The languages of the world are constantly in flux. English is currently the most popular in the world, but that may not be true for much longer. This list features current populations and estimates of the percentages of people who speak each language.
Mandarin is the most common language in the world, with over a billion speakers. It is the official language of China and Taiwan, and is one of the four official languages of Singapore. Mandarin is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
Mandarin is a tonal language, meaning that each syllable can have one of four tones: high level, rising, falling-rising, or falling. This can make it challenging for speakers of non-tonal languages to learn Mandarin. However, tones are not used to distinguish between words – so once you know a few basic words and grammar rules, you can start communicating in Mandarin pretty quickly.
If you're interested in learning Mandarin, there are plenty of resources available online and offline. Many universities offer Mandarin courses, and there are also many private language schools that specialize in teaching Chinese.
Spanish is the third most common language in the world, with over 400 million speakers. It is the official language of Spain, Mexico, and many other countries in South and Central America. Spanish is a Romance language, which means it is related to other languages like French and Italian.
There are many different languages spoken all over the world. Some of these languages are more common than others. English is one of the most common languages in the world. It is estimated that there are around 1.5 billion people who speak English as their first language. This makes English the third most spoken language in the world, behind Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.
There are many reasons why English is so widespread. One of the biggest reasons is the British Empire. At its peak, the British Empire was one of the largest empires in history. It controlled a huge amount of land and had a large population. Many of the countries that were part of the British Empire still use English as their official language. Other countries have adopted English as their official language because it is such a widely spoken language.
English is also the language of international business and commerce. Many business deals are conducted in English even if neither party speaks it as their first language. This is because English is considered to be the lingua franca, or common language, of business. As more and more businesses operate on a global scale, the need for a common language becomes even more important.
Finally, English has become popular as a second or foreign language in non-English speaking countries. This is because English is seen as being necessary for educational and economic opportunities. In some cases, it has even replaced local languages entirely
Bengali is the fifth most spoken language in the world with over 250 million speakers. It is the national and official language of Bangladesh, and one of the 23 official languages of India. Bengali is also spoken in parts of Assam and West Bengal in India, and in Barak Valley in Bangladesh. The Bengali alphabet is derived from the Brahmi script, and has 51 letters.
There are over 150 million Russian speakers in the world, making it the eighth most common language. It is an official language in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and is also used as a regional language in many other countries. Russian is a Slavic language, which means it is related to other languages like Polish and Czech. It uses the Cyrillic alphabet, which can make it difficult for English speakers to learn.
Arabic is a Central Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE. It is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is classed as a macrolanguage comprising 30 modern varieties, including Egyptian Arabic, North Levantine Arabic, Hejazi Arabic, Maghrebi Arabic, Gulf Arabic, and others.
As the modern written language, Modern Standard Arabic is widely taught in schools and universities, and is used to varying degrees in workplaces, government, and the media. The two formal varieties are grouped together as Literary Arabic (fuṣḥā), which is the official language of 26 states and the liturgical language of Islam. Modern Standard Arabic largely follows the grammatical standards of Classical Arabic and uses much of the same vocabulary. However, it has abandoned some grammatical constructions and vocabulary that no longer have any counterpart in the spoken varieties, and has adopted certain new constructions and vocabulary from the spoken varieties. Much of the new vocabulary is used to denote concepts that have arisen in the post-classical era, especially in modern times. During the Middle Ages, Literary Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe, especially in science, mathematics and philosophy. As a result, many European languages have also borrowed many words from it
Portuguese is the official language of Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe. Portuguese started to spread around the world after the Age of Exploration when Portugal became an empire. By some estimates, there are now over 200 million Portuguese speakers worldwide.
Javanese is the 10th most spoken language in the world with over 70 million speakers. It is the native language of Indonesia and is also spoken in Suriname, Malaysia, and Singapore. Javanese has many different dialects, but the two main ones are Central Javanese and Eastern Javanese. Central Javanese is spoken by around 40 million people and is the standard dialect of Indonesian. Eastern Javanese is spoken by around 30 million people and is mostly used in Suriname.
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and was the first Indian language to be declared as a classical language by the Government of India in 2004. Tamil is one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world. A recorded history of Tamil literature dates back to around the 3rd century BC. The earliest period of Tamil literature, Sangam literature, is dated from circa 300 BC – AD 300.
French is one of the most popular languages in the world, with over 220 million speakers. It is spoken in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, and many other countries. French is a Romance language, which means it is related to other languages like Italian and Spanish. It is also one of the official languages of the United Nations.
We hope this list of the 10 most common languages in the world has been helpful to you. If you're looking to learn a new language, we recommend starting with one of these 10. They are all widely spoken and will give you a good foundation on which to build your language learning journey. What language are you interested in learning? Let us know in the comments below!