Arawakan family, spoken by the 4000 ethnic Yine who live in the Peruvian Urubamba River Valley and taught in their schools alongside Spanish
21 gonyo ksuru 2021
Pitcairn-Norfolk: Pitcairn-Norfolk ✧ PIH ✧ An endangered Tahitian /English creole spoken on Pitcairn & Norfolk Islands. This one got its start in 1790 when mutineers from the HMS Bounty, who knew little Tahitian, settled Pitcairn Island with the plucky Polynesian party they brought with them, equally innocent of English.
21 juun 2021
Pnar (Jaintia or Synteng): Pnar (Jaintia or Synteng) ✧ PBV ✧ Austroasiatic language, 320,000 speakers, Meghalaya, northeast India and adjacent areas in Bangladesh. Shares much in common with Khasi (q.v.) though the two are not mutually intelligible.
21 naj n̩ru 2021  
Pohnpeian: Pohnpeian ✧ PON ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Micronesian, 34,000 speakers on Pohnpei Island in the Caroline Islands. Offers 30 sets of 1-to-9 numerals used when referring to different classes of objects (stalks, small round things, bundles, gusts of wind, songs, etc.).
21 suhn 2021
Poitevin-Saintongeais: Poitevin-Saintongeais ✧ ??? ✧ Indo-European, Romance, Langue d’oïl with Langue d’òc elements, spoken in Poitu /Vendée. Earliest known writings date from the fifteenth century poetry of François Villon. Vendée native Georges Clemenceau likely spoke or at least knew Poitevin-Saintongeais.
21 jhén 2021
Pökut (Pokot): Pökut (Pokot) ✧ KLN ✧ Nilo-Saharan family, Kalenjin. 264,000 speakers in Kenya’s West Pokot and Baringo counties and in Uganda’s Karamoja sub-region. Two dialects, East and West.
21 Murwon 2021
Polabian: Polabian ✧ POX ✧ West Slavic with Germanic influences. Last native speaker Emerentz Schultze died in 1756. The protagonists in the Russian opera-ballet Mlada describe themselves as Polabians. The name Berlin likely derives from a Polabian term for “swamp.”
21 pątjustë môn -or- pancjusté mon 2021
Pomeranian [Kashubian]: Pomeranian [Kashubian] ✧ CSB ✧ Indo-European, West Slavic, Lechtic. Some 100,000 speakers living in Germany, Poland, and within a community in Renfrew County, Ontario.
21 czerwińc 2021  
Pomeranian [Slovincian]: Pomeranian [Slovincian] ✧ CSB ✧ The other major dialect of Pomeranian, extinct since World War I. One source cited its last speaker as having died in 1913. A definitive Slovincian grammar and dictionary was published by German historian Friedrich Lorentz (1870-1937).
21 jŏʉn 2021
Pontic: Pontic ✧ PNT ✧ Indo-European, Hellenic. Spoken actively by 200,000 in northern Greece, Turkey, and diaspora communities worldwide. Many consider Pontic a Greek dialect, but orally the two are not mutually intelligible.
21 Κερασινός [Kerasinos] 2021
Potawatomi: Potawatomi ✧ POT ✧ Algonquian language of the Great Lakes Area (Michigan, Wisconsin, southern Ontario). One of its last native speakers, Cecilia Miksekwe Jackson (d. 2011), worked to document and teach Potawatomi. Revival efforts are currently underway.
21 ngochʼegé-gizes 2021
Proto-Germanic: Proto-Germanic ✧ ??? ✧ Reconstructed ancestor of all Germanic languages, last spoken ca. 250 BCE. The character þ is a thorn, representing the English th (IPA θ) sound. Aside from English, most modern Germanic languages have lost both the voiced and unvoiced versions of it.
XXI brekimenoþ MMXXI  
Proto-Slavic: Proto-Slavic ✧ ??? ✧ Reconstructed ancestor of all Slavic languages, 5th to 8th centuries CE. Unattested.
XXI črvn MMXXI  
Pukapukan: Pukapukan ✧ PKP ✧ Malayo-Polynesian language from Danger Island (Cook Islands group). Several hundred speakers, mostly among expat groups in Australia and New Zealand.
21 Tiūnu 2021
Pumi [Qingua or Southern]: Pumi [Qingua or Southern] ✧ PMJ ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Qiangic. Spoken by 22,000 highland ethnic Pumi in Yunnan. Tones are high, low, falling, and rising.
21 qa55xiɛ̃55ʒi13 2021
Pumi [Taoba or Northern]: Pumi [Taoba or Northern] ✧ PMI ✧ The other chief dialect of Pumi, spoken by 55,000. Northern and Southern Pumi are not mutually intelligible.
21 tʂhu35li55mei35 2021
Purépecha (Tarascan): Purépecha (Tarascan) ✧ TSZ ✧ A language isolate of the descendants of the Purépecha civilization, which rivaled that of the Aztecs up until the European conquest. Still spoken natively by 125,000 in the southwestern Mexican state of Michoacán.
21 junio 2021
Puroik (Sulung): Puroik (Sulung) ✧ SUV ✧ So far unclassified. Spoken by 20,000 in seven (or so) dialects by the Puroik people of India’s Arunachal Pradesh. Genderless, seven noun cases.
21 ɕiŋ33 ɣo33 aŋ33 bo33 2021

Q’eqchi’ (Kekchi): Q’eqchi’ (Kekchi) ✧ KEK ✧ Mayan family, half a million speakers in Guatemala and Belize. Q’eqchi’ uses ejectives and accents virtually all its words on the last syllable.
21 juuny -or- xwaq po 2021  
Qiang [Horpa/Ergong]: Qiang [Horpa/Ergong] ✧ ERO ✧ Sino-Tibetan family, Qiangic, non-tonal, 50,000 Sichuan-area speakers. Linguists consider it a “living fossil.”
21 ɦɛ dʐu pa 2021
Qiang [Northern, Central Heishui, Máwō]: Qiang [Northern, Central Heishui, Máwō] ✧ CNG ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Qiangic, non-tonal, 130,000 speakers in China’s Sichuan
21 χtʂuʂ 2021  
Qiang [Southern, Taoping]: Qiang [Southern, Taoping] ✧ QXS ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Qiangic, but tonal (unlike Ergong and Máwō on the previous page), 80,000 speakers
21 χtʂi55ʂɔo33 2021
Qiang [Southern, Western Lixian]: Qiang [Southern, Western Lixian] ✧ QXS ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Qiangic, tonal, native to Li County, Sichuan. Western Lixian’s four subdialects are Puxi, Xuecheng, Muka, and Jiuzi.
21 χtʂuχl 2021
Quechan (Yuma): Quechan (Yuma) ✧ YUM ✧ Yuman family, around 300 native speakers in southeast California and western Arizona. Verbs carry most of the meaning in a sentence. Not to be confused with the entirely unrelated Quechuan languages directly following.
21 xaly'á xuumxúk 2021
Quechua [Standard]: Quechua [Standard] ✧ QUE ✧ Quechuan family, spoken by Inca Empire descendants. Natively it lacks the vowels E and O.
21 ñiqin inti raymi killapi 2021  
Quechua [Huallaga]: Quechua [Huallaga] ✧ QUE ✧ Quechua dialect spoken in the Huánuco Province in Peru. Quechua dialects in the main typically feature ejective consonants, but this one doesn't.
21 junyu 2021
Quechua [Northern/Ecuadorian]: Quechua [Northern/Ecuadorian] ✧ QUE ✧ Quechua dialect, called Kitchwa, spoken in Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru
21 inti -or- quski 2021  
Quechua [Southern/Bolivian Cochabamba]: Quechua [Southern/Bolivian Cochabamba] ✧ QUH ✧ Of Southern Bolivian Quechua as a whole there are 1.6 million speakers in Bolivia — where it’s the most heavily spoken indigenous language — Argentina, and Chile. This is its Cochabamba dialect.
21 aymuray killa -or- chiri killa 2021
Quechua [Southern/Cusco]: Quechua [Southern/Cusco] ✧ QUZ ✧ Modern terminology for the Quechua dialect spoken in the Peru’s Cusco region
21 inti raymi killapi 2021  
Quechua [Southern/Cusco Imperial]: Quechua [Southern/Cusco Imperial] ✧ QUZ ✧ This is the traditional terminology of the Inca Empire, citing its monthly celebrations
21 inti raymi “Festival of the sun” 2021
Quileute (Quillayute): Quileute (Quillayute) ✧ QUI ✧ Chimkakuan family, extinct but undergoing revival at the Quileute Tribal School in La Push, Washington. Quirk: it prefixes words according to the physical traits of the person being spoken to — cross-eyed, hunchbacked, short, lame, etc.
21 chaʔałowasiḳtiyat 2021  

