The world is filled with people, and it would be nearly impossible to communicate if there was no one standard way of doing it. Bringing the element of surprise, we have as many as 7,000 of these modes or languages, to be precise. The language is that one way through which people within the same land or outside elsewhere choose to communicate with each other.
Languages are not only restricted to the human species, but even the tiniest bee will find out the way to communicate with one another of their kind. While we are at it, if we talk about the written languages, it dates back earliest to the origins for Sumerian and Egyptian dating back to 32000 B.C. but the oldest written language that almost half of the world use to date will be Chinese which was discovered around some 1500 B.C. Different religions and beliefs show the signs of foreign language that were used in their culture. For example, Adam and Eve, the first humans on this planet, communicated in the Hebrew language.
It was only 50,000 years ago that humans started using languages more than just actions to explain things to one another. The mother of all languages known as Sanskrit that was the first language and the oldest one in India, is said to have derived all the other languages.
Today we are counting our picks for the top 10 most widely spoken languages in the world. Let us begin to find out which one has the oldest impact on human history and a significant one.
- It is quite common as a guess to put English as the first choice for the most widely spoken language in the world. It is no secret that English is one of the oldest languages and has almost 1.4 billion speakers in the world.
- If we were counting only the native speakers, then the mandarin language Chinese would have swooped in the first spot, but as we include both native and non-native speakers, it is the English language that wins.
- English has now become the trade language, link language, vehicular language, and whatnot.
- The speakers indeed debate whether the American or British version of the language makes it such a big hit. But both versions are spoken and written throughout the world.
- English is spoken widely in Ireland, America, Britain, Australia, Namibia, and other parts. It is the most common language spoken on television, making it even easier for other people to understand.
#2: Mandarin Chinese:
- The second most widely spoken language globally has got to be Mandarin Chinese, with more than 1.2 billion speakers around the world.
- However, some of you will think that it may be popular only amongst the masses in china, but I suppose you might be wrong. People from Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia also speak Mandarin Chinese as one of their prime languages.
- Mandarin Chinese comprises the Beijing dialect and parts that make up the modern Chinese language and is a dominant Chinese form in China.
- The language comprises four tones and an additional neutral tone and has an estimated 100,000 Chinese characters.
- Chinese handwriting is almost unrecognizable, and one of the most challenging languages to learn in the entire world.
- With 442.3 million native speakers in its court and a total of more than 500 million speakers, it is the third most widely spoken language in the world.
- More than 21 countries in the world have declared Spanish as their official language, and not to forget, and it is also called the language of love.
- The language has a Latin dialect that comes from a particular region of the Iberian Peninsula.
- It is also called Castellano and Espanol, as both the terms differ from region to region they are being spoken in.
- The demand for learning Spanish is increasing day by day as more than 18 million students have opted for Spanish as a foreign language.
- And also, not to forget that Spanish is a phonetic language. That means you can make out or pronounce most of the words just by looking at them.
- The rules created by the Spanish royal academy are to be followed all over the world, or you can say that this academy is currently in charge of the language.
- Now, when we talk about the Hindustani language, we talk about both Hindi and Urdu combined. The only thing that changes is the place where they are spoken.
- While Hindi mainly remains the prominent language in India, Urdu is mostly spoken in regions of Pakistan.
- The two languages are similar in grammar, but there is a slight difference as Hindi uses Sanskrit words and is written in Devanagari script. Urdu uses Arabic words and is written in Peso-Arabic script.
- The total number of speakers of the Hindustani language is about 544 million currently, with 250 million being for Hindi alone.
- The two have split into Hindi and Urdu, and Urdu is now the official language of Pakistan and remains one of the 22 languages that are recognized by India.
- Hindustan was the name given to the northern regions of South Asia.
- With 422 million people speaking this language, Arabic is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world.
- Arabic is the Middle East’s primary language; it is widely spoken in countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iraq, and Iran.
- It is one of the oldest languages emerging between 1200 to 1000 B.C and became more global.
- The Arabic language became the default mode of expressing trade values and also mathematical and scientific theories.
- Arabic is also a Semitic language and influences most of the great languages, some of them being from Asia.
- In the Arabic language, there are 14 ways of how love is defined.
- The language has no capital letters and has sounds that are no described in any other language, and unlike others, it is written from right to left.
#6: Malay/Indonesian :
- Malay or Indonesian is one of the most widely spoken languages globally, and the name would probably suggest to you that this language is mostly spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei, and Singapore.
- It has 281 million speakers on its side, and the origins of this language are said to be the islands of Borneo.
- There are around 18 million people who speak the standard Malay language and around 170 million people who speak the Indonesian version.
- Malay can be written in Latin dialect as well as Arabic, but mostly the Arabic version is not appreciated by the people much.
- It is considered as the first language b 30 million inhabitants and as a first language by most of the people around the world.
- The French, also the language of love, is the seventh most widely spoken language in the world. With the total number of native speakers being 77.2 million and non-native speakers being 202.1 million, it is spoken widely across the globe.
- The language has been recognized as the official language in 29 countries and is spoken in countries of Europe, America, and also in the Caribbean.
- The French language has also spread like English, and also the number of non-native speakers has surpassed the number of native French-speaking language in the entire world.
- French is also counted in one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and 45 percent of the English words are taken from the French language.
- The origins of the French language is Latin and is also a powerful language in the diplomatic world.
- It has also originated various forms of the Creole language.
- Portuguese is at the eighth position for widely spoken languages in the world. The language has a total of 223.9 million speakers worldwide, including native as well as non-native included and mostly spoken in Brazil, Portugal, and Angola, including many others.
- Over 150 million people prefer to speak the Brazilian version of the Portuguese language as this can be credited to Brazil’s high population.
- Apart from Brazil and Portugal being the most common origins for the language, the major population in Africa started to speak Portuguese after the Portugal colonization.
- Portuguese is the official language in almost nine countries, and only five percent of the Portuguese speakers live in Portugal.
- The language has itself influenced Arabic, and the longest word contains 29 alphabets.
- The English language has borrowed many of the Portuguese words and is not so difficult for a native English speaker to learn.
- The Bengali language is the second most widely spoken language in India and the ninth most spoken language in the world.
- The number of speakers for the Bengali language is close to 264 million, from which 223 million comprised of the native part and the other the rest of it.
- It is primarily spoken in the easternmost countries, including Bangladesh. Thanks to the strong history of Bengali, nationalism has gifted rich culture and spirit to the entire world.
- It is a part of the Indo-Aryan language in the Indian subcontinent.
- As interesting as it gets, the international language day is also based on the Bengali language, and the national anthem for India itself is composed in the Bengali language.
- And also as some people may find it amusing that the grammar of the Bengali language is also gender-free, unlike other languages.
- In concluding our list for the top 10 widely spoken languages in the world, we have Russian at the tenth position. Over 267 million people are speakers of this language in the world.
- It was derived from the old Slavic language native to Russians.
- It is not just the official language of Russia but also is spoken in Ukraine, Armenia, and Latvia, including several other countries that were once said to be part of the soviet union.
- It is also the largest native language in Europe, with as many as 150 million native speakers. However, the number of native speakers is going down as the soviet union split, and many other languages came into action.
- It is also the official language of the United Nations as nobody can deny the political power of the Soviet Union.
- Funny thing, if you are an aspirant of becoming an astronaut, you should start brushing up on your Russian skills as you would need to learn the language to go to space.
With this, we bring you to the end of the list for the most widely spoken languages. As of now, the above-mentioned languages are spoken by half of the world. You can also communicate with 12 percent of the people around the globe by learning any one of these languages. So it is time you start now! As more methods are, communication is always welcomed.