The most widely spoken languages in the world have a large number of native inhabitants, but also scholars and bilingual populations.
In all, there are more than 7,000 known languages, but only the list of the 23 most widely spoken languages in the world is enough to cover more than half of the world’s population.
In this way, learning some of the most popular languages can facilitate connections and communications. A person who understands English and Spanish, for example, is able to communicate with one in three internet users.
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On the other hand, learning Chinese adds up to a 20% group of people, dominating almost half of the online audience, in all. Whether to consume content for entertainment or work, learning new languages is one of the best ways to expand connections and horizons.
10 Most Spoken Languages In The World
Considering the 379 million native speakers, English would only rank third among the most widely spoken languages in the world. However, there are more than 753 million other English speakers in the world, adding up to more than 1.2 billion people able to communicate in English.
2. Mandarin Chinese
Mandarin is officially the language with the most native speakers, but in total it is the second most spoken language in the world, with 1.1 billion speakers. However, the 918 million native speakers include speakers of various understandable dialects within the group. In language variants, for example, changing the way a word is pronounced can also change its meaning.
Hindi is one of the official languages of India, which is why it ranks third among the most widely spoken languages in the world. With the high number of local inhabitants, there are 341 million native speakers, in addition to another 274 million non-native speakers. Altogether, there are 637 million speakers, including groups that communicate with the more than 1,600 existing languages in the country.
In numbers of native speakers, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world. The more than 538 million Spanish speakers are spread across all continents, due to Spain’s colonial expansion. In addition, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States and the most studied worldwide.
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Although there are only 77 million native speakers, there are more than 200 million French speakers around the world. The language, which was once considered the language of culture and love, is the third most spoken language in the world, by non-natives, in addition to being official in 29 countries.
Arabic is the official language of 26 countries, which contributed to making it the sixth most spoken language in the world, with 274 million speakers. However, what is considered Arabic encompasses a set of different dialects, not just one language. The language is essential for the practice of business in the Arab world, as well as for the practice of the liturgy of Islam.
Bengali is the official language of Bangladesh, a country with one of the highest population densities in the world. In addition, the language is widely used in regions of India, which contributed to a total of 265 million speakers.
With Russia’s territorial extension, it would be no surprise that the language is one of the most widely spoken in the world. The language is official in four countries, but it is also used normally in all countries that were part of the Soviet Union, which means that more than 100 million, of the 258 million speakers, are not native speakers.
The Portuguese spread across all continents, being the official language of Portugal, Brazil, and nine other countries (Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Macau, Cape Verde, and Sao Tome and Principe).
Because of this, and mainly due to the size of the Brazilian population, the language is the most widely spoken in the world in the southern hemisphere, with 252 million speakers.
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Despite being the official language of Indonesia, it is the only one with more non-native speakers than native speakers. This is because the language is treated as a second language to ensure the understanding of the inhabitants of a country with more than 200 local languages. Of the 199 million speakers, only 43 million are considered to be native speakers.