What are the most widely spoken languages on the world?
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 Busuu, which is named after a language spoken by only eight individuals.
Others are spoken by a lot of people in a lot of countries and are often chosen by people who want to learn a new language.
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.
The world’s top 12 most spoken languages
English is the first language (1.132 million speakers).
Germanic is an Indo-European language family branch.
German, Dutch, and Frisian are all related.
The English word “goodbye” was derived from the phrase “God be with you.”
There are about 1,130 million people who speak English as their first language.
It’s also the official language of the sky, with all pilots having to speak English to each other.
Shakespeare changed nouns into verbs, verbs into nouns, connected words together, added prefixes and suffixes to other words, and so on. He also added more than 1,700 new words to the English language during his lifetime.
Chinese (Mandarin) (1.117 million speakers)
Sino-Tibetan is a language family.
Cantonese, Tibetan, and Burmese are all related languages.
According to research, only about 2,500 characters are required to read nearly 98 percent of ordinary written Chinese.
Mandarin Chinese is the world’s second most spoken language in terms of native speakers alone.
It is the official language of mainland China, Taiwan, and Singapore, as well as one of the United Nations’ six official languages. As a result, the fact that there are around 1.09 million native speakers worldwide is not surprising.
Mandarin is a tonal language, which means that the meaning of a word varies depending on how it is spoken.
One of the most difficult languages to learn, it has a character set of about 50,000.
There are no verb conjugations, tenses, or gender-specific nouns, so don’t worry.
Isn’t it quite inspiring?
Perhaps this is why it is now one of the most popular languages to learn…
3. Hindi (615 million speakers)The Indo-Ayranis
branch of the Indo-European language family.
If you speak English, you’re probably already familiar with Hindi. Do words like “guru,” “jungle,” “karma,” “yoga,” “bungalow,” “cheetah,” and “avatar” come to mind? These (and many more!) words are derived from Hindi.
Hindi is the world’s third-most spoken language, with over 615 million native speakers. It is the official language of India, and it is also spoken in Nepal, Fiji, Mauritius, and Guyana.
Hindi is a Sanskrit-influenced language called after the Persian term “hind,” which literally means “Land of the Indus River.”
4. The Spanish language (534 million speakers)
The Romance language family is an Indo-European language family.
French, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian are all related.
Fun fact: after the Bible, the first modern novel and the second-most translated book were written in Spanish. Which novel is it? Of course, it’s Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote!
Spanish is the official language of twenty-two countries on four continents, and it is already the world’s second-most studied language.
Can you think that 10% of the world’s population will be able to communicate in Spanish within three generations?
For native English speakers, this is fantastic news.
For English speakers, Spanish looks like the easiest foreign language to learn! According to experts, achieving “general professional competency” in the language takes about 22–24 weeks.
French is ranked fifth (with 280 million speakers).
Romance is a language family.
Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian are all related.
Interesting fact: French is the source of approximately 45 percent of modern English vocabulary.
Despite what Hollywood movies may lead you to believe, the language of love does not only exist on moonlit Parisian walks.
There are many places where the French language has spread its roots, from the rest of France and parts of Canada to a number of African countries, like Senegal and Madagascar.
Arabic is the sixth language (274 million speakers).
Semitic is a sub-family of Afro-Asiatic languages.
Hebrew, Amharic, and Aramaic are all related languages.
There are at least 11 terms in Arabic for love, each describing a different step in the love process. Isn’t that a compelling motivation to begin learning?
Arabic is the world’s sixth most spoken language, with 295 million native speakers, and the only one in our top twelve that is written from right to left.
A lot of the words in European languages like Spanish and Portuguese sound the same because of it.
It has also left an indelible effect on the English language. The Arabic term qahwa, for example, is the source of the word coffee.
Bangla/Bengali is the seventh language in the Bangla/Bengali language family (265 million speakers).
Indo-Aryan is a branch of the Indo-European language family.
Hindus, Punjabis, Marathas, Kashmiris, and Nepalese are all represented.
Fun fact: the Bengali script is the world’s fifth most extensively used writing system, despite its relative obscurity in the West.
Bengali, also known as Bangla by many English speakers around the world, is mostly spoken in Bangladesh and India, and is regarded as the second most beautiful language after French by some.
It is the world’s sixth most spoken language, with over 205 million native speakers.
The Bengali alphabet is quite fascinating.
Every consonant has a built-in vowel sound, which is unique in Western languages.
It gets even better: different markings alter a word’s default vowel sound, and thus its meaning!
Russian (nine) (approximately 258 million speakers)
East Slavic is an Indo-European language subfamily.
Ukraine and Belarus are two countries that are related to each other.
Foreign astronauts are required to know a certain amount of Russian due to Russia’s presence in space technology (as if becoming an astronaut wasn’t challenging enough!).
The eighth most spoken language in the world is Russian, which is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world (with over 155 million native speakers).
While Russian grammar is notorious for being difficult, the language only has about 200,000 words (compared to one million in English), so most words have many meanings.
9. The Portuguese language (234 million speakers).
Romance is a sub-branch of Indo-European and belongs to the Romance language family.
Spanish, French, Italian, and Romanian are all related.
Fun fact: the letters “k,” “w,” and “y” were not part of the Portuguese alphabet until recently. A new agreement to standardize spelling forms across different varieties was signed in 2009.
Although Portuguese has its origins in the Medieval Galicia region (part of which was in Portugal and part of which was in Spain), only 5% of the 215 million native Portuguese speakers live in Portugal.
Anglicanism is the official language in Angola and Mozambique, as well as Guinea-Bissau and East Timor. It is also used in Macau, Cape Verde, and So Tomé and Principe.
(199 million speakers) Indonesian (nine)
Austronesian is a language family.
Malay, Javanese, Sundranese, Madurese, and other related dialects
It ranks alongside Malay as one of the most polite languages in the world’s eastern area.
Indonesian is a standardised version of Malay, an Austronesian language that is Malaysia’s official language. It is a great example of a language that is spoken all over the country and has a lot of different dialects.
And, contrary to popular belief, Indonesian is very easy to learn because it has a simple structure and a simple pronunciation.
Urdu is ranked eleventh (with 170 million speakers).
The Indo-Aryan language family is a group of languages.
Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Kashmiri, and Nepali are all related languages.
Hindi and Urdu speakers can carry on a short conversation just fine if they keep it that way. In recent years or two, Urdu,
Pakistan’s lingua franca and closely related to Hindi, has risen to the top of the most spoken languages list.
The French language, dubbed the language of love by some for its intriguing-sounding and beautiful words, may have some competition on its hands…
(12.) (132 million speakers) German
West Germanic is an Indo-European language subfamily.
English, Frisian, and Dutch are all related.
German is famed for its seemingly infinite phrases, which is a fun thing to know.
German is the most spoken language in the European Union, with just over 100 million native speakers and just under 32 million non-native speakers. It is often referred to as the language of writers and thinkers.
Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Luxembourg all have it as an official language.
Not least because of its potential to generate entirely new and extremely specialized terms.
That is most likely why it is so lyrical. A word that means “damage delight,” for example, refers to the pleasure or entertainment that comes from someone else’s misfortune, injury, or pain.
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