Spoken Languages of the World- by numbers of speakers.

Universal languages

learning, practicing and improving, and an everlasting quest to learn more
learning, practicing and improving, and an everlasting quest to learn more
the world had gotten even smaller with the proliferation of social media
the world had gotten even smaller with the proliferation of social media

Languages of the World

Ever wonder about all the global confusion?

More than 6,900 different languages spoken around the world.

The greater the population grows the less chance of ever having one universal language. Confusion reigns supreme.


According to the continuous Population clock, at this time (11:30pm, May 16, 2011) the population of the United States is: 311,361,003, and the world population is: 6,918,684,282. The numbers below have changed (increased) significantly since i wrote this report. I have added a link below for the Census Bureau Home Page in case there is any question about these figures (populations).

These are the major languages spoken around the world, and the estimated number of native speakers for each of the languages listed:

MORE THAN 100 MILLION NATIVE SPEAKERS:

  1. Mandarin (Chinese, Sino-Tibetan) all dialects = 1,200+ million . One of the six official languages of the United Nations.
  2. Spanish: (Castilian=Indo-European, Romance) all dialects = 500+ million. One of the six official languages of the United Nations.
  3. English: (Indo-European, Germanic). 1.8+ billion total (first, second, and foreign language spoken). One of the six official languages of the United Nations.
  4. Hindi-Urdu (Hindustani=Indo-European, Indic) all dialects = 490+ million.
  5. Arabic: (Afro-Asiatic, Semitic) all dialects = 500+ million. One of the six official languages of the United Nations.
  6. Bengali (Indo-European, Indic) all dialects = 250 million.
  7. Portuguese. 250+ million native
  8. Russian: 250+ million. One of the six official languages of the United Nations.
  9. Japanese: 123+ million.
  10. Punjabi (all dialects). 109 million

50 TO 100 MILLION NATIVE SPEAKERS:
11. German: 118+ million
12 Javanese: 85+ million
13. Wu (Shanghainese) 90+ million
14. Telugu: 75+ million
15. Marathi: 72+ million
16. French: 200+ million (native and second languages). One of the six official languages of the United Nations.
17. Vietnamese: 86+ million
18. Korean: 72+ million
19. Tamil: 74+ million
20. Yue (Cantonese): 70+ million
21. Turkish: 83+ million
22. Pashto: 60+ million
23. Italian: 55+ million

30 TO 50 MILLION NATIVE SPEAKERS:
Min Nan (Taiwanese); Gujarati; Polish, Persian, Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Ukrainian, Malay (malaysian-indonesian), Xiang (Hunanese), Malayalam, Kannada, Maithili, Sundanese, Bermese, Oriya, Marwari, Hakka.

10 TO 30 MILLION NATIVE SPEAKERS:
Thai, Hausa, Tagalog (Filipino), Romanian, Dutch, Gan, Sindhi, Azerbaijani, Uzbek, Lau-Isan, Yoruba, Igbo, Northern Berber, Amharic, Oromo, Assamese, Kurdish, Serbo-Croatian (Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian), Cebuano, Sinhalese, Rangpuri, Malagasy, Khmer, Zhuang, Sotho-Tswana, Nepali, Rwanda-Rundi, Somali, Madurese, Greek, Fula (Fulani, Fulfulde, Pulaar), Hungarian, Catalan (Valencian), Bulgarian-Macedonian, Shona, Zulu, Min Bei.

5 TO 10 MILLION NATIVE SPEAKERS:
Czech, Min Dong (Fuzhou), Lombard, Uyghur, Chewa (Nyanja), Belarusian, Kazakh, Swedish, Akan (Twi, Fante), Makuwa (Lomwe), Tatar-Bashkir, Xhosa, Haitian, Albanian, Gikuyu, Neapolitan (Calabrese), Hokano, Balochi, Southern Quechua, Batak, Turkmen, Mossi-Dagomba, Armenian, Sukuma-Nyamwezi, Tshiluba (Luba-Kasai), Santali, Venetian, Kongo, Hiligaynon, Tigrinya, Mongolian, Bhili (Wagdi, etc.), Danish, Minangkabau, Kashmiri, Hebrew, Finnish, Slovak, Afrikaans, Guarani.

