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15 Most Spoken Languages In The World!


From the speech spoken in highly populous
Asian nations to the expanse of Romantic and Germanic tongues out of Europe, today we look
at the 15 Most Spoken Languages In The World. #15 Marathi
Spoken by approximately 95.3 million people worldwide, Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language
predominantly used by the Marathi people of Maharashtra, India. Over 83.1 million of those utilizing the language
are natives to the west Indian region, including occupants of the states of Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka
and others. Meanwhile, 12.2 million speakers claim Marathi
as a second language. It remains primarily used in India, though
migrants have taken it abroad. #14 Swahili
This Bantu language is native to Africa and traditionally spoken by the Swahili people
of the same name. Sixteen million speakers call Swahili their
first language, while an additional 82.3 million have learned it as a secondary tongue. Speakers of this language can be found all
across the African continent, from Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique to Uganda, Zambia
and Madagascar. While it is classified as a part of the Niger-Congo
family of languages, Swahili is often referred to as a mixed language due to the many words
loaned to it from Arabic. Much of the Swahili population has been historically
Muslim and as a result, it’s only natural for the languages to blend together. Due to its overwhelming popularity, Swahili
was one of the first African languages to have technological applications built for
its use and teaching. #13 Japanese
This East Asian tongue is uniquely of the Japonic language family and is spoken by approximately
128 million people worldwide. Linguists maintain that it has no direct relation
to neighboring languages like Chinese and Korean, however influence from these languages
is evident in modern Japanese, both verbally and in writing. Another major influence on modern Japanese
is the growing use of European and English loanwords, which increased exponentially following
the end of Japan’s own elective isolation. The majority of Japanese speakers are native
to the country and treat it as their first language, while just 121,500 people have learned
it as a secondary speech. Despite the relatively little use of the language
outside of Japan, dozens of dialects have developed across the island nation. #12 German
Heard widely throughout nations like Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and of course Germany,
along with parts of Belgium, Liechtenstein and Italy, this language is the third most
commonly spoken language in the European Union. German also boasts the honor of being the
third most used language online, the second-most taught foreign language in the EU and fourth-most
taught in the United States. An estimated 76 million people learn German
as their native tongue while another 56 million adopt the language. Collectively, it’s believed that more than
132 million people speak this language around the world, with a broad variety of dialects
developing across Europe and the rest of the world. It remains one of the most popular Indo-European
languages in the world. #11 Urdu
Recognized as the official national language of Pakistan, modern Urdu is the result of
the Hindustani language historically tied to Northern India and Pakistan undergoing
an assimilation to Persian culture. It first began seeing wide use as the Hindi
language broke off from Hindustani as a preferred communication method between Hinduist Indians. Meanwhile, Muslim locals to the region would
begin using Urdu to help distinguish themselves and cultivate their own identity in the Indian
landscape. Today, over 170 million people speak Urdu,
with 68.6 million learning it as a first language and another 101.6 million picking it up as
a secondary tongue. This Indo-Aryan speech is considered to be
a lingua franca, or bridging language, in its home region, helping to connect the mixed
cultures that make up India and Pakistan. #10 Indonesian
The Indonesian archipelago is home to a wide variety of cultures and languages, and with
Indonesia being the fourth most populated country in the world, this language helps
connect them all despite their differences. Indonesian is a lingua franca, learned by
over 155 million people as a second language, allowing peoples from different backgrounds
to communicate and bond in ways they otherwise couldn’t. Considering over 700 indigenous local languages
are found throughout this region, a tool such as the Indonesian language is crucial to bridging
the gap between the distinct cultures. With the majority of formal education, media,
and governance within this country being communicated in Indonesian, 43.3 million people have learned
it as a primary language, bringing the total number of speakers to 198.7 million! #9 Portuguese
From the Iberian Peninsula to the shores of Brazil, from African nations like Mozambique
and Angola to island sovereignties like East Timor and Aruba, Portuguese is a tongue that
sees widespread use around the planet. While the languages homeland Portugal has
just over 10 million inhabitants in total, an astounding 220.7 million individuals learn
Portuguese prior to any other language. Regardless of its Indo-European origins, this
is the most commonly spoken language in both South America and the Southern Hemisphere
as a whole! Another 13.4 million people have worked this
Romantic, Indo-European language into their vernacular, making the aggregate number of
Portuguese speakers over 234 million, the vast majority of which come from Brazil. #8 Russian
Spoken throughout Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Balkan States, this Slavic,
Indo-European language is the official language of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and, unsurprisingly,
