Most Spoken Languages

Language is the number one way that people are able to communicate. It can be very hard to converse and engage with other people when language barriers are in place. It’s not impossible to interact with those who speak a different language than you, but the difficulty is still very present.

Languages have evolved over time, as they have always been affected by situations like colonization or immigration. Different regions of the world adhere to their own languages and ways of life, which is incredible because without these distinct differences, everyone would be the same and there would be no reason to explore countries outside of our home nation.

Interestingly enough, English is the most spoken language across the globe in terms of the current number of people who speak the language, whether it be fluently or not. However, despite English being the most popular language around the world, it is not the language that holds the record for highest number of native speakers.

English has expanded beyond England and come to be recognized as the official language of many nations around the world. So, while more people speak English than any other language, know that many people adopted the language into their lives since it is so common rather than speaking English as part of their culture.

The top ten most spoken languages in the world today are…

  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Spanish
  • English
  • French
  • Hindustanti
  • Arabic
  • Portuguese
  • Bengali
  • Russian
  • Japanese
  • Punjabi

Mandarin Chinese

  • Spoken most prominently in... China, Singapore, Taiwan
  • Number of native-speaking people... 917,800,000 people
  • Number of non-native speakers… 198,700,000 people

Spanish

Spanish is spoken most prominently in...

  • Argentina

  • Bolivia

  • Chile

  • Colombia

  • Costa Rica

  • The Dominican Republic

  • Ecuador

  • Equatorial Guinea

  • El Salvador

  • Guatemala

  • Honduras

  • Mexico

  • Nicaragua

  • Panama

  • Paraguay

  • Puerto Rico

  • Spain

  • Uruguay

  • Venezuela

  • Number of native-speaking people... 460,100,000 people

  • Number of non-native speakers… 74,200,000 people

English

English is spoken most prominently in...

  • Africa
  • Australia
  • England
  • Wales
  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland
  • The Republic of Ireland
  • North America
  • South America
  • The Caribbean Islands
  • New Zealand
  • Number of native-speaking people... 379,000,000 people
  • Number of non-native speakers… 753,300,000 people

French

French is spoken most prominently in…

  • Algeria

  • Belgium

  • Canada

  • France

  • French Guiana

  • Guadeloupe

  • Haiti

  • Luxembourg

  • Martinique

  • Monaca

  • Morocco

  • Tunisia

  • Number of native-speaking people… 77,200,000 people

  • Number of non-native speakers… 202,600,000 people

Hindustanti

  • Spoken most prominently in... Fiji, India, Nepal, Pakistan
  • Number of native-speaking people... 341,200,000 people
  • Number of non-native speakers… 274,200,000 people

Arabic

Arabic is spoken most prominently in...

  • Algeria

  • Bahrain

  • Comoros

  • Chad

  • Djibouti

  • Egypt

  • Eritrea

  • Iraq

  • Israel

  • Jordan

  • Kuwait

  • Lebanon

  • Libya

  • Mauritania

  • Morocco

  • Oman

  • Palestine

  • Qatar

  • Saudi Arabia

  • Somalia

  • Sudan

  • Syria

  • Tunisia

  • The United Arab Emirates

  • The Western Sahara

  • Yemen

  • Number of native-speaking people... 273,900,000 people

  • Number of non-native speakers… 132,000,000 people

Portuguese

Portuguese is spoken most prominently in...

  • Angola

  • Brazil

  • Cape Verde

  • Guinea-Bissau

  • Mozambique

  • Portugal

  • Sao Tome

  • Number of native-speaking people... 220,700,000 people

  • Number of non-native speakers… 13,400,000 people

Bengali

  • Spoken most prominently in... Bangladesh, India
  • Number of native-speaking people... 228,300,000 people
  • Number of non-native speakers… 36,700,000 people

Russian

Russia is spoken most prominently in...

  • Armenia

  • Azerbaijan

  • Byelorussia

  • Estonia

  • Georgia

  • Kazakhstan

  • Kyrgyzstan

  • Latvia

  • Lithuania

  • Moldova

  • Tajikistan

  • Turkmenistan

  • Uzbekistan

  • Ukraine

  • Number of native-speaking people... 153,700,000 people

  • Number of non-native speakers… 104,400,000 people

Japanese

  • Spoken most prominently in... Japan
  • Number of native-speaking people... 128,200,000 people
  • Number of non-native speakers… 131,000 people

Punjabi

  • Spoken most prominently in... India, Pakistan
  • Number of native-speaking people... 92,700,000 people
  • Number of non-native speakers… none

Korean

  • Spoken most prominently in… North and South Korea
  • Number of native-speaking people… 77,200,000 people
  • Number of non-native speakers… none

Telugu

  • Spoken most prominently in… India
  • Number of native-speaking people… 82,000,000 people
  • Number of non-native speakers… 11,000,000 people

Javanese

  • Spoken most prominently in… Indonesia, Suriname
  • Number of native-speaking people… 68,200,000 people
  • Number of non-native speakers… none

German

  • Spoken most prominently in… Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland
  • Number of native-speaking people… 76,000,000 people
  • Number of non-native speakers… 56,000,000 people

Here are all the known languages in order of their popularity.

  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Spanish
  • English
  • Hindi
  • Arabic
  • Portuguese
  • Bengali
  • Russian
  • Japanese
  • Punjabi
  • German
  • Javense
  • Wu
  • Malay
  • Telugu
  • Vietnamese
  • Korean
  • French
  • Marathi
  • Tamil
  • Urdu
  • Turkish
  • Italian
  • Yue
  • Thai
  • Gujarati
  • Jin
  • Southern Min
  • Persian
  • Polish
  • Pashto
  • Kannada
  • Xiang
  • Malayalam
  • Sudanese
  • Hausa
  • Odia
  • Burmese
  • Hakka
  • Ukrainian
  • Bhojpuri
  • Tagalog
  • Yoruba
  • Maithili
  • Uzbek
  • Sindhi
  • Amharic
  • Fula
  • Romanian
  • Oromo
  • Igbo
  • Azerbaijani
  • Awadhi
  • Gan
  • Gebuano
  • Dutch
  • Kurdish
  • Serbo-Croatian
  • Malagasy
  • Saraiki
  • Nepali
  • Sinhalese
  • Chittagonian
  • Zhuang
  • Khmer
  • Turkmen
  • Assamese
  • Madurese
  • Somali
  • Marwari
  • Magahi
  • Haryanvi
  • Hungarian
  • Chattsgarhi
  • Greek
  • Chewa
  • Deccan
  • Akan
  • Kazakh
  • Northern Min
  • Sylheti
  • Zulu
  • Czech
  • Kinyarwanda
  • Dhundhari
  • Haitian
  • Creole
  • Eastern Min
  • Ilocano
  • Quechua
  • Kirundi
  • Swedish
  • Hmong
  • Shona
  • Uyghur
  • Hiligaynon
  • Mossi
  • Xhosa
  • Belarusian
  • Balochi
  • Konkani

While this list may seem lengthier than you predicted, these are only the languages that have a pretty decent following. But they only scratch the surface. In fact, there are actually seven thousand nine hundred seven languages in the world. Many languages are not known beyond the confines of certain regions, which is especially true in small and remote places across the globe.

In Europe, for example, there are only two hundred thirty languages in total across all European countries. Asia, on the other hand, is home to approximately two thousand one hundred ninety-seven languages, which goes to show that the total area of a country or continent matters less in terms of how many languages there are.