Rade: Rade ✧ RAD ✧ Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Chamic, Highlands, akin to Cham (q.v.), spoken by 180,000 E-de people in southern Vietnam and in refugee communities in the US.
21 mlan năm 2021
Raivavaen: Raivavaen ✧ ??? ✧ A presumably extinct Malayo-Polynesian language native to the island of Raivavae in French Polynesia. Source: a dictionary completed in 1938 by ethnologist Frank Stimson but never published.
21 [June unknown] 2021
Rangi (Langi): Rangi (Langi) ✧ LAG ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantu, with between 270,000 and 410,000 speakers in central Tanzania. Its nouns divide into 19 classes encompassing a range from ethnicities and professions, to trees and other natural phenomena, to things that are long.
21 Kwiidwaata 2021
Rapa Nui (Pascuanese): Rapa Nui (Pascuanese) ✧ RAP ✧ Eastern Polynesian, Easter Island, 2700 native speakers. Having developed well over a thousand miles from the nearest inhabited islands (Pitcairn), Rapa Nui differs significantly from other EP languages. Its endemic writing system, called Rongorongo, remains undeciphered.
21 ko maro 2021  
Rawang (Krangku): Rawang (Krangku) ✧ RAW ✧ Sino-Tibetan family, Tibeto-Burman, Nungish, 63,000 speakers in India and northern Myanmar. Roman alphabet writing system developed by American missionary Robert Morse starting in 1950.
21 chuq shvlá 2021
Reel (Atuot): Reel (Atuot) ✧ ATU ✧ Presumably Nilo-Saharan, related to Nuer (q.v.), spoken by some 50,000 Atuot people living near Yirol in South Sudan’s Eastern Lakes State.
21 Aduɔ̈ɔ̈ŋ 2021
Rennell-Bellona (Rennellese): Rennell-Bellona (Rennellese) ✧ MNV ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, 4000 speakers, Solomon Islands’ Rennell and Bellona provinces. For most people who live there it’s their first language. No ng (ŋ) sound; doubled vowels sound out as separate syllables.
21 Luoni 2021
rGyalrong [Northwestern] (Sidaba): rGyalrong [Northwestern] (Sidaba) ✧ JYA ✧ Sino-Tibetan. Sidaba, spoken by 33,000 in Sichuan’s Xiaojin, Danba, and Baoxing Counties, is one of its five major dialects. Verbs are marked with directional orientation cues. Its peculiar capitalization comes from the Romanization conventions for its Tibetan-derived name.
21 sla wa tʂǝk pɐ 2021
Rohingya: Rohingya ✧ RHG ✧ Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Bengali-Assamese. Six noun cases. Heavily persecuted, the Rohingya are toughing it out in Burma and in refugee camps in Bangladesh.
21 bádo 2021  
Romani [Balkan Sofia Erli]: Romani [Balkan Sofia Erli] ✧ RMN ✧ Indo-Aryan language spoken by Romani in Bulgaria. There are around 760,000 Balkan Romani speakers as a whole, of which Sofia Erli is a subdivision.
21 juni 2021
Romani [Balkan Ursari]: Romani [Balkan Ursari] ✧ RMN ✧ A Balkan Romani spoken in Moldavia and Romania
21 junija 2021  
Romani [Kale Finnish]: Romani [Kale Finnish] ✧ RMF ✧ Indo-Aryan language, by way of Scotland, spoken by 11,700 Finnish Romani
21 niijalesko čoon 2021
Romani [Kale Iberian] (Caló): Romani [Kale Iberian] (Caló) ✧ RMQ ✧ Indo-Aryan language spoken by Iberian Peninsula Romani. The characters singing the famous “Anvil Chorus” in Verdi’s Il trovatori and the Marx Brothers film A Night at the Opera would have likely represented Caló.
21 nutivé 2021
Romani [Kale Welsh]: Romani [Kale Welsh] ✧ RMW ✧ Romani variety spoken in Wales until at least 1950, introduced during the 15th century. Its purported last native speaker was Manfri Frederick Wood (d. 1968).
21 lilajeskero -or- lilajesko munþos 2021
Romani [Vlax]: Romani [Vlax] ✧ RMY ✧ Today’s most widely spoken Romani, originally the language of the Romani enslaved in the territory of Romania. Vlax has some 14 subdialects including Kalderash and Lovari.
21 shovtonai 2021
Romanian [Meglenitic] (Megleno-Romanian): Romanian [Meglenitic] (Megleno-Romanian) ✧ RUQ ✧ Eastern Romance, native to Greece, Macedonia, Romania, and Turkey. Some consider Meglenitic a separate language; others, a dialect of either Romanian or Aromanian (q.v.). Only 5000 speakers, endangered.
21 tširişár 2021
Romanian [Old Church/Traditional]: Romanian [Old Church/Traditional] ✧ RON ✧ Indo-European, Romance. Pre-20th century.
21 cireșar “Cherry” 2021
Romansh [Grischun]: Romansh [Grischun] ✧ ROH ✧ Indo-European, Rhaeto-Romance. Romansh comes in seven chief dialects. Not included among those is Grischun, a controversial “pan-regional” Romansh standard introduced in 1982.
21 zercladur 2021  
Romansh [Putèr]: Romansh [Putèr] ✧ ROH ✧ Romansh dialect spoken in the Engadine Valley, Switzerland. The term Putèr likely derives from a term describing its speakers as “porridge eaters.”
21 gün 2021
Rombo (Kirombo): Rombo (Kirombo) ✧ ROF ✧ Niger-Congo, Northeast Bantu, Chaga, spoken in Tanzania’s Kilimanaro Region. Four dialects: Keni, Mashati, Mkuu, and Usseri.
21 Mweri wa sita 2021
Rongga: Rongga ✧ ROR ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, spoken in East Nuse Tenggara Province in central Flores, Indonesia. Not to be confused with Ronga, a Bantu language. Unlike English, Rongga’s first person plural offers both inclusive and exclusive forms.
21 nuko 2021
Rongmei Naga: Rongmei Naga ✧ NBU ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Kuki-Chin Naga (?), Zeme. About 94,000 Rongmei live in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland in northeast India. Six tones.
21 twnngaibw 2021  
Rotokas: Rotokas ✧ ROO ✧ North Bougainville family, spoken by approx. 4000 in Papua New Guinea. Famous for its tiny sound inventory, its entire alphabet consists of A, E, G, I, K, O, P, R, S, T, U, and V. There are no nasal sounds like m, n, or ng.
21 katai vatarapa kekira 2021
Russian [Ninilchik]: Russian [Ninilchik] ✧ ??? ✧ Endangered but still spoken by descendants of 19th century Russian American Company workers in Ninilchik, Alaska. Sufficiently diverged from Russian that linguists consider it a separate language.
21 Yun’ 2021  
Russian [Premodern]: Russian [Premodern] ✧ RUS ✧ This was Russian before it adopted neo-Latin (more accurately, Byzantine Greek) month conventions. For several centuries starting in the 1100s, both nomenclatures coexisted.
21 хлеборост [χleborost] “Grain” 2021
Rusyn (Ruthene or Ruthenian): Rusyn (Ruthene or Ruthenian) ✧ RUE ✧ East Slavic, approx. 60,000 current speakers. Unlike Russian it loses the letter Э but then adds Ґ, Є, І, and Ї and (at least in older examples) Ѣ. Lemko is a Rusyn dialect. Andy Warhol and Sandra Dee were of Rusyn extraction.
21 червень [červen’] “Red” 2021  
Rwanda-Rundi [Kinyarwanda]: Rwanda-Rundi [Kinyarwanda] ✧ KIN ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu. Tonal, official in Rwanda. Of the 20 million speakers for Rwanda-Rundi in total, 9.8 million speak this Kinyarwanda dialect.
21 Ukwa gatandatu -or- Kamena 2021
Rwanda-Rundi [Kirundi]: Rwanda-Rundi [Kirundi] ✧ RUN ✧ The other chief dialect of Rwanda-Rundi, spoken in Burundi by 8.8 million
21 ukwēzi kwa gatanu -or- Rwirabura -or- Kiyumpu 2021