the Russian Federation. Before December of 1991, it was the official
language of the Soviet Union, and following its breakup, Russian stuck with most, if not
all, of the post-Soviet sovereignties. It even sees common use in neighboring countries
like Mongolia and Israel. The spread of Russian across so much of Europe
and Asia has seen the number of speakers grow to 258.2 million people, of which 153.7 million
learned as a primary language. The popularity of the Russian language is
so high, in fact, that it has the honor of being one of only six official languages of
the United Nations. #7 Bengali
Despite Bangladesh’s close proximity to the multicultural nation of India, along with
half a dozen other diverse Asian nations, 98% of the population is fluent in the language
of Bengali. With 228.3 million speakers learning this
Indo-Aryan language as a primary speech, it is the second-most common language of India
along with being the official language of Bangladesh. In total, 265 million people worldwide use
this language, with Bengali-speakers populating communities as far as Pakistan, the Middle
East, the United Kingdom, and the United States. #6 Standard Arabic
Referred to by Western linguists as the standardized literary variety of Arabic written and spoken
today, Standard Arabic is the official language of 27 different nations today. In countries like Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia,
Yemen, Syria, and other members of the Arab League, Standard Arabic is the mandated language
taught in all schools. This has lead to more than 273 million people
learning the language, however most all do so as a secondary language, oddly enough. This is due to most all of these communities
learning a localized, colloquial version of Arabic prior to the standard form. Standard Arabic is primarily used to break
down regional barriers Arabic speakers would normally face when communicating with each
other. #5 French
A Romantic language of Indo-European origin, French sees intercontinental use as the official
language of 29 separate countries, including Monaco, Luxembourg, Canada, Madagascar, Rwanda,
Senegal, and Switzerland. Collectively, nearly 280 million people speak
this tongue globally, with just 77.2 million claiming it as a first language. Conversely, 202.6 million have learned it
as a secondary language, making it the fourth-most popular peripheral language overall. Referred to as Francophones, the world’s
population of french-speakers are divided across the planet with around 40% living in
Europe, 35% populating sub-Saharan Africa, and another 15% being found within the Middle
East and North Africa. #4 Spanish
Spanish is the second-most commonly spoken native tongue in the world with an approximate
460.1 million people using it as a primary language. Seeing use throughout Central and South America,
this is the official language of 20 countries like Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Cuba, and
of course, Mexico. Each country has its own varieties within
their borders, leading to vast differences in Spanish from speaker to speaker. Another 74.2 million people have adopted it
as a second language, bringing the total number of Spanish-speakers to an astounding 534.3
million! #3 Hindi
The most commonly spoken language in the Republic of India is Hindi, though it doesn’t claim
the status as the national language. With 22 different languages recognized across
the country, the Indian constitution didn’t deem it necessary to designate one as having
any sort of superiority over the others. As a result, many within the country learn
the language even if it’s not their original speech. More than 615 million Hindi speakers can be
found in the world, 341.2 million of which learn as a primary language. Meanwhile, 274.2 million study and use it
as a secondary tongue, making it the second most popular alternative language in the world. Branching off from the Indo-European languages
as an Indo-Aryan vernacular, Hindi can be heard all across its south Asian homeland,
but also in countries like Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, Nepal,
Uganda, the United States, the United Kingdom, and more! #2 Mandarin Chinese
Composed of a diversity of Chinese dialects heard around northern and southwestern China,
Mandarin is a widely spoken language both inside and outside of its native land. Seventy percent of all Chinese speakers in
the region stretching from Yunnan to Xinjiang to Heilongjiang speak Mandarin, despite their
being seven to ten Chinese dialect groups in all. It is by far the top-ranking first language
on the planet with 917.8 million native speakers. But the number of people that learn Mandarin
as a second language is still very impressive at an estimated total of 198.7 million speakers,
bringing the grand sum of users to 1.116 billion! The Sino-Tibetan language, while vastly popular,
varies greatly due to all the dialects grouped under its banner. It’s entirely possible for two people with
different local variations on Mandarin to find one another’s speech wholly unintelligible. #1 English
At the top of the mountain, English reigns as the most commonly spoken language on Earth
with 1.132 billion users in all. However it is only the third-most common first
language in the world with 379 million speakers, meanwhile 753.3 million people have adopted
English as a second language and is the most popular secondary language globally. This Germanic-based Indo-European tongue is
used most often in countries like Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland and
the U.S., while nations like the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Jamaica continue
to use it with increasing frequency. What languages are popular in your hometown? Let us know in the comment section below!

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