How many words are in the English language?

September 16, 2015

Fall is here and that means back to school with fun facts and figures! At INGCO International, we love learning random facts and figures.

Have you ever wondered how many words are in the English language?

We knew you were dying to know…

[drum roll please]

As of January 1st, 2014, the number of words in the English language was: 1,025,109.8. This is the estimate by the Global Language Monitor. (You can find the complete article here.) The average native-English speaking adult has about 20,000 words in their vocabulary. That’s a lot! Now think about a language service professional and all of the words they have in their vocabulary. The human mind is truly marvelous — hats off to our linguists that speak multiple languages.

And what about the millionth word?


The English Language passed the “Million Word” threshold on June 10, 2009 at 10:22 a.m. (GMT). The Millionth Word was the controversial ‘Web 2.0′. It’s awe-inspiring to think about how language fluxes as culture ebbs and flows to the rhythm of humans. We hope you can tuck this fun fact in your back pocket and use it for a conversation starter some day soon.


web 2.0











INGCO International is a professional language service provider focusing on document translation, on-site interpreting and global marketing in 200+ languages across the world. Contact us today if you have any questions about an upcoming global communications project, we’d love to get you started.