Just before Alaska's Senate voted to make 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages alongside English, Rep. Charisse Millett (seated) held hands with Liz Medicine Crow. Left of them is Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, who introduced the bill. Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska/KTOO hide caption

itoggle caption Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska/KTOO

English writer and broadcaster Robert Robinson holding the first volume of A Supplement To The Oxford English Dictionary in 1977. Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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An Indian schoolgirl dressed as Telugu Talli poses for the camera during a celebration in Hyderabad, home to a study that seems to show the onset of dementia is delayed for people who speak more than one language. Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images

Sure, it's cute. But that voice! Lennart Tange/flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Lennart Tange/flickr

A screen image from a video that professor Carmel O'Shannessy has created. In it, a girl tells a story in "Light Warlpiri," the language O'Shannessy reports she discovered in Australia. Carmel O'Shannessy hide caption

itoggle caption Carmel O'Shannessy

Although a flying pig doesn't exist in the real world, our brains use what we know about pigs and birds — and superheroes — to create one in our mind's eye when we hear or read those words. iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com

Chances are they already speak more languages than you: children from Papua New Guinea's Andai tribe of hunter-gatherers wait for their parents to vote in the village of Kaiam. Over 800 languages are spoken in PNG, a country of about six million people. Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images

Human baby Charlotte, the 13-month-old daughter of NPR producer Tom Bullock, tried the same tests that DeeChee, the robot, does for language-learning experiments. Dr. Caroline Lyons says human babies have an advantage: They spend every waking hour of the day in a speaking world. Tom Bullock/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Tom Bullock/NPR