16.09.

1975: Papua New Guinea: The Country with the Most Languages in the World

1975: Papua New Guinea: The Country with the Most Languages in the World
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ "Asaro Mud Man Kabiufa PNG" by Jialiang Gao peace-on-earth.org - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 16 September 1975
  • Papua New Guinea is the country with the most languages. It is assumed that more than 800 languages are spoken in this country.

On this day in 1975, Papua New Guinea gained independence from Australia.

Today, this country has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Its linguistic and cultural diversity is particularly interesting. Namely, more than 800 languages are spoken in this country, which also “hides” parts of past cultures.

The area of Papua New Guinea covers the eastern part of the island of New Guinea (the second largest island in the world after Greenland), while the western part of the island belongs to Indonesia. The area covers 462,840 square kilometers (similar to Sweden).

Papua New Guinea is the country with the most languages in the world. Namely, the mentioned languages (more than 800 languages) make up about 12% of all world languages. Port Moresby is the capital of Papua New Guinea, and its largest city (although less than a half million people live there). It is interesting to note that Papua New Guinea gained independence from Australia. Before that, it had been part of the British colonial empire.

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