Communication was considered to be one of the most important necessities during the evolution of mankind. It was almost impossible to think of survival without having a medium to communicate. From wall drawings to sign language to different sounds, mankind eventually evolved itself by creating and adhering to different linguistics. Today, there are around 6000 languages used by people to communicate around the world. However, about 2000 of those languages are spoken by less than 1000 people per region and language. Here is a list of top 10 most spoken languages around the world.
The development of language is one of the–if not the–most important developments in history. Ever since humans learned how to communicate verbally, numerous languages have developed. Today, there are literally thousands of different languages in existence the world over. Here is a list of the top ten most spoken languages in the world.
At number 10 on our list is French. It is currently official language for a almost 29 countries and a number of regions including France, parts of Switzerland (Romandy), Brussels, Belgium, Monaco and some parts of Quebec. According to Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, around 80 Million people living in Europe speak French as a native language and almost 350 Million people speaking all over the world. As of now, the French language has three major forms of existence, primarily known as Old French, Middle French and French.
Malay / Indonesian
Malay language is said to be the most popular language in the Austronesian family. It is currently national and official language to several countries and regions including Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Cocos Island, Christmas Island, Thailand, Indonesia and East Timor. There are about 82 Million people in the world who have Malay as their native language. According to sources, by 2013, there were about 360 Million people in total speaking different forms of Malay is either their first or second language.
Some of us would be surprised to know the fact that Portuguese language is an official language for one of the Chinese regions – Macau. Adding further to the surprise element, there are several people speaking fine Portuguese in parts of India including Goa, Diu and Daman. That’s correct! Portuguese language has a long history that can be traced to the Medieval Galician language, which later evolved as Portuguese language. Portuguese is mostly spoken in Portugal and Brazil, where is it the official language. Other regions where Portuguese is the official language is Angola and Cape Verde. It is also the official language in East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe. Currently, there are about 370 million people across the globe speaking Portuguese either as their native or second language.
380 million people around the world speak Bengali. It developed from various Indo-Aryan languages, a lineage it shares with Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. It is the official language of Bangladesh, where most of its native speakers are from. Many people in Indian West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and many countries in Europe also speak Bengali. Today, the language has evolved so much that Bengali dialect changes almost every 60 kilometers while travelling on the Bangla strip.
Probably one of the oldest and most diverse languages to be spoken by people on Earth. It developed from various Semitic languages, and is spoken mainly in the Middle East and North Africa, although it is the official language of no less than 26 countries. As of now, there are about 4 different dialects spoken across the world in Arabic including Western Arabic, Central Arabic, Northern Arabic and Peninsular Arabic. The language is also native to regions including but not limited to Arab League, Mali, Chad, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan and Ethiopia.
The Russian language is one of the many Slavic languages spoken in the post USSR region. Russian is an official language to some of the known regions of the world including Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Apart from this, the Russian is widely spoken and used as a primary language of communication in most parts of Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. It is currently ranked as 5th on our list of top 10 most spoken languages in the world.
They say it comes from the Romance language family – the same family that serves as roots for French. As of 2013, there were about 500 Million people across the world noted as fluent Spanish speakers. So much so, it has become an official language for more than twenty regions of the world including Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela and not to miss out, Spain.
Hindi or Hindi-Urdu is the 3rd widely spoken language in the world with 600 Million people as native Hindi-Urdu speakers. The language is widely understood among the most vastly spread world regions ranging from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. However, there is a minor change in dialect and grammar as the region shifts.
Now it might be unusual for most us to know why English is not the most spoken language of the world. English is spoken by 990 million around the world and too because it became the official language for several countries. It developed from various languages including West Germanic and Anglo-Saxon languages. Latin and French also heavily influenced the development of English. It is the official language of no less than 53 countries. However, in the modern times, it has become the world’s lingua franca and is commonly used as a mutually understood language and medium of communication in business, education, travel and several other aspects of life.
Mandarin is spoken by 845 million Chinese only, there is a much bigger number than that for people who are fluent in speaking Mandarin. Although often referred to simply as “Chinese”, it is only one of several different Chinese languages. Aside from China, Chinese is also an official language of Singapore. This marks Mandarin as the most spoken language in the world for our list of top 10 most spoken languages in the world.