The World's Major Languages: Development & Diffusion


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Why are Mandarin and Hindi widely spoken languages?

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1. Approximately how many languages exist in the world?

2. Which of the following is NOT a factor in the spread of languages over time?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

This quiz/worksheet combo will test your understanding of world languages, and in order to pass the quiz, you will need to know how many languages exist in the world, the world's most spoken language, and what happens to languages over time.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In these assessments you'll be asked to recall:

  • The term or phrase for a set of languages that shares a common ancestry
  • How many languages exist in the world, according to linguists
  • An event(s) that may influence a change in the development of a language
  • The world's most widely spoken language
  • What happens to languages over time, from a linguistic perspective

Skills Practiced

This quiz and worksheet allow students to test the following skills:

  • Making connections - use understanding of the concept of language development and diffusion in regards to the world's major languages
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding how languages change over time
  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information about world languages from the related lesson

Additional Learning

To learn more about how languages around the world have evolved over time, check out the accompanying lesson called The World's Major Languages: Development & Diffusion. This lesson covers the following objectives:

  • Identify the number of languages found around the world, and those most widely used
  • Understand various ways that languages become more widely spoken, including those related to population, economics, war, invasions, trade, and cultural changes
  • Explain how languages and their standards evolve over time