List of Languages Spoken Around the World

List of Languages Spoken Around the World

Language refers to a system of human communication that involves a series of sounds made with the mouth. This is also known as speaking or verbal communication. The ability to use sounds to communicate thoughts and feelings is known as speech and is a basic human trait. The scientific study of language in any of its senses is called linguistics.

Number of Languages Spoken in the World

Although humans began with a single form of communication, the number of languages spoken in the world ranges anywhere from 3000 to 6000. As humans evolved and moved to different areas of the world, their spoken communications evolved along with them. New language emerged as did different dialects and accents. Over time, those subtle differences developed into completely different languages.

Unfortunately, there is no universal form of communication, which leads to complications in communications across cultures and borders.

List of Languages Spoken in the World

Following is a list of languages spoken in the world and the approximate number of people that speak it. Please note that each may contain many different dialects based on regional and cultural differences:

  • Chinese Mandarin – More than 1 billion people worldwide speak Chinese Mandarin, making it the most spoken in the entire world.
  • English – More 512 million people speak English
  • Hindi – More than 501 million people
  • Spanish – 399 million people
  • Russian – 285 million
  • Arabic – 265 million
  • Bengali – 245 million
  • Portuguese – 196 million
  • Malay-Indonesian – 140 million
  • Japanese – 125 million
  • German – 100 million
  • Korean – 78 million
  • French – 77 million
  • Chinese, Wu – 77 million
  • Javanese – 75 million
  • Chinese. Yue – 71 million

The number who use each language continues to change everyday, but the rank order of the list stays relatively consistent.

View more Lists of Lists.


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