Navigation Menu

World's Most Spoken Languages

There are over 6.5 billion people on the planet at this very moment. Communication amongst these people can be difficult, especially considering there are over 1000 languages of various dialects spoken on a daily basis. Half of the population speaks one of four languages: Mandarin, English, Spanish, and Hindi.

Mandarin tops out this list of the world's most spoken languages. Written and spoken by nearly 1.151 billion people, Mandarin is a descendant of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. It is most commonly spoken in China, Malaysia, and Taiwan. It is notable by its use of graphical characters, called 'mora', which can houses more of conceptual building block to a word, rather than just a simple sound construct as seen in European languages. Mandarin is also noteworthy in that the simple change in the sound of a syllable can change the whole connotation of a word, phrase or sentence.

English is the second most spoken language in the world. It derives from the Indo-European family of languages and uses Latin characters derived from the ancient Romans. English is the major language for the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, spoken by over one billion people in total. While common in the world, it is noted for its difficulty in learning, due to many irregularities regarding the spelling of words, sentence structure, and grammatical semantics.

Spanish ranks third in Earth's spoken languages. Like English, it comes from the Indo-European family of Latin characters. Nearly 500 million people speak it over the countries of Mexico, Central America, South America, and Spain. It comes in two dialects, the Latin American version, spoken in the western hemisphere and the Spanish version, which is spoken in Europe. It is one of the easiest languages to learn worldwide, having a simple grammatical structure and very consistent rules.

Meanwhile, over in India, nearly 490 million people speak Hindi. It does derive from the Indo-European family like Spanish and English, but it uses the Devanagari script. It is heard in only the Northern and Central parts of India, hence why it's only heard by under half of the population.

Learning languages can be fun and with the right teacher, they can also be easy. Find the languages that suit you and give yourself a talented tongue.

© 2003-2011 allianceforlanguagelearning.orgĀ All Rights Reserved.