Most spoken languages in the world, by number of native speakers

Most definitely you have experienced first-hand a night of what I call “bed brainstorming”. It is the phenomenon where you try to lay down and sleep, but your brain is still in hyperdrive and random questions jump in your mind and keep you awake.

Such a question kept me awake for a bit last night. “How many people speak English / German / Italian / etc?” I asked myself, so I took a quick look at it and here’s what I found.

According to data gathered in 2010, google results agree that the following are the top 10 most spoken languages in the world, sorted by population:

  1. Mandarin Chinese – 955 million native speakers

Mandarin belongs to the Sino-Tibetan family of languages and is spoken mainly in China (People’s republic of China).

  1. Spanish – 405 million native speakers

Spanish is a part of the Indo-European family and it is spoken in Spain and Central and South America with some differences.

  1. English – 360 million native speakers

English belongs to the same family of languages and is spoken in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, United States of America and the entire Commonwealth. Each country may have differences in their vocabulary and other.

  1. Hindi – 310 million native speakers

Hindi is our family member as well and it is spoken mainly in Northern India.

  1. Arabic – 295 million native speakers

Arabic belongs to the Afro-Asiatic family of languages and is spoken in many countries, mainly in Northern African countries and the entire Arabian Peninsula.

  1. Portuguese – 215 million native speakers

Part of our family as well, Portuguese is spoken in Portugal and Brazil with some differences in the vocabulary and other.

  1. Bengali – 205 million native speakers

Another family member! Bengali is spoken in Bangladesh and India.

  1. Russian – 155 million native speakers

Russian belongs to our family too and is spoken mainly throughout Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

  1. Japanese – 125 million native speakers

Japanese is part of the Japonic family and is spoken in the well-known island-nation of Japan.

  1. Punjabi – 100 million native speakers

Punjabi is our last sister in the family in this top 10 list and it is spoken in regions between Northwest India and East Pakistan.

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Now, the European languages that don’t show up in the list above, hold the following places in the list of top 100 most spoken languages in the world:

  1. German   95 million native speakers (According to data gathered in 2010)
  2. French    75 million native speakers (According to data gathered in 2007)
  3. Italian    59 million native speakers (According to data gathered in 2007)
  4. Polish    40 million native speakers (According to data gathered in 2007)
  5. Ukrainian    30 million native speakers (According to data gathered in 2007)
  6. Romanian    24 million native speakers (According to data gathered in 2007)
  7. Dutch    21 million native speakers (According to data gathered in 2007)
  8. Hungarian    13 million native speakers (According to data gathered in 2007)
  9. Greek    12 million native speakers (According to data gathered in 2007)
  10. Czech    10 million native speakers (According to data gathered in 2007)
  11. Swedish    8.7 million native speakers (According to data gathered in 2007)
  12. Belarussian    7.6 million native speakers (According to data gathered in 2007)

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In lists like this one you will probably find the most common and widely known languages, but keep in mind that there are over 5.000 languages spoken globally every day. That’s a lot to keep track of! Lucky for you, our translation agency is able to translate from and to a lot of languages as well. So, you won’t get lost in this abundancy.

By Markus D.

Sources

Babbel.com

Wikipedia.org

Vivalanga.com

Statista.com

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2 thoughts on “Most spoken languages in the world, by number of native speakers

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