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Common Questions About Languages

What Are The Most Widely Spoken Languages?

What are the most widely spoken languages in the world? Well, some of them are no-brainers, like English! Or...

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What`s the Easiest Language to Learn?

The most common question among people with a passing interest in language learning is probably "What is the...

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What is the Hardest Language to Learn?

A very common question among people who are tinkering with the idea of studying a new language is...

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  • Mem

    I have seen your Youtube account and it is great on Language families and their historical evolvment, distribution and the speech of various languages very good and very organised however i would like to make a couple of suggestions if thats ok

    You could do one group with various videos on isolate languages as you did in your Maltese video with Albanian, Greek, Basque and the Caucasian languages of Armenian and Georgian

    Another video you could do are languages that are an anomaly today but great historically and isolated to minorities Nahautl and other pre-Colombian languages, Slavic Glagolitic, Coptic and Syriac.

  • Stephen Nightingale


    I’m responding to your Youtube post about English as a Germanic language. In it, you make the point that great changes were made between Old English and Middle English over a comparatively short period, essentially during the early part of the Anglo-Saxon hegemony. I’m interested in the question of what was the driving force behind that change.

    If you consider that about 63% of the English people even now are genetically British (greater percentages for Welsh and Scots), then their original pre-Anglian language family was most likely Brythonic: Welsh, Cumbric, Cornish (and Breton). The contact between the native Britons and the invading Anglians necessarily forced them both to speak a pidgin of the invaders’ language, and that would be a sufficient driving force to de-inflect and grammaticalize the Anglian invading language. There wouldn’t be much written-language drag on this process because most who were writing were doing it in Latin (Gildas was a Briton. Bede was Anglian). If this idea is correct then at the same time we should see a diminution and (further) fragmentation of the Brythonic languages. Cumbric went extinct about this time (though see the counting system for sheep used by Lake District and Yorkshire shepherds; and the name of our famous Yorkshire mountain Pen-Y-Ghent), Cornish barely hung on (actually into the 20th Century),Welsh persisted, though it is quite radically split between literary and colloquial forms, and there were till recently only about 1/2 million speakers, the majority bilingual with English.

    All this begs a further question, which is that considering the Romans were in Britain for about 250 years, why didn’t the natives end up speaking a creole formed from Brythonic and Latin, which ought to be evident in modern Welsh but is apparently not? This suggests to me that the Roman occupation was a whole lot more benign than the Anglo-Saxon one was, since they were less concerned about eradicating native culture and more concerned about extracting resources for the use of the Empire.

    I really wish we knew more about the mechanics of the transition. Unfortunately, the scant amounts that are written about it were written by the winners, mostly in Latin.


    Stephen Nightingale.

  • Dubosky Afonso

    Can you make a video about relation with portugues language and galician language?

  • Thomas

    Paul, what’s the oldest language?

  • شیر

    Salaam Paul, chetowr-e?
    (Slang for “How Are You?”)

    I was wondering if you could do a video of the language Pashto! I know you did one on Farsi and its 2 brothers (Dari and Tajik Persian) and I have been wanting to see a video and hear your thoughts on the language ever since.

    !!!خدا حافظ

  • Nel


  • Laura Axelsen

    Hello! What are the languages that you speak? I am sorry if it is posted somewhere. I haven’t seen it.

  • pjocaz

    What strategies do you recommend when learning two or three languages at one time? Each language every day? One week with one language then rotate? I have a solid base in two languages but need to keep working on each but I’m learning a third at which I am a novice, yet.

  • James Britt

    Could you make a video that describes all the types of verbs, across as many languages as possible? There are many, many videos on YouTube that describe the types of verbs in English, but no videos about verbs as a concept across languages. Thanks in advance.

  • Tim

    I am from Arkansas. We have many “problems” with our spoken and written English. However, I now live in Toronto, Ontario where I am constantly met with highly educated people that have forgotten about prepositions. My Canadian wife thinks I’m crazy, but I find it troubling to hear sentences like, “You can play when you are done your dinner” or “I plan on traveling once I’m done university.” I know you are Canadian, but I’m not sure where you are from or how widespread this quirk of language is. I would love to have your take on it.