The World’s Top 10 Most Spoken Languages

by visualcapitalist

The World’s Top 10 Most Spoken Languages

 

In today’s increasingly globalized world, having a shared means of communication—or an international language, rather—is more important than ever.

With over 1.1 billion speakers worldwide, English is currently the closest we’ve come to a lingua franca, a common language that connects people from different backgrounds.

However, Mandarin Chinese may one day catch up. Here’s a look at the top 10 most spoken languages across the globe:

Rank Language Total Speakers
1 English 1,132 million
2 Mandarin Chinese 1,117 million
3 Hindi 615 million
4 Spanish 534 million
5 French 280 million
6 Standard Arabic 274 million
7 Bengali 265 million
8 Russian 258 million
9 Portuguese 234 million
10 Indonesian 199 million
READ  World Health Organization: The second year of the #COVID19 pandemic 'could even be tougher'

While English and Mandarin Chinese come close when looking at their total number of speakers, English has a wider geographical distribution—it’s classified as an official language in 67 different countries worldwide.

In contrast, Mandarin Chinese is recognized as an official language in just five regions.

Top 10 Languages By Native Speakers

Things look slightly different when looking at total native speakers, or people who consider a language their first/primary one.

In this instance, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish outrank English:

Rank Language Native Speakers
1 Mandarin Chinese 918 million
2 Spanish 460 million
3 English 379 million
4 Hindi 341 million
5 Bengali 228 million
6 Portuguese 221 million
7 Russian 154 million
8 Japanese 128 million
9 Western Punjabi 93 million
10 Marathi 83 million

This begs the question—will English remain the “dominant” language in the years to come, or will the world be switching to a new lingua franca in the future?

105 views