Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Top Five Most Spoken Languages in the World


Most Spoken Languages

According to the Lexiophiles website, there are currently over 6,912 languages in the world, spoken by more than 6.6 billion people.

Here is a list of the five most spoken languages, with their ranking, and the actual number of people who speak it as a first language…

These figures represent approximate population numbers, complied by various agencies, and gathered through several sources, and, as most data of the sort, vary greatly from one estimate to another.

Rank Language Native speakers
1 Chinese 1,210,000,000
2 Hindi 487,000,000
3 Spanish 358,000,000
4 English 341,000,000
5 Arabic 320,000,000

Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, with more than 1.2 billion native speakers, mainly in China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore. This includes both Mandarin and Cantonese. In addition, 178 million people speak Chinese as a second language.

Hindi is the second most spoken language, mainly in India and Fiji. However, it is estimated that over 900 million people have a significant knowledge of the language.

Spanish comes third, with native speakers, in South America: Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Panama, Belize, and also Spain, Andorra, Gibraltar, and the United States. According to the latest estimates, over 100 million people also speak it as a second language.

English, as a first language, is spoken by 341 million people. This comprises the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, Bermuda, and a few other countries. English is the most widely spoken second language, with over 870 million people using it worldwide.

Arabic is spoken in most of the Middle East, as well as parts of Africa: Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Iraq, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Mauritania, Palestinian Territories, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Somalia.

For a listing of the ten most spoken languages, you can visit the Lexophiles website at: http://www.lexiophiles.com/most-spoken-languages

NOTE: The entire series is available ONLY by e-mailing Prof. Lynch at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com/ with “Sleep Learning” in the e-mail title. Regretfully, when my current supply of copies of this limited, controversial, eye-opening report are exhausted, the report will go out of print.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 125 countries worldwide. Get your FREE, pdf format report on CD or via e-mail, "Can You REALLY Learn a Foreign Language While You Sleep?" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com