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In linguistics, a Sprachraum is a geographical region/district where a language, dialect, group or family of languages is spoken. The German word Sprachraum (IPA: [ˈʃpʁaːxʁaʊm]; plural Sprachräume) literally means "language area".
Most Sprachräume do not follow national borders. For example, half of South America is part of the Spanish Sprachraum, while a single, small country like Switzerland is at the intersection of four such language spheres. A Sprachraum can also be separated by oceans. The English Sprachraum spans the globe, from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to the many former British colonies where English has official language status alongside local languages, such as Ireland, India and South Africa. The French Sprachraum, which also spans several continents, is known as the Francophone (French: La francophonie). La Francophonie is also the name of an international organisation composed of countries with French as an official language.
The Portuguese Sprachraum, for example, includes non-adjacent countries. The Lusophony (Portuguese: Lusofonia), or Lusosphere, is a cultural entity that includes the countries where Portuguese is the official language, as well as the Portuguese diaspora. It also includes people who may not have any Portuguese ancestry but are culturally and linguistically linked to Portugal. The Community of Portuguese Language Countries or Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (Portuguese: Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa, abbreviated to CPLP) is the intergovernmental organization for friendship among Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) nations where Portuguese is an official language.
The four major Western Sprachräume are those of English, Spanish, Portuguese and French (according to the number of speakers).
By extension, a Sprachraum can also include a group of related languages. Thus the Scandinavian Sprachraum includes Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands, while the Finnic Sprachraum is Finland, Estonia and adjacent areas of Scandinavia and Russia.
Even within a single Sprachraum, there can be different, but closely related, languages, otherwise known as dialect continua. A classic example is the Chinese languages, which can be mutually unintelligible in spoken form, but belong to the same language family and have a unified non-phonetic writing system. Arabic has a similar situation, but its writing system is phonetic (an abjad) and there is a neutral standard spoken language (Modern Standard Arabic).
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Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Letters must be adjacent and longer words score better. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame !
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