most spoken languages

Most Spoken Languages 🌐

Most Spoken Languages Around the World Today 🌐

Worldwide billions of people converse with each other using over 7000 different languages. It’s not easy to find up to date and accurate  statistics so think of this list as a “rough guide” to the most spoken languages in the world. The top 31 most spoken languages in the world are listed below. The totals include native and second language speakers.

Most Spoken Languages FAQs

What’s the Most Spoken Language in the World?

English tops the list of most spoken languages with around 1,268 million speakers. However the Chinese family of languages consists of thirteen different groups including; Chinese Mandarin (which includes Standard Chinese), Wu Chinese (which includes Shanghainese), Yue Chinese (which includes Cantonese) totalling over 1,287 million. In this wider context Chinese is the most spoken language in the world.

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Languages Total speakers (millions) Language family 🌐Most spoken languages in countries
English 1,268 Indo-European

Countries where English is an official language or primary language:

  • 🇦🇺 Australia
  • 🇳🇿 New Zealand
  • 🇬🇧 United Kingdom (UK)
  • 🇺🇸 United States of America (USA)
  • 🇦🇬 Antigua & Barbuda
  • 🇧🇸 Bahamas
  • 🇧🇧 Barbados
  • 🇧🇿 Belize
  • 🇨🇰 Cook Islands
  • 🇩🇲 Dominica
  • 🇬🇩 Grenada
  • 🇬🇾 Guyana
  • 🇯🇲 Jamaica
  • 🇱🇷 Liberia
  • 🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea
  • 🇰🇳 Saint Kitts & Nevis
  • 🇱🇨 Saint Lucia
  • 🇻🇨 Saint Vincent & Grenadines
  • 🇸🇱 Sierra Leone
  • 🇹🇹 Trinidad & Tobago.

Countries where English is spoken as a minority language:

  • 🇧🇼 Botswana
  • 🇧🇮 Burundi
  • 🇨🇲 Cameroon
  • 🇨🇦 Canada (not in Quebec, Nunavut and northern New Brunswick)
  • 🇸🇿 Eswatini
  • 🇫🇯 Fiji (used as a “lingua franca” trade language)
  • 🇬🇲 Gambia
  • 🇬🇭 Ghana (used as a “lingua franca” trade language)
  • 🇮🇳 India (used officially and for education)
  • 🇮🇪 Ireland (co-official language with Irish)
  • 🇰🇪 Kenya (used in business and education)
  • 🇰🇮 Kiribati
  • 🇰🇮 Lesotho
  • 🇰🇮 Malawi
  • 🇲🇹 Malta (used officially and for education and business)
  • 🇲🇭 Marshall Islands
  • 🇲🇺 Mauritius
  • 🇫🇲 Micronesia
  • 🇳🇦 Namibia (used as a “lingua franca” trade language)
  • 🇳🇷 Nauru (minority language but widely spoken)
  • 🇳🇬 Nigeria (used as a “lingua franca” trade language)
  • 🇳🇺 Niue
  • 🇵🇰 Pakistan (minority language but used officially and for education)
  • 🇵🇼 Palau
  • 🇵🇭 Philippines (co-official language with Filipi)
  • 🇷🇼 Rwanda (used officially and for education)
  • 🇼🇸 Samoa
  • 🇸🇨 Seychelles
  • 🇸🇬 Singapore (used as a “lingua franca” trade language, widely spoken, used in education)
  • 🇸🇧 Solomon Islands
  • 🇿🇦 South Africa (used as a “lingua franca” for trade and used officially in education)
  • 🇸🇸 South Sudan
  • 🇸🇩 Sudan
  • 🇹🇿 Tanzania
  • 🇹🇴 Tonga
  • 🇹🇻 Tuvalu
  • 🇺🇬 Uganda (used officially for education)
  • 🇻🇺 Vanuatu
  • 🇿🇲 Zambia
  • 🇿🇼 Zimbabwe (used as a “lingua franca” trade language).

