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Salve! হ্যালো। Hello! Hola! Labdien! Laba diena! Salam! Helo! Ahoj!
Good news, language learning enthusiast! Mondly now offers courses for eight new languages: Bengali, Catalan, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Slovak, Tagalog and Urdu. With this new update, the app’s portfolio has grown from 33 to 41 languages surpassing most language learning solutions available on the market. Lucky you!
With Mondly, you can now learn languages ranging from those more commonly studied like English, Spanish, French or Italian to languages for which courses are generally scarce like Finnish, Latvian, Hungarian or Latin. Additionally, Mondly uses localized content allowing you to learn in the language of your choice. All the 41 languages that are now available in the app can be studied from 32 native languages. For example, if you natively speak Spanish, with Mondly you can learn Bengali with a Spanish language interface; or with a German interface if you speak German and want to learn Latin.
Essentially, with Mondly, an entire world of languages is now available at your fingertips. So let’s take a closer look at these eight languages that have recently joined the Mondly family and help you make your choice. What language are you going to speak next?
1. Bengali, the second most widely spoken language of India
The Bengali language is the official and most spoken language in Bangladesh and the second most spoken of the 22 scheduled languages of India (after Hindi). What is more, Bengali is also among the top ten most spoken languages in the world by both native and total number of speakers.
Also known by the endonym Bangla (বাংলা), Bengali has developed over the course of more than one millennium and has one of the most prolific, diverse and fascinating literary traditions in Asia.
If you want to visit or move to South Asia, learning one of the most spoken languages in the world with Mondly is probably the best gift you can give yourself in 2020.
Writing system: the Bengali alphabet, the fifth most widely used writing system in the world.
Spoken in: Bangladesh, India (primarily in the states of West Bengal, Assam, and Tripura); and sizable immigrant communities in the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Middle East.
Native speakers: 228 million
Total number of speakers: 265 million
2. Catalan, the only official language of Andorra
The Catalan language is a member of the Occitano-Roman branch of the Romance language family and has evolved from Vulgar Latin in the Middle Ages around the eastern end of the Pyrenees.
Catalan shares many traits with the other Romance languages (Italian, Sardinian, Occitan, French, Spanish and Portuguese). Yet, despite being spoken mostly in the Iberian Peninsula in close vicinity to Spanish and Portuguese, Catalan is very different from these two languages in terms of pronunciation, grammar, and especially vocabulary. Instead, it shows a closer affinity with languages native to France and northern Italy, particularly the Occitan language.
Thus, even if you speak Spanish, you won’t fully understand Catalan. So now it’s the perfect chance to learn Catalan with Mondly!
Writing system: Latin (the Catalan alphabet)
Spoken in: Andorra and three communities of Spain (Balearic Islands, Catalonia, Valencia) where it is also an official language. Additionally, it is also recognized as a minority language in Alghero (Sardinia, Italy), Aragon (Spain) and in the Pyrénées-Orientales department of France. These regions are often called Països Catalans (Catalan Countries).
Native speakers: 4 million
Total number of speakers: 10 million
3. Latin, the language of science and the Vatican
The Latin language was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium, and then spread with the increase of Roman political power. Then, its development continued in two ways. First, on the basis of local spoken forms that evolved into the modern Romance languages and dialects. Second, in a more or less standardized form as the language of religion and scholarship which subsequently influenced the development of the West European languages.
Although a dead language, Latin is very much alive in our everyday conversations thanks to this connection to many of the present-day languages. For instance, half of the English vocabulary is based on Latin words and roots. Thus, learning Latin would surely help you to better understand other languages too.
Writing system: the Latin alphabet
Spoken in: The Holy See of the Vatican City State
Native speakers: there are no known native Latin speakers
4. Latvian, a language with no more than 2 million speakers
Also known as “Lettish” or “Latviesu Valoda”, the Latvian language is the official language of Latvia and one of the official languages of the European Union.
As a Baltic language, Latvian is most closely related to neighboring Lithuanian. What’s more, linguists claim that, for a long period of time, Latvian and Lithuanian were different dialects of the same language, the differentiation process starting somewhere after 800 CE.
