This is an incredible amount of people! But what languages are the most popular languages spoken? Do you think you can guess?

We have put together a list of the most widely spoken languages worldwide. some are quite obvious whilst others might suprise you.

We have also included some links where you can imrpove your language skills like classes from top rated schools around the world who offer on-site and also online language lessons.

Now, check out the most popular languages in the world below.


1. Mandarin

"Mandarin" is standard form of Chinese based on the particular Mandarin dialect spoken in Beijing, with some lexical and syntactic influence from other Mandarin dialects. Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world.

  • Native speakers in millions: 935
  • Percentage of world population: 14.1%
  • Spoken in: Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand
  • Book a Mandarin language course in China


2. Spanish

Spanish is a Romance language that originated in the Iberian Peninsula of Europe and today is a global language with more than 483 million native speakers, mainly in Spain and the Americas. It is the world's second-most spoken native language.

  • Native speakers in millions: 483
  • Percentage of world population: 5.85%
  • Spoken in: Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Rep., Ecuador, El Salvador, Eq. Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Niger, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Togo, Tunisia, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela.
  • Book a Spanish language course in Spain or Spanish language course in South America


3. English

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca.

  • Native speakers in millions: 365
  • Percentage of world population: 5.52%
  • Spoken in: Australia, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Cameroon, Canada, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, The Gambia, Ghana, Guyana, India, Ireland, Israel, Lesotho, Liberia, Malaysia, Micronesia, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, S. Africa, Suriname, Swaziland, Tonga, U.K., U.S., Vanuatu, Zimbabwe, many Caribbean states, Zambia.
  • Book an English language course in the United Kingdom.


4. Hindi 

  • Native speakers in millions: 295 
  • Percentage of world population: 4.46%
  • Spoken in: India, Nepal, Singapore, S. Africa, Uganda


5. Arabic

  • Native speakers in millions: 280 
  • Percentage of world population: 4.23%
  • Spoken in: Egypt, Sudan, ALgeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Lybia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, UAE, Oman, Iraq, Lebanon
  • Book a Arabic language course in the Middle East.


6. Portuguese


7. Bengali

  • Native speakers in millions: 200
  • Percentage of world population: 3.05%


8. Russian

  • Native speakers in millions: 160
  • Percentage of world population: 2.42%
  • Spoken in: Belarus, China, Estonia, Georgia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, U.S., Uzbekistan
  • Search Russian language courses in Russia.


9. Japanese


10. Punjabi

  • Native speakers in millions: 95
  • Percentage of world population: 1.44%


11. German

  • Native speakers in millions: 92
  • Percentage of world population: 1.39%
  • Spoken in: Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Czech Rep., Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland
  • Search German language schools in Germany.


12. Javanese

  • Native speakers in millions: 82
  • Percentage of world population: 1.25%


13. Wu 

  • Native speakers in millions: 80
  • Percentage of world population: 1.20%


14. Malay (inc. Malaysian and Indonesian)

  • Native speakers in millions: 77
  • Percentage of world population: 1.16%


15. Telugu

  • Native speakers in millions: 76
  • Percentage of world population: 1.15%


16. Vietnamese

  • Native speakers in millions: 76
  • Percentage of world population: 1.14%
  • Spoken in: China, Vietnam


17. Korean


18. French

  • Native speakers in millions: 75
  • Percentage of world population: 1.12%
  • Plan a break to study French in France.


19. Marathi

  • Native speakers in millions: 73
  • Percentage of world population: 1.10%


20. Tamil

  • Native speakers in millions: 70
  • Percentage of world population: 1.06%


21. Urdu

  • Native speakers in millions: 66
  • Percentage of world population: 0.99%


22. Turkish

  • Native speakers in millions: 63
  • Percentage of world population: 0.95%


23. Italian


24. Yue (incl. Cantonese)

  • Native speakers in millions: 59
  • Percentage of world population:0.89%


25. Thai 


* Our list contains estimated information of native speakers from the 2007 edition of Nationalencyklopedin.


Tips to Improve Grammar

If you are keen to learn or improve your language skills this infograph will help.

Tips to improve grammar


Related Pages