Even if you're reading this post in English, it's likely that English isn't your first language. Only 33% of the world's billion English speakers regard the language to be their first language.
The practicality and geographic location of a language have a big impact on its popularity. Furthermore, depending on whether you look at total speakers or native speakers, the way we measure the expansion of world languages might differ substantially.
In today's world, approximately 6,500 languages are spoken. Each and every one of them contributes to the world's diversity and beauty.
Regrettably, some of these languages are not as well-known as others. Consider Busuu, which is named after a language spoken by only eight individuals.
Others are widely spoken by large populations in a variety of nations and are frequently chosen by language learners.
What are the most widely spoken languages on the planet?
1. English (1.132 million speakers)
· 379 million native speakers
· 753 million non-native speakers
English, like Latin or Greek in the past, is today's universal language. It is widely used in worldwide business, tourism, technology, and other fields.
One out of every three people who connect to the Internet can be comprehended by a bilingual person who speaks both Spanish and English (Internet World Stats, 2019). In addition, he or she has access to 60% of all content published on the internet (W3Techs, 2019).
2. Mandarin (1.117 million speakers)
· 918 million native speakers
· 199 million non-native speakers
Mandarin is the world's second most spoken language when native and non-native speakers are combined. It is, however, the first if only native speakers are included.
Mandarin is a group of dialects of the Chinese language, not a language in its own right. The fact that their speakers can comprehend each other is what unites various dialects under one identity.
Despite the fact that 20% of persons who connect to the Internet speak Chinese, just 1% of the content available on the internet is in that language.
3. Hindi (615 million speakers)
· 341 million native speakers
· 274 million non-native speakers
Hindi is one of India's 22 official languages, along with English. India is the world's second-most populous country. The high rate of non-native speakers who adopt it as a lingua franca is due to the region's linguistic diversity (more than 1,600 languages coexist).
4. Spanish (534 million speakers)
· 460 million native speakers
· 74 million non-native speakers
In terms of native speakers, it is the world's second most widely spoken language. It's also the third most popular on the web.
Its massive colonial expansion took it to Africa and Asia in addition to America. Because of migration, the United States has the world's second-largest population of Spanish speakers.
5. French (280 million speakers)
· 77 million native speakers
· 203 million non-native speakers
The French were able to spread over the world thanks to colonialism. It is now the official language of 29 nations across the globe.
If English is the business language, French was once thought to be the cultural language. Its immense importance is evident in the fact that it has the third-largest number of non-native speakers of any language.