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20 Rare Languages Still Spoken Today

20 Rare Languages Still Spoken Today
(Last Updated On: September 5, 2023)
A century is a long time in a person’s life. But when we judge by the age of a society, a century is not that long. Humans have been around for 200,000 years, which is a long time, and the reason we have managed to accomplish so much. We had time to experiment and create things. We managed to improve whatever our ancestors created. Today, many things may appear perfect to us, but our future generations would think differently. As time pass, things change, and that is not something we can stop. In our 200,000 years on earth, we have learned that change is inevitable, and everything we have created will get replaced.


Culture is the most personal thing society came up with. It defines the people of a community and regulates their everyday life. There are many aspects of culture, but the most important one is language. It is impossible to figure out what was the first language spoken by humans, but we do know some ancient tongues. We can also figure out which is the least spoken language. But languages die too even if they were quite famous at some point. Latin is a good example of this because it was a very powerful tongue once, but today, it does not have a single native speaker. Out of all the seven thousand languages spoken today, experts are sure that half of them will become extinct within a hundred years.

Rare Languages
  • What are the top 20 most spoken languages in the world?

    Here are the top 20 most spoken languages in the world:

    1. English
    2. Mandarin
    3. Hindi
    4. Spanish
    5. French
    6. Standard Arabic
    7. Bengali
    8. Russian
    9. Portuguese
    10. Indonesian
    11. Urdu
    12. Standard German
    13. Japanese
    14. Swahili
    15. Marathi
    16. Telugu
    17. Western Punjabi
    18. Wu Chinese
    19. Tamil
    20. Turkish
  • What are all the languages in the world?

    Language defines our cultural identity. More than seven thousand languages are spoken in the world. Some of them have less than a thousand speakers and are at the risk of becoming extinct. While others have millions of speakers. English and Mandarin are two vernaculars with over a billion speakers. Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages.

  • What are the 5 most common languages in the world?

    Here are the 5 most common languages in the world:

    • English language, the vernacular that is the lingua franca of our planet
    • Spanish, which is the official language of more than twenty countries
    • French, which is spoken in nearly thirty countries
    • Hindi, which is not only popular in India but also in the Indian diaspora
    • Standard Arabic, the language of the Arab world
  • What are the 10 most spoken languages in the world?

    Here are the ten most spoken languages in the world:

    • English, the American language, is the lingua franca of our planet
    • Mandarin Chinese, the official language of China
    • Spanish, the vernacular that is spoken in all of Latin America
    • Hindi, the official language of India
    • French, the romance language, is one of the widely spoken vernaculars
    • Urdu, the official language of Pakistan
    • Standard Arabic, the lingua franca of the Arab world
    • Russian
    • Portuguese
    • Indonesian
  • What is the rarest language to speak?

    Kaixana is an unknown language spoken because it only has one speaker left today. Kaixana has never been very popular. But it had 200 speakers in the past. However, that number has been reduced to a single digit today. Learning is a complicated task since there isn’t much known about the vernacular.

  • How many languages are still spoken today?

    Hundreds of languages exist in this world. The people of the world speak more than seven thousand languages today. It is difficult to know the exact number. There are many small communities that have not had any contact with the outside world, which is why it is impossible to learn about their languages. But the recorded languages of today are more than seven thousand in number.

  • What is the world’s oldest language still spoken today?

    The oldest language that is still spoken today is Tamil. It has been around for at least 5000 years. It is spoken in India by more than 60 million speakers. Other old languages that are still spoken in the world today with little changes are Greek, Hebrew, Egyptian, and Farsi. Sanskrit is another language that has been around for more than 3000 years but it is only spoken by Hindu priests nowadays.

  • Is Belarusian a dying language?

    Belarusian is quickly losing importance in Belarus as more and more people are using Russian in their everyday conversations. Although Belarusian is not at risk currently but if the trend of people preferring Russian over it continued, it will be a dead language in the future. Only the native speakers of the vernacular can work to save it from dying.

20 Rare Languages Still Spoken Today:

The world does not give up on things easily, which is why there are still plenty of rare languages that are spoken today. These tongues are either endangered or extinct, with only a handful of speakers. Here are twenty such tongues that are still in use today:

  1. Njerep:

Njerep is the rarest language that has been declared extinct by experts. It is native to Cameroon and does not have more than five speakers today. These speakers are not fluent in the tongue.

  1. Turkish Bird Language:

Known as Kuş Dili in Turkish, this bird language is one of the most uncommon languages in the world. It has no alphabet and is made up entirely of whistles and melodies. Since mobile phones help people communicate over long distances now, this tongue is in danger of becoming extinct.

  1. Kalasha-mun:

It is the language of the Kalash people of Chitral, Pakistan. With only five thousand speakers, it is considered at risk by experts.

  1. Chamicuro:

With no native speakers alive, this tongue from Peru is considered dormant. However, a dictionary of Chamicuro exists, which can help those who want to learn it.

  1. Ongota:

This Ethiopian tongue only has 12 speakers, and all of them are elderly. It is unclear which family Ongota belongs to.

