With more than 1.45 billion speakers worldwide, English is the most spoken language in the world. Chinese and Arabic are sometimes considered a single language, but each consists of many mutually unintelligible varieties, and so they are sometimes considered language families. These are the top 10 most spoken languages in the world in 2024!
In contrast, the spoken registers of Hindi and Urdu are almost completely mutually intelligible, and they are sometimes classified as one language, Hindustani. English has approximately 450 million native speakers, but depending on the criteria chosen, the number of English speakers can be said to be as high as two billion.
Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language spoken mainly in South Asia. It is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan, where it is an official language along with English. Urdu is the 10th most spoken language in the world 2024.
In India, Urdu is an Eighth Schedule language whose status and cultural heritage is recognized by the Constitution of India; And it also has official status in many Indian states. About 232 million people in the world speak Urdu.
In Nepal, Urdu is a registered regional dialect and in South Africa it is a language protected in the constitution. It is also spoken as a minority language in Afghanistan and Bangladesh, with no official status.
Russian is a Bulgarian dialect spoken primarily in Russia. With over 255 million speakers worldwide, Russian is one of the top 10 most spoken languages in the world in 2024.
Russian is mainly spoken in Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan, as it is the national language of the above countries.
Russian belongs to the Indo-European language family. It is one of the four surviving East Slavic languages, and is also part of the larger Balto-Slavic languages. It was the de facto and de jure official language of the former Soviet Union.
Russian is still used as a lingua franca in Ukraine, Moldova, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and to a lesser extent in the Baltic States and Israel. It is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
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Portuguese is a Western Romance language of the Indo-European language family, originating in the Iberian Peninsula of Europe. The number of Portuguese speakers globally is over 264 million. It is the official language of nine countries and is also spoken in many other regions.
Portuguese is the official language of Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and São Tomé and Príncipe, while it has co-official language status in East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, and Macau.
It is generally listed as the fifth most spoken native language, the third most spoken European language in the world in terms of native speakers and the second most spoken Romance language in the world, second only to Is ahead of Spanish.
Bengali is an Indo-Aryan language native to the Bengal region of South Asia. With approximately 234 million native speakers and another 39 million second language speakers, Bengali is the sixth most spoken native language and the seventh most spoken language by total number of speakers in the world.
Bengali is the official, national and most widely spoken language of Bangladesh, with 98% of Bangladeshis using Bengali as their first language. It is the second most spoken language in India.
According to the 2011 Census of India, Bengali is the fourth fastest growing language in India, behind Hindi at first place, Kashmiri at second place and Meitei (Manipuri) with Gujarati at third place.
Bengali is one of the officially recognized and widely spoken languages in India. It is also the national language of Bangladesh. With over 273 million speakers, it is one of the top 10 most spoken languages in the world.
Arabic is the 6th most spoken language in the world in 2024. It is the official language of 26 countries and many countries and regions have their own dialects. Standard Arabic is the most widely spoken dialect among Arabs.
Modern Standard Arabic is the variety of standardised, literary Arabic that developed in the Arab world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and in some uses the variety of spoken Arabic is also close to this written standard.
MSA is a language used in literature, education, print and mass media, law and legislation, although it is not generally spoken as a first language in the same way as contemporary Latin.
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French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. With 310 million speakers, French is one of the top 10 most spoken languages in the world in 2024. It is recognized as an official language of 28 countries. There are other countries where French is spoken unofficially.
A French-speaking person or nation can be called a francophone in both English and French. French is an official language in 28 countries and is spoken on all continents.
French is the second most geographically widespread language in the world after English, being present as a legal or de facto official, administrative or cultural language in approximately 50 countries and territories.
More than 550 million people around the world speak Spanish. It is the official language of 20 countries and one dependent territory and is the national language of Spain. Spanish is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family that developed from Vulgar Latin, spoken on the Iberian Peninsula of Europe.
Today, it is a global language, with approximately 500 million native speakers, primarily in the Americas and Spain, and approximately 559 million including those who speak it as a second language.
Spanish is the second most spoken native language in the world after Mandarin Chinese. The world’s fourth most spoken language, after English, Mandarin Chinese and Hindustani (Hindi–Urdu), and the world’s most spoken Romance language. The country with the largest population of native speakers is Mexico.
Most of the population of India speaks Hindi. India is the only country in this list with 22 officially recognized languages. Modern Standard Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken primarily in northern India, and serves as the lingua franca of the Hindi belt region covering parts of northern, central, eastern and western India.
Hindi, written in the Devanagari script, is one of the two official languages of the Government of India, along with English. It is an official language in nine states and three union territories and an additional official language in three other states. Hindi is also one of the 22 scheduled languages of the Republic of India.
Hindi is the fourth most spoken first language in the world after Mandarin, Spanish and English. If counted with the mutually understandable Urdu, it is the third most spoken language in the world, after Mandarin and English.
According to the 2011 Census of India, Hindi is the fastest growing language of India, followed by Kashmiri at second place, Meitei and Gujarati at third place and Bengali at fourth place.
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Mandarin is a group of dialects of the Chinese language native to much of northern and southwestern China. China is the world’s second most populous country, and Mandarin has been its official language since the 1930s, making it the second most spoken language in the world in 2024.
The Beijing dialect is the basis of the phonology of Standard Chinese, the official language of China. Because Mandarin originated in northern China and most Mandarin dialects are found in the north, this group is sometimes called Northern Chinese.
Many varieties of Mandarin, such as Southwestern and Lower Yangtze, are not mutually intelligible with the standard language. Nevertheless, Mandarin as a group is often placed first in lists of languages based on the number of native speakers (with about one billion).
English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family that is the most widely spoken language in the world, with over 1.45 billion speakers. Its speakers, known as Anglophones, originated in early mediaeval England.
Most English speakers do not have English as their native language, but speak it as a second language. The language is named after the Angles, one of the ancient Germanic peoples who migrated to the island of Great Britain.
English is the most spoken language in the world and the third most spoken native language after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.
It is a co-official language of the United Nations, the European Union, and many other international and regional organizations. It has also become the de facto language of diplomacy, science, international trade, tourism, aviation, entertainment and the Internet.