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The Most Widely Spoken Languages

Updated on November 5, 2012

Here is an interesting list of the world’s most widely spoken language. And if you are looking for a new language to learn, the better pick one of these language.

Chinese Mandarin

The most widely used language is Chinese Mandarin, surprisingly. People from China, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan even in South Africa and Mongolia speak the language. Approximately 1 Billion people use this language. Not surprising since China has about 1.3 Billion people.


English comes in second with about 480 Million people speaking the language. Although English is not the most widely spoken language it is still the most understood internationally. It is used as amajor language in countries like The United States, The United Kingdom, New Zealand, Fiji, The Philippines, Singapore, Micronesia, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Barbados, Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Palau, Kenya, Uganda, Vanuatu, The Bahamas. Since English is the most widely understood language, a lot of countries use it as the medium of instruction in schools. Businessmen from all over the world also learn it to be able to globally compete in their field.


Next on the third spot is Spanish; this language has at least 329 Million native speakers in some 44 countries. To those who speak it, this is known as españoland is one of the most phonetic languages in the world. If you know how to say the word in Spanish, you would be able to know how it is spelled, quite the opposite of French. One of the reasons why this language is so widely spread, is because of the Spaniard’s colonization to distant countries some 300 years ago.


Fourth on the list is Arabic, one of the oldest languages of the world and it is used widely used in Middle East Countries like the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Kuwait, Libya and of course Egypt, totalling to about 235Million people who use the language.


Hindi like Bengali is also an Indo-Aryan language; it ranks in fifth on our list with about 487 native speakers. This is the primary language in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Hindi started to be used in writing during the 4th century AD.


Sixth is Bengali which originated in India and is also used in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bahrain and some North American regions. This language has about 300 million total speakers. Bengali is also the second most spoken language in India.


Next on is Russian, which is spoken in some regions in China, Georgia, Estonia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Ukraine and the USSR countries. It is the most widely spread language in Eurasia. Eighth on the list is Portuguese, which is also known as the official language of the European Union, African Union and Lusophone Countries. Like the Spanish, they were able to spread their language to the world through their search for new colonies.


Japanese, which ranks ninth has about 125million speakers even if Japan is a small country it still made it to the top 10 with 125million people using the language. Tenth on our list is German with an estimated 97 million speakers. It is primarily spoken in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and by majority of people in Luxemburg

Most Spoken Languages

What's Your Language?

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    • Lyn.Stewart profile image


      7 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand

      thanks ...I love learning something new

    • Florida Guy profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks for liking my hub. :-)

    • maplethorpej profile image

      Jerad Maplethorpe 

      7 years ago from Minneapolis, Minn.

      I've been getting into foreign languages lately, so this is good to know! Thanks.


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