Discover fascinating facts about communication in all its forms, from around the world and over time
Engaging factual writing introduces young readers to the most interesting aspects of languages, how they evolve and change over time.
Humans’ use of language is one of our distinguishing features. Language allows us to communicate what we think, what we want, what we feel, and what we have learned. Some 100,000 years ago, humans began speaking. Since then, we have developed nearly 7000 languages. Languages are living things; they evolve and change over time. They even travel! People carry their language with them and spread it. Large language families even have their own family trees, such as Spanish, French, English. Different languages can be mixed and combined to create new languages with similar words, pronunciation, and grammar rules. Languages can even become extinct if they are not shared and learned by each new generation. Spoken languages are not the only way we communicate. Sign language, Morse code, semaphore, smoke signals, computer codes - humans have invented numerous ways of communicating. Sharing feelings, thoughts, and ideas through the power of language is an essential part of being human.