3 TO 5 MILLION NATIVE SPEAKERS:
Mandingo (Maninka), Sicilian, Norwegian, Bikol, Bambara (Malinke, Jula), Dholuo (Luo proper), Georgian, Kanuri (Kanembu), Wolof, Ganda (Luganda), Umbundu (South Mbundu), Kamba, Dogri (Kangri), Tsonga, Konkani, Bemba, Buginese, Efik (lbibio-Efik), Acehnese, Balinese, Mazanderani-Gilaki, Shan, Lithuanian, Galician, Janaican Creole, Ewe, Piemonteis, Kimbundu (North Mbundu), Kyrgyz.

2 TO 8 MILLION NATIVE SPEAKERS:
Hmong (China), Yi (People's Republic of China), Luyia (Kenya), Ometo (Ethiopia), Karen (Myanmar, Thailand, India), Senoufo (Niger-Congo), Baoule (Niger-Congo, Kwa).

OTHER LANGUAGES FREQUENTLY CITED AS HAVING MORE THAN 3 MILLION SPEAKERS:
Chinese Sign Language, Indo-Pakistani Sign Language, Lingala (Niger-congo, Bantu), Swahili (Niger-Congo, Bantu), Central Tibetan, Yiddish (Indo-European, Germanic).

10 OR FEWER NATIVE SPEAKERS:
NIu (S.Africa), Itonama (Bolivia), Kayardild (Australia), Kusunda (Nepal), Ume Sami (Ume River), Puelche (Argentina) , Muniche (Peru), Ayapaneco (Mexico), Tinigua (Colombia), Ter Sami (Russia), Taushiro (Peru), Yagan (Chile).

NUMBER OF LANGUAGES:
The total number of contemporary languages in the world is not known. Estimates vary depending on the extent and means of the research intended to discover them, the definition of a distinct language and the current state of knowledge concerning the identities and vital statistics of the various peoples of the earth. Even the number of languages that are known varies as some of them become extinct or are newly discovered within the lifetimes of the active investigators.

One of the most active research agencies is SIL International, which maintains a database, Ethnologue, kept up-to-date by the contributions of linguists globally. Its 2005 count of the number of languages in its database, excluding duplicates in different countries, is 6912, of which 32.8% (2269) are in Asia and 30.3% (2092) are in Africa.[3] This contemporary tally must be regarded as a variable number within a range. Michael E. Krauss reported in 2007:[1] "The worldwide total figure I have been using is 6000 extant languages, a nice round figure that happens to be one millionth of the human population, a kind of middle figure ...." (courtesy of Wikipedia).

I have added some links below regarding the U.S. and world population, Names of the Languages of the world, Ethnologue of languages of the World, and other interesting facts, if you care to peruse them.

It is little wonder that there is so much confusion, misunderstandings, suspicions and distrust between nations, with such a vast number of languages spoken, their connotations, their translation difficulties, societal belief systems, various types of governments and religious beliefs. The number of bilingual people is miniscule in comparison to the number of languages, their dialects, and problems with translations from one language to another.

Each society is an entity unto itself, with little knowledge of the outside world for many of them. Although, with the rise in technology, and the internet, the world is becoming a smaller place, and allowing for the introduction of some of these many races, cultures, languages, belief systems to the general populace. The diversity among the human race, is as vast and profound as the diversity of plants, the animal kingdom, and the universe itself.

with all these people to learn about, it is a shame that we spend so much time fighting amongst ourselves, instead of learning about the things we know little or nothing about. And the ignorance to believe that what we are, what we know, what we believe in, is the one and only true way of life. Aaaah, the very ignorance and arrogance of mankind.

I truly believe that the greatest quest that humanity can embark on, is not the quest for money, power, control or fame, but simply for the quest for knowledge. Knowledge is power in all aspects of the concepts of both. Intelligent people do not wage wars, do not brainwash their children, do not seek power over others as their ultimate goal, do not seek to amass material wealth that they can never use in its entirety in this lifetime, and they do not hate diversity, but rather embrace all things as being part of the same whole. This concept is the true meaning of happiness throughout this lifetime.

I am always amazed at learning new things, and live by the credo that: the more i learn, the more i realize how much i do not know.

by: d.william 05/16/2011

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Comments 23 comments

Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

There is only one true language and it is the language of love.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/Spirit+Whisperer.

