Have you ever sat quietly one night, and asked yourself what the most spoken language in the world is?
As populations grow and people migrate (yup, that still happens) it’s rather difficult to put a number on and rank the most spoken languages in the world. But, there are numerous statistical data and surveys and research that have tried just that. We’re here to break it down for you and make a list, we have!
Here’s the scoop!
You may be surprised, but French ranks as number 5 most spoken language worldwide. It is also the second most taught language in the world. Throughout history, it was regarded as the language of the upper-class. During the Regency Period, when England was at war with France, the upper-class English still spoke French and cherished French fashions. Moreso, French used to be – and sometimes still is – synonymous with wealth, culture, and style. Plus, in today’s environment, it is a huge asset to list French as your foreign language on your resumé – you get good value points for that!
Much to our amazement, Spanish now outranks French as the 4th most spoken language in the world. With a little over 420 million people speaking the language, of which 330 are non-native, it is regarded as the language of passion and love! Moreso, it is a language that is ever-growing in popularity, as over the last 20 years it has overtaken German and French in terms of modern language lessons. It is spoken across the board in countries in South America, in Europe and almost as a second language – spread out – in the USA. Not to mention that it’s super easy to learn if you’re familiar with any of the other Romance languages – Italian, Portuguese, or Romanian.
Yes, folks, you read that right! Hindi, part of the Hindustani language, the native language of India, stands at number 3 as the most spoken language! One of the first factors must be the number of the country’s population that rose the language to the top. It has its own writing – Devanagari script – which makes it unique among the 650 million Hindi speakers. Despite India’s history – English colonization ring any bells? – the Hindavi people were able to preserve their language and pass it on through generations. Now, it stands as top 3 most spoken languages in the world, although it was adopted as India’s official language only in late 1949.
Without a doubt, Chinese has to thank the ever-increasing population of China for its top 2 ranking on this list! There are a little over 1 billion people speaking some dialect of Chinese ( a group of related, but in many cases mutually unintelligible language varieties), 982 million of which are native speakers. Throughout one of the greatest empires – the Empire of Great Ming – that was a testament to orderly government and social stability, the language spanned over a population that stretched over kilometers. Not only a large number of Chinese people grants Chinese the second place, but also the custom of keeping the tradition alive among the Chinese. Even when they are in foreign countries – born and raised – the Chinese still keep close to their traditions and that includes language.
Well, this honestly is no surprise to anyone! With over 1.5 billion speakers worldwide, there’s no denying English has become the number one spoken language on the globe. Yet only 375 million are native speakers! So more people learn, know and speak English than those who are native. It is a universal language – a global language some might say – spoken across the globe. When traveling, English is the preferred language people put their basis on. It’s not too often you hear the phrase “Everybody there knows English,” where “there” can be a city in Europe, Africa, Asia, or the Americas (we should probably count North America out of this, right?). It is taught as a second language across Europe, being the first choice for many people, among others such as German or number 5, French. It is so popular that now, knowing English has become sort of like a given, and you must pick a third foreign language to study alongside it.
Yet no matter the position at the top of most spoken languages in the world, rest assured that now it is easier than ever to learn a foreign language. Just head on here and take the first steps to becoming one of the billions mentioned above!