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Languages of the World
Most Widely Spoken Languages
___ Most widely spoken Languages in the World.
What are the most spoken languages in the world?In how many countries people speak...?
On this page you will find answers to this questions. The figures below are more or less reasonable assumptions
based on various data sources, but they give an overview of which languages are most used worldwide.
In this context there are various zealous debates, disputes and discussions about following points:
- Should the more than fifteen dialects of spoken Arabic, defined by geographical areas, considered as one Language?
- Should the various dialects of spoken Chinese considered as one Language?
- Should English considered to be a German dialect?
(That was not a joke, because English is a West Germanic language.)
- The number of official languages of countries.
This numbers vary utmost from source to source, e.g.:
"English is the official language of only seven countries".
(Michael Lerner, President, Learn the Net.com for IBM)
The ISO 3166-1 code lists 83 countries and regions with English as "official language".
(ISO 3166-1 Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions.)
Ethnologue states: English is spoken in the United Kingdom and in 104 other countries.
And here we come to the problem with
- The number of second language speakers, Ethnologue says, and no one put that into question, that English is spoken in the United Kingdom and in 104 other countries, well but what is with the other let's say100 countries and regions in the world?
English is the most widely used "second" and "learning" language in the world used for international communication in various fields like aviation, business, internet, science and technology to name only some.
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Most Common Languages
|List of languages by total speakers, ranked by numbers of first language speakers. (est. 1999)|
|Population total all countries first language speakers||Including second language speakers|
汉语/漢語 Hànyǔ or 中文 Zhōngwén
official language in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore and Taiwan.
|Chinese (普通话/普通話 Pǔtōnghuà, Putonghua)
Standard Chinese (Mandarin)
|874 000 000||1 052 000 000|
|Chinese, Wu (吴语/ 吳語 - Wú yǔ)
|77 175 000||77 175 000|
|Chinese, Yue (粤语/粵語 - Yuht yúh)
includes Cantonese and Taishanese
|52 000 000||71 000 000|
|Chinese, Jinyu (晋语/晉語 - Jìn yǔ)||45 000 000||45 000 000|
|Chinese, Min Nan (闽语/閩語 - Mǐnyǔ)
includes Hokkien, Taiwanese and Teochew
|45 000 000||45 000 000|
|Chinese, Hakka (客家话/客家話 - Hak-kâ-va)||33 000 000||33 000 000|
|Chinese, Gan (赣语/贛語 - Gànyǔ)||20 580 000||20 580 000|
without several million speakers of other Chinese dialects.
|1 146 755 000||1 343 755 000|
मानक हिन्दी - Mānak Hindī
Modern Standard Hindi is a standardised variety of the Hindustani language.
It is one of the official languages in India (as Hindi, Urdu) and in Pakistan (as Urdu).
|hin||366 000 000||487 000 000|
has been widely dispersed around the world, it is official language in 83 countries/regions (ISO), spoken in 105 other countries (E).
Curiosity: English language does not have official status in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
|eng||341 000 000
||508 000 000|
español ("Spanish") and castellano ("Castilian")
with the expansion of the former Spanish Empire (Spain), the language spread around the world, it is official language in 21 countries (ISO), spoken in 44 countries (E); Mexico contains the largest population of Spanish speakers.
|spa/esp||322 200 000 to
358 000 000
|417 000 000|
Official language in 26 countries (ISO), spoken (in various dialects) in the Middle east, north Africa, Arabian Peninsula and other Islamic countries.
|ara||280 000 000
বাংলা - Bangla
Official language in Bangladesh (ISO), spoken in 8 other countries (E).
|ben||207 000 000||211 000 000|
Natively spoken in Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, and East Timor; official language in 9 countries (ISO), spoken in 34 countries (E).
|por||176 000 000||191 000 000|
ру́сский язы́к - russkij jazyk; literal: Russian language
Most widely spoken of the Slavic languages, spoken in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, official (or co-official) language in 4 countries (ISO), spoken in 31 countries (E).
|rus||167 000 000||277 000 000|
日本語 - Nihongo
official language in Japan and spoken in Japanese emigrant communities around the world.
|jpn||125 000 000||126 000 000|
in German: Deutsch
German is official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Italy (South Tyrol); 5 countries (ISO), spoken in 40 other countries (E).
|ger/deu||121 000 000||128 000 000|
in Thai: ภาษาไต - p̣hās̛̄ā tay, literal: language Thai
National languages of Thailand and Laos. The Tai-Kadai languages, also known as Kadai, Kradai, or Kra-Dai languages, and in China as Zhuang-Dong languages, are a tonal language family found in southern China and Southeast Asia.
|tai||83 000 000
up to 100 million
Korean: 한국어 - Hangugeo
spoken in North Korea, South Korea; one of two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, Jilin Province, China.
|kor||78 000 000||78 000 000|
in French: le français
is spoken as a first language in France, French-speaking Switzerland, in parts of Belgium, (Brussels), Monaco, and in parts of Canada, (Quebec), and by French communities elsewhere. Official language in 40 countries (ISO), spoken in 54 countries (E)
|fra||77 000 000||128 000 000|
|Source: Ethnologue (E); UNHCR ; ISO/CD 3166-1 country codes (ISO); and others|
|More about languages:|
Languages of the World
with an updated Top 20 list of the most widely spoken languages by "First language" speakers.
Countries by Languages
Mega languages around the World - List of Chinese, English, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, and French speaking countries.
Official and National Languages of the World by Continent:
Languages of Africa
Languages of the Americas
Languages of Asia
Languages of Australia and the Pacifics
Languages of Europe
Languages and Codes
List of languages in English and French names, with a short description where this languages are spoken, with ISO 639-2 language codes.
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