The Top 15 World’s Most Spoken Languages 2023

The most spoken languages in the world are amazing languages loved by many.


The most spoken languages in the world are remarkable languages that cover larger percentages of the world population that will amaze you. In the world today, there are around 7,100 languages, among them are these amazing languages. 


This article highlights the total number of speakers around the world, native speakers, and countries with most speakers arranged in descending order and lots more to know about the most spoken languages. 


The related languages mentioned are languages that have common things with the most spoken languages. The similarities mainly revolve around a high lexical count, in turn meaning shared vocabulary, and pronunciation.


Here are the top 15 world's most spoken languages 2023, they are,

They are all interesting languages you need to know. Check out their linguistic facts and more. Keep reading!

 



1. English - The Most Spoken Language   


No. of Speakers: 1.35 billion

Native speakers: 370 Million

Related languages: Swedish, Dutch, German

Language family: Indo-European

Countries with native Speakers: United States, Canada, United Kingdom


English is the commonly spoken language worldwide and about 20% of the world population speaks it. Even you reading this article show you are part of billions of people speaking this language throughout the world. In many countries around the world, English is the most official language. 


It is the most studied foreign language as well. This is possible because English speakers colonies the majority of countries around the globe. From the language family tree, it is originated from Europe, possibly in the fifth century and it is now the first on the list . 


The United States is home to the greater part of native English speakers, with over 297 million people. Canada has a total population of 30 million native English speakers. There are about 60 million English speakers in the United Kingdom. 


In India, about 265 million speak English and over 30 million in Oceania. In Africa, about 111 million people speak English in Nigeria, 29 million in Uganda, 16 million in South Africa and among others. 

 



2. Mandarin Chinese           


No. of Speakers: 1.12 billion

Native speakers: 1.1 billion

Related languages: Mongolian, Korean, Cantonese

Language family: Sino-Tibetan

Countries with the most Speakers: China, Taiwan


With more than 954 million native speakers worldwide, Mandarin is the most frequently spoken language of Chinese. This equates to 14% of the entire world's population. In its ranking among the most spoken languages in the world in 2023, it is the second. 


Mandarin speakers outnumber those of any other language on the planet as it has the largest population of native speakers. Since Mandarin is spoken with a variety of dialects across China, the Northern Beijing dialect has the biggest effect on standard Mandarin. 


Chinese sounds quite tough to master when compared to the English alphabet's 26 letters. Chinese utilizes characters that represent a syllable of spoken Chinese rather than an alphabet. 


Parts of each letter might represent abstract concepts, tangible objects, or a pronunciation. Despite the fact that Mandarin has thousands of characters, most people only utilize about 2,500 of them on a daily basis. 


Mandarin is now a top language to learn throughout the world and at all levels as the world gets more globalized. Mandarin is taught in Western schools beginning in kindergarten. When it comes to preparing for growing economic ties with China, it is never too early to begin studying such a widely spoken language in 2022. 




3. Hindi                                


No. of Speakers: 615 million

Native speakers: 342 Million

Related languages: Urdu, Punjabi, Arabic, Farsi

Language family: Indo-European

Countries with the most Speakers: India, Nepal, United States, Mauritius


The Persian term "hind" denotes "land of the Indus River," and Hindi is derived from that word. The invasion of the Gangetic Plain and Punjab by Turks who spoke Persian has effects on this language. 


The language used along the Indus riverside was called "Hindi" in the early eleventh century, and that is the name till today. It is India's official language and it is spoken throughout the country. In India alone, about 425 million people speak the language. 


Bringing this language as the third on the list of . A large number of Hindi terms have made their way into English. Words such as yoga, typhoon, guru, shampoo, karma, jungle, guru, bungalow, and avatar are Hindi loanwords. 


The Devnagari script is used to write Hindi. Devnagari has 11 vowels and 33 consonants and is written from left to right. The language is easy to learn as all the letters of the Hindi alphabet have their own unique sound, they are pronounced precisely as they appear.




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4. Spanish                       


Total number of Speakers: 559 million

Native speakers: 460 million

Related languages: Portuguese, Italian, French

Language family: Indo-European

Countries with the most Speakers: Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Spain United States


 In 18 American countries, Spanish is the official language as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and even Equatorial Guinea in Africa. Castilian is another name for Spanish, which refers to the dialect from which contemporary standard Spanish evolved (mostly in Latin America, and moreover growing in Spain). 


By the 11th century, the dialect had moved southward to central Spain (New Castile) between Madrid as well as Toledo, having originated in Cantabria in the 9th century close to the town of Burgos in the northern part of Spain (Old Castile). In Spanish, question marks inverted exclamation marks are used in Spanish. 


This is in contrast to most other languages, which conclude questions or exclamations with a simple exclamation or question mark. Exclamation plus question marks inverted are used in Spanish to emphasize the exclamation or question component of a phrase. 


