The top 3 most spoken languages

The top 3 most spoken languages


With only the Dutch language you don't reach very many people worldwide. In total there are about 24 million Dutch speakers, which puts us at number 61 in the list of most spoken languages, according to recent figures by Ethnologue. That's pretty impressive when you consider that there are more than 7,000 languages worldwide. But if you want to reach a wider international audience, you have to communicate in other languages as well. Which languages are the most spoken? We give you the top 3 most spoken languages in the world.

Nice such a top 3, but we really know more languages than that

Is the language you need for your text not in these top 3? Fortunately, at Scriptware Translations, we translate into more than 20 languages and even more on request! Curious to know which languages? Feel free to contact us or request a quote right away.

3. English: 370 million native speakers

At No. 3 is English with some 370 million people who have learned English as their first language. If you add the people who speak English as a second language, the language would top the list of most spoken languages with as many as 1348 million users.

English has the status of a world language due in part to its wide distribution. The language is dominant or has an official status in more than 70 countries on different continents. That spread began as early as the 17th century with the expansion of the British Empire and was later reinforced by the growing economic, technological and cultural influence of the United States. English was most likely the first language used on the Internet, and still today the majority of online content is written in English. The wide use of English also makes it an incredibly colorful language with influences from all over the world, such as "alligator" from Spanish "el lagarto" or "skipper" from Dutch "schipper.

2. Spanish: 471 million native speakers

The second most widely spoken language is Spanish, with about 471 million native speakers. When you think of Spanish, you may immediately think of Spain, but that country has "only" about 50 million inhabitants. Moreover, there are four other official regional languages in Spain, Catalan, Basque, Galician and Aranese, which are native languages for some residents. Spanish is the official language in 19 more countries and the territory of Puerto Rico.

In terms of native speakers, Spanish is less widespread than English (you'll find most of them in Latin America), but it is an important and popular language worldwide. For example, Spanish is one of the working languages of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and several other international organizations. It is also a language that many people want to learn. A survey by the popular platform Duolingo shows that Spanish is the second most popular language to learn among their users (after English). It is the most popular language in 34 countries worldwide and the second most popular in another 70 countries.

1. Mandarin (Chinese): 921 million native speakers

A clear winner! The most widely spoken language in the world is Mandarin with as many as 921 million native speakers. The language owes its first place mainly to the country of China, which is the largest country in the world by population with over 1.3 billion people. Mandarin is by far the country's most widely spoken official language.

When people talk about Chinese, they usually mean Mandarin and specifically Standard Mandarin. in fact, "Chinese" does not exist: that is actually a collective name for a group of languages, which includes, for example, Cantonese, which can be incredibly different from each other! And to further complicate matters, Mandarin is again a collective name for the various Mandarin dialects, of which Standard Mandarin is the largest. Standard Mandarin is taught in schools and used by the media and authorities, but there are still regional dialects that differ greatly from this.

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