Most Spoken Language in the World

There are hundreds of thousands of languages spoken all around the globe. All of them belong to different people from different nations or tribes. But, the most spoken language of all time is English. It is spoken almost all over the world in every single part.

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The 10 Most Spoken Languages In The World

Defining what are the most spoken languages in the world is a more problematic task than you might imagine. We can say with some self-confidence that Mandarin, English, Spanish and Arabic will make an advent (and roughly in what order). One small warning, Allocating hard data, in the form of “X million innate speakers,” to any of these languages is nearly impossible. What constitutes a language or a dialect is passionately disputed stuff.

More troubling is the fact that what we refer to simply as “Chinese” is actually a whole family of languages suitably endured into a single category. “Hindi” is also used as a general term to cover frequent languages and sub-languages. We haven’t even yet recognized the irregularity of data sources, collected at different times by different institutes.

When matched conferring to the number of native speakers only, these are the most spoken and vocalized languages in the world.

1. English (1,132 million speakers)

With over 1,130 million instinctive speakers, English is the most spoken and vocalized language in the world. It’s also the official language of the sky, in simple words, all pilots have to speak and categorize themselves in English. Not only is Shakespeare broadly deliberated as one of the greatest writers of all time, but over his lifetime he added an unbelievable amount of about 1,700 words to the English language by changing nouns into verbs, verbs into nouns, linking some words with each other and adding prefixes or suffixes to others. English belongs to the Language family of Germanic, a sub-family of Indo-European and is related to German, Dutch, Frisian

2. Mandarin Chinese (1,117 million speakers)

In terms of instinctive and native speakers alone, Mandarin Chinese today is the second most spoken language in the world. It’s an official language of continental China, Taiwan, and Singapore and one of the six official languages of the United Nation-states. So it’s not surprising that there are about 1.09 million native speakers globally. In terms of instinctive and native speakers alone, Mandarin Chinese today is the second most spoken language in the world.

It’s an official language of continental China, Taiwan, and Singapore and one of the six official languages of the United Nation-states. So it’s not surprising that there are about 1.09 million native speakers globally. Mandarin actually is a tonal language, which defines that the meaning of a word changes varies on the way we pronounce it. With a conventional set of about 50,000 characters, it is perhaps one of the most difficult languages to learn.

3. Hindi (615 million speakers)

If you’re an English speaker, you perhaps already know some Hindi. Do words like ‘guru’, ‘jungle’, ‘karma’, ‘yoga’, ‘bungalow’, ‘cheetah’ and ‘avatar’ ring something? These words (and many more) have been brought up and taken from Hindi. There are about 615 million native Hindi speakers, which makes it the third most spoken language in the world. It’s the authorized language of India and is also spoken in countries and nations such as Nepal, Fiji, Mauritius, and Guyana. Hindi is highly influenced and subjected to Sanskrit and named after the Persian word hind, which means, quite accurately, “Land of the Indus River”.

4. Spanish (534 million speakers)

The first modern novel and the second most decoded book after the Bible was written in Spanish. The Novel was named Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, of course. Twenty-two countries over four regions and continents have Spanish as the or one of the official languages, and it’s already the second most subsequent studied language in the world. Spanish seems to be the easiest foreign language for English speakers to study and to catch on. Professionals say it takes only 22-24 weeks to reach what’s called overall professional skill in the language.

5. French (280 million speakers)

About 45 percent of modern English words and terms are of French derivation. In spite of what Hollywood movies may tell you, the language of love doesn’t exclusively exist on moonlit walks especially in Paris. Spoken across different parts of the world, think everywhere from the rest of France and parts of Canada to a minority of African countries, including Senegal and Madagascar, the French language has spread its origins far and wide.

Interacting with different languages

What is the History of English?

English is a West Germanic language that was invented from Anglo-Frisian talks brought to Britain in the mid 5th to 7th centuries AD by Anglo-Saxon emigrants from what is now northwest Germany, southern Denmark, and the Netherlands. The Anglo-Saxons settled in the British Isles from the mid-5th century and came to control and rule the majority of southern Great Britain. Their language, now called Old English, was initiated as a group of Anglo-Frisian languages which were spoken, at least by the settlers, in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages, moving the Celtic languages (and, possibly, British Latin) that had earlier been leading and were central.

Old English imitated the varied ancestries of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms established in different parts of Britain. The Late West Saxon language eventually became central. An important succeeding influence on the shaping of Old English came from contact with the North Germanic languages spoken by the Scandinavian Vikings who conquered and occupied parts of Britain during the 8th and 9th centuries, which led to much verbal borrowing and grammatical popularization. The Anglian languages had a greater influence on Middle English.

