Most Widely Spoken Languages in the World

Chinese tops the list of most popular world languages, with over one billion speakers. English trails in third place, with 335 million speakers. This data represents first-language speakers.

Language1 Approx. number
of speakers
 1. Chinese2 1,197,000,000
 2. Spanish 414,000,000
 3. English 335,000,000
 4. Hindi 260,000,000
 5. Arabic3 237,000,000
 6. Portuguese 203,000,000
 7. Bengali 193,000,000
 8. Russian 167,000,000
 9. Japanese 122,000,000
10. Javanese 84,300,000

Source: Ethnologue, 2014.
1. May encompass multiple dialects.
2. The macrolanguage Chinese [zho] includes 13 individual languages with at least 1 million speakers.
3. The macrolanguage Arabic [ara] includes 18 individual languages with at least 1 million speakers.

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