Linguistics and Strategic Studies: An Introductory Course
Instructor - Alfia Wallace

Linguistics is the scientific study of language. It encompasses every aspect of language and how it affects human life. There are many different areas of linguistics.

Strategic Studies

Strategy is a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result. It can be used by nations, corporations, non-profit or religious institutions and other organized special interest groups to achieve common goals.

How does linguistics fit in with strategic studies?

Russian keyboardIn a global economy, nations and institutions are constantly on the lookout for new markets. They want to be able to reach people by speaking to them in a language they can understand. In order to do this, they also first have to understand what is being said. Studying the most commonly spoken languages in the world will give access to the largest number of people. In some instances organizations may want to bring marginal (smaller) groups into a mainstream, and this can have effects on uncommon languages. In other instances, organizations and governments may want to infiltrate (get into) a particular group and so may need people who can understand and speak that group's dialect or language. Some examples are missionaries, relief workers and spies. Here are more examples:

What is spoken where?

Let's start by finding out about the languages of the world. Linguists estimate that there are 5,000 - 6,000 mutually unintelligible languages or dialects in the world. Ethnologue lists 6,912. (See How Many Languages are there in the World?) Of these many are extinct and only about 200 are spoken by more than one million people.

Most Spoken Languages. Everyone agrees that Mandarin Chinese has the most speakers but there is some dispute over what the order of the rest are. Here are a couple of lists so that you can compare. Comrie & Weber | UNESCO | Ethnologue |

Internet Users by Language - What are the most common languages on the Internet?


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