After the Norman Downfall in 1066, Old English was swapped, for a time, by Anglo-Norman as the language of the higher classes. This is observed as marking the end of the Old English or Anglo-Saxon period, as during this period the English language was deeply partial by Anglo-Norman, developing into a phase known now as Middle English. The conquering Normans spoke a Romance langue d’oïl called Old Norman, which in Britain advanced into Anglo-Norman. Many Norman and French loanwords entered the local language in this period, particularly in vocabulary related to the church, the court system, and the government.

As Normans are children of Vikings who attacked France, Norman French was influenced by Old Norse, and many Norse loanwords in English came directly from French. Middle English was spoken to the late 15th century. The system of orthography that was recognized during the Middle English period is largely still in use today. Later changes in pronunciation, however, combined with the embracing of various foreign spellings, mean that the spelling of modern English words appears highly uneven.

Early Modern English, the language used by William Shakespeare, is dated from around 1500. It combined many Renaissance-era loans and credits from Latin and Ancient Greek, as well as borrowings from other European languages, including French, German and Dutch. Important pronunciation and articulation changes in this period included the ongoing Great Vowel Shift, which exaggerated the qualities of most long vowels. Modern English proper, similar in most respects to that spoken and vocalized today, was in place by the late 17th century.

English as we know it today came to be spread to other parts of the world through British colonization and settlements and is now the dominant language in Britain and Ireland, the United States and Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many smaller earlier colonies, as well as being usually spoken in India, parts of Africa, and many other places. Somewhat due to the impact of the United States and its globalized struggles of commerce and technology, English took on the position of a global lingua franca in the second half of the 20th century.

This is especially true in Europe, where English has largely taken over the prior roles of French and (much earlier) Latin as a common language used to conduct business and diplomacy, share scientific and technological information and statistics, and otherwise interconnect across national limitations and boundaries. The exertions of English-speaking Christian preachers have resulted in English becoming a second language for many other groups.

Chinese Language

What are the types of English?

Proto English

English has its ancestries in the languages of the Germanic peoples of northern Europe. During the Roman Empire, most of the Germanic-inhabited area (Germania) remained dependent on Rome, although some southwestern parts were within the empire. Some Germanics assisted in the Roman military, and troops from Germanic tribes such as the Tungri, Batavi, Menapii, and Frisii served in Britain (Britannia) under Roman appreciation. Germanic settlement and power extended during the Migration Period, which saw the fall of the Western Roman Empire. A Germanic settlement of Britain took place from the 5th to the 7th century, following the end of Roman rule on the island.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle communicates that around the year 449 Vortigern, king of the Britons, invited the “Angle kin” (Angles allegedly led by the Germanic brothers Hengist and Horsa) to help repel invading Picts, in return for lands in the southeast of Britain. This led to waves of settlers who eventually established seven kingdoms, known as the heptarchy. (The History was not a concurrent work, however, and cannot be regarded as an accurate record of such early events.) Bede, who wrote his Church History in AD 731, writes of outbreaks and violence by Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, although the precise nature of the invasion and expenditure and the assistances made by these particular groups are the subject of much disagreement among historians.

The languages spoken by the Germanic peoples who were originally established in Britain were part of the West Germanic division of the Germanic language family. They contained languages from the Ingvaeonic grouping, spoken mainly around the North Sea coast, in regions that lie within modern Denmark, northwest Germany, and the Netherlands. Due to specific comparisons between early English and Old Frisian, an Anglo-Frisian grouping is also recognized.

These languages had most of the typical West Germanic features, including an important amount of grammatical variety. Vocabulary came largely from the core Germanic stock, although due to the Germanic peoples’ widespread contacts with the Roman world, the settlers’ languages already included a number of loanwords from Latin. For instance, the precursor of Modern English wine had been borrowed into early Germanic from the Latin vinum.

Old English

The Germanic colonizers in the British Isles primarily spoke a number of different languages, which would develop into a language that came to be called Anglo-Saxon, or now more commonly Old English. It displaced the native Brittonic Celtic (and the Latin of the former Roman rulers) in parts of the areas of Britain that later formed the Kingdom of England, while Celtic languages continued in most of Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall, and many compound Celtic-Germanic places names survive, hinting at early language mixing.

