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
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