The 10 Most Spoken Languages in the World

1. Mandarin:

The most widely spoken language on the planet was born in the most populated country. It is spoken by over 1 billion people around the world. Learning Mandarin can be really tough, because each word can be pronounced in four ways (or 'tones'), and a beginner will invariably have trouble distinguishing one tone from another.

Mandarin
Mandarin

2. English:

Although English isn’t the most spoken language in the world, it is the official language of more countries than any other language. It is spoken by approximately 508 million people. Its speakers hail from all around the world, including New Zealand, the US, Australia, the UK, Ireland, Zimbabwe, the Caribbean, Hong Kong, South Africa, and Canada. It can be said that English is the most popular language in the world.

English
English

3Hindustani:

Hindustani is the primary language of India’s crowded populace. It contains a huge number of dialects, of which the most commonly spoken is Hindi. While most people predict that India’s population will soon surpass China’s, the importance of English in India prevents Hindustani from surpassing the most popular language in the world. It’s spoken by around 497 million people.

Hindustani
Hindustani

4. Spanish:

Spanish is spoken widely in just about every South & Central American country, not to mention Spain, Cuba, and the U.S. There is a particular interest in Spanish in the US as many English words are borrowed from the language, including: tornado, bonanza, patio, quesadilla, enchilada, and taco grande supreme! To reach fourth place, the language is spoken by 392 million people around the world.

Spanish
Spanish

5. Russian:

Russian is spoken in the not only mother land, but also in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, and it’s considered an unofficial lingua franca in Ukraine and many former Soviet countries. There’s also a notable contingent of Russian-speakers in Cyprus, Finland, Hungary, Mongolia, Poland, China, the U.S. and Israel. Altogether, it is spoken by more than 275 million people.

Russian
Russian

6. Arabic:

Arabic, one of the oldest languages, is widely spoken in the Middle East. Furthermore, because Arabic is the language of the Koran, millions of Muslims in other countries speak Arabic as well. Globally it is spoken by about 246 million people.

Arabic
Arabic

7. Bengali:

In Bangladesh, a country of 120+ million people surrounded completely by India, just about everybody speaks Bengali. The population is growing so fast that the number of Bengali speakers in the world is much higher than most people would expect. The estimated number of speakers is around 211 million.

Bengali
Bengali

8. Portuguese:

After gaining independence from Spain, Portugal got in early on the exploring game, so their language established itself all over the world, especially in Brazil (where it’s the national language), Macau, Angola, Venezuela, and Mozambique. Thanks to this expansion, now over 190 million people speak Portuguese around the world.

Portuguese
Portuguese

9. Malay-Indonesian:

Malay-Indonesian is spoken in Malaysia and Indonesia. Actually, numbers on this one is combined because there are many dialects of Malay, the most popular of which is Indonesian. But they’re all pretty much based on the same root language, which makes it the ninth most spoken language in the world with 159 million speakers.

Malay-Indonesian
Malay-Indonesian

10.  French:

Often called the most romantic language in the world, French is spoken in tons of countries besides France, including Belgium, Canada, Rwanda, Cameroon, and Haiti. More than 129 million people around the world speak this language.

French
French

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