Old English continued to exhibit local variation, the remnants of which continue to be found in languages of Modern English. The four main languages were Mercian, Northumbrian, Kentish, and West Saxon, the last of these formed the foundation for the literary and fictional standard of the later Old English period, although the leading forms of Middle and Modern English would develop mostly from Mercian.

The overview of Christianity from around the year 600 heartened the addition of over 400 Latin loan words into Old English, such as the precursors of the modern priest, paper, and school, and a smaller number of Greek loan words. The speech of eastern and northern parts of England was also subject to tough Old Norse inspiration due to Scandinavian rule and settlement opening in the 9th century

Most natural English speakers today find Old English inarticulate, even though about half of the most usually used words in Modern English have Old English roots. The grammar of Old English was much more modulated than modern English, combined with abler word order, and was grammatically quite alike in some respects to modern German. The language had affectionate pronouns (corresponding to this and that) but did not have a definite article. The Old English period is measured to have progressed into the Middle English period sometime after the Norman conquest of 1066 when the language came to be prejudiced meaningfully by the new ruling class’s language, Old Norman.

Middle English

Middle English is the system of English spoken unevenly from the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066 until the end of the 15th century. For centuries after the Conquest and downfall, the Norman kings and high-ranking noblemen in England and to some extent somewhere else in the British Isles spoke Anglo-Norman, a variety of Old Norman, initiating from a northern langue d’oïl language. Merchants and lower-ranked noblemen were often multi-lingual in Anglo-Norman and English, whilst English continued to be the language of the communal people. Middle English was influenced by both Anglo-Norman, and later Anglo-French.

Until the 14th century, Anglo-Norman and then French were the language of the magistrates and government. Although after the decline of Norman, standard French reserved the status of an official or admired language, and about 10,000 French (and Norman) loan words entered Middle English, particularly terms associated with the government, church, law, the military, fashion, and food. The strong inspiration of Old Norse on English also becomes deceptive during this period.

The impact of the innate British Celtic languages that English continued to relocate is generally held to be very small, although a few scholars have attributed some grammatical forms, such as periphrastic “do”, to Celtic influence. These theories have been disapproved by a number of other linguists. Some researchers have also put forward theories that Middle English was a kind of creole language resulting from the interaction between Old English and either Old Norse or Anglo-Norman.

English literature began to reemerge after 1200 when a changing political and radical climate and the failure in Anglo-Norman made it more reputable. The Provisions of Oxford, released in 1258, was the first English government manuscript to be published in the English language after the Norman Conquest. In 1362, Edward III became the first king to address Assembly in English. The Insistent in English Act 1362 made English the only language in which court proceedings could be held, though the official record endured in Latin.

By the end of the century, even the royal court had switched to English. Anglo-Norman remained in use in limited circles somewhat longer, but it had stopped being a living language. Authorized documents began to be produced frequently in English during the 15th century. Geoffrey Chaucer, who lived in the late 14th century, is the most well-known writer from the Middle English period, and The Canterbury Tales is his best-known work.

The English language changed extremely during the Middle English period, both in terminology and pronunciation and in grammar. While Old English is a heavily changed language (synthetic), the use of grammatical endings is reduced in Middle English (analytic). Grammar differences were lost as many nouns and adjective endings were leveled and standardized to -e. The older plural noun marker -en (engaged in a few cases such as children and oxen) largely gave way to -s, and grammatical gender was rejected. Definite article þe seems around 1200, later spelled as the, first looking in East and North England as an additional for Old English se and SEO, nominative forms of “that.”

English spelling was also parted by Norman in this period, with the /θ/ and /ð/ sounds being spelled the slightly than with the Old English letters þ (thorn) and ð (eth), which did not occur in Norman. These letters endure in the modern Icelandic and Faroese alphabets, having been brought up and inspired from Old English via Old West Norse.

Early Modern English

English experienced wide sound changes during the 15th century, while its spelling conventions stayed largely relentless. Modern English is frequently dated from the Great Vowel Shift, which took place mainly during the 15th century. The language was further converted by the spread of a consistent London-based language in government and management and by the standardizing effect of printing, which also tended to legalize capitalization.

As a result, the language learned self-conscious terms such as “accent” and “dialect”. As most early presses came from mainland Europe, a few native English letters such as þ and ð died out; for some time þe was tend to be written as ye. By the time of William Shakespeare (mid-16th - early 17th century), the language had become openly noticeable as Modern English. In 1604, the first English dictionary was issued, named “A Table Alphabetical”.

