Quiz: Can You Match the Country to the Language Spoken There?
Can You Match the Country to the Language Spoken There?
By: Zoe Samuel
Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Our world is incredibly linguistically diverse. There are 196 countries and about 6,500 languages, of which 4,000 have more than 1,000 speakers. The most popular language is Mandarin Chinese, with Spanish and English taking the second and third spots. Of course, some languages are spoken in more than one country, either because of a history of imperialism and war, or because of a shared cultural history where a geographical boundary ends up feeling rather arbitrary. Other languages are spoken only in a single community within a single country, perhaps due to - again - a history of imperialism or perhaps the slow evolution of two cultures which meet and trade ideas, with the smaller group typically adopting the bigger group's language.

Beyond this, there are a number of languages that are only spoken by academics, as they are technically considered to be dead. These include Norse, Anglo-Saxon, Ancient Greek, Latin and a variety of similar languages. They are thus very exclusive and no longer yoked to any particular country, being more a feature of a particular library or educational institution.

This quiz is not about that last group. It's about the glorious, living, messy absurdity of languages that are spoken in one country or several. Can you tell us the country if we give you the language? Let's find out!

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