introduction

Has it ever occurred to you that you heard the name of a language and asked yourself what kind of language it could be? This web site has been made to answer that question as well as to provide you with some extra information.
My language database consists of different parts. Some explanation on each part:

Language overview

Here you will find a list of around 1350 languages and dialects. Each language is followed by the language group, language family and geographical use area. An atlas is an indispensable tool to use with this information. Indeed, the language area has been given as detailed as possible. E.g. in order to know where in Canada the St.Lawrence river is, you will need an atlas. Logically, not all existing languages have been listed. Depending on the source you use, there are 4,000 to 7,000 languages and many thousands more of dialects. Many languages, like indian languages, are still unknown. Still, many indian languages have been entered in this list. The language area is another problem. Wars, famine, and other events can move people from one area to another. With them a language may move, which can allow for some errors. Still, I do believe that most languages have been correctly situated. The break-up of countries (e.g. USSR, Yugoslavia) can also cause incorrect information. A final problem is the dialects. It is not always easy to decide when a language is a language or a dialect.

Some practical remarks:
1. when a language (eg. Albanian) is spoken outside the country (eg. Albania), then we are dealing with an (un)important minority group.
2. if no language area is given with a dialect, then the dialect is being spoken in the same language area as the main language (or in a part of that area)
3. The name of a language can have different spellings. I have tried to use the existing English spelling as much as possible.

Language families and groups

This lists a large number language families and their language groups. Only those languages have been entered of which it is certain to what group and what family they belong to.

Scripts and alphabets

This part lists some alphabets and scripts. Nowadays there are over 400 known writing systems, not including those scripts that have been mentioned in ancient writings, but of which no samples have been found (yet). With each system you get some explanation.

Although these lists are not complete, I do hope they will be useful to all those that are interested in language.