Sa‘a (South Malaita or Apae‘aa): Sa‘a (South Malaita or Apae‘aa) ✧ APB ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, SE Solomonic, spoken by 12,000 in South Malaita, Solomon Islands.
21 hutohuto “Foam” 2021
Sabaean (Sabaic or Himyarite): Sabaean (Sabaic or Himyarite) ✧ XSA ✧ Afro-Asiatic, putative language of the Queen of Sheba/Saba, spoken in Yemen between ca. 1000 BCE and 600 CE. You’re seeing it in its Ancient South Arabian script, reading right-to-left and displaying no vowels.
OneTenTen jun [ḏqyẓn] TenTenThousandThousand  
Sabaean, Contemporaneously Arabicized: Sabaean, Contemporaneously Arabicized ✧ XSA ✧ Like Hebrew script, the Arabic hints at vowels but doesn’t show them explicitly. Here some ā (as in cat) and u sounds can be inferred, but little beyond that in this particular case. The “ʔ” signals a glottal stop.
٢١ ذو القياظ [ḏūʔlqyāẓ] ٢٠٢١
Saho: Saho ✧ SSY ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Lowland East, 220,000 native speakers in Eritrea and in Tigray in Ethiopia. Closely akin to Afar (q.v.).
21 sayne 2021
Sakizaya: Sakizaya ✧ SZY ✧ Austronesian, East Formosan, Ami, an indigenous language spoken by around 900 on Taiwan (Keelung, Taoyuan City, New Taipei, Hualien). Closely related to Amis (q.v.).
21 enem bulad 2021
Salish, Coastal [Island Halkomelem]: Salish, Coastal [Island Halkomelem] ✧ HUR ✧ A language from the Salishan family spoken by approx. 200 on the east coast of Vancouver Island, source of the words “sasquatch,” “sockeye,” and “coho.” Actor Chief Dan George of Little Big Man was Halkomelem Salish.
21 yuqw’iqw’u’lus -or- q̓wilus “Ripening” 2021
Salish, Coastal [Klallam]: Salish, Coastal [Klallam] ✧ CLM ✧ Salishan family, heard in the Pacific Northwest on the northern shore of the Olympic Peninsula. Natively extinct with the death of Hazel Sampson in 2014, though being taught in high school.
21 pən̕exʷəŋ -or- čən̕kʷítšən 2021
Salish, Coastal [North Straits]: Salish, Coastal [North Straits] ✧ STR ✧ Salishan family, Vancouver area. Six sub-dialects, nearly extinct.
21 čən̕kʷítšən 2021
Salish, Coastal [North Straits Saanich]: Salish, Coastal [North Straits Saanich] ✧ STR ✧ Dialect of North Straits Salish, five native speakers reported. Saanich uses no rounded vowels (o, oo, ow, etc.) except in foreign loans.
21 pən̕éxʷəŋ̕ 2021  
Salish, Coastal [Puget Sound] (Lushootseed): Salish, Coastal [Puget Sound] (Lushootseed) ✧ LUT ✧ Another Salishan language, spoken by fewer than 100. The word “geoduck” (elephant clam) derives from Puget Sound Salish.
21 pədstəgʷad 2021  
Salish, Coastal [Sechelt] (Shashishalhem): Salish, Coastal [Sechelt] (Shashishalhem) ✧ SEC ✧ This Salishan family language is native to the Sechelt Peninsula area of British Columbia. Fewer than a dozen native speakers remain, all elderly.
21 temḵw՚ iḵw՚ el shalshal 2021
Salish, Coastal [Squamish]: Salish, Coastal [Squamish] ✧ SQU ✧ Salishan, native to Squamish, North Vancouver, and West Vancouver in British Columbia. Half a dozen native speakers remain; the language is taught at Capilano University.
21 tem kw՚eskw՚ás 2021
Salish, Interior [Colville-Okanagan] (Syilx): Salish, Interior [Colville-Okanagan] (Syilx) ✧ OKA ✧ Southern British Columbia and northern Washington State. Considered moribund, Syilx is spoken natively by approx. 600 of whom only a quarter are “deeply fluent” and mostly over 50.
21 miktúʔtn 2021
Salish, Interior [Kalispel–Spokane–Flathead]: Salish, Interior [Kalispel–Spokane–Flathead] ✧ FLA/SPO ✧ Also called Montana Salish, spoken by approx. 100 elders in the central Montana’s Flathead Nation and in the Kalispel and Spokane Reservations in Washington. Critically endangered.
21 sx̣ʷéʔli spq̓niʔ 2021  
Salish, Interior [Lillooet]: Salish, Interior [Lillooet] ✧ LIL ✧ Endangered Salishan language (perhaps 200 elderly speakers) native to Canada’s British Columbia and Fraser and Lillooet Rivers.
21 ʔí.q̓ʷəl:q̓ʷəl -or- or q̓ʷəl ʔi ̬s.q̓ʷəl ̬a “The berries are ripe” 2021
Salish, Interior [Shuswap]: Salish, Interior [Shuswap] ✧ SHS ✧ The northernmost Interior Salishan language, spoken natively by around 200 in central and southern British Columbia. Stress is predictable: the vowels U and I are always stressed.
21 Pelltspéntsk “Midsummer month” 2021
Sami [Inari]: Sami [Inari] ✧ SMN ✧ Finno-Ugric, 300 speakers, seriously endangered. The term “Lapp” for the Sami language group is considered derogatory and no longer used. Like Finnish, Sami dialects are agglutinative.
21 kesimáánu 2021  
Sami [Kildin]: Sami [Kildin] ✧ SJD ✧ A Sami spoken by approx. 600 in the Lovozero area of the Kola Peninsula. The word “tundra” comes from Kildin Sami.
21 кессьманну [kyeсс’mannu] 2021
Sami [Lule]: Sami [Lule] ✧ SMJ ✧ Spoken by between 1000 and 2000 around the Lule River in Sweden and in Norway’s Nordland County. Taking your leave from one person, you say Vuojnnalin! From two or more, Vuojnnalip!
21 biehtsemánno 2021  
Sami [Northern]: Sami [Northern] ✧ SME ✧ The most widely spoken Sami, approx. 20,000 speakers. First appearance in print dates to the mid 1600s.
21 geassemánu “Summer month” 2021  
Sami [Skolt]: Sami [Skolt] ✧ SMS ✧ Seriously endangered, 400 speakers mostly around Sevettijärvi, Finland. Oldest writings date from 1884.
21 kie’ssmannu 2021  
Sami [Southern]: Sami [Southern] ✧ SMA ✧ Seriously endangered, 500–600 speakers in Norway’s Snåsa and Hattfjelldal districts
21 ruffien 2021  
Samlandish (Old Baltic Prussian): Samlandish (Old Baltic Prussian) ✧ PRG ✧ Indo-European, Balto-Slavic (as opposed to Germanic, the other, entirely unrelated “Prussian”), extinct by 1800. Much of what’s known of it derives from three 16th century Catechisms, though its oldest written samples date back to the 1200s.
21 sīmenes 2021  
Samoan [Traditional]: Samoan [Traditional] ✧ SMO ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, about 500,000 speakers in the Samoan Islands and expat communities elsewhere. Vocabulary and pronunciation differ with register, i.e., colloquial (tautala leaga), formal (tautala lelei), and ceremonial (gagana fa‘aaloalo).
21 Malelega 2021
Samogitian: Samogitian ✧ SGS ✧ Indo-European, Baltic, spoken in western Lithuania. A Lithuanian dialect to some, a separate language to others. Akin to Curonian and Latgalian (qq.v.).
21 bėrželis “Birches” 2021
Sango: Sango ✧ SAG ✧ Ubangian-derived creole, three tones, central Africa, 450,000 native speakers. Along with French, Sango is an official language of the Central African Republic.
21 föndo 2021
Sangu {Tanzania}: Sangu {Tanzania} ✧ SBP ✧ Niger-Congo family, Northeast Bantu, Bena-Kinga, 75,000 speakers in Tanzania’s Mbeya Region. Not to be confused with Sango (previous page) or the Sangu language of Gabon.
21 Mujimbi 2021
Sanskrit: Sanskrit ✧ SAN ✧ One of the oldest attested Indo-European languages. Modern representatives of its sub-branch include Hindi, Bengali, Nepali, and approximately 220 others, collectively spoken by 800-900 million. “Avatar” comes from Sanskrit.
२१ षष्ठमास [ṣaṣṭhamāsa] २०२१  
Santali: Santali ✧ SAT ✧ Austroasiatic, Munda, spoken by 7.6 million in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal. Agglutinative, uses Ol Chiki alphabet devised in the early 20th century. Sound inventory lacks both labiodentals (the f and v sounds) and z.
21 jun [jun] 2021
Saramaccan: Saramaccan ✧ SRM ✧ Portuguese/English/Dutch creole with African traits, Suriname. 90,000 speakers, most of whom descended from escaped slaves.
21 hɔ́ndima líba “Hunter month” 2021
Sardinian [Campidanese]: Sardinian [Campidanese] ✧ SRD or SRO ✧ 500,000 speakers in Sardinia in the Cagliari metro area and elsewhere in Oristano, South Sardinia, and Nuoro. Proposed as a co-standard along with Logudorese (q.v.).
21 làmpadas -or- lampras 2021
Sardinian [Gallurese]: Sardinian [Gallurese] ✧ SDN ✧ 100,000 speakers, Sardinia’s Gallura region and elsewhere in the Northeast. It has more noticeable Spanish and Catalan influences. Many consider Gallurese a dialect of Corsican (q.v.).
21 làmpadda -or- làmpata 2021  
Sardinian [Logudorese]: Sardinian [Logudorese] ✧ SRD or SRC ✧ 500,000 speakers. Central-southern Sardinian Province of Sassari, northern parts of the Provinces of Nuoro and Oristano. Proposed as a co-standard along with Campidanese (q.v.).
21 làmpadas 2021
Sardinian [Logudorese Nuorese]: Sardinian [Logudorese Nuorese] ✧ SRD or SRC ✧ Subdialect with features found nowhere else on Sardinia including some th (IPA symbol θ) sounds and the simplification of ny (  ɲ) and ly (ʎ) sounds into n and l (e.g., Sardinna instead of Sardegna).
21 làmpadas -or- làmpatas 2021
Sardinian [Sassarese]: Sardinian [Sassarese] ✧ SDC ✧ 100,000 speakers tending toward the north of the island. Heavy Corsican (q.v.) influences.
21 làmpadda 2021
Satawalese: Satawalese ✧ STW ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Micronesian, Trukic, spoken by 500 on Satawal, Yap, and other islands and atolls of the Federated States of Micronesia. Features loans from other Micronesian languages such as Woleaian (q.v.) and Ulithian as well as English, Japanese, Spanish.
21 Kiuw 2021
Saxwe (Tsáphɛ): Saxwe (Tsáphɛ) ✧ SXW ✧ Niger-Congo family, Gbe group, tonal, spoken by 170,000 in Benin. Most speakers understand some Fon (q.v.) and another Gbe language, Gen.
21 Hwɛwisun 2021
Secoya (Pai Coca): Secoya (Pai Coca) ✧ SEY ✧ Tucanoan family, spoken by 1200 in Peru and Ecuador along the Putumayo and Vaupés Rivers. Nouns can be animate, inanimate, personal, or supernatural/spiritual. Secoya culture and language are under serious threat from the petroleum industry.
21 Ña'ñame'koro 2021
Sedang: Sedang ✧ SED ✧ Austroasiatic language native to Laos & Vietnam, 100,000 speakers. Famously huge vowel inventory of 24 pure vowels and a similar number of diphthongs. Each can be plain (o), nasal (õ), or creaky (o̰); some, simultaneously nasal and creaky (õ̰).
21 khế tơdrốu 2021  
Seediq [Truku/Taroko]: Seediq [Truku/Taroko] ✧ TRV ✧ Formosan, Atayalic. Indigenous language from northern Taiwan with 20,000 speakers.
21 mataru idas 2021
Sekani [Fraser Lake]: Sekani [Fraser Lake] ✧ SEK ✧ Athabaskan language spoken by a few dozen in British Columbia. Bitonal. The name Sekani comes from Tse’Khene meaning “people of the rock.”
21 Dukai Ooza 2021
Sekani [McLeod Lake]: Sekani [McLeod Lake] ✧ SEK ✧ Another Sekani variant
21 Lhoowe inza 2021
Selkup: Selkup ✧ SEL ✧ Uralic, Samoyedic. Yamalo-Nenets region in Siberia, 1500 speakers. Vowel length is contrastive. Chief dialects from north to south are Taz, Tym, and Ket, but the latter has nothing to do with Yeniseian language called Ket (q.v.).
21 куо1ат пỹ´ иррет [kuolat pü´ irret] “Month when the fish bask” 2021  
Serbian [Orthodox]: Serbian [Orthodox] ✧ SRP ✧ Serbian Orthodox Church tradition. Its non-Russian Cyrillic character Ђ / ђ represents the j sound in j̱ar; the Ћ / ћ is its unvoiced version.
21 петровски [petrovsky] 2021
Serbian [Premodern/Folk]: Serbian [Premodern/Folk] ✧ SRP ✧ Serbian folk tradition, pre-19th century
21 трешњар [trešnjar] 2021  
Seri: Seri ✧ SEI ✧ Indigenous language isolate spoken by < 1000 in Mexico. Uses nine definite articles that depend on the relative movement of the object.
21 imám imám iizax 2021
Seychellois Creole (Seselwa): Seychellois Creole (Seselwa) ✧ CRS ✧ French-based creole of the Seychelles, around 70,000 speakers. In some French-derived nouns, the definite article has merged with the word.
21 zen 2021
Shan: Shan ✧ SHN ✧ Kra-Dai language, tonal. Spoken in Burma, Thailand, and China. It has a trill [IPA r] but uses it only rarely, mostly for loans. Many speakers can’t make it and substitute an l sound.
21 jun [lungau] 2021  
Shawiya Berber (Tachawit): Shawiya Berber (Tachawit) ✧ SHY ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Berber, spoken among eastern Algeria’s Awras Mountains. Formerly preliterate, now expressed in Roman, Arabic, and Tifanagh script. Alternates shown, different versions or differing spellings.
21 yunyu -or- younyou 2021
Shawnee: Shawnee ✧ SJW ✧ An Algonquian language with fewer than 200 speakers in Oklahoma, originally native to Tennessee’s Cumberland River area. Stress is oxytonic — i.e., on the final syllable, a feature commonly stereotyped in old western movies.
21 Mshkatiwi kiishthwa “Raspberry Moon” 2021  
Sheko: Sheko ✧ SHE ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, Dizoid, spoken natively between the towns of Tepi and Mizan Teferi in western Ethiopia by 39,000. Distinctive is its reliance on consonants pronounced retroflex — i.e., with the tongue curled backwards.
21 tʼāāgn̄ ʔyatsʼn 2021  
Sherpa: Sherpa ✧ XSR ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Bodic, Tibetic. Spoken by 150,000 in Nepal, Tibet, and Kashmir. Tonal.
21 dāwā ṭukpā 2021  
Shilluk [Cøllø]: Shilluk [Cøllø] ✧ SHK ✧ Possibly Nilo-Saharan, Northern Luo, spoken by 175,000 Shilluk people in Sudan and South Sudan. Three tones (low, mid, high) and four contours for them (rising, falling, high falling, “late” falling), all shown with various accent marks.
21 Bildwøng 2021
Shinasha (Borna or Boro): Shinasha (Borna or Boro) ✧ BWO ✧ Afro-Asiatic, either North or South Omotic (depending on whose paper you take to heart) dialect cluster with 37,500 speakers in Ethiopia.
21 mashatsi 2021
Shixing: Shixing ✧ SXG ✧ A scantily documented Sino-Tibetan language of the Sichuan and the Tibet Autonomous Regions. Spoken by fewer than 2000, two thirds of whom are quite inconveniently monolingual in Shixing.
21 tɕho55ɬɯ55 2021
Shona: Shona ✧ SNA ✧ Bantu language spoken by over 8 million, official in Zimbabwe but also heard in Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia. It has two tones, not shown in writing.
21 Chikumi 2021  
Shor [Kondoma]: Shor [Kondoma] ✧ CJS ✧ Turkic. Both Shor dialects together have 2800 speakers in Siberia’s Kemerovo Province. Mongolian and Russian loans, preliterate until 1885.
21 from au or kyra syurgana 2021
Shor [Mrassu]: Shor [Mrassu] ✧ CJS ✧ The other major dialect of Shor. “Good morning!” is Чакшы эртен! (Çakşi erten!).
21 ӧлең-тос айы [öleŋ-tos ayï] 2021
Shoshone [Eastern]: Shoshone [Eastern] ✧ SHH ✧ Uto-Aztecan family. In all dialects inclusive, natively spoken by 1000 in Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. Features some whispered vowels. Lewis and Clark’s translator, Sacagawea, was Shoshone.
21 Nagaraza Mea "Half summer month" 2021
Shuar: Shuar ✧ JIV ✧ Jivaroan family, 35,000 jungle-dwelling speakers in Ecuador’s Morona-Santiago and Pastaza Provinces. Not to be confused with Shiwiar, though of the same family. Generations ago, the Shuar produced shrunken heads (tsantsa in Shuar).
21 tsunki 2021  
Sicilian: Sicilian ✧ SCN ✧ Indo-European, Romance. Arabic and Greek influences with pre-Indo-European roots. One departure from Italian is that Sicilian uses the vowels E and O less frequently; another, its use of retroflex (tongue curled backwards) consonants.
21 giùgnu 2021  
Sikaiana: Sikaiana ✧ SKY ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, spoken by 750 on the small, isolated atoll Sikaina in the Solomon Islands. Features two vowel lengths, so two words that differ only by that feature can have unrelated meanings.
21 Tiuni 2021
Silesian: Silesian ✧ SZL ✧ West Slavic, spoken by half a million in Poland and the Czech Republic. Some authorities consider it a dialect of Polish, others don't. In any case about a dozen sub-dialects of Silesian are cited, one unique to Panna Maria, Texas.
21 červěc 2021  
Siona (Bai Coca): Siona (Bai Coca) ✧ SNN ✧ Tucanoan family, spoken by 500 Siona people in Colombia and Ecuador along the Putumayo River. They are akin to the Secoya (Pai Coca) speakers (q.v.) and under similar threat.
21 Ña'ñame'koro 2021
Slavey [North]: Slavey [North] ✧ SCS ✧ Na-Dené, Athabaskan. Slavey as a whole has around 1800 speakers among the Slavey and Sahtu people in the Northwest Territories. This is the North dialect, 800 speakers.
21 Eghé Sah 2021
Slavey [South]: Slavey [South] ✧ XSL ✧ This is the South Slavey dialect, heard principally in the MacKenzie region, 1000 speakers.
21 Tsá Kats’enįwę zá 2021  
Slavonic [Old Church]: Slavonic [Old Church] ✧ CHU ✧ Indo-European, Slavic, dating from the 9th century. The original model for the Cyrillic alphabet, it called itself словѣньскыи ѩзыкъ [slověnĭskyi językŭ].
XXI jun [yuni] MMXXI
Slavonic [New Church]: Slavonic [New Church] ✧ CHU ✧ The current liturgical language used in conservative Slavic European Orthodox churches as well as the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese. Descended from Old Church Slavonic (above). That unusual diacritic   ҆ is called a psili pneumata, equivalent to the Greek smooth breathing mark ◌̓, indicating no h sound before the vowel.
21 і҆ꙋ́нїй [yúnyi] 2021
Slovenian [Standard Premodern]: Slovenian [Standard Premodern] ✧ SLV ✧ Indo-European, South Slavic, standardized from the Carniolan and other dialects during the 18th century. Not to be confused with Slovak, which is WEST Slavic and close to Czech (q.v.).
21 rožnik “Flowers” 2021  
Slovenian [Prekmurian Premodern]: Slovenian [Prekmurian Premodern] ✧ SLV ✧ Prekmurian is a Slovenian dialect spoken in northeast Slovenia and western Hungary. It’s sufficiently divergent both culturally and linguistically that many consider it a separate language.
21 ivánšček 2021
Slovenian [Resian]: Slovenian [Resian] ✧ SLV ✧ From the Resia Valley in Italy’s Udine Province. Heavy Italic influences, considered a separate language by most speakers. Unlike Standard Slovenian its alphabet includes W.
21 jonj 2021
Somali: Somali ✧ SOM ✧ Afro-Asiatic family, Cushitic. Employs vowel harmony and three tones, spoken in the horn of Africa and in diaspora communities by 15 million.
21 bisha lixaad -or- idaale -or- diracgood 2021
Soninke: Soninke ✧ SNK ✧ Niger-Congo family, Western Mande, spoken in Mali (official), Senegal (official), Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia (official), Mauritania (official), Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, and Ghana. It uses the Arabic and Roman alphabets.
21 suwenxaso 2021
Sorbian (Lusatian or Wend) [Lower]: Sorbian (Lusatian or Wend) [Lower] ✧ WEN ✧ Indo-European, West Slavic, spoken by 10,000 in lower Saxony (Brandenburg). Six noun cases.
21 smažki 2021  
Sorbian (Lusatian or Wend) [Upper]: Sorbian (Lusatian or Wend) [Upper] ✧ WEN ✧ Indo-European, West Slavic, spoken by 40,000 in upper Saxony. Seven noun cases — one more than Lower Sorbian.
21 smažnik 2021  
Sotho (Sesotho): Sotho (Sesotho) ✧ SOT ✧ Niger-Congo, Southern Bantu, spoken in Lesotho (where it’s the official language) and South Africa. It’s tonal, and its novel sound inventory further includes ejectives, clicks, and a uvular trill.
21 Phupjane 2021
Sotho [Northern] (Pedi): Sotho [Northern] (Pedi) ✧ SOT ✧ Another dialect of Sotho, South Africa.
21 Ngwato Bošego -or- Ngwatobošego 2021
Southern Luo [Lango]: Southern Luo [Lango] ✧ LAJ ✧ Nilo-Saharan family, Uganda. Luo is a group of several mutually intelligible dialects. This is Lango, with 1.5 million speakers. All numerals under 20 begin with A.
21 Kwiidwaata 2021
Southern Min (Minnan): Southern Min (Minnan) ✧ NAN ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Min, spoken by 47 million in China’s Fujian province. It’s unintelligible even with other Min branch languages, let alone Chinese.
21 六月 la̍k-go̍eh 2021  
Standard Moroccan Berber (Tamazight): Standard Moroccan Berber (Tamazight) ✧ ZGH ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Berber. This language was standardized in 2011 through amendments to the Moroccan Constitution.
21 jun [yunyu] 2021  
Sudovian (Yotvingian): Sudovian (Yotvingian) ✧ XSV ✧ Indo-European, Baltic, unfortunately extinct by 1600. It was mutually intelligible with Samlandish (q.v.).
21 berzelis -or- junijis 2021  
Sumo [Northern, Mayangna]: Sumo [Northern, Mayangna] ✧ SUM ✧ Like Miskito (q.v.), from the small Misumalpan family. There are approx. 9000 speakers of Sumo languages in the Huaspuc River area in Nicaragua and Honduras; shown here is the Mayangna dialect.
21 was wana wainku 2021
Sumo [Northern, Tawakha]: Sumo [Northern, Tawakha] ✧ YAN ✧ Another Sumo dialect. Tawakha and Miskito (q.v.) are close kin and many Tawakha in the area (at the mouth of the river Wampú on the Atlantic side of Honduras) are trilingual between Tawakha, Miskito, and Spanish.
21 wasmâ waiku 2021
Sumo [Southern, Ulwa]: Sumo [Southern, Ulwa] ✧ ULW ✧ Another Sumo dialect with about 400 speakers in eastern Nicaragua.
21 dapa waikaku 2021
Svan: Svan ✧ SVA ✧ Kartvelian family (Like Georgian, Mingrelian, and Laz — qq.v.), spoken in the Svaneti region of Georgia by around 30,000, who call it lushnu nin. It has no written standard.
კა იუ̂ანობ [iûanob] ცკა  
Swazi (siSwati): Swazi (siSwati) ✧ SSW ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu. Swaziland (official), Lesotho, Mozambique, and South Africa. Three tones, none of which is expressed in writing.
21 íNhlaba 2021  
Swedish [Traditional/Folk]: Swedish [Traditional/Folk] ✧ SWE ✧ North Germanic, descended from Old Norse. This is Swedish’s premodern terminology.
21 sommarmånad “Summer month” 2021
Syriac Aramaic (Suret): Syriac Aramaic (Suret) ✧ SYC ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Northwest Semitic, still used for liturgical purposes by Syrian Christians in Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Armenia. Its script shares its ancestry with Hebrew and maps to it one-to-one. Not to be confused with Amharic (q.v.).
120 jun [khzeerrān]  1202000

