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___ 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.

 

Most Common Languages

List of languages by total speakers, ranked by numbers of first language speakers. (est. 1999)
Language ISO 639-2
alpha-3 code
Population total all countries
first language speakers
Including second language speakers
Chinese

汉语/漢語 Hànyǔ or 中文 Zhōngwén

official language in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore and Taiwan.
 
chi/zho    
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)
includes Shanghainese
  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
Total Chinese:
without several million speakers of other Chinese dialects.
 
  1 146 755 000 1 343 755 000
Hindi

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
English

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
Spanish

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
Arabic

العربية

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
(figures: UNHCR)
N/A
Bengali/Bangla

বাংলা - Bangla

Official language in Bangladesh (ISO), spoken in 8 other countries (E).
 
ben 207 000 000 211 000 000
Portuguese

português

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
Russian

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
Japanese

日本語 - Nihongo

official language in Japan and spoken in Japanese emigrant communities around the world.
 
jpn 125 000 000 126 000 000
German

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
Tai-Kadai

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
N/A
Korean

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
French

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.
Related Consumer Information:

 
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Actually, there are more than five colors,

Baron de Coubertin would have loved to use them all.

Why is it, that Gay and Lesbian people still are victims of persecution, harassment, and assaults occasioning actual bodily harm or worse?
Our world would be much poorer and colder without the creativity and ingenuity of the colorful LGBT* culture.
So, get up, stand up, and don't let it happen again and again and again.

Nature made sure, that all men are able to love each other without distinction of gender. This ability empowers humans to care for and to help each other. Natures gift simply secures the survival of the species.
But in some societies this natural law has been neglected by religions, governments and other interest groups in favour for better controllable straight-laced communities.

But if you know what life is worth, You will look for yours on earth
(lyrics from the song Get Up, Stand Up)
Bob Marley



* LGBT - acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

Declaration of Human Rights

Article I
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.