Top 10 Most Spoken Languages In The World

‘The Balancing Act’ is a play presented by the International Association for Performing Arts and Research, India (IAPAR) and the language of the play is entirely in gibberish – meaningless speech. What is so amusing is that the entire play is enacted in gibberish yet every emotion of the characters was conveyed to the audience.

The purpose of languages is to convey the emotions and expressions to the second party with ease. But it would be a futile attempt if we begin to express our feelings or ideas using gibberish because gibberish does not have a script. Most of the spoken gibberish involves an association of gestures and actions to only limited emotions.

We require languages to simply be more expressive with the feelings, ideas or attitudes, using vocabulary, written material, onomatopoeia etc.  Languages help us align ourselves with the ethnicity and culture of the place where the language originated from; it provides a sense of belongingness, hence we birthed different languages to be unique in this diverse world.

Here are 10 most spoken languages in the world ranked according to the population that speaks/writes it-

1. Mandarin or Chinese  1.1 billion
2. English  983 million
3. Hindi  544 million
4. Spanish  527 million
5. Arabic  422 million
6. Malay  281 million
7. Russian  267 million
8. Bengali  261 million
9. Portuguese  229 million
10. French  229 million

It would be an understatement to call Chinese one single language as it is merely one language but a combination of related languages like Cantonese, Tibetan, Burmese etc. of which Mandarin is the most commonly spoken. Chinese characters or logograms are 50,000 in the collection but an educated Chinese speaker would have to acquaint himself with 8,000 characters.

Chinese is considered to be the most difficult language to learn and yet there are 193 million non-native speakers. It is because China’s population contributes the maximum number of native speakers. Also, the Chinese characters remain a key component in Japanese and Korean writing system making it easier for many to pick up on the language.

The fascination with learning a new language must never elude us and as the species that has been given the gift of speech, we must learn something new every day. Thus, it is time you picked up a new hobby- a new language to learn, a new you to discover.


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