Top 10

Top 10 most popular spoken languages ​​in the world

Have you ever wondered what are the most widely spoken languages in the world? Although there are currently more than 7,000 languages, only 23 cover more than half of the world’s population.

This is not just a statistical question: it is essential when planning a global expansion strategy. Whether in the workplace or personal, knowledge of other languages ​​offers us new horizons.

Today, there are multiple tools for language learning. There is a course designed for every need. We have knowledge, we have new ideas or products: let’s multiply our voice in all possible languages!

Here is a list of the 10 most spoken languages ​​in the world according to Ethnologue data (2019).

1. English (1,132 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 379 million
  • Non-native speakers: 753 million

Like Latin or Greek at the time, English is the universal language today. It is the default language in international business, tourism, technology, etc.

A bilingual person, who speaks Spanish and English, is able to understand 1 in 3 people who connect to the Internet (Internet World Stats, 2019). In addition, you can access 60% of everything published on the web (W3Techs, 2019).

2. Mandarin Chinese (1,117 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 918 million
  • Non-native speakers: 199 million

Added to native and non-native speakers, Mandarin is the second most widely spoken language ​​in the world. However, it is the first if only native speakers are taken into account.

Mandarin is not actually a language, but rather a set of dialects of the Chinese language. The fact that unifies these dialects under the same name is that their speakers can understand each other.

Although 20% of those who connect to the internet speak Chinese, just over 1% of the content available on the web is in that language.

3. Hindi (615 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 341 million
  • Non-native speakers: 274 million

Hindi is, along with English, one of the 22 official languages ​​of India, the second most inhabited country in the world. The linguistic diversity of the region (more than 1,600 languages ​​coexist) explains the high rate of non-native speakers who use it as a lingua franca.

4. Spanish (534 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 460 million
  • Non-native speakers: 74 million

It is the second of the most widely spoken languages ​​in the world in terms of the number of native speakers. In addition, it is the third most used on the internet.

Its enormous colonial expansion took it not only to America but also to Africa and Asia. Due to migration, the United States is the second country with the largest number of Spanish speakers in the world.

5. French (280 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 77 million
  • Non-native speakers: 203 million

Colonialism allowed French to spread throughout the world. Today it is the official language of 29 countries on different continents.

If English is the language of business, French was considered the language of culture. Its enormous importance is also reflected in the fact that it is the third language with the largest number of non-native speakers.

6. Arabic (274 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 245 million
  • Non-native speakers: 29 million

Arabic is the official language of 26 countries. Due to this territorial dispersion, it is actually a set of dialects. It is also the liturgical language of Islam.

It is not only the language that treasures the enormous cultural legacy of the Arab world but also a necessary tool for the field of business in that region of the world.

7. Bengali (265 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 228 million
  • Non-native speakers: 37 million

Bengali is the official language of Bangladesh. It may come as a surprise that a language spoken in such a small territory appears in a list of the most spoken languages ​​in the world. However, the fact is explained by the population density of that region. In addition, it is spoken in some areas of India and Burma.

8. Russian (258 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 154 million
  • Non-native speakers: 104 million

Less surprising is the inclusion of Russian among the most widely spoken languages ​​in the world if we think about its territorial extension. It is the official language of four countries, but it is also spoken in all those that were part of the former Soviet Union. It is the language with the largest number of native speakers in all of Europe.

9. Portuguese (234 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 221 million
  • Non-native speakers: 13 million

Portuguese is another of the languages ​​that spread in the European colonial period. Today it is the official language of 9 countries divided between Europe, America, Africa, and Asia. The greatest exponent in terms of territorial extension and number of speakers in Brazil. Furthermore, it is the most widely spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere.

10. Indonesian (198 million speakers)

  • Native speakers: 43 million
  • Non-native speakers: 155 million

It is the official language of Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world. It has the peculiarity that it is not the native language of most of its speakers. Furthermore, it is, therefore, a second language necessary for mutual understanding in a country with more than 200 languages.


I'm writing about the world, sports, relationships, and advice that are needed to survive. I dive into scientific research and meta-analysis with PubMed so that readers get only verified information. You can join us if you want and share your talents, knowledge, and hard work with others.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button