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Jan 10, 2024 | Guide to Language

20 Most Spoken Languages In The World And Total Number of Speakers in 2024

Have you ever wondered what the most popular languages in the world are? Different countries and cultures all have their languages to communicate with others. In this diverse world, there are more than 7000 languages. Let’s discuss the 20 most known languages in the world. 

Most Spoken Languages In The World In 2024

The following languages are listed below:

English

Number of Speakers: 1.5 billion speakers

English

It is the most studied language recognized as an official language in sixty-seven countries. It includes the United States, the World Trade Organisation, the European Union, and the International Monetary Fund. There are numerous benefits for English speakers. English has become a common language for business, travel, and international communication as it is so mostly spoken. 

Also, learn about the Brazil Language.

Mandarin Chinese

Number of Speakers: 1.18 billion

Mandarin Chinese

This is the second most spoken language by people all over the world. Mandarin Chinese has been spoken in China for over 3000 years. This is recognized as the official language of China, Taiwan, and Singapore. There are other languages in China, like Cantonese, but this is the most widely spoken language.

It is a tonal language with four tones, making it unique to other languages. Mandarin Chinese has a rich history and culture, making the language more interesting. With a large population base, it plays a vital role in international business. It is a language with a million native speakers in Asia. 

Also, see Top 10 Hardest Languages To Learn. Know the list of languages. 

Spanish

Number of Speakers: 548 million

Spanish

Spanish has become twenty-one countries’ official language and many others’ second language. It’s the most famous language derived from ancient Rome. 

Spanish is a popular language to learn. It is related to Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and French. This language is widespread in America, Africa, and Asia. A million speakers in the United States speak this language.

In the past couple of years, Spanish has also become influential in the pop culture. If you listen to English-language radio or television stations, you will likely hear some Spanish-language songs. 

Learn here about evaluative language meaning and examples of evaluative language.

Portuguese

Number of Speakers: 257 million

Portuguese

It’s also the official language in almost nine countries. Around 30 per cent of words are estimated to be derived from Latin and other languages. 

Portuguese originated in the Medieval Galicia, in the north of Portugal. Interestingly, not many native Portuguese speakers reside in Portugal. 

In writing, many Portuguese and Spanish words are mutually intelligible. This is another language that serves as a solid foundation for people who want to learn other romance languages. 

Indonesian

Number of Speakers: 199 million

Indonesian

Indonesian belongs to the Austronesian language family. It is primarily related to Malay and has the essence of Javanese and Sundanese. 

Indonesian has become the Malaysian official language. Some distinct dialects across Indonesia are used in the language. The language has easy pronunciation. Even the simple structure makes it a favourable language for learners.

Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic)

Number of Speakers: 274 million

Arabic has been around for more than 2500 years. It has a rich cultural heritage that makes it an important language for many people around the world. It has become one of the six official languages of the United Nations. The language of Arab is closely related to Hebrew, Amharic, and Aramaic.

The language has differences between dialects, which makes it unique. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is not spoken as a first language but is spoken mainly used for written communication. You must learn a regional dialect to speak with people from a specific country. 

Bengali

Number of Speakers: 272 million

Bengali

It is the official language of Bangladesh and India. This connects to the Indo-European language. 

Bengali is an Indo-Aryan language that has its roots in Pali and Sanskrit. Bengali has a rich literary tradition. It has famous works, including Rabindranath Tagore’s Choker Bali and Tagore’s Gitanjali.

Russian

Number of Speakers: 258 million

Russia

It belongs to the East Slavic family of the Indo-European language. It is a difficult yet widely talked about language. Russian has become the eighth most famous language in the world. 

Funnily, one word in the Russian language has more than one meaning. The language has become the official language of four different countries. A number of native speakers of the former Soviet Union use this as their national language. You will find Russian native speakers throughout Europe.

Hindi 

Number of Speakers: 615 million

Hindi

Hindi emerged from Indo-Aryan, a sub-family of the Indo-European language family. It is the third most spoken language in the world. The language connects with Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Kashmiri, and Nepali. India’s linguistic diversity explains the high rate of non-native speakers that use it as a lingua franca. Hindi has a rich background that is influenced by Sanskrit and other regional top languages. Many people speak Hindi as a native language. 

