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Most Spoken Languages within the World 2022 – Busuu Weblog


Map of most spoken languages in 2020What are the world’s most spoken languages?

Effectively, greater than 7,100 languages are spoken on the planet at this time. Every one in every of them make the world a various and delightful place.

Sadly, a few of these languages are much less extensively spoken than others. Take Busuu, for instance – we’re named after a language spoken by solely eight folks.

Others are spoken by big populations throughout completely different international locations, and are sometimes widespread selections amongst language learners.

Learn on for the twelve most spoken languages on the planet, when it comes to native audio system, and all the pieces you must learn about them.

The highest 12 most spoken languages on the planet

Most spoken languages in the world - 2020

1. English (1,132 million audio system)

Language household: Germanic, a sub-family of Indo-European

Associated to: German, Dutch, Frisian

Enjoyable truth: The English phrase “goodbye” was initially a contraction of “God be with ye”.

With over 1,130 million native audio system, English is essentially the most spoken language on the planet.

It’s additionally the official language of the sky – all pilots have to talk and determine themselves in English.

Not solely is Shakespeare extensively thought-about as one of many biggest dramatists of all time, however over his lifespan he added an unbelievable quantity of about 1,700 phrases to the English language by altering nouns into verbs, verbs into nouns, connecting some phrases with one another and including prefixes or suffixes to others.

2. Mandarin Chinese language (1,117 million audio system)

Language household: Sino-Tibetan

Associated to: Cantonese, Tibetan, Burmese

Enjoyable truth: Analysis suggests that you just’ll solely want round 2,500 characters to have the ability to learn nearly 98 % of on a regular basis written Chinese language.

By way of native audio system alone, Mandarin Chinese language is by far the second most spoken language on the planet.

It’s an official language of mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore and one of many six official languages of the United Nations. So it’s not shocking that there are roughly 1.09 million native audio system worldwide.

Mandarin is a tonal language, which implies that the that means of a phrase adjustments primarily based on the way in which we pronounce it.

With a set of about 50,000 characters, it’s in all probability one of many most complicated languages to study.

However don’t fear: there are not any verb conjugations, no tenses and no gender-specific nouns both.

Fairly motivating, isn’t it? 

Possibly that’s additionally why it’s one of the widespread languages to study at this time…

3. Hindi (615 million audio system)

Language household: Indo-Ayran, a sub-family of Indo-European

Associated to: Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Kashmiri, Nepali

Enjoyable truth: In case you’re an English speaker, you in all probability already know some Hindi. Do phrases like ‘guru’, ‘jungle’, ‘karma’, ‘yoga’, ‘bungalow’, ‘cheetah’ and ‘avatar’ ring a bell? These phrases (and plenty of extra!) have been borrowed from Hindi.

There are about 615 million native Hindi audio system, which makes it the third most spoken language on the planet. It’s the official language of India, and can also be spoken in international locations akin to Nepal, Fiji, Mauritius and Guyana.

Hindi is very influenced by Sanskrit and named after the Persian phrase hind, which implies – fairly actually – “Land of the Indus river”.

4. Spanish (534 million audio system)

Language household: Romance, a sub-family of Indo-European

Associated to: French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian

Enjoyable truth: The primary trendy novel and the second most translated ebook after the Bible was written in Spanish. Which novel? It’s Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, after all!

Twenty-two international locations over 4 continents have Spanish as one in every of their official languages, and it’s already the second most studied language on the planet.

Are you able to consider that inside three generations, 10 % of the world’s inhabitants will be capable to talk in Spanish?

That is nice information for native English audio system.

For Spanish seems to be the best overseas language for English audio system to study! Consultants say it takes solely 22-24 weeks to achieve what’s referred to as normal skilled proficiency within the language.


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5. French (280 million audio system)

Language household: Romance

Associated to: Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian

Enjoyable truth: About 45 per cent of recent English phrases are of French origin.

Despite what Hollywood films would possibly inform you, the language of affection doesn’t solely exist on moonlit walks in Paris.

Spoken throughout completely different elements of the world – assume in every single place from the remainder of France and elements of Canada to a handful of African international locations, together with Senegal and Madagascar – the French language has unfold its roots far and extensive.

6. Arabic (274 million audio system)

Language household: Semitic, a sub-family of Afro-Asiatic

Associated to: Hebrew, Amharic, Aramaic

Enjoyable truth: Arabic has at the least 11 phrases for love, every of them expressing a unique stage within the strategy of falling in love. Now isn’t {that a} motive to start out studying?