Wonderful comment. And so true. Thanks for reading.


Stigma31 profile image

Stigma31 5 years ago from Kingston, ON

Excellent article, voting up!


PETER LUMETTA profile image

PETER LUMETTA 5 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

What a wonderful truism. If we would only realize the quest for truth and knowledge is the true reward in itself then meybe we might understand each other better and live in peace. Thanks you, Peter


dragonflyfla profile image

dragonflyfla 5 years ago from South Florida

Love the concept but it is called an Idealist!


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/Stigma31.

Thanks. I appreciate your comments. dw


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/PETER+LUMETTA.

Thanks so much for your comments. Unfortunately there is no monetary reward incentive for seeking knowledge, and that seems to be the only motivation for anyone these days to do anything constructive in trying to change things for the better. (referring of course to those who have the power to change things for the better). Greed is still the most evil entity in this world.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/dragonflyfla.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. You are right about that. I guess i am guilty of being one of those idealists that would like to see some peace and harmony on this planet for once in my life time. Instead, we idealists seem to be the proverbial 'fly in the ointment' to the greedy and needy.

There certainly is no power in numbers any more, otherwise we would not have to just dream, read, or write about peace, love and equality.

As Spirit Whisper says above: the only true language is the language of love. Unfortunately very few have learned to speak it, or have the desire to learn it.

Being content to live in a rut (or wallow in a mud puddle) seems to be the norm.

As http://www.hubpages.com/profile/some+like+it+Scott always says: "don't get me started". l.o.l.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Love unlocks the door to truth and happiness. Thank you.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/always+exploring.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Your comments are so true.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

"I truly believe that the greatest quest that humanity can embark on, is not the quest for money, power, control or fame, but simply for the quest for knowledge. Knowledge is power in all aspects of the concepts of both. Intelligent people do not wage wars, do not brainwash their children, do not seek power over others as their ultimate goal, do not seek to amass material wealth that they can never use in its entirety in this lifetime, and they do not hate diversity, but rather embrace all things as being part of the same whole. This concept is the true meaning of happiness throughout this lifetime".

This certainly sums it up, nicely. As for the human family needing to evolve, there is always hope, Thanks for sharing this with us


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/Credence2.

Thanks for your comments. And yes, it surely does appear that this is the ONLY thing left for us: hope.

But hope by itself has never accomplished anything - and never will.


chefsref profile image

chefsref 5 years ago from Citra Florida

Beautiful hub.

I think your statements are antithetical to the current reality in this country. While other nations study and increase knowledge we have turned to faith to reinforce out ignorance. If hope is all we have left we'd better hope that reason and knowledge can win over those who are deliberately obtuse

Up and Awesome, thanx for this hub!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

Fabulous hub,. So true that, as you say no wonder there is so muh confusion, distrust and musunderstanding among mankind.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/chefsref.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting, and your thoughts are correct, as was my intentions. Hope is just a wish for a fairytale ending, without actually having to make an effort to obtain it.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/Dim+Flaxenwick.

thanks for reading and commenting. I always welcome your insight and wisdom. dw


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

Knowledge is truly the ultimate power, nothing else can even come close! Rated Up, great Hub!


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/Chatkath.

Thank you so much fro taking the time to read and your kind comments.


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

Nice article d.william! Learnt lots of new names of languages which are spoken by millions. I find it interesting that you included even sign languages.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/soumyasrajan.

Thanks i enjoyed researching this subject. Your comments are appreciated.


Ddraigcoch profile image

Ddraigcoch 5 years ago from UK

Please don't forget the approximate 611,000 Welsh speakers. Great and interesting hub to read.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/Ddraigcoch.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting. And i did indeed somehow miss the Welsh speakers.

Celts and the Celtic language is part of the Indo-European group and is subdivided into Brythonic and Goidelic and confined to Britanny, Wales, Western Ireland, and the Scottish Higlands, with Wales, Cornwall, and Britanny being part of the Brythonic group; and Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man belonging to the Goidelic group. Thanks for pointing this omission out to me.


raj 2 years ago

Languages are for communication and understanding rather than misjudging and dividing .........

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