The world’s most spoken languages


Which language will you learn next?

Around the world there are a total of 7,102 known languages. Of this, 23 remain popular enough to be considered the most spoken languages of the world.

These 23 languages are considered the mother tongue for more than 50 million people and the native tongue for more than 4.1 billion people.

To put this into perspective there are currently around 7.2 billion people living on planet earth.

The circle above represents the 4.1 billion people around the world that speak one of the 23 most spoken languages.

The graphic further breaks down these numbers by the amount of people that speak a given language according to country.

Infographic artist Alberto Lucas Lopez created this interesting breakdown for the South China Morning Post.

The colors marked by the countries show the interesting development of languages in different regions.

You will notice different countries are placed throughout the graphic, highlighting the language diversity in singular countries as well as across the globe.

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The most widely used language is Chinese, which is considered a macrolanguage that includes different dialects such as Gan, Min Dong, Cantonese, Hakka, Jinyu, Min Bei and more.

“The reason why English, French and Spanish are among the world’s most widespread languages has its roots in the imperial past of the nations where they originate.”

Chinese is the most widely used language, but English remains the number of language currently being learned with 1,500 million English learners.

French is the second most widely learned language with 82 million learners. Chinese is the third most popularly learned language with 30 million learners.

You can find a full resolution version of the map by clicking here.

Source: TheMindUnleashed | Photo credits:

Also: Which language has the most speakers – both native and total? Here are top 5:

Which language has the most speakers WEF

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As a side, see these interesting infographics by Slate:

USA’s official language is English. The second most popular language in the USA:

The second most popular language in the US

Most commonly US spoken language other than English or Spanish:

Most commonly US spoken language other than English or Spanish

Earlier post: The world’s top languages

Did you know?: Urdu/Hindi is now the world’s second largest language, ahead of English.

Source: Funders and Founders


Updated stats: April 2015

The world’s languages, in 7 maps and charts by The Washington Post


For updated stats about world languages, click here.

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