A few facts
Out of the 6000 languages in the world, 50% are threatened with extinction, 96% of them are spoken by 4% of the world population, 1 language disappears every 2 weeks, 90% are not represented on the Internet and 90% of African languages have no written transcript.
Chinese, Mandarin is, by far, the most spoken language in the world.
Here are the top 10 languages according to the number of native speakers in the world (from the year 2010). The fraction of world population is from the year 2007.
- 955 millions native speakers
- 14.1% of the world population
Chinese, Mandarin is the national language of China and Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world. The Chinese population is already one fifth of the population of the world and is rapidly expanding its presence everywhere. Modern Standard Chinese is an official language of the United Nations.
- Learn Chinese, Mandarin with native speakers
- 405 millions native speakers
- 5.85% of the world population
Spanish, the official language in twenty-one countries, is the third most widely-spoken language in the world, after English and Mandarin.
- Learn Spanish with native speakers
- 360 millions native speakers
- 5.52% of the world population
English was originally the language of England, but it has become the primary or secondary language of many former British colonies such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and India. Currently, English is the primary language of many business and cultural spheres.
- Learn English with native speakers
- 310 millions native speakers
- 4.46% of the world population
Hindi is an ancient language that has a tremendous impact on the world today. The Hindi language is very old, and has a direct line of evolution to Sanskrit. As such it is part of one of the oldest religious and literary traditions in the world.
- Learn Hindi with native speakers
- 295 millions native speakers
- 4.23% of the world population
The Arabic language is the official language of over 20 countries. Most of the Arabic speakers are concentrated in the Middle East. People around the world focus on Arabic, since it is the language of the Holy Koran. Hence Muslims, all over the world consider it sacred.
- Learn Arabic with native speakers
- 215 millions native speakers
- 3.08% of the world population
Portuguese is not just spoken in Portugal, but in Brazil and several African nations including Mozambique and Angola.
- Learn Portuguese with native speakers
- 205 millions native speakers
- 3.05% of the world population
Bengali is one of the most-spoken languages in the world. Like Hindi and Urdu and other languages of the area, Bengali has a very long history. Today it is the primary language spoken in Bangladesh as well as the second most spoken language in India.
- Learn Bengali with native speakers
- 155 millions native speakers
- 2.42% of the world population
Russian is the largest native language in Europe, with native speakers in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. It is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
- Learn Russian with native speakers
- 125 millions native speakers
- 1.92% of the world population
Japan is a prosperous country and has the most diverse economy in Asia. The leading Japanese companies are among the largest, most efficiently run, and most well-known firms in the world.
- Learn Japanese with native speakers
- 100 millions native speakers
- 1.44% of the world population
Punjabi is a widely-spoken and vital language all over the world. It is the language spoken in India and in Pakistan.
- Learn Punjabi with native speakers