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Top 20 Most Spoken Languages in the world 2023

which are the most spoken languages in the world?

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The gift of speech is what differentiates man from animals. We are able to communicate among ourselves through language.

Often times people get restricted when they get to places where they cannot communicate with the people because they speak different languages.

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Per harps you want to learn a new language to add to your dialect or just curious to know the most spoken languages in the world, This article will bring to you the top 20 most spoken languages in the world.

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The most spoken language in the world in English Language.

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Why is English Considered a Global Language?

Most people consider English to be a global language because it is the one language that is spoken and understood by the majority of the population in almost every region of the world. What is a global language?

most spoken languages in the world
most spoken languages in the world

While there is no official definition, it refers to a language that is learned and spoken internationally by native and second language speakers (Mastin, 2011).

There are approximately 360 million native English speakers and almost twice as many speaking it as a second language, making English one of the topmost spoken languages in the world (Klappenbach, 2019).

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English is undoubtedly in just about every sector whether it is in education, medicine, business, technology, tourism, communication, and so on. It is perhaps this worldwide acceptance and usage of the English language that propels it as an extremely essential global language.

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The 20 Most Spoken Languages in the world 2023

These are the most spoken languages in the world.

  1. English
  2. Mandarin Chinese
  3. Hindi
  4. Spanish
  5. French
  6. Arabic
  7. Bengali
  8. Russian
  9. Portuguese
  10. Indonesian
  11. Urdu
  12. Japanese
  13. German
  14. Punjabi
  15. Javanese
  16. Wu Chinese
  17. Telugu
  18. Turkish
  19. Korean
  20. Marathi
most spoken languages in the world
source: Ethnologue

English

English is the most widely learned second language and is either the official language or one of the official languages in 59 sovereign states.

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There are more people who have learned English as a second language than there are native speakers. There are over 2 billion speakers of English.

 English is the majority native language in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland, and is widely spoken in some areas of the Caribbean, Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania.

 It is a co-official language of the United Nations, the European Union and many other world and regional international organisations. English accounts for at least 70% of speakers of the Germanic language branch of Indo-European.

Mandarin Chinese

Standard Mandarin Chinese is the official language of the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan, as well as one of the four official languages of Singapore. It is also used as one of the official languages of the United Nations.

 Recent increased migration from Mandarin-speaking regions of China and Taiwan has now resulted in the language being one of the more frequently used varieties of Chinese among Chinese diaspora communities. It is also the most commonly taught Chinese variety.

Mandarin is the second most spoken language in the world

Hindi

Hindi is the lingua franca of the Hindi Belt. It is also spoken, to a lesser extent, in other parts of India .

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Outside India, several other languages are recognised officially as “Hindi” but do not refer to the Standard Hindi language described here and instead descend from other dialects, such as Awadhi and Bhojpuri.

Such languages include Fiji Hindi, which has an official status in Fiji, and Caribbean Hindustani, which is spoken in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname.

 Apart from the script and formal vocabulary, standard Hindi is mutually intelligible with standard Urdu, another recognised register of Hindustani as both share a common colloquial base.

Hindi is the fourth most-spoken first language in the world, after Mandarin, Spanish and English.

 If counted together with Urdu, it is the third most-spoken language in the world, after Mandarin and English

Spanish

Spanish is a descendant of Latin, and has one of the smaller degrees of difference from it (about 20%) alongside Sardinian and Italian.

 Around 75% of modern Spanish vocabulary is derived from Latin, including Latin borrowings from Ancient Greek.

 Alongside English and French, it is also one of the most taught foreign languages throughout the world.

 Spanish does not feature prominently as a scientific language; however, it is better represented in areas like humanities and social sciences.

 Spanish is also the third most used language on internet websites after English and Chinese.

Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and it is also used as an official language by the European Union, Organization of American States, Union of South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, African Union and many other international organizations.

Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world

French

French is estimated to have about 76 million native speakers; about 235 million daily, fluent speakers; and another 77–110 million secondary speakers who speak it as a second language to varying degrees of proficiency, mainly in Africa.

 According to the OIF, approximately 321 million people worldwide are “able to speak the language”, without specifying the criteria for this estimation or whom it encompasses.

According to a demographic projection led by the Université Laval and the Réseau Démographie de l’Agence universitaire de la Francophonie, the total number of French speakers will reach approximately 500 million in 2025 and 650 million by 2050.

 OIF estimates 700 million by 2050, 80% of whom will be in Africa.

Arabic

Arabic is a Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world. Having emerged in the 1st century, it is named after the Arab people; the term “Arab” was initially used to describe those living in the Arabian Peninsula, as perceived by geographers from ancient Greece.

Arabic is traditionally written with the Arabic alphabet, a right-to-leftabjad. This alphabet is the official script for MSA. Colloquial varieties were traditionally not written, however, with the emergence of social media, the amount of written dialects has significantly increased online.