For instance, look at this statement, Nathan, ¿adónde vas?  That means Nathan, where are you going? Also, Spanish, like other languages, has its own distinct vocabulary that cannot be translated into other languages. 


For example, the Spanish word Empalagar, perfectly describe this situation inform of a question, Have you ever found anything to be overly sweet and loathed it?





5. Arabic                           


No. of Speakers: 420 million

Native speakers: 280 million

Related languages: Hebrew, Aramaic

Language family: Afro-Asiatic

Countries with the most Speakers: Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco


Arabic is a language that originated in the Arabian Peninsula and it is a Semitic language. Arabic extended over Western Asia and North Africa as the Muslim world grew. 


In 26 countries including Algeria, Egypt, Israel (together with Hebrew), Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates all have Arabic as an official language, making it the world's fifth . In Arabic, there is no single capital letters. 


Instead of capital letters, the Arabic script utilizes quote marks for emphasis. There are sounds in Arabic that do not exist in other languages. 


Because certain of the sounds in Arabic are unique in other commonly spoken languages, some non-native speakers find it difficult to pronounce them. For example, ‘ح ‘ is an 'h' pronunciation that can only be heard in Arabic. Also, unlike English, words are written from right to left. 

 



6. Bengali                     


No. of Speakers: 268 million

Native speakers: 185 million

Related languages: Hindi, Nepali, Gujarati

Language family: Indo-European

Countries with the most Speakers: India, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, Andaman, and the Nicobar Islands


The language is named after Bangladesh, originating from Sanskrit and Magadhi Prakrit. About 3.11 percent of the world population speak Bengali. In India, it is the 2nd most spoken language. 


Many considered this language the world's sweetest language. This is because it is easy to comprehend and easy to speak. Possibly this makes the language to be popular being among . 


The Bengali language does not have a gender definition. The language's syntax is gender-free, and there are no gendered nouns in Bengali. For a fresh learner, comprehending this language is indeed simple. 


In a short amount of time, a Bengali student may acquire the fundamental terms, their structures, and their use. In comparison to other languages, writing and word creation are also simple.

 



7. French                             


No. of Speakers: 274 million

Native speakers: 76 million

Related languages: Italian, Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese

Language family: Indo-European

Countries with the most Speakers: DR Congo, France, Canada, Madagascar, Cameroon


Although French did not come in second place to English as the most spoken , up till now, it is the only language taught in schools in every country across the globe, besides English. 


Throughout the years, French has had a significant influence on current English; approximately 45 percent of current English vocabularies are derived from French. 


Even though France boasts the world's biggest population of native French speakers, DR Congo has the highest population of French speakers. 


France is the language's birthplace and the country is closely linked with French. In total, 29 nations have made French their official language. In 13 of these nations, French is the sole official language, and for 16 countries, it is a co-official language. 


The United Nations and the European Union, as well as a number of other international organizations such as Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross, and the International Labor Organization, continue to use French as a working language. Due to the fact that ballet dance was established in France, a large portion of ballet vocabulary is in French. 




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8. Russian                      


No. of Speakers: 258 million

Native speakers: 154 million

Related languages: Belorussian, Ukrainian, Rusyn, Trasianka

Language family: Indo-European

Countries with the most speakers: Russia, Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania


In the four countries, Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan speak Russian as their official language. In Ukraine and several former Soviet republics, it is also regarded as the unofficial lingua franca. 


Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are among these countries. Certainly, this language is one of most spoken languages in the world 2023. 


Some of the terms in the English language have their origins in Russia. Vodka, tsar, samovar, mammoth, and Bolshevik is intriguing example. Russian, together with English, is the language of space. 


The Russian language has roughly 200,000 words, in comparison to more than one million in English. However, this does not imply that Russian speakers are incapable of expressing themselves. 


It simply implies that Russian has more words with multiple meanings. As a result, a trained translator is much more important! Astronauts are required to study Russian as part of their training, and the International Space Station's computer system supports both Russian and English. 

 



9. Portuguese                        


No. of Speakers: 258 million

Native speakers: 232 million

Related languages: Spanish, Mirandese, Galician, and Fala

Language family: Indo-European

Countries with the most speakers: Brazil, The United States, Venezuela, Paraguay, Argentina 


It is one of Romance's fastest-growing languages that spread throughout the world in the 15th to 16th centuries. Portuguese is one of the widely spoken languages today as well as in South America. 


The Portuguese-speaking population in Brazil is the largest, boasting over 200 million speakers. However, only 5% of those who speak it live in Portugal, the country with which the language is associated. 


This language is the official language of ten countries and territories including African countries like Equatorial Guinea, Angola, and Mozambique. These African countries are colonized by Portuguese speakers and today there are more than 30 million speakers in Africa. 

