When people are asked how many languages they think there are in the world, the answers vary quite a bit. One random sampling of New Yorkers, for instance, resulted in answers like “probably several hundred.” However we choose to count them, though, this is not close.
When we look at reference works, we find estimates that have escalated over time. The 1911 (11th) edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, for example, implies a figure somewhere around 1,000, a number that climbs steadily over the course of the twentieth century. That is not due to any increase in the number of languages, but rather to our increased understanding of how many languages are actually spoken in areas that had previously been underdescribed.
Much pioneering work in documenting the languages of the world has been done by missionary organizations (such as the Summer Institute of Linguistics, now known as SIL International) with an interest in translating the Christian Bible. As of 2009, at least a portion of the bible had been translated into 2,508 different languages, still a long way short of full coverage. The most extensive catalog of the world’s languages, generally taken to be as authoritative as any, is that of Ethnologue (published by SIL International), whose detailed classified list as of 2009 included 6,909 distinct languages.
Only English for me, but I used to be fluent in French (you don't use it, you lose it), and I studied Latin.
I attended a unique bi-lingual elementary school and took everything in french (except English, lol). But math, science, art, health etc were all in French. Then I studied Latin for 5 years through middle and high school. I also took French again through high school, easy A!! lol
I find that I can understand a lot of spoken Spanish from my French and Latin history. And I can still understand spoken french (20+ years later), but only respond minimally now.
I'm a native English speaker and I'm learning German. I can understand most of what people are talking about in German, but my speaking capabilities are a bit broken. I use it a lot though when going about my life here, giving directions, ordering, complaining, going to the vet, doctors, and well speaking to some friends and family. At least with German the grammar isn't too bad outside of learning the gender words/when to use them.
I tried learning Spanish in High School, but I was too confident when I started that I became pretty bad at it haha. Some words stuck and had helped in certain situations.
I'm a native English speaker, and I speak conversational Spanish. I spoke the language very well as a young child, because my dad is fluent, but I don't speak it as much anymore. You don't use it, you lose it.
I am fluent in English, can speak mangled Canadian French and understand bits of German. I might know more Michif (Language of the Metis people here in Canada) than I think, as my dad speaks it, as did my grandparents on my dad's side
I like to think I'm fluent in German (native) and in fluent English but after more than 10 years in OZ I'm not so sure about the former any more.
Had 6 years of French lessons in school...have not retained much unfortunately.