Enlarged literacy and travel eased the acceptance of many foreign words, particularly borrowings from Latin and Greek, often terms for intellectual concepts not available in English. In the 17th century, Latin words were often used with their innovative varieties, but these ultimately vanished. As there are many words from different languages and English spelling is variable, the risk of misstatement is high, but leftovers of the older forms endure in a few regional languages, most particularly in the West Country. During the retro, loan words were brought out from Italian, German, and Yiddish. British acceptance of and confrontation with Americanism began during this era.

Modern English

The first commanding and full-featured English dictionary, the Dictionary of the English Language, was available by Samuel Johnson in 1755. To a high degree, the dictionary is consistent with both English spelling and word usage. In the meantime, grammar texts by Lowth, Murray, Priestly, and others made an effort to propose normal usage even further.

Early Modern English and Late Modern English, also known as Present-Day English (PDE), vary fundamentally in vocabulary. Late Modern English has many more words, rising from the Manufacturing Rebellion and skills that created a need for new words, as well as worldwide expansion of the language. The British Empire at its height sheltered one-quarter of the Earth’s land surface, and the English language accepted foreign words from many countries. British English and North American English, the two chief variations of the language, are together spoken by 400 million people.

The total number of English speakers worldwide may possibly surpass one billion. The English language will almost surely continue to change over time. With the progression in computers and online environments (such as chat rooms, social media terminologies, and apps), and the implementation of English as a worldwide lingua franca across cultures, customs, and traditions, it should not be astonishing to see an additional shortening of words, phrases, and/or sentences.

What is the Scandinavian influence?

Vikings from current/ modern-day Norway and Denmark began to spread violence and outbreak through the parts of Britain from the late 8th century forward. In 865, however, a major incursion was launched by what the Anglo-Saxons called the Great Heathen Army, which finally took large parts of northern and eastern England (the Danelaw) under Scandinavian control. Most of these areas were retained by the English under Edward the Elder in the early 10th century.

Although York and North Umbria were not eternally recovered until the death of Eric Bloodaxe in 954. Scandinavian raids restarted in the late 10th century during the reign of Æthelred the Unready, and Sweyn Forkbeard eventually succeeded in concisely being professed king of England in 1013, trailed by the long supremacy of his son Cnutt from 1016 to 1035, and Cnutt’s sons Harold Harefoot and Harthacnut until 1042.

The Scandinavians, or Norsemen, spoke talks of a North Germanic language known as Old Norse. The Anglo-Saxons and the Scandinavians thus spoke linked languages from dissimilar branches (West and North) of the Germanic family, many of their lexical roots were the same or similar, although their grammatical systems were more divergent. Perhaps substantial numbers of Norse speakers settled in the Danelaw during the period of Scandinavian control. Many place names in those areas are of Scandinavian attribution, it is believed that the settlers frequently recognized new groups in places that had not previously been developed by the Anglo-Saxons.

The wide contact between Old English and Old Norse speakers, including the prospect of intermarriage that resulted from the acceptance of Christianity by the Danes in 878, certainly influenced the variations of those languages spoken in the areas of interaction. Some scholars even believe that Old English and Old Norse experienced a kind of synthesis and that the resulting English language might be described as a mixed language or creole. During the rule of Cnutt and other Danish kings in the first half of the 11th century, a kind of diglossia may have come about.

With the West Saxon fictional language present beside the Norse-influenced Midland language of English, which could have served as a koine or spoken lingua franca. When Danish rule ended, and mainly after the Norman Conquest, the status of the marginal Norse language presumably weakened relative to that of English, and its remaining speakers integrated to English in a process involving language shift and language death. The extensive bilingualism that must have occurred during the process possibly underwrote the rate of borrowings from Norse into English.

Only about 100 or 150 Norse words, mainly linked with government and management, are found in Old English writing. The borrowing of words of this type was inspired by Scandinavian rule in the Danelaw and during the later sovereignty of Cnutt. However, most surviving Old English texts are established on the West Saxon standard that developed outside the Danelaw, it is not clear to what extent Norse predisposed the forms of the language vocalized in eastern and northern England at that time. Later texts from the Middle English era, now based on an eastern Midland slightly than a Wessex standard, reflect the significant impact that Norse had on the language. In all, English borrowed about 2000 words from Old Norse, several hundred endurings in Modern English.