Although having no more than 2 million speakers, Latvian is now officially one of the 41 languages you can learn with Mondly. So what are you waiting for?
Writing system: Latin (the Latvian alphabet)
Spoken in: Latvia
Native speakers: 1.76 million
5. Lithuanian, one of two living Baltic languages along with Latvian
Lithuanian is the official language of Lithuania and, same as Latvian, one of the 24 official languages of the European Union. Along with Latvian, Lithuanian is one of the two* last surviving Baltic languages.
*Some linguists claim that Latgalian is a third surviving Baltic language, but it is highly disputed whether Latgalian is a separate language with heavy Latvian influence or just a distinct Eastern dialect of Latvian.
What makes Lithuanian special is the fact that it is often said to be the most conservative living Indo-European language, retaining Proto-Indo-European features that are now lost in other languages. Hence, if you want to add a really unique language to your portfolio, you can now learn Lithuanian with Mondly.
Writing system: Latin (the Lithuanian alphabet)
Spoken in: Lithuania and Poland (as a recognized minority)
Native speakers: 2.6 million
Total number of speakers: 3 million
6. Slovak, the sister language of Czech
Slovak or sometimes Slovakian, is also an official language of the European Union and it is closely related to Czech and Polish. The same as other Slavic languages, Slovak is a fusional language with a complex morphology system and a relatively flexible word order.
Slovak can be considered a sister language of Czech (also available to learn in Mondly) because of their very high degree of mutual intelligibility. Meaning, if you already know one language you will probably understand most of the second for there are no sharp linguistic frontiers between them.
Starting now, you can learn both Slovak and Czech with Mondly.
Writing system: Latin (the Slovak alphabet)
Spoken in: Slovakia, Vojvodina (an autonomous province of Serbia), Poland and Hungary
Native speakers: 5.2 million
Total number of speakers: 7.2 million
7. Tagalog, the base for Pilipino, the official language of the Philippines
The Tagalog language is a member of the Austronesian language family and the base of the Filipino language, the official language of the Philippines (together with English). Essentially, Filipino is the standardized form of Tagalog.
Tagalog, like other Philippines languages today, is written using the Latin alphabet. However, prior to the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, the Tagalog language was written using the Baybayin system which was an abugida, or an alphasyllabary, rather than an alphabet.
The word “tagalog” is derived from taga-ilog (“river dweller”), composed of the word tagá- (“native of” or “from”) and the word ilog (“river”). The endonym is a possible reference to the origin of the Tagalog people.
Do you want to find out more about this fascinating language? Start learning Tagalog today with Mondly.
Writing system: Latin (the Tagalog/Filipino alphabet)
Spoken in: Philippines (also spoken by the Philippines diaspora)
Native speakers: 23.6 million
Total number of speakers: 23.8 million
8. Urdu, the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan
Also known as Lashkari (لشکری), the Urdu language is a member of the Indo-European family of languages, the official state language of Pakistan and one of the 22 scheduled languages of India.
The same as the above-mentioned Slovak, Urdu has as well a sister language: Hindi. Colloquial Urdu is largely mutually intelligible with colloquial Hindi (also available to learn with Mondly). In fact, they are so similar in phonology and grammar that they appear to be one language.
However, in terms of lexicon, Urdu and Hindi have borrowed extensively from different sources: Urdu from Persian and Arabic, and Hindi from Sanskrit. Additionally, they use different writing systems. Therefore, Urdu and Hindi are regarded as different and independent languages you can now learn with Mondly.
Writing system: Urdu is written right-to-left in an extension of the Persian alphabet, which is itself an extension of the Arabic alphabet. However, Urdu speakers in India have recently adopted Devanagari for publishing Urdu periodicals.
Spoken in: Pakistan, India, United Arab Emirates and Nepal
Native speakers: 68.6 million
Total number of speakers: 170 million
Learn 41 languages with Mondly
Twelve of the currently available learning choices in Mondly for iPhone rank among the hardest languages for native English speakers to learn, ten of them have under ten million speakers worldwide and thirteen of them have over 100 million speakers worldwide. There’s an option for everyone. Just make your choice and embark on the most fun ride you ever had to fluency!