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The 5 Most Spoken Languages in the World

The 5 Most Spoken Languages in the World

There are somewhere between 5,000-10,000 different spoken languages across the globe at present. Many of these languages share the same roots and are spoken by many people all over the world. Whereas certain languages tend to stay within the country from which they originate, others are spoken by people outside of their place of origin due to the language spreading through cultural diffusion. The following are the 5 most spoken languages in the world. The list is in order based on the total number of native speakers.

1) Mandarin: 873,000,000 speakers

With 1.051 billion total speakers mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world. It is part of the Sino-Tibetan and Chinese families. It is the official language in The People’s Republic of China, Taiwan and one of the four official languages of Singapore. It is also one of the 6 official languages of the United Nations.


2) Hindi: 370,000,000

With 490 million total speakers Hindi is the second most widely spoken language in the world. It is an Indo-European, Western Hindi language. It is the official language of India and one of the official languages of Fiji. There are many native dialects and select words used in Hindi but all follow the Standard Hindi principles. It is widely spoken in Pakistan as well and despite being the first language of many people there, it has no official status there.

The 5 Most Spoken Languages in the World

3) Spanish: 350,000,000

With 490 million total speakers Spanish is the third most widely spoken language in the world. It is a romantic, Italic language and traces its roots to Latin. It is the official language in 20 countries; Colombia, Spain, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guatemala, Cuba, Bolivia, Honduras, El Salvador, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Panama, Equatorial Guinea, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Uruguay. It too is one of the 6 official languages of the United Nations. The United States of America has the most Spanish speakers in it, either as a first or second language.

4) English: 338,000,000

With 510 million speakers in total, English is the fourth most widely spoken language in the world. English is a Western Germanic language however, it has borrowed many Latin based words. Making it easier for people learning Latin languages such as French, Spanish, and Portuguese due to the high number of cognates, or words that mean the same and sound similar between languages. English is also one of the 6 official languages of the United Nations; it is also one of the official languages in The European Union, NATO, and Commonwealth of Nations. It is the single official language in The United States of America, The United Kingdom and Australia. It is also an official language in 50 other countries however; it is not the only official language or the mainly spoken language. These countries include The Bahamas, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Singapore, Rwanda, Philippines, New Zealand, Pakistan, Madagascar, Ireland, India, Kenya, Jamaica, Fiji, Canada, Cameroon, etc.

5) Arabic: 206,000,000

With 230 million speakers in total, Arabic is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world. It is an Afro-Asiatic, Semitic language. It is most spoken in the Middle East and Northern Africa. It is the official language of 26 countries; Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. It is not the only official language in several of these countries but it is one of the 6 official languages of the United Nations.


Fancy learning more about these languages and culture this year? Then what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and start arranging those travel plans!


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