There’s an interesting post on The Economist’s Johnson blog looking into the debate about which language has the biggest vocabulary.

Stephen Fry apparently claimed English has the largest vocabulary by a “long, long, long, long way”. Is he right? Skipping to the end of the post (although it’s definitely worth a read):

…If I had to give a short answer to the question “does English have the biggest vocabulary?,” I’d say “Who cares?” English is a rich and beautiful language, not least because England has been conquered by Vikings and Normans, and has happily been open to foreign influence through its history. We know more of its wonderful rare words because English has been written for over a thousand years, and its many dialects are well described. That’s good enough for me. We shouldn’t need it to have the biggest vocabulary—which can’t be defined in any sensible way—to enjoy it.

I have to agree with the writer – enjoy your native language, and any new ones you’re lucky enough to pick up. You’ll constantly learn and discover new words and phrases, so who cares about the statistics?