In Asia, there are more than 2,300 languages and 2,000 dialects. This is not surprising as the area of this continent is the most extensive than any other. To make it easier for researchers or language learners, the Asian common language has the Asia language family as a classification. They are Altaic, Austroasiatic, Austronesian, Caucasian, Dravidian, Indo-European, Afro-Asiatic, Siberian, Sino-Tibetan, and Kra-Dai. On the other hand, there is an interesting fact that Russian is also spoken in Asia. Then, what languages can you find on this continent?
Khmer is the official language of Cambodia and is also spoken in Southeast Thailand and Southern Vietnam. This language is classified as ancient because it was developed in the 7th century using the writing system from South India.
Russia has a strong influence in Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Therefore, the official language of the population is Russian and is used in various aspects such as literature, diplomacy, and trade.
Hong Kong, Macau, Canton, along with other cities in Guangdong and southern Guangxi use this language as their official language. Compared to Mandarin, Cantonese has different language features. In addition, the number of Cantonese speakers is also several fold more.
Laos is a country that geographically is bound by several countries such as Cambodia. Laotian is the official language and it is also influenced by these countries. To distinguish words, different tones are needed, so this language is categorized as monosyllabic.
This language can be found in Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, and parts of India. The most common dialect is Lhasa now that it is the capital area. This language is closely related to the spread of Buddhism, so that it can also be found in Western as the language of instruction for Buddhist scriptures and prayers.
There are four tones to speak Mandarin. Meanwhile, the written language uses more than 100,000 characters called logograms. For the most spoken language in Asia, Chinese Mandarin has 1,3 billion speakers in China and other countries regarding business matters.
Although English is used as national business in India, Hindi as an Indo-Aryan derived language is a first language. The number of speakers is 425 million people, along with the Fiji population who also speak this language.
This language has two major dialects based on the people who speak it. The first dialect is used in Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, while others can be found in Indonesia. As a result, Malay is a first language and second language for each population, with 33 million speakers as a total.
Indonesian has similarity to Malay for the standard version. The writing system is Latin script, so it will be nice for foreigners to study this language. On Thursday, 7th January 2016, the mayor of New Hampshire, United States, Dana S. Hilliard, used Indonesian when stating the Pledge of Faith when he was sworn in to fill the position. In fact, usually English and French are used. This is because he has a close relationship with the Indonesian community there.
Without a doubt, you know that this language is spoken in Thailand. However, some countries such as Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Cambodia also use it for daily communication. Another fact is, the number of speakers is 60 million people which represents of 2% Asia’s total population.
You can find this language in Myanmar or formerly called Burma. The number of speakers are 32 million people worldwide. Meanwhile, the writing system is called “ca-lonh” which means round script.
One of the Asia common languages is Filipino, in which the standard version of Tagalog. Besides, English is also the official language. Filipino and Tagalog have similar language features, but it turns out to be different according to the area used. Filipino is spoken nationwide, while Tagalog is mainly spoken in Central Luzon.
Can you guess the interesting facts of this language? Besides the number of speakers is quite a lot, namely 121 million people, it is also spoken outside Japan. Small Japanese communities across American Samoa, Hawaii, Europe, Australia, and the Americas are also speakers. Japan has three writing systems, they are Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.
Vietnamese is the Asia language family of Mon-Khmer. Due to the Chinese Empire’s colonialism in 111 BC, many words are adopted from Chinese. Moreover, the number of speakers reached 75 million people.
Both South and North Korea use this one as an official language. However, there are minor spelling or vocabulary choice differences. The number of speakers of Korean or Kugo reached 73 million people and it will increase due to business matters around the world.
At least, there are 15 common languages that can be found easily for foreigners to study. Meanwhile, the list shows that Chinese Mandarin is the most spoken language in Asia. How can it be? The essential factors are the numbers of the population and the power to expand the business around the world.