Have you ever wondered: what’s the world’s weirdest language? Where does my primary language rank on the “weird” scale? What makes a language weird? Well, look no further!
Researchers at Idibon, a natural language processing company, compared 239 of the languages spoken on Earth to see how similar – or not – they are. Using the World Atlas of Language Structures, they coded 21 characteristics such as the order subjects, objects and verbs appear in a sentence, and how a language constructs a question versus a statement. And it was determined that the weirdest language, spoken by a total population of 6,000 people worldwide, is Chalcatongo Mixtec.
Chalcatongo Mixtec is spoken mainly in Oaxaca, Mexico, and is considered the weirdest language because it is the most unique when compared to the other languages spoken throughout the world. For example, the language has no way of determining questions from statements; things like “Are you well?” and “You are well” sound exactly the same.
In the overall ranking, the top three weirdest languages are fairly obscure, spoken only in niche communities. Others, however, are more widely spoken; German ranks number 10, and English 33rd. No one region holds a collection of strange languages, but instead they’re scattered around the world! Mandarin is ranked one of the strangest languages, while Cantonese is considered one of the most “normal.” Linguistic families don’t necessarily hold similarities either – those considered Romance languages are scattered across the board in terms of “weirdness.”
Every language is unique in its own way, yet some are similar enough that people who are not native speakers can understand basics by listening to sound and sentence structure. That’s what makes some languages “weird” - they are so unique, only certain communities can understand and speak them. And some that may sound weird - like Hindi - are actually very normal or basic when broken down.
Top 10 weird languages:
- Mixtec (Chalcatongo)
- Diegueño (Mesa Grande)
- Oromo (Harar)
- Armenian (Eastern)
While Jarvisen doesn’t translate every language on the “weird” list – sorry, Chalcatongo Mixtec – the smart language translator does cover 60 languages worldwide. Translate languages from all over the world – from the weird to the mundane – in seconds! Purchase your very own today: https://www.jarvisen.com/products/jarvisen-translator