There are approximately 6500 languages spoken in the world today. Each of these languages makes the world a diverse and interesting place. Unfortunately, some of these languages aren’t as widely spoken compared to others. A lot of these languages used on the internet but some others not. A genuine model is Busuu which at one time was just spoken by eight individuals.
Sadly, some of these languages are less widely spoken than others. Take Busuu, for example – we’re named after a language spoken by only eight people.
Others are spoken by tremendous populaces across various nations and are frequently well-known decisions among language students.
Peruse on for the twelve most communicated in dialects on the planet, as far as local speakers, and all that you have to think about them.
The top 10 most spoken languages in the world
1. English (1,132 million speakers)
Language family: Germanic, a sub-family of Indo-European
Related to: German, Dutch, Frisian
Fun fact: The English word “goodbye” was originally a contraction of “God be with ye”.
With over 1,130 million native speakers, English is the most spoken language in the world.
It’s also the official language of the sky – all pilots have to speak and identify themselves in English.
Not only is Shakespeare widely considered as one of the greatest dramatists of all time, but over his lifespan he added an incredible amount of about 1,700 words to the English language by changing nouns into verbs, verbs into nouns, connecting some words with each other and adding prefixes or suffixes to others.
2. Mandarin Chinese (1,117 million speakers)
Language family: Sino-Tibetan
Related to: Cantonese, Tibetan, Burmese
Fun fact: Research suggests that you’ll only need around 2,500 characters to be able to read almost 98 percent of everyday written Chinese.
In terms of native speakers alone, Mandarin Chinese is by far the second most spoken language in the world.
It’s an official language of mainland China, Taiwan, and Singapore and one of the six official languages of the United Nations. So it’s not surprising that there are approximately 1.09 million native speakers worldwide.
Mandarin is a tonal language, which means that the meaning of a word changes based on the way we pronounce it.
With a set of about 50,000 characters, it is probably one of the most complex languages to learn.
But don’t worry: there are no verb conjugations, no tenses, and no gender-specific nouns either.
Quite motivating, isn’t it?
Maybe that’s also why it’s one of the most popular languages to learn today…
3. Hindi (615 million speakers)
Language family: Indo-Ayran, a sub-family of Indo-European
Related to: Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Kashmiri, Nepali
Fun fact: If you’re an English speaker, you probably already know some Hindi. Do words like ‘guru’, ‘jungle’, ‘karma’, ‘yoga’, ‘bungalow’, ‘cheetah’ and ‘avatar’ ring a bell? These words (and many more!) have been borrowed from Hindi.
There are about 615 million native Hindi speakers, which makes it the third most spoken language in the world. It’s the official language of India and is also spoken in countries such as Nepal, Fiji, Mauritius, and Guyana.
Hindi is highly influenced by Sanskrit and named after the Persian word hind, which means – quite literally – “Land of the Indus river”.
4. Spanish (534 million speakers)
Language family: Romance, a sub-family of Indo-European
Related to: French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian
Fun fact: The first modern novel and the second most translated book after the Bible was written in Spanish. Which novel? It’s Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, of course!
Twenty-two countries over four continents have Spanish as the or one of the official languages, and it’s already the second most studied language in the world.
Can you believe that within three generations, 10 percent of the world’s population will be able to communicate in Spanish?
This is great news for native English speakers.
Spanish appears to be the easiest foreign language for English speakers to learn! Experts say it takes only 22-24 weeks to reach what’s called general professional proficiency in the language.
5. French (280 million speakers)
Language family: Romance
Related to: Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian
Fun fact: About 45 percent of modern English words are of French origin.
In spite of what Hollywood movies might tell you, the language of love doesn’t solely exist on moonlit walks in Paris.
Spoken across different parts of the world – think everywhere from the rest of France and parts of Canada to a handful of African countries, including Senegal and Madagascar – the French language has spread its roots far and wide.
6. Arabic (274 million speakers)
Language family: Semitic, a sub-family of Afro-Asiatic
Related to: Hebrew, Amharic, Aramaic
Fun fact: Arabic has at least 11 words for love, each of them expressing a different stage in the process of falling in love. Now isn’t that a reason to start learning?
With 295 million native speakers, Arabic is the sixth most spoken language in the world and the only one in our top twelve that is written from right to left.
It has also heavily influenced European languages like Spanish and Portuguese: some words sound exactly the same.
It’s left its mark on the English language, too. The word coffee, for example, comes from the Arabic word qahwa.
7. Bangla/Bengali (265 million speakers)
Language family: Indo-Aryan, a sub-family of Indo-European
Related to: Hindu, Punjabi, Marathi, Kashmiri, Nepali
Fun fact: While the Bengali script is relatively unknown in the West, but it’s actually the fifth most widely used writing system in the world!
Bengali, known to many English speakers around the world as Bangla, is mostly spoken in Bangladesh and India and is considered by some to be the second most beautiful language after French.
With around 205 million native speakers, it’s the seventh most spoken language in the world.
The Bengali alphabet is particularly interesting.
Every consonant has a vowel sound built-in, which is quite unusual for Westerners.
It gets even better: different marks change the default vowel sound of a word and therefore also the meaning!
8. Russian (258 million speakers)
Language family: East Slavic, a sub-family of Indo-European
Related to: Ukrainian, Belarusian
Fun fact: Due to Russia’s presence in space technology, it is a requirement for foreign astronauts to know a certain amount of Russian (as if becoming an astronaut wasn’t already difficult enough!).
One of the most spread out languages (with around 155 million native speakers living across the world), the eighth most spoken language in the world is Russian.
While Russian grammar is renowned to be a little tricky, Russian only has about 200,000 words (English has roughly one million), which is why most of them have more than one meaning.
9. Portuguese (234 million speakers)
Language family: Romance, a sub-branch of Indo-European
Related to: Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian
Fun fact: Until recently, the letters “k”, “w“ and “y” were not part of the Portuguese alphabet. In 2009, a new agreement was signed to standardize spelling forms across different variations.
Portuguese is rooted in the region of Medieval Galicia (which was partly in the north of Portugal and partly in the northwest of Spain), but only five percent of the 215 million native Portuguese speakers actually live in Portugal.
You probably know that it’s the official language of Brazil, but it also has the sole official status in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Macau, Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Príncipe.
10. Indonesian (199 million speakers)
Language family: Austronesian
Related to: Malay, Javanese, Sundranese, Madurese, etc.
Fun fact: Along with Malay, it’s up there in the list of most polite languages in the world’s Eastern region.
A standardized variation of Malay, an Austronesian language that’s the official language of Malaysia, Indonesian is a great example of a widely spoken language that encompasses a number of distinct dialects across Indonesia.
And despite Western preconceptions, with a simple structure and easy pronunciation in its favor, Indonesian is surprisingly easy to learn.