Tops the list of the most spoken languages in the world.

Mandarin Chinese
(includes Standard Chinese)
1,120 Sino-Tibetan
  • 🇨🇳 China (as Putonghua)
  • 🇹🇼Taiwan (as Guoyu)
  • 🇸🇬 Singapore (as Huayu)

Countries where Mandarin Chinese is spoken as a minority language:

  • 🇲🇲 Myanmar (Wa State)
  • 🇺🇸 United States of America (Minority language. Chinese is the third most spoken language in the USA).

Mandarin is second in the list of the most spoken languages in the world.

Hindi 637.3 Indo-European
  • 🇮🇳 India.

Hindu is third in the list of the most spoken languages in the world.

Spanish 537.9 Indo-European
  • 🇪🇸 Spain
  • 🇦🇷 Argentina
  • 🇧🇴 Bolivia
  • 🇮🇨 Canary Islands
  • 🇨🇱 Chile
  • 🇨🇴 Colombia
  • 🇨🇷 Costa Rica
  • 🇨🇺 Cuba
  • 🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
  • 🇪🇨 Ecuador
  • 🇸🇻 El Salvador
  • 🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea
  • 🇬🇹 Guatemala
  • 🇭🇳 Honduras
  • 🇲🇽 Mexico
  • 🇳🇮 Nicaragua
  • 🇵🇦 Panama
  • 🇵🇾 Paraguay
  • 🇵🇪 Peru
  • 🇵🇷 Puerto Rico (USA Territory)
  • 🇺🇾 Uruguay
  • 🇺🇸 United States of America. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the USA.
  • 🇻🇪 Venezuela.

Spanish is widely spoken across Central & South America, apart from Brazil, and is foruth in the list of the most spoken languages in the world.

French 276.6 Indo-European

Countries where French is an official language or primary language:

  • 🇫🇷 France
  • 🇧🇪 Belgium
  • 🇧🇫 Burkina Faso
  • 🇧🇮 Burundi
  • 🇨🇲 Cameroon
  • 🇨🇦 Canada
  • 🇨🇫 Central African Republic
  • 🇹🇩 Chad
  • 🇰🇲 Comoros
  • 🇨🇬 Congo / Congo Republic
  • 🇩🇯 Djibouti
  • 🇨🇩 DR Congo / Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • 🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea
  • 🇬🇦 Gabon
  • 🇬🇳 Guinea
  • 🇭🇹 Haiti
  • 🇨🇮 Côte d’Ivoire / Ivory Coast
  • 🇱🇺 Luxembourg
  • 🇲🇬 Madagascar
  • 🇲🇱 Mali
  • 🇲🇨 Monaco
  • 🇳🇪 Niger
  • 🇷🇼 Rwanda
  • 🇸🇳 Senegal
  • 🇸🇨 Seychelles
  • 🇨🇭 Switzerland
  • 🇹🇬 Togo
  • 🇻🇺 Vanuatu.

French Territories where French is an official language or primary language:

  • Aosta Valley
  • Clipperton
  • 🇵🇫 French Polynesia
  • 🇹🇫 French Southern Territories
  • 🇳🇨 New Caledonia
  • 🇧🇱 Saint Barthélemy
  • 🇲🇫 Saint Martin
  • Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
  • 🇼🇫 Wallis & Futuna.

Fifth in the list of the most spoken languages in the world.

Standard Arabic 274 Afro-Asiatic
  • 🇩🇿 Algeria
  • 🇧🇭 Bahrain
  • 🇹🇩 Chad
  • 🇩🇯 Djibouti
  • 🇪🇬 Egypt
  • 🇮🇶 Iraq
  • 🇯🇴 Jordan
  • 🇰🇼 Kuwait
  • 🇱🇧 Lebanon
  • 🇱🇾 Libya
  • 🇲🇦 Morocco
  • 🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia
  • 🇸🇴 Somalia
  • 🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • 🇾🇪 Yemen.