Besides the Arabic alphabet, dialects are also often written in Latin from left to right or in Hebrew characters  with no standardized orthography. Maltese is the only colloquial variety officially written in a Latin alphabet.

Arabic is is one of the most spoken languages in the world

Bengali

Bengali is an Indo-Aryan language native to the Bengal region of South Asia. It is the official, national, and most widely spoken language of Bangladesh and the second most widely spoken of the 22 scheduled languages of India.

With approximately 300 million native speakers and another 37 million as second language speakers, Bengali is the fifth most-spoken native language and the seventh most spoken language by total number of speakers in the world.

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Bengali is also an official language in the West African nation of Sierra Leone, in honor of Bangladesh’s role in UN peacekeeping efforts in that nation

Russian

Russian has over 258 million total speakers worldwide. It is the most spoken Slavic language, and the most spoken native language in Europe, as well as the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia.

 It is the world’s seventh-most spoken language by number of native speakers, and the world’s eighth-most spoken language by total number of speakers.

 Russian is one of two official languages aboard the International Space Station, as well as one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

Russian is one of the most spoken languages in the world

Portuguese

With approximately 250 million native speakers and 24 million L2 (second language) speakers, Portuguese has approximately 274 million total speakers.

It is usually listed as the sixth-most spoken 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, surpassed only by Spanish.

Being the most widely spoken language in South America and all of the Southern Hemisphere, it is also the second-most spoken language, after Spanish, in Latin America, one of the 10 most spoken languages in Africa

Indonesian

Indonesian is the official and national language of Indonesia. It is a standardized variety of Malay, an Austronesian language that has been used as a lingua franca in the multilingual Indonesian archipelago for centuries.

Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world, with over 270 million inhabitants—of which the majority speak Indonesian, which makes it one of the most spoken languages in the world.

Urdu

Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in South Asia. It is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan, where it is also an official language alongside English

Urdu is spoken by an estimated 70 million people and is among the most spoken languages in the world.

Japanese

Japanese is spoken as a native language by about 128 million people, primarily Japanese people and primarily in Japan, the only country where it is the national language.

Japanese belongs to the Japonic or Japanese-Ryukyuan language family. There have been many attempts to group the Japonic languages with other families such as the Ainu, Austroasiatic, Koreanic, and the now-discredited Altaic, but none of these proposals has gained widespread acceptance.

German

German is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Italian province of South Tyrol.

It is also a co-official language of Luxembourg and Belgium, as well as a recognized national language in Namibia.

Outside Germany, it is also spoken by German communities in France, Czech Republic (North Bohemia), Poland, Slovakia , and Hungary.

Punjabi

Punjabi sometimes spelled Panjabi, is an Indo-Aryan language of the Punjab region of Pakistan and India. It has approximately 113 million native speakers.

Javanese

The Javanese are an ethnic group native to the central and eastern part of the Indonesian island of Java. With approximately 100 million people, Javanese people are the largest ethnic group in Indonesia and the whole Southeast Asia in general

Wu Chinese

The Wu languages is a major group of Sinitic languages spoken primarily in Shanghai, Zhejiang Province, and the part of Jiangsu Province south of the Yangtze River, which makes up the cultural region of Wu. There are over 70 million estimated speakers of the language making it one of the most spoken languages in the world

Telugu

Telugu is a Dravidian language spoken by Telugu people predominantly living in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, where it is also the official language.

It is the most widely spoken member of the Dravidian language family and one of the twenty-two scheduled languages of the Republic of India.

 It is one of the few languages that has primary official status in more than one Indian state, alongside Hindi and Bengali.

 Telugu is one of six languages designated as a classical language (of India) by the Government of India.

Turkish

urkish also referred to as Turkish of Turkey, is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 80 to 90 million speakers. It is the national language of Turkey and Northern Cyprus. Significant smaller groups of Turkish speakers also exist in Iraq, Syria, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Greece, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe and Central Asia.

Korean

Korean is the native language for about 80 million people, mostly of Korean descent. It is the official and national language of both North Korea and South

Marathi

Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language predominantly spoken by Marathi people in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the official language of Maharashtra, and additional official language in the state of Goa. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India, with 83 million speakers

Summary of the top 20 most spoken languages in the world 2023

  1. English
  2. Mandarin Chinese
  3. Hindi
  4. Spanish
  5. French
  6. Arabic
  7. Bengali
  8. Russian
  9. Portuguese
  10. Indonesian
  11. Urdu
  12. Japanese
  13. German
  14. Punjabi
  15. Javanese
  16. Wu Chinese
  17. Telugu
  18. Turkish
  19. Korean
  20. Marathi

Thank you for reading about the top 20 most spoken languages in the world. Leave your reply in the comments below.

Source: Glusea

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