26 April, 2010

What are the most spoken languages?

There are a few ways you can measure use of language. Mandarin Chinese (1) has by far the most native speakers with more than one billion natives, followed by Spanish (2), English (3), Hindi/Urdu (4), Arabic (5), Bengali (6) and Portuguese (7). However, when secondary speakers enter the equation, the ranking looks something like this: 
  1. Mandarin Chinese (1.12 billion)
  2. English (480 million)
  3. Spanish (320 million)
  4. Russian (285 million)
  5. French (265 million)
  6. Hindi/Urdu (250 million)
  7. Arabic (221 million)
In other words, if you learn any or all of these seven languages, you can communicate with a lot of people. If you can reach them, that is. The most used language in business is still English and the most used languages by the internet population are the following:
  1. English (295.4 million)
  2. Chinese (110.0 million)
  3. Spanish (86.0 million)
  4. Japanese (67.1 million)
  5. German (55.3 million)
  6. French (33.9 million)
  7. Korean (31.3 million)
  8. Italian (30.4 million)
  9. Portuguese (29.4 million)
  10. Russian (22 million)
Coincidentally, these are exactly the ten languages I’m studying and that I want to master until I’m 30. I’ve always wanted to be able to communicate with as many people as possible in their language. Somehow I intuitively chose the ten most used languages in the  internet. Do you think it’s more useful to learn the most spoken languages as opposed to the ones I learn? I will write more about why you should learn languages and which languages are best to choose in another blog post.

1 comment:

  1. This is really a very informative post. I am learning Spanish and i think it is most spoken language. I know that learning a different language helps enhance our educational development, gives us an ability to unfold our restriction on communication and thinking capabilities. Thanks for the sharing us this post.
    Spanish school Costa Rica