Arabic is the most widely spoken language across the Middle East, Arabian Peninsula and North Africa.

Bengali 265.2 Indo-European
  • 🇧🇩 Bangladesh
  • 🇮🇳 India (West Bengal, Tripura, Assam’s Barak Valley and Jharkhand).
Russian 258 Indo-European

Countries where Russian is an official language or primary language:

  • 🇷🇺 Russia
  • Abkhazia (disputed state, co-official)
  • 🇧🇾 Belarus
  • 🇰🇿 Kazakhstan (co-official)
  • 🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan (co-official)
  • 🇲🇩 Moldova (Gagauzia (co-official), Transnistria (disputed state. co-official)
  • South Ossetia (disputed state)
  • 🇹🇯 Tajikistan
  • 🇹🇲 Turkmenistan (inter-ethnic communication)

Countries where Russian is spoken as a minority language:

  • 🇦🇲 Armenia
  • 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan
  • 🇨🇳 China
  • 🇨🇾 Cyprus
  • 🇨🇿 Czechia / Czech Republic
  • 🇮🇱 Israel
  • 🇱🇻 Latvia
  • 🇲🇩 Moldova
  • 🇲🇳 Mongolia
  • 🇰🇵 North Korea
  • 🇵🇱 Poland
  • 🇷🇴 Romania (regional and minority)
  • 🇸🇰 Slovakia
  • 🇺🇦 Ukraine (disputed Republic of Crimea)
  • 🇺🇿 Uzbekistan (inter-ethnic communication).
Portuguese 252.2 Indo-European

Countries and territories where Portuguese is an official language:

  • 🇵🇹 Portugal
  • 🇧🇷 Brazil (most spoken language)
  • 🇦🇴 Angola (minority and second language)
  • 🇨🇻 Cape Verde / Cabo Verde (mostly spoken as a second language)
  • 🇹🇱 East Timor / Timor-Leste (minority language)
  • 🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea (minority language)
  • 🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau (minority language)
  • 🇨🇳 Macau China SAR (minority language)
  • 🇲🇿 Mozambique (minority language)
  • 🇸🇹 São Tomé & Príncipe (most spoken language).
Indonesian 199 Austronesian Indonesian (bahasa Indonesia) is a standardised variety of Malay and tenth in the list of most spoken languages in the world. Indonesian is mostly spoken in:
  • 🇮🇩 Indonesia
  • 🇹🇱 East Timor / Timor-Leste.
Urdu 170.6 Indo-European
  • 🇮🇳 India (as Hindi, Urdu)
  • 🇵🇰 Pakistan (as Urdu).
German 131.6 Indo-European

Countries and territories where German is an official language:

  • 🇩🇪 Germany
  • 🇦🇹 Austria (most spoken language)
  • 🇧🇪 Belgium (minority language spoken in German communities)
  • 🇱🇮 Liechtenstein (most spoken language)
  • 🇱🇺 Luxembourg (co-official language with French and Luxembourgish)
  • 🇨🇭 Switzerland (co-official language at federal level with French, Italian and Romansh).
Japanese 126.4 Japonic
  • 🇯🇵 Japan
  • 🇧🇷 Brazil
  • 🇵🇼 Palau
  • 🇺🇸 United States of America. Japanese is a minority language in the USA.
Swahili 98.5 Niger–Congo

Countries and territories where Swahili is an official language:

  • 🇨🇩 DR Congo / Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • 🇰🇪 Kenya
  • 🇷🇼 Rwanda
  • 🇹🇿 Tanzania
  • 🇺🇬 Uganda.

Countries where Swahili is spoken as a minority language:

  • 🇧🇮 Burundi
  • 🇲🇿 Mozambique.
Marathi 95.3 Indo-European
  • 🇮🇳 India (Primarily spoken in Maharashtra, Goa and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (DNHDD) union territory).
Telugu 93 Dravidian
  • 🇮🇳 India (primarily in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Yanam, Andaman and Nicobar Islands).
Turkish 85.2 Turkic
  • 🇹🇷 Turkey
  • Northern Cyprus (disputed territory)
  • 🇨🇾 Cyprus.

