There are over 6,000 languages in use around the world, ranging in size from those with hundreds of millions of speakers to those with only one or two. All have rich vocabularies to describe the environment, actions, thoughts and feelings of the people who speak them. In this highly illustrated and accessible work, a team of scholars examines a wealth of distinct languages. Organized by region, each main entry details number of speakers, geographical spread, growth and development, and key features. Two comprehensive chapters consider endangered and extinct languages, and an extensive map section shows the dissemination of language groups. Linguists estimate that by 2050 half of our languages will be extinct, so there could be no more important time to examine the diversity, complexity and beauty of human language.