Norse borrowings include many very mutual words, such as anger, bag, both, hit, law, leg, same, skill, sky, take the window, and even the pronoun they. Norse impact is also believed to have strengthened the acceptance of the plural copular verb form are rather than substitute Old English forms like Sind. It is also measured to have stirred and enhanced the morphological clarification found in Middle English, such as the loss of grammatical gender and explicitly marked case (except in pronouns). That is possibly confirmed by observations that simplification of the case endings befell earliest in the north and latest in the southwest. The spread of linguistic verbs in English is another grammatical expansion to which Norse may have subsidized (although here a possible Celtic influence is also noted).

Grammatical changes in English

The English language once had a widespread declension system like Latin, Greek, modern German, and Icelandic. Old English is illustrious among the nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive cases, and for strongly declined adjectives and some pronouns also a discrete contributory case (which otherwise and later completely accorded with the dative). In addition, the dual number was notable from the singular and plural. Declension was greatly shortened during the Middle English period when the accusative and dative cases of the pronouns fused into a single tilted case that also replaced the genitive case after prepositions. Nouns in Modern English no longer fail for cases, except for the genitive.

Pronouns such as whom and him (compared with who and he), are a conflation of the old accusative and dative cases, as well as of the genitive case after prepositions (while she also includes the genitive case). This conflated form is called the slanting case or the object (objective) case, because it is used for objects of verbs (direct, indirect, or oblique) as well as for objects of prepositions. (See object pronoun.) The information and statistics previously transported by distinct case forms are now mostly provided by prepositions and word order. In Old English as well as current German and Icelandic as further examples, these cases had separate forms.

Although some grammarians continue to use the outdated terms “accusative” and “dative”, these are functions rather than morphological cases in Modern English. That is, the procedure may play accusative or dative roles (as well as instrumental or prepositional roles), but it is a single morphological form, conflicting with nominative who and genitive whose. Many grammarians use the labels “subjective”, “objective”, and “possessive” for nominative, oblique, and genitive pronouns. Modern English nouns demonstrate only one inflection of the reference form, the grasping case, which some multilingual people argue is not a case at all, but a clitic (see the entry for a genitive case for more evidence).

Urdu written on a Coin

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1) What is the most spoken language in the world in 2021?

Characteristic Native speaker in millions
English 1,348
Chinese (Mandarin) 1,120
Hindi 600
Spanish 543

2) The 6 most widely-spoken languages in the world

  • No. 1: English
  • No. 2: Chinese
  • No. 3: Spanish
  • No. 4: Hindi
  • No. 5: Arabic
  • No. 6: Portuguese

3) Which language is growing the fastest?

Observed over just the last decade, Urdu also occurs as the fastest-growing language in the world. Its total innate speaker numbers increased by 39% between 2011 and 2021.

4) What is the hardest language to learn?

  • Mandarin. A number of native speakers: 1.2 billion
  • Icelandic. A number of native speakers: 330,000
  • Japanese. A number of native speakers: 122 million
  • Hungarian. A number of native speakers: 13 million
  • Arabic. A number of native speakers: 221 million
  • Polish

5) What is the world’s first language?

World’s eldest language is Sanskrit. The Sanskrit language is also known as Devbhasha. All European languages ​​seem stimulated by Sanskrit

Conclusion

There are hundreds of thousands of languages spoken all around the globe. All of them belong to different people from different nations or tribes. But, the most spoken language of all time is English. It is spoken almost all over the world in every single part. English is a West Germanic language that was invented from Anglo-Frisian talks brought to Britain in the mid 5th to 7th centuries AD by Anglo-Saxon emigrants from what is now northwest Germany, southern Denmark, and the Netherlands. Old English imitated the varied ancestries of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms established in different parts of Britain. The Late West Saxon language eventually became central.

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Introduction

Have you ever wondered what the world’s most widely spoken languages are? Despite the fact that there are over 7,000 languages, only 23 of them cover more than half of the world’s population. This isn’t simply a statistic: it’s a crucial truth to consider when developing a global expansion strategy. Knowledge of various languages opens up new perspectives, whether for job or personal reasons.

1. English (1.132 million speakers)

English, like Latin or Greek in the past, is today’s universal language. It is widely used in worldwide business, tourism, technology, and other fields. One out of every three people who connect to the Internet can be understood by a bilingual person who speaks both Spanish and English (Internet World Stats, 2019). In addition, he or she has access to 60% of all content published on the internet (W3Techs, 2019). [FB2].

2. Mandarin (1.117 million speakers)

Mandarin is the world’s second most spoken language when native and non-native speakers are combined. It is, however, the first if only native speakers are included. Mandarin is a group of dialects of the Chinese language, not a language in its own right. The fact that their speakers can comprehend each other is what unites various dialects under one moniker. Despite the fact that 20% of persons who connect to the Internet speak Chinese, just 1% of the content available on the internet is in that language.

