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Most Widely Spoken Languages in the World

Mandarin Chinese tops the list of most popular world languages, with nearly two billion speakers. English trails in third place, with 335 million speakers. This data includes all speakers of the languages, not only native speakers.

Language Approx. number
of speakers
 1. Chinese (Mandarin) 1,917,000,000
 2. Spanish 406,000,000
 3. English 335,000,000
 4. Hindi1 260,000,000
 5. Arabic 223,000,000
 6. Portuguese 202,000,000
 7. Bengali 193,000,000
 8. Russian 162,000,000
 9. Japanese 122,000,000
10. Javanese 84,300,000

Source: Ethnologue, 17th Edition.
1. Encompasses multiple dialects.

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

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