Tabasaran: Tabasaran ✧ TAB ✧ Northeast Caucasian language notable for its vast noun case inventory — 48, give or take. Natively it lacks the vowel O; the palochka character (Ӏ) makes the preceding consonant an ejective.
21 мулух [muluh] 2021  
Tacana: Tacana ✧ TNA ✧ Western Tacanan family, 1053 speakers out of a total native population of 7345 along the Beni & Madre de Dios rivers in Bolivia
21 badhi sukuta 2021
Tachelhit (Shilha or Sussian): Tachelhit (Shilha or Sussian) ✧ SHI ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Berber, southern Morocco (or central Morocco, if you recognize its shaky claim on Western Sahara). Writings date from the 16th century CE. Consonant length is contrastive.
21 jun [yunyu] 2021
Tagalog [Pre-colonial]: Tagalog [Pre-colonial] ✧ TGL ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Central Philippine, spoken by approx. 70 million (28 million fluently). This is the endemic terminology based on the first Tagalog dictionary, published by Franciscan priest Pedro de San Buenaventura in 1613.
21 pangalan nang buang ikaanim sa lakad nang taon 2021  
Taita (Daw'ida): Taita (Daw'ida) ✧ DAV ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantu. 400,000 speakers in Kenya’s Taita Hills. Taita has three chief dialects, Daw’ida, Kasigau, and Sagala; but the latter diverges enough to be considered a separate language.
21 Mori ghwa karandadu 2021
Taki Taki (Sranan Tongo): Taki Taki (Sranan Tongo) ✧ SRN ✧ An English/Dutch/Portuguese/West African creole spoken by half a million (130,000 natively) in Suriname. The first verse of Suriname’s national anthem, God zij met ons Suriname, is sung in Dutch; the second, in Taki Taki.
21 Siksimun 2021  
Talinga (Lubwisi): Talinga (Lubwisi) ✧ TLJ ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantu, 99,000 speakers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (where they call it Talinga) and Uganda (where they call it Lubwisi)
21 Kwamakaagha 2021
Tamahaq: Tamahaq ✧ THV ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Northern Tuareg language spoken in Algeria, western Libya, and northern Niger. Three dialects, 77,000 speakers.
21 yunich 2021
Tamambo (Malo): Tamambo (Malo) ✧ MLA ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Southern Oceanic, West Santo, 4000 speakers on Vanuatu’s Malo Island and Espiritu Santo. Plural pronouns specify inclusive or exclusive of the person being spoken to.
21 bongi viso tawera 2021
Tamil: Tamil ✧ TAM ✧ Dravidian family, India. Split off from Malayalam 9th century CE. Pronouns offer several levels of politeness. The words “catamaran” and “corundum” come from Tamil.
21 jun [jūṉa] 2021  
Tanacross: Tanacross ✧ TCB ✧ Athabaskan language with approx. 30 speakers, Middle Tanana River, Alaska. Earliest written records of it date from 1839.
21 wunenh ch’et’ą̌ą’ nesẖeegh “Month plants grow” 2021  
Tangsa [Hakhun][Premodern]: Tangsa [Hakhun][Premodern] ✧ NST ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Brahmaputran, Konyak. Its Hakhun dialect, shown here, is spoken by 10,000 in India’s Arunachal Pradesh (Changlang and Tirap Districts) and Assam and in the adjacent Sagaing Division of Myanmar.
21 Chavi Da [cʰaʔví dá] 2021
Tasawaq (Ingelshi): Tasawaq (Ingelshi) ✧ TWQ ✧ Tentatively assigned to Nilo-Saharan, Songhay, though heavily influenced by Berber languages. Niger, 8000 speakers.
21 žuweŋ 2021
Tatar [Central or Kazan]: Tatar [Central or Kazan] ✧ TAT ✧ Turkic, spoken in Tatarstan. Has used Arabic, Roman, & Cyrillic scripts. Tatar is on the decline, being supplanted by Russian despite Tatarstan’s constitution guaranteeing equal status of both languages.
21 yün 2021  
Telugu: Telugu ✧ TEL ✧ Dravidian family, Andhra Pradesh, the fourth most heavily spoken language in India. Like all Brahmi-derived scripts, Telugu’s reads left-to-right. Oldest exclusively Telugu text, 575 CE.
21 jun [jūn] 2021  
Tem [Kotokoli]: Tem [Kotokoli] ✧ KDH ✧ Niger-Congo family, Gur, Gurunsi, 340,000 speakers in Togo, Ghana, and Benin, tonal. Vowel length is contrastive, the long version shown by doubling the letter.
21 falaazɩ nɖɔ́kɩ 2021
Temne: Temne ✧ TEM ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu language spoken in Sierra Leone, four tones. Uses a modified Roman alphabet with the additional characters Ʌ, Ɛ, Ə, Ŋ, Ɔ, along with Gb and Th which are treated as single letters.
21 Wṓfe̱ 2021
Teso (Ateso): Teso (Ateso) ✧ TEO ✧ Nilo-Saharan language spoken in Kenya, Uganda by 1.6 million. Not conventionally tonal, but has contrastive syllable stress. (So does English sometimes: combine as a verb, combine as a noun.)
21 Omodok’king’ol “Month for gathering mushrooms” 2021
Tetum (Tetun): Tetum (Tetun) ✧ TET ✧ Malayo-Polynesian language with Portuguese influences, East Timor, 500,000 speakers. As of 2002, Tetum and Portuguese have been the sole official languages of East Timor.
21 juñu 2021
Thadou: Thadou ✧ TCZ ✧ An endangered Sino-Tibetan language spoken by 230,000 in Manipur and Assam in northeast India and in Myanmar. There are about a dozen mutually intelligible dialects.
21 lhadou 2021
Thai: Thai ✧ THA ✧ Now assigned to the Kra-Dai family, previously considered Sino-Tibetan. Through Buddhism, Thai inherited lots of Indo-European Sanskrit and Pali. Its script is an abugida, i.e., halfway between an alphabet and a syllabary.
๒๑ มิถุนายน [míthùnaayon] “A pair” ๒๐๒๑  
Tibetan [Standard or Lhasa]: Tibetan [Standard or Lhasa] ✧ BOD ✧ Sino-Tibetan, agglutinative, bitonal, three speech registers: Phal-skad (informal), Zhe-sa (polite/respectful), Chos-skad (religious, as it appears in scriptures).
༢༡ ta13wa13tʂhuʔ13pa53 ༢༠༢༡  
Tibetan [Dégé]: Tibetan [Dégé] ✧ BOD ✧ The Tibetan dialect spoken in China’s Sichuan Province. The character ɳ in these Tibetan transcriptions represents an n sound with the tongue curled backwards.
༢༡ da13wa53tʂuʔ31pa53 ༢༠༢༡
Tibetan [Written]: Tibetan [Written] ✧ BOD ✧ Written Tibetan quite notoriously diverges from its spoken form. Writing conventions had fossilized while the speech evolved over many centuries, such that the oral version of a word can be entirely different from the written.
༢༡ zla ba drug pa ༢༠༢༡
Ticuna: Ticuna ✧ TCA ✧ Possibly a language isolate, spoken by 50,000 in Brazil, Peru, and Colombia. Six vowels (A, E, I, O, U and Ü), nine tones, glottal stops indicated by X.
21 cuáü̃arü tauemacü 2021
Tigrinya: Tigrinya ✧ TIR ✧ Afro-Asiatic, South Semitic. Ethiopia & Eritrea, 9 million speakers, related to Blin (q.v.). Like English but unlike many of its close relatives, Tigrinya uses phrasal verbs.
21 ሰነ [sene] 2021  
Timbisha [Panamint]: Timbisha [Panamint] ✧ PAR ✧ Uto-Aztecan family, native to California’s Owens and Death Valleys and parts of Nevada, 20 speakers. Name refers to rock paint.
21 naapaim müattsi or ükü tatsa 2021
Tiriyó (Trio): Tiriyó (Trio) ✧ TRI ✧ Cariban family, Taranoan, spoken by 2100 in Brazil’s Pará State and in Suriname’s Sipaliwini District. Its two dialects are referred to as H Tiriyó and K Tiriyó. Heavy Dutch influences.
21 juunipo 2021
Tiwa [Southern]: Tiwa [Southern] ✧ TIX ✧ A language from the Tanoan family spoken by 1600 at Isleta Pueblo and Sandia Pueblo, New Mexico; and Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, Texas. Its sound inventory is relatively large: 26 consonants and six vowels with contrastive nasal versions.
21 San Juan Pa 2021
Tlingit: Tlingit ✧ TLI ✧ Na-Dené family, USA Pacific Northwest, nearly extinct. Tlingit women traditionally wore lip plates. Since the language avoids labial consonants ( p, ph, b, f, v), other than for modern loans, such adornments wouldn’t have given them much of a speech problem.
21 At gadaxéet Dís 2021  
Tobian: Tobian ✧ TOX ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Micronesian, Trukic, critically endangered, native to Palau’s states of Hatohobei, Koror, and Sonsorol. 150 native speakers, nowadays mostly in Koror.
21 haworowari maham 2021  
Tocharian B (West or Kuchean) *: Tocharian B (West or Kuchean) * ✧ TXB ✧ Tocharian was a branch of Indo-European, extinct since the ninth century, spoken in China’s Tarim Basin. There are three members known: A (Agnean), B, and C (Kroränian). This is B, from the work of linguist Douglas Q. Adams.
XXI pinkte meñe MMXXI  
Tofalar (Tofa or Karagas): Tofalar (Tofa or Karagas) ✧ KIM ✧ Moribund, mildly tonal Turkic language closely related to Tuvan (q.v.) with approx. 90 speakers in the Irkutsk region. Uses an augmented Cyrillic alphabet of 42 characters.
21 ай ӄызар ай [qɨzаr ay] 2021  
Tok Pisin (New Guinea Pidgin): Tok Pisin (New Guinea Pidgin) ✧ TPI ✧ English-based creole with 120,000 fluent speakers and another 4 million with L 2 proficiency, the lingua franca of Papua New Guinea. Beyond its English substrate it borrows from local Malayo-Polynesian languages and German.
21 numba sikis mun 2021  
Tokelauan [Traditional]: Tokelauan [Traditional] ✧ TKL ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, approx. 4300 speakers in American Samoa (on Tokelau and Swains Island) and New Zealand. Tokelauan and Tuvaluan are mutually intelligible.
21 Uluaki Utua 2021
Tolowa (Siletz Dee-ni): Tolowa (Siletz Dee-ni) ✧ TOL ✧ Na-Dené, Pacific Coast Athabaskan, natively extinct. Linguist Loren Bommelyn teaches Tolowa in Crescent City, CA. It features ejectives, contrastive vowel length and nasality.
21 K’wee-staa-ni num-nii-man’s 2021
Tonga (Nyasa) [Traditional]: Tonga (Nyasa) [Traditional] ✧ TOG ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu, Botatwe (according to some) language spoken by 170,000 in The Republic of Malawi. Tonal. Not to be confused with Malayo-Polynesian Tongan below.
21 Ganda pati 2021
Tongan: Tongan ✧ TON ✧ Malayo-Polynesian. Only one vowel per syllable, no blended consonants. Kingdom of Tonga, 187,000 speakers. Not to be confused with the Bantu language Tonga above.
21 Sune 2021  
Trique [Copala]: Trique [Copala] ✧ TRC ✧ Oto-Manguean family, Mixtecan branch, spoken in San Juan Copala, Oaxaca, Mexico and by migrants in San Quintín Valley, Baja California. There are 26,000 speakers of Trique in general, 15,000 of the Copala dialect.
21 yavii saguaá “Month of St. John” 2021
Trique [Chicahuaxtla]: Trique [Chicahuaxtla] ✧ TRC ✧ Dialect of Trique heard in San Andrés Chicahuaxtla, Oaxaca, Mexico. 6000 speakers.
21 júnyúu 2021
Tsafiki (Tsachila or Colorado): Tsafiki (Tsachila or Colorado) ✧ COF ✧ Barbacoan family, spoken by 2300 ethnic Tsachilas in Ecuador. Natively Tsafiki only had concise terms for the numbers 1 through 5; for higher numbers it borrows from Spanish.
21 piyokuli lun pe 2021
Tsez (Dido): Tsez (Dido) ✧ DDO ✧ Northeast Caucasian, endangered, 15,000 speakers in southern Dagestan. Heavy influences from Russian, Avar, Arabic, Georgian, and Turkic languages. Rich consonant inventory, but like others of its family lacks an f sound.
21 ийун [iyun] 2021  
Tshangla (Sharchop): Tshangla (Sharchop) ✧ TSJ ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Bodish, spoken by 170,000 in Bhutan’s Trashigang district, Tibet, and Arunachal Pradesh in India. Derives much of its vocabulary from Classical Tibetan; both evolved from a common ancestor.
21 dawa dʐukpa -or- dʑada 2021  
Tsimshian [Coast]: Tsimshian [Coast] ✧ TSI ✧ Indigenous language spoken by around 240 in British Columbia and Alaska. Possibly an isolate. Unusually wide consonant inventory that includes ejectives.
21 Ha’ lila’x sima’ḵ’ooxs “Time to harvest salmonberries” 2021
Tsonga: Tsonga ✧ TSO ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantu, 12 million native speakers. Uses whistling sounds and a single click.
21 Khotavuxika 2021  
Tswana (Setswana): Tswana (Setswana) ✧ TSN ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantu; official in Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa. Like Gourmantché (q.v.), Tswana nouns divide into classes and each takes a prefix corresponding to that class, providing a clue to its meaning.
21 Seetebosigo 2021
Tuareg [Tamasheq]: Tuareg [Tamasheq] ✧ TAQ ✧ Afro-Asiatic, Berber, traditionally of the Kel Adrar people, a dialect/subset of Tuareg spoken by half a million in Mali. Complex “avoidance” behavior in communication.
21 jun [yunioh] 2021  
Tujia [Southern]: Tujia [Southern] ✧ TJS ✧ Sino-Tibetan, but unclassified within that family due to its extensive borrowing from neighboring languages. Tonal, spoken by 70,000 in China’s northwest Hunan Province.
21 lu21 jye33 2021
Tumbuka: Tumbuka ✧ TUM ✧ Niger-Congo, Bantu. Speakers in Malawi, Zambia, & Tanzania. Between 1.5 and 2 million speakers. Tumbuka was heavily suppressed during the administration of Malawian President Hastings Banda (1966–1994) and its recovery since then has been only partial.
21 Juni 2021
Tunica: Tunica ✧ TUN ✧ Language isolate native to central Louisiana, extinct since the 1948 death of Mr. Sesostrie Youchigant, who worked with linguist Mary Haas, but now spoken as an acquired language by 32 people through the efforts of the Tunica-Biloxi tribe. Tonal.
21 Tihikatahch’a 2021  
Turkish [Standard]: Turkish [Standard] ✧ TUR ✧ From the Altaic family. Earliest inscriptions, eighth century CE, found in Mongolia. Turkish’s distinctive undotted I (lower case, ı) signals a schwa sound (IPA ə) as in a̱bout.
21 haziran -or- kiraz ayı 2021  
Turkish [Meskhetian]: Turkish [Meskhetian] ✧ TUR ✧ Dialect spoken by the Meskheti diaspora throughout Russia. Before Stalin’s expulsions, the Meskhetian homeland centered in southwest Georgia adjacent to the Turkish border.
21 кирез [kirez] 2021
Turkish [Ottoman]: Turkish [Ottoman] ✧ TUR ✧ Turkish of the Ottoman Empire before 20th century reforms. Ottoman Turkish borrowed over 80% of its vocabulary from Arabic and Persian; Atatürk’s 1928 reforms restored native Turkish vocabulary and switched from Arabic to Roman characters.
21 хәзиран [χıziran] 2021
Turkmen 1 [Pre-Niyazov]: Turkmen 1 [Pre-Niyazov] ✧ TUK ✧ Altaic family, Turkic, Oghuz. Nine million speakers, largely intelligible with Azeri and Turkish. But unlike Turkish, Turkmen uses the th sounds, both voiced (IPA ð, spelled with a Z) and unvoiced (IPA θ, spelled with an S). Interestingly, it has no s sound.
21 iýun 2021  
Turkmen 2 [Post-Niyazov]: Turkmen 2 [Post-Niyazov] ✧ TUK ✧ As decreed by dictator Saparmurat Niyazov (1940 –2006)
21 Oguz (legendary Turkmen nation founder) 2021  
Turkmen 3 [Post-Post-Niyazov]: Turkmen 3 [Post-Post-Niyazov] ✧ TUK ✧ Since 2008, back by popular demand!
21 iýun 2021  
Tuscarora: Tuscarora ✧ TUS ✧ There were only three reported speakers of this Northern Iroquoian language in 2007, so it may well be extinct or nearly so. Nominally its range is the Six Nations Reserve in southern Ontario and the Lewiston Tuscarora (“hemp people”) reserve in New York State.
21 kęnhyeháh 2021
Tutchone [Northern]: Tutchone [Northern] ✧ TTM ✧ Na-Dené family, North Athabascan, about 350 native speakers of Tutchone as a whole. This northern subgroup: Yukon communities of Mayo, Pelly and Stewart Crossing, Carmacks, and Beaver Creek.
21 Ezra ze “Moose calves month” 2021
Tutchone [Southern, Aishihik]: Tutchone [Southern, Aishihik] ✧ TCE ✧ Southern or Aishihik Tutchone is spoken in the Yukon communities of Aishihik, Burwash Landing, Champagne, Haines Junction, Kloo Lake, Klukshu, Lake Laberge, and Whitehorse.
21 N-t’ąy nzhā “Leaf month” 2021  
Tuvan: Tuvan ✧ TYV ✧ A Turkic language with Mongolian loans spoken by 280,000 in the Russian Republic of Tuva in southern Siberia. Nobel laureate Richard Feynman popularized Tuva and its language among western readers in his posthumously published book Tuva or Bust.
21 алды ай [aldi ay] 2021  
Tyap (Katab): Tyap (Katab) ✧ KCG ✧ Niger-Congo, West Plateau. 200,000 speakers, Nigeria. Natively it lacks both the h and unblended z sounds. In the evening, you greet people with Nyi kwa mam a?
21 Zwat Ataah 2021
Tzotzil: Tzotzil ✧ TZO ✧ Mayan family, Cholan-Tzeltalan branch, spoken by 400,000 in Chiapas, Mexico. The verb opens the sentence. Many loans from Spanish such as hay (“there is” or “there are”), realized as ‘oy.
21 hunyo 2021  

