It is difficult to tell exactly how many languages there are in the world today. ___SCIENTISTS___ say there are about 2,700 languages, but no one has ever made a more definite count. In most countries there are at least two native languages, and in some cases — as in Cameroon — there are hundreds. The number of languages ___NATURALLY___ changes as tribes die out or linguistic groups are absorbed.
Nowadays, globalization influences the ___DEVELOPMENT___ of languages. New words appear, existing words acquire new meanings, native words give way to international terms.
Almost all languages change. A rare exception is written Icelandic, which has changed so little that ___SPEAKERS___ of modern Icelandic can read sagas written a thousand years ago. If you drew a map of Europe based on languages, it would be different from a conventional map. For example, Switzerland would practically ___DISAPPEAR___, becoming part of the surrounding areas of French, Italian, and German. Italy, too, would appear on the map not as one language, but as a whole ___VARIETY___ of broadly related but often mutually incomprehensible dialects.