3. Hindi (615 million speakers)

Hindi is one of India’s 22 official languages, along with English. India is the world’s second-most populous country. The high incidence of non-native speakers who utilize it as a lingua franca is due to the region’s linguistic variety (more than 1,600 languages coexist).

4. Spanish (534 million speakers)

In terms of native speakers, it is the world’s second most widely spoken language. It’s also the third most popular on the web. Its massive colonial expansion took it to Africa and Asia in addition to America. Because of migration, the United States has the world’s second-largest population of Spanish speakers.

5. French (280 million speakers)

The French were able to spread over the world thanks to colonialism. It is now the official language of 29 nations across the globe. If English is the corporate language, French was once thought to be the cultural language. Its immense importance is evident in the fact that it has the third-largest number of non-native speakers of any language.

6. Arabic (274 million speakers)

The official language of 26 countries is Arabic. It is actually a combination of dialects due to the territorial dispersion. It is also Islam’s liturgical language. It is not only the language that preserves the Arab world’s vast cultural heritage, but it is also a crucial instrument for doing business in this region.

7. Bengali (265 million speakers)

Bangladesh’s official language is Bengali. It may surprise you to learn that a language spoken in such a small territory ranks among the world’s most widely spoken languages. The population density of the location, however, explains the fact. In areas of India and Burma, it is also spoken.

8. Russian (258 million speakers)

When we consider Russian’s geographical reach, its participation among the world’s most frequently spoken languages is less surprising. It is the official language of four countries, but it is also spoken in all former Soviet Union countries. It is the European language with the greatest number of native speakers.

9. Portuguese (234 million speakers)

Another language that grew in popularity throughout the European colonial period was Portuguese. It is now the official language of nine nations spread over Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia. Brazil is the largest proponent in terms of territory and number of speakers. In the southern hemisphere, it is also the most widely spoken language.

10. Indonesian (198 million speakers)

Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, speaks it as its official language. It is remarkable in that most of its speakers do not speak it as their first language. In a country with over 200 languages, it is thus a second language that is required for mutual understanding.

Introduction

All such rankings, however, should be used with caution because a cohesive set of linguistic criteria for identifying languages in a dialect continuum cannot be devised. For example, a language is frequently defined as a collection of mutually intelligible variations, although independent national standard languages, such as Danish and Norwegian, may be considered separate languages despite being mostly mutually intelligible. On the other hand, many widely spoken languages, such as German, Italian, and even English, have variations that are not mutually intelligible. While Modern Standard Arabic is frequently considered a single language, it is not.

The 10 Most Spoken Languages In The World

Identifying the world’s most widely spoken languages is more challenging than you may think. We can predict that Mandarin, English, Spanish, and Arabic will all come (in roughly that order), but there will also be some surprises! Would you have realized Bengali is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world? One caveat: assigning hard data to any of these languages in the form of “X million native speakers” is almost impossible. The definition of a language or dialect is a contentious issue. More troublesome is the fact that “Chinese” refers to an entire family of languages that have been easily grouped into a single category.

Top 10 Languages By Number Of Native Speakers

These are the most widely spoken languages in the world based only on the number of native speakers.

1. Chinese — 1.3 Billion Native Speakers

The number of native speakers varies significantly — Ethnologue estimates 1.3 billion native speakers, with around 1.1 billion speaking Mandarin — but there’s no doubt it’s the most commonly spoken language on the planet. This is the language to learn if you want to learn a language spoken by one in every six people on the planet. Because Chinese is a tonal language with hundreds of logograms, it will keep you busy for a long time.

2. Spanish — 471 Million Native Speakers

If we solely consider native speakers, Spanish has a slight lead over English, with 471 million speakers. Spanish is the greatest language to learn if you wish to travel across continents. The politics of language and associated identity are fiercely disputed, as they are for all of the languages on this list: ask Catalan or Quechua speakers if Spanish is their native tongue, and you will get a totally different answer. However, it is the primary language of the vast majority of South and Central America, Spain, and, ahem, big swaths of the United States.

3. English — 370 Million Native Speakers

If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the 370 million people who speak English natively, or one of the 978 million who do so as a second language. This demonstrates English’s incredible success as the global language of business, travel, and international relations. Because of the relative simplicity with which English may be learned (especially when compared to Chinese) and the ubiquitous soft power of American culture, English will continue to rule the world stage for the foreseeable future. For some, English still connotes possibility and a higher standard of living.