 



10. Urdu                                


No. of Speakers: 229 million

Native speakers: 86.5 million

Related languages: Persian, Arabic, Hindi

Language family: Indo-European

Countries with the most speakers: Pakistan, India, United Arab Emirates


It is Pakistan's official language. Urdu and Hindi share a lot of similarities, although different largely. They have the same Indo-Aryan root, pronunciation and grammar are comparable, and they are interchangeable. 


Urdu is derived from Persian and Arabic whereas it is from Sanskrit that Hindi is derived. Urdu employs the Nastaliq (nastalq) script, whereas Hindi uses Devanagari. Urdu is considered to be part of the foremost advanced languages, not easy to learn. 


Yet, it is among the most spoken languages in the world in 2023. It is the language of poets, known in the language as shayars, and it symbolizes beauty and elegance as it is believed to touch people’s hearts. Unlike English, you can only read it from left to right.




11. Indonesian Language       


No. of Speakers: 198 million

Native speakers: 42 million

Related languages: Tagalog, Malay, Bisaya, Hiligaynon

Language family: Austronesian

Countries with the most speakers: Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Singapore


The Indonesian language is a standardized form of Malay, a language that covers a variety of languages and dialects found across Southeast Asia. It is Indonesia's official language and it is also referred to as Bahasa Indonesia. 


While it is Vietnam's second official language as well. Beyond Southeast Asia, this language is rarely spoken. And it is one of the most spoken in the world. 


Mostly every individual speaking the language in other countries hails from the same country: Indonesia. In Australia, this language is one of 3 Asian languages taught as part of the Languages program other than English.




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12. German Language              


No. of Speakers: 135 Million

Native speakers: 74 million

Related languages: Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian

Language family: Indo-European

Countries with the most speakers: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Belgium


In the European Union, German is the utmost frequently spoken mother tongue, and it is an official language in seven countries. 


German has the longest single word with 79 letters which is Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft, meaning “The Danube steamboat electrical services' association of subordinate officials from the head office management”. 


Assuming somebody tells you that the time now is halb drei (half three) in German, you could think it is 3:30. 


This is not correct since, in German, time is reported by noting the minutes till the previous hour, thus "half three" indicates half an hour until three, or 2:30. More to that, all nouns are capitalized in German, unlike English that is just proper nouns like people’s names. 

 



13. Japanese                                


No. of Speakers: 125.8 Million

Native speakers: 119 Million

Related languages: Ryukyuan languages

Language family: Japonic

Countries with the most Speakers: Japan, United States, Brazil, Guam      


It is Japan’s official language and not any other countries have it as their official language. Japanese language origin is unclear. It is part of the difficult languages to learn, nevertheless many are learning it. 


About 120 million people speak the language in Japan. Even though the Chinese writing system influenced the Japanese language, the language is not derived from Chinese as some people may think. Japanese, unlike Chinese or Thai, is not a tonal language, which is different inflections of a word that have no effect on its meaning. 


With only an average pace of 7.84 syllables per second, Japanese is the fastest spoken language on the planet as well as one of . English, on the other hand, has a syllable rate of only 6.19 for every second. 

 



14. Marathi language            


No. of Speakers: about 100 million

Native speakers: 83 million

Related languages: Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali

Language family: Indo-European

Countries with the most speakers: India, Israel, and Mauritius


It is also called Maharashtra, possibly because In Maharashtra, in India, this language is the primary language for everyday communication, as well as in school, governmental offices, business, and even the media. 


India has twenty-two languages as official languages and 14 regional languages. Marathi is one among them; it is the fourth largest language in the country and the 14th most spoken language in the world in 2023. 


The state of Maharashtra has it as a co-official language. In addition to Konkani and Marathi, the state of Goa regards Marathi as a primary language. About 42 dialects are recognized dialects of this language. 


These dialects include Tanjour Marathi, Konkani/Malvani, Zadi Boli, Varhadi/Vaidarbhi, Khandeshi. From Pali and Prakrit, the Marathi language got its grammar and syntax. 

 



15. Telugu                              


No. of Speakers: 98 million

Native speakers: 75 million

Related languages: Kannada and Tamil

Language family: Dravidian

Countries with the most Speakers: India, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Myanmar


Telugu is the only language in the Eastern hemisphere with every word ending in a vowel sound. For this, it is easy to learn. Telugu is known as the "Italian of the East." Telugu is one of India's oldest languages, dating back 2,400 years. 


Its origins are unique, and it was the epicenter of political change that resulted in India's foundation of linguistic states. It is the third most spoken language in India and the 15th in the world in 2023. 


Telugu speakers in the United States increased by 86 percent in 7 years, outpacing other important languages like Chinese and Arabic. According to BBC, 400,000 Telugu speakers increase in the United States yearly since 2010. This is assumed to be connected to America's growing IT industry. 

 


 

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Opening image  credit: August de Richelieu from Pexels

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