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  • How many languages are there? The answer may surprise you.

    Have you ever wondered how many languages there are, how they are related, or where they come from? Was there a first language? The TED video we use for our latest English listening exercise may not be able to answer these questions definitively, but explains why they are so difficult to answer, and what we can learn from studying the relationships of languages.

    Watch the video below, then see if you can answer the listening questions.

    <iframe src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/iWDKsHm6gTA” width=”560″ height=”315″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”></iframe>

    <strong>Answer the questions below in comments, and we’ll respond.</strong>

    1. We do know that the thousands of languages existing today can be _____ _____ to a much smaller number.

    2. What does the phrasal verb above mean?

    3. So how did we ____ ___ with so many?

    4. What does the phrasal verb above mean?

    5. So how do we determine whether languages are related in the ____ ____?

    6. Why don’t similar sounding words help use determine if languages are related?

    7. What comparison does she make with Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese?

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