4. Hindi — 342 Million Native Speakers

India has 23 official languages, the most common of which are Hindi and Urdu. It’s still up for debate whether this is one language - Hindustani — or two dialects. Hindi, which is spoken primarily in northern India and parts of Pakistan, is written in devnagri script, whereas Urdu is written in Persian notation. At the time of writing, the debate over its place in Indian education and society has erupted once more: Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi is attempting to have Hindi replace English as the primary language of official communication and education in southern Indian states, a strategy that has been met with opposition. A little Hindi will get you a long way if you ever travel to the Indian subcontinent.

5. Arabic — 315 Million Native Speakers

According to recent estimates, Arabic has over 315 million native speakers. However, here’s another example of stats not revealing the whole story: Arabic, like Chinese, is so diverse in its dialects that it is practically a collection of languages gathered together for convenience’s sake. Modern Standard Arabic is largely a written language that is closely related to the Quran’s Classical Arabic. The spoken forms of Arabic in countries like Oman and Morocco, on the other hand, are so dissimilar that a couple of philosophy professors from these nations would be able to discuss the finer points of ancient texts while yet unable to order lunch.

6. Portuguese — 232 Million Native Speakers

Another language whose impact is largely due to its colonial history. Portuguese traders and conquerors introduced their language to Africa, Asia, and the Americas beginning in the 15th century. Although Portuguese spread was initially linked to European colonization, the colonized countries created their own dynamic cultures, which forever changed the language. In nations such as Brazil, Goa, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bisseau, S. Tomé and Prncipe, and Macau, Portuguese is spoken by 232 million native speakers. Machado de Assis, Bossa Nova, Mia Couto, Fernando Pessoa, and Agualusa all spoke it.

7. Bengali — 229 Million Native Speakers

You didn’t expect Bengali to be among the most widely spoken languages, did you? The British partitioned Bengal in 1947, dividing (primarily Hindu) West Bengal, which is now part of India, from (mostly Muslim) East Bengal, which is now Bangladesh. Kolkata, the Andaman Islands, delectable sweets, and 130 million Bangladeshis speak it, many of whom are highly vulnerable to climate change. The population is forecast to treble in the next century, while 15% of the land area will be submerged by rising waters.

8. Russian — 154 Million Native Speakers

Russian is the world’s eighth most spoken language, with around 154 million native speakers. It produced literary greats as as Dostoyevsky, Nabokov, Chekhov, Gogol, Tolstoy, and Pushkin, and is still one of the six languages spoken at the United Nations.

9. Japanese — 126 Million Native Speakers

The 126 million native Japanese speakers live almost entirely in Japan, making it the most geographically concentrated of all the languages on this list. Japanese has two unique writing systems, hiragana and katakana, and uses Chinese Kanji characters extensively. Outside of Japan, the United States, the Philippines, and Brazil have the highest populations of Japanese speakers.

10. Lahnda (Western Punjabi) — 118 Million Native Speakers

The last slot on the list goes to…, who has an estimated native speaker population of roughly 118 million. Western Punjabi is largely spoken in Lahnda, a Pakistani macrolanguage. (Sorry, German; you were demoted a few years ago from the top world languages.) Eastern Punjabi, which is spoken in India, isn’t even included. When the British left, the Punjab was slashed in half, forcing millions of people to flee their homes, businesses, and families. But, in true Bollywood flair, they’re progressively exacting their vengeance: Punjabi music currently account for half of all chart-topping tracks. If we’ve ever seen a comeback, that’s it.

Top 10 Languages By Total Number Of Speakers

When we look at the top ten most spoken languages based on the total number of people who speak them (whether or not it is their mother tongue), eight of the ten languages from the previous list appear, but with a few notable differences: Due to the fact that more people speak them as a second language than as a native language, English just edges out Chinese for the top place, while Japanese and Punjabi fall out of the top 10, and French and Indonesian enter the top 10 for the first time.

1. English

1.348 billion total speakers

2. Mandarin Chinese

1.120 billion total speakers

3. Hindi

600 million total speakers

4. Spanish

543 million total speakers

5. Standard Arabic

274 million total speakers

6. Bengali

268 million total speakers

7. French

267 million total speakers

8. Russian

258 million total speakers

9. Portuguese

258 million total speakers

10. Urdu

230 million total speakers

FAQ’S

What is the most spoken language in the world 2020?