Uab Meto: Uab Meto ✧ AOZ ✧ Malayo-Polynesian family, unusual gender distinctions, spoken by 800,000 Atoni people in Indonesian West Timor. Not counting the glottal stop, it gets by with 10 consonants.
21 fun-ne’ 2021  
Ubykh: Ubykh ✧ UBY ✧ Extinct Northwest Caucasian language notable for its staggering consonant inventory and many other complexities. Its last native speaker was Circassian exile Tevfik Esenç (1904 –1992) who worked extensively with linguists to document his language.
21 kʷʼərkʷʼəmza [?] 2021  
Udmurt (Votyak): Udmurt (Votyak) ✧ UDM ✧ Uralic family, related to Komi (q.v.). 500,000 speakers in the central Urals. Natively lacks an f sound, which it uses only for names and Russian loans.
21 инвожо [invožo] 2021  
Ukrainian: Ukrainian ✧ UKR ✧ Indo-European, East Slavic, Polish affinities. Unlike Russian, it employs the characters Ґ, Є, І, and Ї but not Ы, Ъ, Ё, or Э. It differs also in employing a vocative case, i.e., an inflection indicating the subject is being addressed.
21 червень [červеn’] “Scale insects” 2021  
Ukrainian [Premodern]: Ukrainian [Premodern] ✧ UKR ✧ Older Ukrainian
21 кресень [kresen’] -or- гедзень [gedzen’] 2021
Unami: Unami ✧ UNM ✧ Algonquian language of the New Jersey/Delaware area Lenape people, whose last native speaker, Edward Thompson of Bartlettsville, OK, died in 2002. Agglutinative, contrastive vowel length. It was the Lenape who, per dubious legend, sold Manhattan to the Dutch.
21 Kichinipen “Real Summer Month” 2021
Upper Chinook [Clackamas]: Upper Chinook [Clackamas] ✧ WAC ✧ From the Chinookan family of northwest Oregon. Upper Chinook went extinct with the death of its last fluent speaker Gladys Thompson in 2012. There were about half a dozen dialects; this one was spoken along the Clackamas and Sandy Rivers.
21 witcaka’ctilit 2021  
Upper Kuskokwim: Upper Kuskokwim ✧ KUU ✧ Athabaskan, only 40 speakers (Alaska). Features an unvoiced n sound. Revival efforts currently underway through the efforts of The Dinakʼi Language Preservation and Revitalization Project.
21 ch’itsno’o’gasno’o’ 2021
Upper Tanana [Tetlin]: Upper Tanana [Tetlin] ✧ TAU ✧ Athabaskan, akin to Tanacross (q.v.), fewer than 100 speakers of Upper Tanana generally. This is the dialect of Tetlin, Alaska. Vowel length is contrastive, and like Polish the language also features nasal versions: ą, ąą, į, įį, ọ, and ọọ.
21 Taa’uuteeɬay 2021
Urhobo: Urhobo ✧ URH ✧ Niger-Congo, Edoid, spoken by half a million living near the Niger River or in boats on it. They worship ancestors and also the water spirit Ohworhu.
21 asán 2021  
Uyghur: Uyghur ✧ UIG ✧ Turkic, loans from Persian, Russian, Chinese. Spoken in China’s Xinjiang region by 8-10 million. Not to be confused with Western Yugur (q.v.), another Turkic language. Uyghur officially uses a Perso-Arabic script that, unlike Arabic itself, transcribes vowels.
21 ئالتىنچى ئاي / altinchi ay 2021  

Vai: Vai ✧ VAI ✧ Niger-Congo family, Mande. Tonal, 75,000 speakers, Liberia. Its syllabary writing system was devised by Momolu Duwalu Bukele during the early 19th century, saying it came to him in a dream.
21 jun sôᶇ lɔndɔ 2021  
Venda: Venda ✧ VEN ✧ Niger-Congo family, Bantu branch. Spoken by 1.3 million speakers and understood by another 1.7 million in South Africa (Limpopo Province) and Zimbabwe.
21 Fulwi 2021
Venetian: Venetian ✧ VEC ✧ Spoken in and around Venice and also in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul and the Mexican city of Chipilo in Puebla State. Features un-Italian sounds ç (like Greek θ) and, as also in Polish, ł (like English w).
21 giugno 2021  
Veps: Veps ✧ VEP ✧ Finno-Ugric, approx. 6300 speakers mostly near the Gulf of Finland. It has 23 noun cases, the most of any Finnic language. To express thanks, Veps speakers say Kitän! or the Russian loan Spasib!
21 kezaku 2021
Vietnamese (Annamese): Vietnamese (Annamese) ✧ VIE ✧ Austroasiatic family, at one time written with Chinese-derived script called Chữ nôm. Five tones, shown by diacritics (◻̆, ◻̂, ◻̃, ◻̛, and ◻̣), plus neutral. Other diacritics — breves, horns, circumflexes — modify vowel sounds.
21 tháng sáu 2021  
Võro: Võro ✧ VRO ✧ Finno-Ugric, related to Veps (q.v.), 80,000 speakers in southern Estonia. Unlike Estonian but like Votic (q.v.), it still features vowel harmony. Though with exceptions, front vowels (ü, ö, e, ä) and back vowels (u, o, õ, a) normally don’t coexist within the same word.
21 piimäkuu 2021  
Votic (Votian or Vote): Votic (Votian or Vote) ✧ VOT ✧ Uralic, Finnic, < 20 speakers in two villages near Narva, Estonia. Like other Finnic languages such as Võro (q.v.), it uses vowel harmony, here classifying ä, e, ö, and ü as front and a, õ, o, and u as back.
21 juuni 2021

Wa [Parauk]: Wa [Parauk] ✧ PRK ✧ Austroasiatic, Mon-Khmer, spoken by 820,000 hilltop-dwelling ethnic Wa in Thailand, Myanmar, southern China. Wa’s scripts have long been in a state of flux; shown here is Parauk Wa’s Yaong Soi dialect, expressed in IPA.
21 kʰiʔ lia̤h 2021
Waama (Yoabu): Waama (Yoabu) ✧ WWA ✧ Niger-Congo, Gur, Oti-Volta, spoken by 50,000 in Benin. Closely related to Mbèlimè and Moba (qq.v.).
21 coonwokiro 2021
Wali {Ghana}: Wali {Ghana} ✧ WLX ✧ Niger-Congo family, Gur, Moré–Dagbani, 140,000 speakers centered around the city of Wa and nearby villages in Ghana’s Upper West Region. Not to be confused with Nilo-Saharan Wali spoken in Sudan. Like Finnic and Turkic languages, Wali exhibits vowel harmony.
21 ‘chiuri ayuobi daana 2021
Wallisian (East Uvean): Wallisian (East Uvean) ✧ WLS ✧ Polynesian, spoken by around 10,000 on Wallis Island of Wallis and Futuna. Akin to Rennell-Bellona and Tongan (qq.v.).
21 sūnio 2021
Walloon: Walloon ✧ WLN ✧ Indo-European, Romance, Langue d’oïl, native to Belgium’s Wallonia region. Its writings date back to the 1500s. Despite its traditional label as a French dialect, Walloon and French show little mutual intelligibility. Unlike French, it uses the letter Å.
21 di djun 2021  
Waorani (Sabela or Auishiri): Waorani (Sabela or Auishiri) ✧ AUC ✧ Language isolate spoken by 2000 mostly Huaorani natives in Ecuador’s Napo, Orellana and Pastaza Provinces plus possibly some “uncontacted” people nearby
21 keningantede 2021
Warao: Warao ✧ WBA ✧ This is an endangered language isolate spoken by 32,000 on Trinidad and along the northeast coast of South America in a thin strip ranging over Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela. The 2015 Venezuelan film Gone with the River is in Warao.
21 waniku mojo matana jisaka 2021
Waray-Waray [Premodern]: Waray-Waray [Premodern] ✧ WAR ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, Central Visayan, 2.6 million speakers. Philippines. Baybayin script shown. Waray-Waray uses a sound, the long unvoiced palatal plosive (IPA c:) that’s extremely rare.
21 jun / purukpukay 2021  
Wayuu (Goajiro): Wayuu (Goajiro) ✧ GUC ✧ Arawakan family, Northern, spoken by 305,000 in northwest Venezuela and northeast Colombia. Vowels can be short or long (a => aa, etc.), as can the consonants m, n, and t.
21 juunio -or- juunia 2021
Welsh (Cymric): Welsh (Cymric) ✧ CYM ✧ Indo-European, Celtic, Brythonic. Over 700,000 speakers in Wales, England, Argentina, Canada, and the US. The F is voiced unless doubled; DD is the voiced th sound (IPA ð) in those.
21 Mehefin “Midsummer” 2021  
Winnebago (Ho-Chunk): Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) ✧ WIN ✧ Siouan family, related to Chiwere (q.v.), native to an area stretching from Lake Michigan’s southwestern shore to east central Minnesota. As in some European languages like Polish and Lithuanian, nasalized vowels are contrastive and marked with ogoneks (a/ą, i/į, u/ų).
21 Mąą hinąʼų wiira -or- Mą́įra’ų́wii “Cultivating month” 2021  
Woleaian: Woleaian ✧ WLE ✧ Malayo-Polynesian, spoken by 1700 in the Federated States of Micronesia. While their language uses foreign loans, Woleaians are otherwise serious about preserving their culture and enforce strict rules against wearing western clothing.
21 gawolouweli merame 2021
Wolof: Wolof ✧ WOL ✧ Niger-Congo language. Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania. The terms “okay” and “hep cat” may possibly have come from Wolof.
21 maamu koor 2021  
Wutun (Ngandehua): Wutun (Ngandehua) ✧ WUH ✧ A preliterate Chinese/Tibetan/Mongolic creole with 2000 speakers in the villages of Upper Wutun and Lower Wutun, Tongren County in China’s eastern Qinghai province.
21 lek-yai 2021
Wymysorys (Wilamowicean/Vilamovian): Wymysorys (Wilamowicean/Vilamovian) ✧ WYM ✧ Germanic language with a small number of mostly elderly speakers in Wilamowice, Poland. University of Warsaw graduate student Tymoteusz Król works to revive and promote the language.
21 jū̇ni 2021  

Xhosa: Xhosa ✧ XHO ✧ Niger-Congo, Southern Bantu, bitonal (though not shown in writing) with many unusual consonants including 18 clicks
21 iSilimela “Month of Pleiades” 2021  
Xincan [Jutiapa]: Xincan [Jutiapa] ✧ XIN ✧ Actually a family of natively extinct isolates, still spoken by a handful in Guatemala as an acquired language. Lots of Mayan loans. The ʔ character signals a glottal stop.
21 takal ʔawa 2021

Yakut (Sakha): Yakut (Sakha) ✧ SAH ✧ Northern Turkic, grammatically genderless, spoken by 450,000 in the Sakha Republic in northern Siberia. (The IPA ɯ or Cyrillic ы, seen below, represents a sound close to the oo in food but pronounced without rounding the lips.)
21 бэс ыйа [bes ɯya] 2021  
Yanesha’ (Amuesha): Yanesha’ (Amuesha) ✧ AME ✧ Arawakan family. Spoken by approx. 7000 Yanesha’ in the Peruvian Amazon. Vowels are A, E, and O, each of which can be long, short, or glottalized (with a creaky intonation). U only occurs with QU, a Spanish holdover to signal a k sound.
21 chechem̃ 2021
Yangben (Central Yambasa): Yangben (Central Yambasa) ✧ YAV ✧ Niger-Congo family, Southern Bantoid, spoken by 17,000 in Cameroon. The children tend to learn French as their second language.
21 ɔsɔn 2021
Yaqui (Hiaki): Yaqui (Hiaki) ✧ YAQ ✧ Uto-Aztecan family, 17,500 speakers in Sonora, Mexico; another 430 in Arizona. Seven noun cases. Special feature: An L in a word can be pronounced instead as an R to indicate disapproval of the subject.
21 busamet 2021  
Yawa: Yawa ✧ YVA ✧ A language from the West Papuan family (perhaps), spoken by 10,000 at Yapen Island’s Cenderawasih Bay, Indonesia
21 yunije 2021
Yi(Nuosu): Yi(Nuosu) ✧ III ✧ Tibeto-Burman language spoken by ethnic Yi in China and southeast Asia
21 jun [futma] 2021  
Yi (Nuosu) [Northern Shengza, Xide]: Yi (Nuosu) [Northern Shengza, Xide] ✧ III ✧ A dialect of Yi spoken by the Shuitian people of Sichuan’s Liangshan Prefecture. To express gratitude in Xide you can say (Romanized) Kax-sha-shaox!
21 vo55 ɬɯ21 “Pig month” 2021
Yiddish (Judaeo-German): Yiddish (Judaeo-German) ✧ YID ✧ Arose from Old High German (q.v.) during the ninth century. It uses Hebrew script adapted to indicate vowels explicitly. Approx. 3 million speakers worldwide.
21 יוני [yuni] 2021  
Yoruba: Yoruba ✧ YOR ✧ Niger-Congo family, spoken in Nigeria and Benin. Heavy Arabic influences. Yoruba also sees liturgical use in Santaría and other Afro-American religions in the Americas and the Caribbean.
21 Oṣù Òkúdu 2021  
Yuchi: Yuchi ✧ YUC ✧ Native American language of unknown ancestry, virtually extinct, Oklahoma
21 Cpaconendzo “Blackberry ripening” 2021
Yugur, Western {China}: Yugur, Western {China} ✧ YBE ✧ Turkic, Yenissei Turkic branch, 4600 speakers in China’s Sunan Yugur Autonomous County. Not to be confused with Uyghur (q.v.), another Turkic language, nor with Eastern Yugur, which isn’t Turkic but Mongolic.
21 ahltïnçï ay 2021
Yukaghir [Tundra]: Yukaghir [Tundra] ✧ YKG ✧ A moribund two-language family, spoken by a few dozen in the Russian Far East. It has or had a sound called the velarized voiced dental/alveolar trill (IPA ”r-) that’s rare if not unique among languages.
21 чуоҕаймэ саҕундьилимэ [čuoɣaime saɣund’ileme] 2021  
Yupik [Central Siberian]: Yupik [Central Siberian] ✧ ESS ✧ Eskimo-Aleut family, Bering Strait area, about 1200 speakers — most of them on the US side. In its modified Cyrillic script, the letter Ђ/ђ represents a gh sound (IPA ɣ), like the German ch in Bach but voiced.
21 Pinaghvik / пинaђвик 2021  
Yup’ik [Chevak Cup’ik]: Yup’ik [Chevak Cup’ik] ✧ ??? ✧ A seriously endangered Yupi’k sub-dialect of Hooper Bay, Alaska. Only a few speakers, critically threatened. Genderless. The apostrophe indicates a geminated (longer) p sound.
21 Kaugun 2021
Yup’ik [Mid-Alaskan]: Yup’ik [Mid-Alaskan] ✧ ESU ✧ Another Yup’ik dialect
21 Kaugun 2021

Zapotec, Isthmus (Juchitán Zapotec): Zapotec, Isthmus (Juchitán Zapotec) ✧ ZAI ✧ Oto-Manguean, Central Zapotec, 85,000 speakers in Tehuantepec and Juchitán in Mexico’s State of Oaxaca. Rich inventory of vowels that come in plain, creaky, and checked — i.e., cut off at the end with a glottal stop.
21 beu' San Antonio “Saint Anthony of Padua month” 2021
Zapotec, Western Tlacolula Valley [Teotitlán del Valle]: Zapotec, Western Tlacolula Valley [Teotitlán del Valle] ✧ ZAB ✧ Documented in 2014 by linguist Brook Danielle Lillehaugen. Of WTV Zapotec’s six dialects, this one is the most divergent. Some 100 elderly speakers remain, in the village of Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, southern Mexico.
21 juny 2021  
Zarma (Dyerma): Zarma (Dyerma) ✧ DJE ✧ Nilo-Saharan family, Songhay group, spoken by 3. 6 million in southwest Niger. Adds Ɲ (N with left hook) and Ŋ (eng) to its alphabet. It uses the letter V for loans, but many of its speakers stumble over that sound.
21 bambana 2021  
Zaza(Zazaki or Dimli): Zaza(Zazaki or Dimli) ✧ ZZA ✧ Indo-European, Indo-Iranian; 2 to 4 million speakers, mostly in Turkey. This is the dialect a Zaza group is proposing as a spoken and literary standard.
21 heziran 2021  
Zaza (Zazaki or Dimli) [Northern]: Zaza (Zazaki or Dimli) [Northern] ✧ KIU ✧ This is the Northern or Zazakiyê Zımey dialect of Zaza, spoken in Turkey’s Erzincan, Erzurum, Gumushane, Kayseri, Mus, Sivas, and Tunceli provinces.
21 amnania verêne 2021
Zhuang: Zhuang ✧ ZHA ✧ Kra-Dai family, six tones, spoken in China’s Guangxi region. It has 16 chief dialects of widely varying interintelligibility. Previously written with a combination of Roman and Cyrillic, Zhuang now uses pure Roman.
21 nin loekj -or- 6 nyied 2021
Zou (Zo) [India]: Zou (Zo) [India] ✧ ZOM ✧ Sino-Tibetan, Kuki-Chin, spoken by 82,000 in Myanmar, India, and by the Bom people in Bangladesh. This is the particular Zou spoken in India.
21 muót hà -or- muah hà 2021
Zou (Zomi) [Chin Hills]: Zou (Zomi) [Chin Hills] ✧ ZOM ✧ This is the Zou spoken in those areas other than India.
21 muót hlà 2021  
Zulu: Zulu ✧ ZUL ✧ Bantu language widely spoken in southern Africa. Uses 15 different clicks, written as single letters, digraphs, and trigraphs.
21 uNhlangula 2021
Zuni: Zuni ✧ ZUN ✧ Language isolate spoken by 9500 descendants of the ancient Anasazi Civilization in New Mexico. An unusual Zuni trait is that it manages to get along without third person pronouns (he, she, it, they).
21 ik’ohbu yachunne “Turning” 2021

Illustration: The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, mid-15th century French Gothic illuminations produced in the Low Countries. Months captioned in two common vernaculars of that time and place, Medieval Picard and Old Dutch.



Notes

1. They didn't, though, not to mention the fact Pope Gregory wouldn’t enter the picture for several more centuries. Etruscans marked dates pretty much like the Romans did; i.e., so many days leading up to the nones or ides, or preceding the start of the next month. The very word “ides,” as a matter of fact, likely derives from an Etruscan term for “divide.”

2. In a number of cases, especially with indigenous languages, the month-to-month correspondence between their own systems — all originally lunar — and the modern Gregorian one was less than definitive but at least strongly implied in the listings I’ve used as sources. This is a self-correcting situation anyway, since as time goes by more and more of them switch from lunar to solar and map themselves to it formally for the sake of modern convenience. Of course the month names of many languages bear no such correspondence, so aside from the special cases for Gaulish and my tweaked version of Tocharian you won’t see them displayed here.

3. Our source for the Gaulish system is the Coligny calendar dating from the 2nd century ce, discovered in France in 1897. Tocharian inherited its calendar from the Chinese system whose year began approximately in mid-February by our reckoning.


current moon phase
Komochizuki ↑
Special thanks:

Douglas Q. Adams (Tocharian B)
I Wayan Arka (Ronggo)
Lorraine Allen and John Ritter (Tutchone varieties)
Ansuharijaz (Frankish and Proto-Germanic reconstructions)
Mira Bergelson, Andrej A. Kibrik, Wayne Leman, and Marina Raskladkina (Ninilchik Russian)
Barbara Webster Black and Friends of Tobi (Tobian)
Roger Blench and Bitrus Kaze of the University of Cambridge (Many African languages)
Krishna Boro of the University of Oregon Deptartment of Linguistics (Hakhun Tangsa)
William Bright and Susan Gehr (Karuk)
Can Dai Quang (Cham)
Bernard Comrie of UC Santa Barbara and Timur Maisak (Bagvalal)
I Love Languages! Youtube author (Many sample videos I’ve linked to)
Eliza Jones, James Kari, Mildred Buck, plus others of the Alaska Native Language Center
František Kratochvíl and Benediktus Delpada (Abui)
Paul Lewis (Akha)
Lin Ying-Chin, Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica, Taipei (Tibetan, Pumi, Qiangic languages)
Ma Seng Mai of Payap University (Wa)
Patsou’s Des Mots et des Langues
Peace Corps language handbooks
Gertjan Postma (Brazilian Pomeranian)
Le Projet Babel (Vosgien Lorrain)
Antoninu Rubattu (Sardinian dialects)
Apay Tang (Truku dialect of Seediq)
Tomedes — Smart Human Translation (Homshetsi)
Suzanne Weryackwe of Arizona State University (Havasupai-Hualapai)
Qinglian Zhao (Naxi)
… and literally hundreds of other sources


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