  1. Liki:

This Indonesian tongue is nearly extinct today. It had eleven speakers in 2005, and none of them were children.

  1. Sarcee:

Spoken by the Tsuutʼina Nation, this tongue had 150 speakers in 2016. Plenty of information is available about the grammar and sentence structure of Sarcee.

  1. Pirahã:

This indigenous language is native to Brazil and has between 250 to 380 speakers. Out of all the dialects of Mura, it is the only one that has survived.

  1. Pawnee:

Spoken by the Pawnee Native Americans, this gradually lost its importance. There are only ten speakers of this tongue today as children focus more on English.

  1. Lemerig:

If you are wondering what is the least spoken language in the world then Lemerig with only two speakers is the answer.

  1. Chemehuevi:

Named after its speakers, the Chemehuevi was in danger of becoming extinct in 2008 when only three people could understand it. But efforts have been made to revive it.

  1. Paakantyi:

This Australian language only had four speakers in 2005, but the number had increased to 42 in 2016.

  1. Rotokas:

Spoken on the island of Bougainville, Rotokas has only 13 alphabets. It had 4,300 speakers in 1981.

  1. Ormuri:

Spoken by the 2300 years old tribe of the Burki people. It had 6000 speakers in 2004. The importance of Pashto in the region has endangered Ormuri.

  1. Tunebo:

Tunebo is spoken by the Uwa people of Colombia. It has approximately 3600 native speakers. It is one of the few rare languages that have a writing system and dictionary.

  1. Jedek:

Austroasiatic language is spoken in the Malay Peninsula by 280 people. Although it is critically endangered, its speakers are committed to keeping it alive.

  1. Mudbura:

This aboriginal language is spoken by 92 people in Australia. The number is expected to decline when the older generations that know the language pass away.

Rare Languages
  1. Hértevin:

This rare language is spoken by a thousand people. It originated in Turkey, but over time, its speakers moved to different parts of the world. Most speakers of Hértevin are isolated today.

  1. Sentinelese:

This tongue is spoken by the Sentinelese people. Its speakers can be anywhere between 100 to 250. Not much is known about the tongue since outsiders are not allowed on the island of Sentinelese people.

  1. Ishkashimi:

Spoken in Afghanistan and Tajikistan, this tongue does not have more than 3000 speakers. There is no writing system of Ishkashimi, which is why it is quite difficult to study.

Everything in our world is temporary, which is why it is so important to our culture and languages. Just because a vernacular has speakers in millions doesn’t mean it won’t become extinct in the future. Everything around us deserves our attention because it can disappear at any moment.

Most unknown language among us

Silbo Gomero, it is an incredibly unique and fascinating language because it has no verbs or nouns i.e. no grammatical structures

Most unique languages

Chinese, Arabic, Korean, Archi, Basque, Hungarian, Irish, Swahili

Top 10 most unknown and obscure language

  1. Silbo Gomero
  2. Xhosa
  3. Archi
  4. Sentinelese
  5. Rotokas
  6. Michif
  7. Koro
  8. Pirahã
  9. Pawnee
  10. Taa


The UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger includes more than 20 languages that are endangered or only one speaker. This list also includes endangered and vulnerable languages. These languages are only spoken by a few people and the aboriginal language count is also high, have no resources for language education. With fewer speakers, younger generations are less likely to want to learn these languages. Many languages that are still used are considered “extinct languages” and cannot even be taught.

How Many Languages Are Dying?

To be called alive, a language must constantly expand and change as new words are added. Technology and social changes are to blame for this, for example, by introducing hitherto unknown technology, social media, and youth-driven urges. Many people consider Latin to be a dead language or have a risk of extinction because no one contributes to it anymore. It is, nevertheless, still widely used in the legal and medical professions. Many of the languages on the 7k+ list are in the process of extinction.

Specific languages are prioritized, much like the survival of the fittest. The English language is now extensively spoken all over the world. And when countries give some languages priority in schools, others have a slight chance of surviving. When children are no longer taught a language, there are no future speakers to keep the language alive. As the existing speakers grow older and pass away, they leave behind a world of information that will never be restored. This is how many languages become extinct. The ease or difficulty of learning another language can depend on your mother tongue. If this system differs a lot from your native tongue, it provides quite a headache when trying to understand it.

It may surprise you that there are 165 indigenous languages in North America alone. However, only a handful of now-elderly persons speak the majority of them. Only eight of them are spoken by over 10,000 people. These languages have a slim chance of surviving.  One might glance at a continent like South America and see that most countries speak Spanish. The long-term loss of languages can be attributed to demographic trends. Languages from Asia,  Africa, and Australia became extinct as European settlers traveled around the world in the Americas. If current trends continue, Ethnologue estimates that at least 3,000 languages will be extinct by the century. Today, about half of the total list has been completed!


There are 7139 languages are active in the world in 2022.

Kawishana is the rarest language in the world.

Mandarin is the hardest language in the world.

Because there are 1,132 million English speakers worldwide, English is regarded as the world’s most important language.

French is regarded as the most beautiful language in the world.

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