PNG Speaks 800 Languages

Being multilingual is the norm for Papua New Guinea; the nation boasts over 800 indigenous languages. Unlike its neighbor Australia, with its dry, open landscape British colonizers committed to tame, PNG has ample rain which feeds ample, dense rainforests that amply intimidated German, British and eventually Australian colonial forces into staying put along the coast. This enabled Papuan villagers to maintain their cultural customs, including their languages. Though many languages of Papua New Guinea continue to be highly local, claim less than 1000 native speakers and are in near threat of extinction, a good number are still viable and active.