There are about 7,000 languages that are spoken in the world. Of these, fifty are considered global languages, meaning that they are spoken from a global perspective. The remaining languages have a limited scope that can be categorized as regional, national or ethnic. Some countries have several communities speaking diverse languages despite having a national language, while some countries have a large population but a small number of languages. The Linguistic Diversity Index measures the diversity of languages spoken in a country. Zero means it is least diverse, while one represents total diversity. The least linguistically diverse countries in the world are listed below.
The Least Linguistically Diverse Countries in the World
Saint Helena is a tropical island located in South Atlantic Ocean, 2,500 miles east off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The British overseas territory has a population of 4,550 spread across an area of 47 square miles. English is the only language spoken on the island, although its dialect is very different from common English. The interaction and intermarriage of Indian, African Malay, and other immigrants have resulted in one language and no racial differences.
Vatican City State is located within the city of Rome in Italy. It covers an area of about 0.17 square mile and has a population of approximately 1,000. The Vatican constitution does not establish the national or official language but the Legge sulle fonti del diritto, which was an agreement with Italy signed on June 7, 1929, states that all laws and regulations should be in Italian. Two languages, Italian and Latin, are spoken in the Vatican, although use of Latin is decreasing and Italian is becoming more dominant. Its diversity index is zero.
Montenegro is a state located in Southeastern Europe. It has an estimated population of 680,000 spread across an area of 116.5 square miles. The constitution of the state outlines the national language as Montenegrin, although a majority of the population are of Serbian origin while 37 are Montenegrin. Montenegro declared independence from Serbia in June 2006 through an independence referendum although the Serbs were allowed to continue living in the country. There are five languages spoken in the country; four are indigenous, and two languages are institutional languages. Its diversity index is zero.
Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory located in the North Atlantic Ocean. It has a population of approximately 65,000 and covers an area of about 20.5 square miles. There are two languages spoken in the Island: English and Portuguese. Bermudian English exhibits the characters of British, American, and West Indian English. It is the predominant language, but both languages are non-indigenous to the island.
Extinction of Languages
Globalization is giving rise to the adoption of new languages. The need to adopt a global language has led to the extinction of minor languages. Some of the extinct languages include ancient Greek that evolved into modern Green, while the Latin language evolved into Italian, French, Romanian, and Spanish. Some of the languages such as the Yupik of Alaska are at risk of extinction due to the failure of adoption by the new generation. As a result, the Yupik language has been declared as vulnerable because the youngest speaker is 20 years old and in the next 70 years it would cease to exist.