Most Widely Spoken Languages
in the World

Mandarin Chinese tops the list of most popular world languages, with over a billion speakers. English trails in third place, with just over 320 million speakers. This data includes all speakers of the languages, not only native speakers.

Language Approx. number
of speakers
 1. Chinese (Mandarin) 1,213,000,000
 2. Spanish 329,000,000
 3. English 328,000,000
 4. Arabic 221,000,000
 5. Hindi1 182,000,000
 6. Bengali 181,000,000
 7. Portuguese 178,000,000
 8. Russian 144,000,000
 9. Japanese 122,000,000
10. German 90,000,000

Source: Ethnologue, 16th Edition.
1. Encompasses multiple dialects.

Information Please® Database, © 2012 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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