Top 10 Spoken languages in the World

Top 10 Spoken languages in the World

Updated on August 16, 2022 19:23 PM by Emily Hazel

There are around 7,100 different languages spoken throughout the universe, but only a small number of them are essential for expanding a firm internationally.

English is the standard language for conducting business internationally, but for other purposes, such as professional networking, travel, and academic collaboration, people prefer to use their home tongues. This is where translation opens the door to global trade and exposure to tap untapped markets and niches.

The 10 languages listed below, which are considered to be the most spoken in the world, are also widely used in communication. Every day people all across the world speak English as a second language. According to a preliminary estimate, native speakers of the 10 languages listed below make up half of the world's population.

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English: 1,132 million speakers


"God is with you" was the first contraction of the phrase "goodbye" in English.

The most widely spoken language in the world is English, which has approximately 1,130 million native speakers. Additionally, English is the required language for all pilots to talk to and identify themselves in the air. Shakespeare is not only regarded as one of the greatest playwrights of all time, but he also added an astounding 1,700 new words to the English language during his lifetime by converting nouns into verbs and verbs into nouns, connecting some words, and adding prefixes or suffixes to others.

To expand internationally and reach a larger audience, many websites and Internet users also favor the English language. Even today, the bulk of IT industries and expert translation services employ English as their source or target language.

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Mandarin Chinese: 1,117 million speakers


According to research, you just need to know about 2,500 characters to be able to read nearly 98 % of written Chinese found in everyday life. Mandarin Chinese is by far the language with the second-highest native speaker population in the world. As one of the six official languages of the UN, it is also the national tongue of Singapore, Taiwan, and the People's Republic of China. Thus, it should come as no surprise that there are roughly 1.09 million native speakers globally.

Mandarin is a tonal language, which means that a word's meaning can vary depending on how it is pronounced. One of the hardest languages to learn, it has a character set of roughly 50,000.

Due to its extensive and diversified dialectal range, it is the most beneficial language for expanding economic potential. Mandarin Chinese is the language used by almost one-fifth of internet users, making it attractive for translation services. The largest eCommerce market in the world is found in China, therefore if you want to get into this sizable market, you'll need to translate your website and other content into Mandarin Chinese.

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Hindi : 615 million speakers

Hindi is the third most widely used language in the world, with 615 million native speakers. India's official language is also used in nations like Nepal, Fiji, Mauritius, and Guyana. Hindi is a language with strong Sanskrit roots that takes its name from the Persian term hind, which translates to "Land of the Indus river."

 About 615 million people worldwide speak Hindi, but many specialists rely on translation services to reach India's substantial Hindi-speaking population. It is essential to have a firm foothold in the market if you intend to deepen the roots of your business in India by translating your website, marketing materials, and other pertinent resources into Hindi.

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Spanish: 534 million speakers


Spanish was used to write the first contemporary novel, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes which is also the second-most-translated book after the Bible.

Spanish is the second most studied language in the world and is an official language in 22 countries across 4 continents. Due to its expanding cultural influence, it has also experienced phenomenal growth in the number of speakers. The rolled "r," the genders, and the intricate verb conjugations are some of the reasons why many people find Spanish difficult. Spanish seems to be the foreign language that English speakers can learn the quickest! According to experts, it only takes 22–24 weeks to acquire what is referred to be general professional proficiency in the language.

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French: 280 million speakers


The origin of about 45% of terms in current English is French. Contrary to what Hollywood films may have you believe, love is not just a language spoken on moonlit Parisian walks.

French remains a dominant cultural force, but it may not be for the reasons you may suspect! The future of the French language is actually in Africa, where 45 percent of all French speakers were found in 2018. Due to the expanding population on the African continent, it is anticipated that there will be 572 million Francophone speakers worldwide by the year 2030. Despite this, France continues to be a major draw and an important nation for global politics. A fantastic reason to start learning this Romance language right away is the rich history and cultural diversity it provides access to.

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Arabic: 274 million speakers


There are at least 11 words in Arabic for love, each of which describes a different phase of the romance process. Isn't this a good enough excuse to start learning?

Arabic, the only language in our top twelve that is written from right to left, is the sixth most spoken language in the world with 295 million native speakers. Some words in European languages like Spanish and Portuguese have also been greatly influenced by it. It also holds a significant role in terms of politics, economics, and culture on a worldwide scale.

There are four primary dialects of Arabic. In general, it is common in Yemen, the Western and Central regions of Egypt, the Southern and Northern parts of Iraq, and Lebanon. Also, around 26 nations have Arabic as their official language.

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Bangla/Bengali: 265 million speakers


The Bengali script is the fifth most extensively used writing system in the world, despite its relative obscurity in the West.

 Most commonly spoken in Bangladesh and India, Bengali—also known as Bangla to many English speakers around the globe—is regarded by some as the second-most beautiful language after French.

 It is the ninth most widely spoken language in the world, with about 205 million native speakers. In particular, the Bengali alphabet is intriguing. The vowel sound is included in every consonant, which is rare for Westerners.

 Bangladesh and West Bengal were previously one country under ancient India. When Bangladesh broke away from Pakistan in 1971, it received its current name. It was known as "East Pakistan" from 1947 until 1971.

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Russian: 258 million speakers


 Foreign astronauts are required to know a certain amount of Russian due to Russia's involvement in space technology (as if being an astronaut wasn't already challenging enough!).

 Russian is the seventh most spoken language in the world and one of the most widespread languages, with over 155 million native speakers. Russian grammar is renowned for being a little difficult, but since there are only about 200,000 words in the language (compared to over one million in English), most of them have more than one meaning.

Portuguese: 234 million speakers

After English, Portuguese is the native tongue of Brazil and Portugal. Only 5% of the 215 million native Portuguese speakers reside in Portugal, even though Portuguese has its roots in the Medieval Galicia region (which was partially in Spain's northwest and partially in Portugal's north). Portuguese is spoken by more than 250 million people, therefore localizing and translating the information will explore numerous options to penetrate the Brazilian market, particularly for businesses in the scientific, energy, and pharmaceutical sectors.

Did you know?

The letters "k," "w," and "y" were not previously a part of the Portuguese alphabet. A new agreement to standardize spelling across several varieties was signed in 2009. You likely already know that it serves as the sole official tongue in Brazil, as well as Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Macau, Cape Verde, and So Tomé and Principe.

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Indonesian: 199 million speakers

It ranks high on the list of politest languages in the Eastern part of the world, right behind Malay. Indonesian is a great example of a widely spoken language that encompasses several distinct dialects throughout Indonesia. It is a standardized variation of Malay, an Austronesian language that is the official language of Malaysia. And contrary to Western expectations, Indonesian is surprisingly simple to learn thanks to its straightforward pronunciation and simple grammar.

Asian nations are also demonstrating a great deal of interest in their established diplomatic and commercial ties. This language is spoken in several nearby nations, including Portugal, Angola, Brazil (see also: Brazilian languages), and others.

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The significance of learning a new language


Languages have built a system that unites people, treasures outstanding ideas, and facilitates communication. A language is a tool for connecting people and exchanging ideas. It enables us to communicate our feelings. The study of languages is always fascinating as well as proficiency in it is always useful. It makes a variety of chances for the global travel and employment possibilities. Cultures and languages are related. Understanding new cultures are made possible by learning a new language. The ability to speak multiple languages is useful in today's society it will not only increase your knowledge but also open you more chances, whether in a work context or during a learning experience.

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