Top 10 Most Spoken Languages in the World
There are a total of around 7,100 languages that are spoken around the world. You can be confident that English, Arabic, Spanish, and Mandarin will be appearing, but did you know that Bengali is also on the list? Determining the most spoken language in the world is a challenging task to deal with, let alone finding a list of the 10 most spoken languages in the world. A language is all about dialect. The term “Chinese” is used as a catchall term or an umbrella term that covers numerous dialects and sub-dialects, but we have compiled a list of the 10 most spoken languages in the world compiled by Ethnologue which is considered to be the most complete language data source.
We have compiled a list of the top 10 most spoken languages in the world.
- Chinese (1.3 billion native speakers)
- Spanish (485 million native speakers)
- English (373 million native speakers)
- Arabic (362 million native speakers)
- Hindi (344 million native speakers)
- Bengali (234 million native speakers)
- Portuguese (232 million native speakers)
- Russian (154 million native speakers)
- Japanese (125 million native speakers)
- Lahnda (Western Punjab – 101 million native speakers)
1. Chinese (1.3 billion native speakers)
Out of so many languages of the world, the Chinese language takes the lead. We all know that numbers vary – Ethnologue puts the number of native speakers at 1.3 billion however, roughly 900 million out of those speak Mandarin. Still, without a doubt, the Chinese language is considered the most spoken language in the world. If you want to learn how to speak a language that one in six people in the world speak then Chinese is the right fit for you. Chinese language uses thousands of logograms so it will certainly keep you busy.
2. Spanish (485 million native speakers)
If we talk about native speakers then Spanish holds a number 485 million native speakers and is considered to be the most popular spoken languages. It can be seen placed right next to English. Spanish language is the primal language of many countries such as Central America, South America, and Spain and is even one of the commonly spoken languages in many states of the United States. Learning this language can open doors to many continents in the world, which can lead to many opportunities.
3. English (373 million native speakers)
If you are reading this article then you are one of the people who know how to speak the English language. English is the most spoken language in the world as it has become a standard for pretty much every country to communicate in English as a second language. It has become the language of International Relations, Travel, and Business thus making it the world’s most widely spoken language. If we compare English with Chinese, the benefit that you will receive is that learning English is easy compared to Chinese. This benefit lets English continue to dominate the world market thereby providing more opportunities and better quality of life.
4. Arabic (362 million native speakers)
Latest studies and research has put Arabic at fourth number with 362 million native speakers. Arabic, also like Chinese has different variations in its dialects. It is one of the oldest languages ever spoken in the world. It is the language in which the Holy Quran is written thus making it the most studied languages of the world.
5. Hindi (344 million native speakers)
India is a country in which 23 languages are spoken, which gives rise to the question, which language is most spoken? It could be hard to answer but Hindi takes the lead with 344 million native speakers, taking the mantle of the most spoken language in the world. Hindi is not only spoken in India but in many parts of Pakistan and Bangladesh as well. If you ever get the chance to travel to the Indian Sub-continent, knowing a little Hindi will get you a long way.
6. Bengali (234 million native speakers)
Being the neighboring country of India, the Bengali language not only dominates Bangladesh but is also spoken in some parts of South India. Its population is expected to double while 15% of its land could disappear due to the rising sea level.
7. Portuguese (232 million native speakers)
Out of many languages of the world, the Portuguese language is also a language whose most of the credit goes back to its colonial past. As one of the most spoken language in the world, its colonial roots go back to the 15th century when Portuguese traders came to continents like Africa, Asia, and the Americas and brought their vibrant culture and language to these continents. To this date, many people in these continents still speak the language and follow the traditions of the Portuguese culture thereby making it one of the best language in the world.
8. Russian (154 million native speakers)
Just like as large as Russia is, similarly, its language is as dominant as it could be. The Russian language is famous for its inscrutable grammar making it one of the top 10 most spoken languages. The language holds the 8th place globally, but in the United Nations, it still holds the sixth place.
9. Japanese (125 million native speakers)
The land of the rising sun has around 125 million native Japanese speakers that are still living in Japan. This country is one of the most highly geographically concentrated of all languages on the list, thus making Japanese one of the unique languages. A large group of Japanese-speaking people can be found in Brazil, the Philippines, and in the United States giving it a special place among the commonly spoken languages.
10. Lahnda (Western Punjab – 101 million native speakers)
Many people would have this question, what is the most spoken language in the world that takes the final spot? The last spot on the list goes to Lahnda. Lahnda is a Pakistani macro language that consists of Western Punjabi. It doesn’t include Eastern Punjabi as it is highly spoken in India. Its popularity gives it the rank among other languages as the most spoken language in the world.
So far we have learned about the top 10 most spoken languages in the world. It would make it highly easy for you to make your decision about which language would you prefer to learn. No matter what the decision is, you should highly focus on the most spoken language in the world as it would open a lot of doors of opportunities for you.