Believe it or not, the phrase “most spoken languages in the world” is debatable to some. Why? You see, it’s actually an incredibly difficult task trying to determine what the most spoken languages in the world are. Sure, there’s a few that are right up there at the top that is not even in question. Yet, others may surprise you. That’s because this kind of hard data, different dialects, and “language” families, all play a part in making this task a little confusing.
Not all languages are created equal either. Some can be incredibly difficult to learn, while others can often be easier to pick up. Although, there are a number of other factors that play into the ability to acquire a new language, including mother tongue, exposure to languages at young ages, etc.
Here are the Top 10 Most Spoken Languages Sorted By Ease of Learning
By all accounts, Spanish is an amazing language. It is easy to learn, write, and speak and is spoken by more than 557 million native and non-native speakers alike. In fact, Spanish is the “official language” of over 21 different countries. That includes Mexico, most of Central and South America, and of course, Spain.
The Spanish language actually originated in the Castilla region of Spain and has influences from both Latin and Arabic. Spanish is not just remarkable because of its relative ease to learn. The language is featured heavily these days. There are blockbuster Spanish language songs on the charts, Spanish language TV shows on streaming networks, and some of the most famous athletes and celebrities often have huge marketable fanbases in Spanish language speaking cities.
Spoken by over 260 million people, Portuguese has an over two-thousand-year-old history. It’s spoken in Brazil, Portugal, Macau, Angola, Mozambique, and half a dozen other countries too!
While the language can be moderately difficult to learn, including grammar and writing, there’s no denying the fact that Portuguese is becoming a valuable language to learn. Brazil’s economy is steadily growing and ranks in the Top 10 in the world. From a business perspective, Portuguese speakers may find themselves a hot commodity in the future.
The beautiful language has interrogatives, which are expressed by intonation, making learning slightly easier than other languages featured on this list. Some language learners may have difficulty with the nasal vowel sounds but practice makes perfect! Spanish speakers will have an arguably easier time picking up Portuguese.
Spoken mostly in India and Bangladesh, Bengali has over 300 million speakers worldwide. Bengali, or sometimes Bangala, evolved from the languages Sanskrit and Pali and is mainly spoken in eastern South Asia. Bengali is the second most spoken language in India and the official language of Bangladesh.
Some of you may not have heard of Lahnda before and that’s OK. Spoken mostly in Pakistan and India, the language has about 120 million native speakers!
Now, if I said it’s also called Western Punjabi some may recognize that language. Like some of our other languages, Lahnda is made up of a group of Indo-Arayan dialects. In fact, locally, the language isn’t even referred to as Lahnda. Locals call it Hindko!
With almost 500 million total speakers of the language, Hindi is a powerhouse of a language. Some may be surprised to know that there are many Hindi words commonly in use in America and other English speaking countries.
Those words include bungalow, karma, yoga, and even the word thug! Writing and Grammar are particularly difficult when it comes to learning Hindi, whereas speaking is often easier for learners.
Spoken primarily in India and Fiji, Hindi has different dialects as well, and Hindi communities can be found around the world.
The Japanese language can be a mystery when looking at its origins. With over 128 million speakers, less than 150,000 of those speakers are non-native.
To make things more confusing, early Japanese books were actually written in Chinese, a completely different language, and while China and even Korea played an influence in Japanese as a language there’s still a significant mystery surrounding about 60% of the language. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our post entitled, The Origins of Japanese Language.
Japanese has gotten a bad rep when it comes to language learning. Its pronunciation is actually relatively easy and the five vowels are strikingly close to those used in the Spanish language. If you’re interested in learning Japanese, you can receive a free guide, or click the link below to grab your free lesson.
Mother Russia had a very long arm at one point in time, so it’s no surprise that over 264 million people speak the language!
Russian is the official language in a few countries but it’s also sort of an unofficial language in places like Ukraine and other former Soviet countries. As a Slavic language, it boasts around 2.3% of the population speaking its tongue. For more information, check out our post, 7 things you didn’t know about the Russian language.
Or click the link below to recieve your free lesson.
WIth a total of over 420 million speakers, Arabic is the official language of over 20 countries including Iraq, Egypt, Qatar, and the UAE!
A fascinating language, Arabic likely originated with the nomadic tribes of the desert areas around the Arabian Peninsula.
Arabic is also unique in the way that it is written right to left and typically in cursive. Standard Arabic is taught in many schools and is quickly rising as a language of modern business.
An extremely difficult language to both speak and write, the Chinese language can be especially challenging for English speakers.
With over 1.051 billion speakers, mostly in the People’s Republic of China, Republic of China, Singapore, Taiwan, Macau, and Hong Kong, Mandarin Chinese without a doubt has the most native speakers of any language on this list.
Chinese, however, is actually a large grouping of different regional dialects that make up most native Chinese speakers. Of the main dialects, Mandarin is the most commonly spoken language.
There are as many as thirteen different dialects of Chinese spoken in almost forty countries. Language learners often struggle with grammar and mastering tones. Pitch and intonation are extremely important when it comes to the meaning of different words.
If you’re interested in learning this language, we have a great post entitled, 100 top resources to learn Mandarin Chinese.
Boasting an astounding 1.5 billion speakers, with over 1 billion of those being Non-Native speakers, English as the main language is spoken in over thirty-five countries.
It’s the leading international language when it comes to business and trade, making it one of the top three spoken languages in the world. But definitely not one of the easiest to learn.
For any aspiring language learners out there, here are a couple of extra articles to check out: