Language: It's How We Communicate!

When people want to share ideas, they talk to each other.  Language is an invention, an arrangement of sounds, a common system of speech.  If two people speak the same language, they should be able to understand each other.  There are about 6500 different languages spoken on earth. 

Different Languages

The human brain has specialized parts that are used to create speech and understand what other people say.  Most people don't think about this ability until they lose it because of an accident or stroke.

All animals communicate with others in their species.  Dogs bark, cats meow, birds sing and they understand each other.  Humans have taught some animals a few words for commands. Dogs respond to commands like come, sit, and stay.  Scientists have taught chimpanzees simple sign language.

Dinosaurs, dodo birds, and wooly mammoths are all extinct but languages can become extinct as well.  If the number of people who speak a language is very small, maybe just ten or less, then that language is in danger of becoming extinct.  It is considered extinct when no living person speaks that language. 

If you count the number of speakers of any language, you'll know which languages are the most used on the planet.  Can you guess which language is the most spoken?  It's Mandarin, next is Spanish, then English and then Hindi. Number five is Arabic, then Portuguese and number six is Bengali.

No one can communicate without language.  The inability to speak is called

Aphasia.  People have other ways to communicate besides spoken language, they sometimes use sign language or body language.  We use written language in emails or through letters.  Pantomime is a way to communicate with someone who doesn't speak your language.  Some people believe they can communicate their thoughts telepathically.  What do you think?