With 295 million native audio system, Arabic is the sixth most spoken language on the planet, and the one one in our prime twelve that’s written from proper to left.

It has additionally closely influenced European languages like Spanish and Portuguese: some phrases sound precisely the identical.

It’s left its mark on the English language, too. The phrase espresso, for instance, comes from the Arabic phrase qahwa.

7. Bangla/Bengali (265 million audio system)

Language household: Indo-Aryan, a sub-family of Indo-European

Associated to: Hindu, Punjabi, Marathi, Kashmiri, Nepali

Enjoyable truth: Whereas the Bengali script is comparatively unknown within the West, nevertheless it’s truly the fifth most generally used writing system on the planet!

Bengali, recognized to many English audio system around the globe as Bangla, is generally spoken in Bangladesh and India and is taken into account by some to be the second most stunning language after French.

With round 205 million native audio system, it’s the seventh most spoken language on the planet.

The Bengali alphabet is especially attention-grabbing.

Each consonant has a vowel sound in-built, which is sort of uncommon for Westerners.

It will get even higher: completely different marks change the default vowel sound of a phrase and subsequently additionally the that means!

8. Russian (258 million audio system)

Language household: East Slavic, a sub-family of Indo-European

Associated to: Ukrainian, Belarusian

Enjoyable truth: Attributable to Russia’s presence in area know-how, it’s a requirement for overseas astronauts to know a certain quantity of Russian (as if turning into an astronaut wasn’t already tough sufficient!).

One of the unfold out languages (with round 155 million native audio system dwelling the world over), the eighth most spoken language on the planet is Russian.

Whereas Russian grammar is famend to be a bit of tough, Russian solely has about 200,000 phrases (English has roughly a million), which is why most of them have a couple of that means.

9. Portuguese (234 million audio system)

Language household: Romance, a sub-branch of Indo-European

Associated to: Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian

Enjoyable truth: Till not too long ago, the letters “okay”, “w“ and “y” weren’t a part of the Portuguese alphabet. In 2009, a brand new settlement was signed to standardise spelling kinds throughout completely different variations.

Portuguese is rooted within the area of Medieval Galicia (which was partly within the north of Portugal and partly within the northwest of Spain), however solely 5 % of the 215 million native Portuguese audio system truly reside in Portugal.

You in all probability know that it’s the official language of Brazil, however can also be has the only official standing in: Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Macau, Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Príncipe.

10. Indonesian (199 million audio system)

Language household: Austronesian

Associated to: Malay, Javanese, Sundranese, Madurese and so on. 

Enjoyable truth: Together with Malay, it’s up there within the listing of most well mannered languages on the planet’s Japanese area.

A standardised variation of Malay, an Austronesian language that’s the official language of Malaysia, Indonesian is a superb instance of a extensively spoken language that encompasses a variety of distinct dialects throughout Indonesia.

And regardless of Western preconceptions, with a easy construction and straightforward pronunciation in its favour, Indonesian is surprisingly straightforward to study. 

11. Urdu (170 million audio system)  

Language household: Indo-Aryan

Associated to: Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Kashmiri, Nepali

Enjoyable truth: Hindi and Urdu audio system can have a easy dialog simply positive – supplied they hold issues comparatively easy!

The lingua franca of Pakistan and really near Hindi, Urdu has crept up on essentially the most spoken languages listing within the final 12 months or so.

Dubbed by some because the language of affection for its intriguing-sounding and delightful phrases, the French language might have some competitors on its fingers…  

12. German (132 million audio system)

Language household: West Germanic, a sub-family of Indo-European

Associated to: English, Frisian, Dutch

Enjoyable truth: German is understood for its seemingly limitless sentences.

Also known as the language of writers and thinkers, German has simply over 100 million native – and just below 32 non-native – audio system worldwide, and is essentially the most spoken language within the European Union.

It’s an official language of Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

German is particularly well-known for its potential to create fully new and tremendous particular phrases.

That’s in all probability why it’s so poetic. Schadenfreude, for instance, actually means ‘harm happiness’, and is used to explain the happiness or leisure derived from another person’s misfortune, harm or ache.


Able to study one of many languages in our prime 12 listing?

Busuu affords 14 languages so that you can select from. Decide a language at this time and begin your journey with our free on-line programs and sources designed by language specialists. 

Learn languages with Busuu's award-winning app

 

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