Countries where Turkish is spoken as a minority language:

  • 🇧🇦 Bosnia & Herzegovina
    🇬🇷 Greece
    🇮🇶 Iraq
    🇽🇰 Kosovo
    🇲🇰 North Macedonia
    🇷🇴 Romania.
Yue Chinese
(including Cantonese)
84.9 Sino-Tibetan
  • 🇨🇳China, Hong Kong as Chinese
  • 🇨🇳 China, Macau as Chinese.
Tamil 83.8 Dravidian
  • 🇱🇰 Sri Lanka
  • 🇸🇬 Singapore
  • 🇮🇳 India (Tamil Nadu, Puducherry)

Countries where Tamil is spoken as a minority language:

  • 🇲🇾 Malaysia
  • 🇲🇺 Mauritius
  • 🇿🇦 South Africa
Western Punjabi / Lahnda 82.8 Indo-European
  • 🇵🇰 Pakistan (spoken is Punjab, Azad Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regions).
Wu Chinese
(including Shanghainese)
81.8 Sino-Tibetan
  • 🇨🇳 China (Anhui, Fujian, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shanghai, Zhejiang and SAR Hong Kong and Macau
  • Overseas Chinese communities worldwide with origins from Shanghai, Jiangsu and/or Zhejiang.
Korean 79.4 Koreanic
  • 🇰🇵 North Korea
  • 🇰🇷 South Korea
  • 🇨🇳China (Yanbian Prefecture and Changbai County).

Countries where Korean is spoken as a minority language:

  • 🇷🇺Russia (Primorsky Krai).
Vietnamese 77 Austroasiatic
  • 🇻🇳 Vietnam

Countries where Vietnamese is spoken as a minority language:

  • 🇨🇿 Czechia / Czech Republic
  • 🇰🇭 Cambodia (Kampong Luong, floating village)
  • 🇫🇷 France
  • 🇩🇪 Germany
  • 🇺🇸 United States of America (USA).
Hausa 72.7 Afro-Asiatic
  • 🇳🇪 Niger
  • 🇳🇬 Nigeria
  • 🇬🇭 Ghana.

Countries where Hausa is spoken as a minority language:

  • 🇧🇯 Benin
  • 🇨🇲 Cameroon
  • 🇨🇮 Côte d’Ivoire / Ivory Coast
  • 🇱🇾 Libya
  • 🇹🇬 Togo.
Javanese 68.3 Austronesian
  • 🇮🇩 Indonesia (Java island).
Egyptian Arabic 67.8 Afro-Asiatic
  • 🇪🇬 Egypt.
Italian 67.7 Indo-European
  • 🇮🇹 Italy
  • 🇸🇲 San Marino
  • 🇨🇭 Switzerland
  • 🇻🇦 Vatican City / Holy See.

Countries where Italian is spoken as a minority language:

  • 🇸🇮 Slovenia (Slovenian Istria region)
  • 🇭🇷 Croatia (Istria County).
Thai 60.7 Kra–Dai
  • 🇹🇭 Thailand

Countries where Thai is spoken as a minority language:

  • 🇰🇭 Cambodia (Koh Kong province)
  • 🇲🇾 Malaysia (Kedah, Kelantan states)
  • 🇲🇲 Myanmar (Tanintharyi region).
Gujarati 60.7 Indo-European
  • 🇮🇳 India (Primarily spoken in Gujarat and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (DNHDD) union territory).
Kannada 56.5 Dravidian
  • 🇮🇳 India (Karnataka state).
Persian 55 Indo-European
  • 🇮🇷 Iran
  • 🇦🇫 Afghanistan (as Dari)
  • 🇹🇯 Tajikistan (as Tajik).

Most Spoken Languages Put Into Practice:


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