German

Number of Speakers: 135 million

German

This is the official language of Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria and Liechtenstein. People also speak it in parts of Poland and Italy. 

The language is closely related to English, Dutch, and Frisian. It originated from the West Germanic Indo–European family. It is a language of business, and speaking German can open many opportunities to work in large companies worldwide. 

Korean

Number of Speakers:82 million

Korean

The first form of the Korean language was discovered in 1446 CE. It was during the rule of the Joseon dynasty. One can connect the Korean language to the Altaic languages. The countries of Turkey, Russia, and Japan use Korean.

More than half of the speakers are scattered in China, the United States, Canada, etc.

Swahili

Number of Speakers: 71.4 million

 

swahili

Swahili is originally the Bantu language. People of Eastern Africa and the Comoros Islands use this language. The different dialects of Swahili include Coastal, Kiunga, and Wete.

The Swahili speakers use various pronunciations. So, it is difficult to create one standard that people could use. The language incorporates Arabic languages, English words, and Portuguese.

Italian

Number of Speakers: 68 million

Italian

It is a beautiful language with a rich history and culture. One should learn this language as it will remain for years. 

This is the official language of Italy, Switzerland, and San Marino. The Italian developed from Latin and was heavily influenced by the French. The alphabet has 21 letters with five vowels and 16 consonants. 

Japanese

Number of Speakers:126 million 

Japanese

Japan uses two different writing systems, hiragana and katakana. It has a rich history and culture can be dated back to 3 A.D. There are different languages spoken in Japan. It has widely spoken dialects. They vary from one region to another. The Chinese Kanji characters heavily influence the language. 

Western Punjabi

Number of Speakers: 66 million

Western Punjabi<br />

Punjabi is divided into two dialects.  It is the first language in the Punjab. Punjabi is based on Sanskrit, and Western Punjabi has many loanwords like Arabic, Persian, and Urdu because of its proximity to these languages. 

Iranian Persian (Farsi)

Number of Speakers: 77 million

Iranian Persian (Farsi)<br />

The extensively used dialects of this language add Eastern and Western varieties. The language is closely related to Kurdish, Ossetic, Pashto, and Tati. 

The earliest written form of Persian appeared in 226-651 CE. The use of this language declined when the Islamic era prevailed. The popularity of the language slowly increased between the years 1925-1935. It was during the rule of Reza Shah’s dynasty. Farsi became the required school subject for children in Iran.

Related blog: How Many Languages Are Spoken In Australia?

Vietnamese

Number of Speakers:85 million  

Vietnamese

Vietnamese is a tonal language. It uses the Latin alphabet. The Vietnamese alphabet or Latin alphabet has 29 letters with various accents. It originated from ancient languages that were primarily spoken in southern China.

Chinese, French, and English influenced the language. It emerged during the first millennium. Later, in 1918, it was written down in the Romanized script. The Vietnamese also added new symbols like six tones in their writing systems. 

Telugu 

Number of Speakers:  96 million

Telugu

It has its script. However, it is an independent language. You will hardly find any similarity between this language and others.

One writes the Telugu words in syllables rather than letters. There are 60 symbols in the Telugu writing system. 

Tamil

Number of Speakers: 86 million

Tamil

The Tamil language is one of the oldest languages in the world. The language has its origin rooted 1,500 years ago. It belongs to the Dravidian family. 

This is the official language spoken in Sri Lanka and Singapore. One will find the Tamil language similar to other languages like Kannada and Malayalam. 

Marathi

Number of Speakers: 99.1 million  

Marathi

It is also one of the oldest languages used mainly in Maharashtra. It is a common language in Goa and several government and semi-government organizations in India. 

Marathi’s geographical reach is not as wide as other languages on this list of most spoken languages worldwide. 

Learn A New Language

With so many different languages around the world to learn, it is important to remember that each language has its unique history and culture. From Chinese, English, and Spanish to Italian, these languages are used by millions of people around the globe. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What language is the fastest to write?

Chinese is the easiest language to write in, whether by hand or type.

What is the softest language?

The Italian language is considered one of the softest and sweetest languages.

What will be the most spoken languages in the world?

According to the Ethnologue, English is the most popular language in the world.

David Lee

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