There are more than 7,177 languages spoken on the planet today, of which 40% are currently in jeopardy, often with under 1,000 speakers remaining for each of these endangered languages.
Surprisingly about half of the world’s population primarily speaks one of fifteen languages, so the
Earth’s linguistic diversity lives on mostly in small populations.
Here are the 5 most spoken languages and their nations:
English: 1.5 billion speakers
Related to: German, Dutch, Frisian
Official language of: The Bahamas, Barbados, Swaziland, Belize, Maldives, Botswana, Cameroon, Dominica, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Fiji, The Gambia, Ghana, Australia, Grenada, Ireland, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Nauru, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Solomon Islands, Micronesia, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Bangladesh, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Antigua and Barbuda, Sri Lanka, Canada, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom, Brunei, United States, Vanuatu, Saint Lucia
English is a Germanic language whose jargon and sentence structure are nearest to present day languages like German and Dutch. However, it has been intensely affected by different languages all through its odd history, with Latin arguably at the top of the list. The relative simplicity with which English can be learned and the inescapable American cultural presence worldwide suggests that English will keep on ruling the world stage for years to come.
Mandarin Chinese: 1.3 billion speakers
Related to: Cantonese, Tibetan, Burmese
Official language of: People's Republic of China, Republic of China, Singapore
Mandarin represents an official language of China, Taiwan and Singapore and one of the six most common languages of the USA. Given these countries, it's not astonishing that there are around 1.3 billion speakers around the world. With a collection of around 50,000 characters, it is likely one of the most complex languages to learn. But don't stress: there are no verb conjugations, no tenses and no gender-specific nouns either. These aspects might also help explain why Mandarin learners are one of the quickest growing groups today.
Spanish: 572 million speakers
Related to: French, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian
Official Language of: Argentina, El Salvador, Honduras, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Panama, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Colombia, Peru, Spain, United States, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Venezuela
By number of local speakers, Spanish is the second most popular language on the planet. By total speakers worldwide, it's at number four. It is positively the essential language of the majority of South and Central America, Spain, and huge portions of the US. Twenty-two nations covering more than four continents have Spanish as the or one of the official languages, and it's as of now the second most studied language on the planet.
Hindi: 490 million speakers
Related to: Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Kashmiri, Nepali
Official Language of: India, Fiji
Hindi is most directly a result of Sanskrit and named after the Persian word “hind”, meaning "place that is known for the Indus River".
Hindi is spoken all over India; mainly in the northern and central regions. While Hindi is the official language (Hindi in Devanagari script) of the Indian government, it is very similar to its neighbor language, Urdu, mostly spoken in Pakistan. Although there are some distinct differences, speakers of either language can speak with one another without much of a stretch.
In case you're an English speaker, you most likely know some Hindi through words like 'master', 'wilderness', 'karma', 'yoga', 'cabin', etc.
Arabic: 420 million speakers
Related to: Hebrew, Amharic, and Aramaic
Official Language of: Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara, Yemen, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali (unofficial)
Arabic is the official language of 26 nations, although its influence stretches much farther geographically, including European Romance languages like Spanish and Portuguese, and English. The word coffee, for instance, originates from the Arabic word “qahwa”. Arabic has traveled worldwide through modern history and today as the language of the religion of Islam. While most Muslims are not native Arabic speakers, the language is of top significance to the world's second-biggest religion and key to reading and understanding the holy texts.