Average Number of Languages Spoken by Country 2023

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What Is the Average Number of Languages Spoken in the United States?

Most people associate the United States with very little linguistic diversity. It is true that citizens of the United States tend to speak only one language: English. Furthermore, there are some people in the United States who have a difficult time understanding English if it is spoken by someone with a thick accent. On the other hand, there are lots of people who live in the United States to speak a second language, such as Spanish or French. The people who speak a second language are not necessarily citizens of the United States. Therefore, they are often overlooked. Some of the most common second languages you will hear in the United States include Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and French.

How Many Languages Do People in Europe Speak?

People who live in Europe can often speak a wide variety of languages; however, it depends on where someone lives in Europe. For example, people who live in the United Kingdom, including England and Ireland, tend to speak only one language. Similar to people from the United States, they usually only speak English; however, people who live in Mainland Europe can often speak more than one language.

For example, people who live in Spain or France can often speak both Spanish and French; however, sometimes, they can only understand it, not necessarily speak it. There are a lot of similarities between the two languages, but people cannot always speak both of them.

In smaller countries in Mainland Europe, people can often speak a handful of languages. For example, people who live in Luxembourg, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium can often speak three languages. They probably know English, their native language, and either French or Spanish. The same is true of people who live in Scandinavian countries. These include Norway, Sweden, and Finland. People who live in these countries can often speak a handful of languages as well.

How Many Languages Do People in China Speak?

People who live in China can often speak at least two languages, sometimes more. The official language of China is Mandarin Chinese, often known as Han Chinese, but there are numerous dialects of Chinese that many people can also speak. Some people do not consider these to be different languages, but they are distinct from one another. Therefore, they should be considered different languages.

For example, there are a lot of people who live in China who can speak not only Han Chinese but also Cantonese. Cantonese is more common in the Southeastern areas of China, but most people who live in China can also understand Cantonese, and they might be able to speak it themselves.

Finally, people who live in China can also speak English. Not everyone who lives in China can speak English, but the farther south you go, the more people speak English. For example, everyone who lives in Hong Kong speaks English, as the island was once owned by the British.

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...

English

  • Number of native-speaking people... 379,000,000 people
  • Number of non-native speakers… 753,300,000 people

French

  • 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

  • Number of native-speaking people... 273,900,000 people
  • Number of non-native speakers… 132,000,000 people

Portuguese

  • 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

  • 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.

Average Number of Languages Spoken by Country 2023

Average Number of Languages Spoken by Country 2023