Image result for Most spoken language in the world

English will be the most frequently spoken language in the world by 2020, with over 1.2 billion people speaking it. After that, there’s Chinese, which has about 1.120 million speakers, and Hindi, which has over 637 million speakers. Spanish (538 million) and French (538 million) are at the bottom of the podium (278 million).

What is the most spoken language in the world 2019?

  1. English. 1.132 billion speakers

  2. Mandarin Chinese. 1.116 billion speakers

  3. Hindi. 615.4 million speakers

  4. Spanish. 534.3 million speakers

  5. French. 279.8 million speakers

  6. Arabic. 273.9 million speakers

  7. Bengali. 265.0 million speakers

  8. Russian. 258.2 million speakers

What is the most spoken language in the world 2021?

Characteristic Native speaker in millions
English 1,348
Chinese (Mandarin) 1,120
Hindi 600
Spanish 543

What is the hardest language to learn?

  1. Mandarin. Number of native speakers: 1.2 billion

  2. Icelandic. Number of native speakers: 330,000

  3. Japanese. Number of native speakers: 122 million

  4. Hungarian. Number of native speakers: 13 million

  5. Korean

  6. Arabic

  7. Finnish

  8. Polish

Conclusion

When native and non-native speakers are combined, English is the world’s most widely spoken language. If only native speakers are counted, Mandarin Chinese is the most common. Bengali has been chosen the sweetest language in the world, according to a UNESCO poll, with Spanish and Dutch coming in second and third.

Most Spoken Languages In The World

What are the most widely spoken languages on the planet?

In today’s world, approximately 6,500 languages are spoken. Each and every one of them contributes to the world’s diversity and beauty.

Regrettably, some of these languages are not as well-known as others. Consider Buzau, which is named after a language spoken by only eight individuals.

Others are widely spoken by large populations in a variety of nations and are frequently chosen by language learners.

Continue reading to learn about the world’s twelve most spoken languages in terms of native speakers, as well as everything you need to know about them.

Most Spoken Language

When native and non-native speakers are combined, English is the world’s most widely spoken language. If only native speakers are counted, Mandarin Chinese is the most common.

When only first language (native) speakers are counted, Mandarin Chinese is the world’s most populous language. Because of China’s large population, this is the case.

We consider Mandarin to be the most important of the thirteen Chinese macrolanguages, which are all termed “Chinese” because they share a common writing system and literature. Wu and Cantonese are two other well-known instances.

When second-, third-, and higher-language speakers are included, English is the world’s most widely spoken language.

Number Of Native Speakers

All such rankings, however, should be used with caution because a cohesive set of linguistic criteria for identifying languages in a dialect continuum cannot be devised.

For example, a language is frequently defined as a collection of mutually intelligible variations, although independent national standard languages, such as Danish and Norwegian, may be considered separate languages despite being mostly mutually intelligible. On the other hand, many widely spoken languages, such as German, Italian, and even English, have variations that are not mutually intelligible. While Modern Standard Arabic is frequently considered a single language, it is not.

FAQ’S

What are the world’s most widely spoken languages?

This question isn’t as straightforward as it appears. There are a few difficulties that make giving a specific response difficult:

First and first, what exactly do you mean by “spoken”? Do you want to rank languages based on the number of native speakers or the number of individuals who speak them at all, whether they are native or non-native speakers? These two methods yield lists that seem extremely different.

Second, where do you draw the line between a dialect and a language? How dissimilar must two “dialects” be before they are designated distinct languages? There’s often no clear answer - and the one you give can have a big impact on where a language ranks in the “m”.

How many languages are there in the world?

Because we are always learning more about the world’s languages, that number is constantly changing. Furthermore, the languages themselves are changing. They’re alive and well, spoken by people whose lives are impacted by the world around them.

Which language is the most widely spoken?

What are the top 200 languages in the world?

Which continents are home to the greatest number of indigenous languages?

Which countries have the greatest number of languages?

What are the most widely spoken languages in the world?

This is a delicate period: Approximately 40% of languages are now endangered, with many having fewer than 1,000 speakers. In the meantime, only 23 languages are spoken by more than half of the world’s population.

Conclusion

The English language, as we’ve seen in this course, is and has always been a multifaceted thing. It has changed considerably throughout the centuries since it originally came on the British coasts from northern Europe, and these changes have resulted in the language spoken at the time being nearly incomprehensible to us now.

As the language has extended beyond the United Kingdom, it has continued to evolve, and in diverse ways depending on the situation. It has broadened its scope.