The Most Spoken Languages* in the World
OF THE 7,000-PLUS LIVING LANGUAGES TODAY, CHINESE TOPS THE LIST WITH OVER ONE BILLION SPEAKERS, WHILE ENGLISH COMES IN SECOND, WITH 942 MILLION SPEAKERS. IN THIRD PLACE, WITH ABOUT 570 MILLION SPEAKERS, IS SPANISH.
Spoken by the Han majority and many other ethnic groups in China, and also by nearly 1.2 billion people around the world, the metalanguage Chinese comprises numerous mutually unintelligible varieties.
Spain’s colonial history in Latin America left a strong linguistic legacy. Originating in the Castile region in Spain, the language now has an estimated 570 million speakers in the world. Spanish is the native tongue in 35 countries and is spoken by about 472 million people as a first language.