Everybody loves to learn new things and language is one such thing every individual shows curiosity in learning. One of the primary means of learning a language is to interact and communicate. According to Ethnologue, there are over 7,130 languages spoken in the world and every one of them makes the world a diverse and beautiful place. However, there are some of the languages that are widely spoken in the world, and in this article, we present you with the top 10 most spoken languages in the world.
List of Top 10 Most Spoken Languages in The World
1. English- 1132 Million Speakers:
With over 1.5 Billion speakers, English is the most widely spoken language in the world. It is also the official language of the sky as all pilots have to speak and identify themselves in English. If you can read this article then congratulations you are one of the 1.5 Billion English speakers and readers. Being the universal language, it is the default language in International Business, tourism, technology, etc. English has more phonemes than many languages, with around 44 depending on the variety of English you speak. Also, Shakespeare added over 1,700 words to the English language.
2. Mandarin- 1117 Million speakers:
The second-most spoken language in the world is Mandarin. Mandarin belongs to a Sino-Tibetan language family and researchers suggest that one needs around 2,500 characters to be able to read almost 98 percent of everyday written Chinese. It is no surprise that Mandarin is spoken widely across the world as it is an official language of mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, and one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Mandarin is generally a tonal language that defines that the meaning of a word changes based on the way you pronounce it. Though Mandarin is a complex language to learn and has a set of about 50,000 characters, it is quite motivating and interesting to learn as it has no tenses, gender-specific nouns.
3. Hindi- 615 Million speakers:
The language Hindi is highly influenced by Sanskrit and named after the Persian word hind which means ‘Land of the Indus River. Hindi, along with English, is one of the 22 official languages of India, the second-most populous country in the world. Hindi belongs to a language family of Indo-Aryan, a subfamily of Indo-European languages. Hindi is also widely spoken in countries such as Nepal, Fiji, Mauritius, and Guyana. Also, many words from Hindi have been borrowed such as – Guru, Jungle, Karma, Yoga, Bungalow, Cheetah, Avatar, and so on.
4. Spanish- 534 Million Speakers:
Spanish, sometimes called Espanol, and sometimes Castellano is the fourth most spoken language in the world with over 534 million speakers. Spanish is a part of the Indo-European family of languages that are spoken by more than a third of the world’s population and it can be further classified as a Romance language, a group that includes French, Portuguese, Italian, Catalan, and Romanian. The first modern novel and the second translated book after the Bible written in Spanish was ‘Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes’. It is believed that within three generations from now, about 10 percent of the world’s population will be able to communicate in Spanish.
5. French- 280 Million speakers:
French is yet another Romance language that belongs to an Indo-European family. At the beginning of the 21st century, French was the official language of more than 25 countries. If English is considered the language of business, French is considered the language of culture. Besides, about 45 percent of modern English words are of French origin. Spoken across different parts of the world, French is one of the most spoken languages across the globe with over 280 million speakers.
6. Arabic 274 Million speakers:
Arabic is the official language of 26 countries. With over 275 Million speakers, Arabic is the sixth most spoken language in the world. Arabic is a Central Semitic language and it has an unusual and complex method of constructing words from a basic root. Arabic is related to Hebrew, Amharic, and Arabic. Moreover, there are at least 11 words for ‘love’ and over hundreds of words for ‘camel’.due to the territorial dispersion, it is a collection of dialects and is also the first liturgical language of Islam.
7. Bengali- 265 Million speakers:
Bengali is the official and the national language of Bangladesh. Bengali is a member of the Indo-Aaryan group of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. Bengali, known to many English speakers around the world as Bangla, is considered by some to be the second most beautiful language after French. With over 265 Million speakers, Bengali is the seventh most spoken language in the world. It is highly spoken in parts of India and Burma.
8. Russian- 258 Million Speakers:
Russian is an Eastern Slavic group of the Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family. It is the largest of the Slavic languages and official language of the four countries but is also spoken in all those that were part of the former Soviet Union. With over 265 Million speakers, Russian is the eighth most spoken language in the world and is the language with the largest number of native speakers in Europe.
9. Portuguese- 234 Million speakers:
Portuguese is yet another language that expanded during the European colonial period. Portuguese is a Romance language rooted in the region of Medieval Galicia. It is the official language of Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Angola Sao Tome, and Principe. According to UNESCO, Portuguese has high growth potential as an ‘International Communication Language in Southern Africa and South America’. With over 234 Million speakers, Portuguese is the ninth most spoken language in the world.
10. Indonesia- 199 Million speakers:
Indonesian is an Austronesian language and is a standardized form of Malay and is spoken throughout Indonesian. It is the official language of Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world. Indonesian is a great example of a widely spoken language that encompasses several distinct dialects across Indonesia and is surprisingly one of the easy languages to learn.