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Top 10 most spoken languages in the world in 2024

Ever wonder which are the most spoken languages in the world? You may be surprised to know that English does not rank first. Here are the top 10

Published: Mar 4, 2024 12:45:24 PM IST
Updated: Mar 4, 2024 01:47:56 PM IST

Top 10 most spoken languages in the world in 2024

What is the most spoken language in the world? If English is your answer, you are not wrong, English does come among the top 10. On that note, let’s list the world's top 10 most spoken languages in this article.

Most spoken languages in the world

Below, we have compiled the world’s most spoken languages by number of native speakers, with data sourced from Ethnologue:

Rank Language Native speakers (in millions) Language family
1 English 1500
2 Mandarin Chinese 1100 Sino-Tibetan
3 Hindi 609.5
4 Spanish
559.1 Indo-European
5 French 309.8 Indo-European
6 Standard Arabic
274.0  Afro-Asiatic
7 Bengali 272.8 Indo-European
8 Portugese 263.6 Indo-European
9 Russian 255.0  Indo-European
10 Urdu 231.7  Indo-European

A deeper insight into the most spoken languages in the world

Now, let’s understand the relevance of the world’s most spoken languages in greater detail:


As a global lingua franca, English plays a crucial role in international business, science, and diplomacy. With a history shaped by diverse influences, English has become the primary language of the internet, contributing to its widespread adoption and accessibility.

Mandarin Chinese

Widely recognised as the most spoken language in the world, Mandarin Chinese holds a significant position in global communication. Its intricate writing system, tonal nature, and rich cultural history make it a fascinating language to explore. Beyond China, Mandarin's influence extends to Chinese-speaking communities worldwide.


As one of India's official languages, Hindi holds a prominent place in South Asia. Its Devanagari script and diverse dialects contribute to the linguistic richness of the Indian subcontinent. Hindi's cultural significance is evident in Bollywood films and classical literature.


Spanish, with its roots in Latin, boasts a vibrant and diverse global community of speakers. Twenty countries have designated it as their official language and its cultural impact reaches far beyond the Iberian Peninsula. Spanish is known for its melodious sound, making it a popular language choice for learners around the world.


Belonging to the Indo-European language family, French is popularised for the gentleness attached to it. Further, French is also considered an important language in the world of business, prompting many around the world to learn it.

Standard Arabic

Uniting the Arabic countries as a major language in the region, Standard Arabic is used for government purposes and official speeches/documents exclusively. Based on Stadard Arabic as a foundation, one can come to learn the various Arabic dialects around the region. Further, Arabic literature also makes use of this language for easy accessibility.


Bengali, the official language of Bangladesh, is also widely spoken in the Indian state of West Bengal. Known for its poetic and artistic traditions, Bengali has a rich cultural heritage, with contributions to literature, music, and cinema.


Portuguese has a global influence as the official language of Portugal and several countries in South America. Its unique phonetics and expressions contribute to its distinctiveness, and the language's legacy is deeply embedded in the history of exploration and trade.


Russian, with its Cyrillic script, holds a central place in the cultural and political landscape of Russia and neighbouring countries. The language's unique phonetics and expressive vocabulary add to its charm, making it a fascinating subject of study for language enthusiasts worldwide.


The language of poets, Urdu carries immense cultural significance. When Pakistan earned its independence in 1947, Urdu was chosen as an official language for the newly formed country- as it was widely spoken by Muslims in the north and northwest of British India. Currently, Urdu is an invaluable vehicle carrying forward the cultural heritage of South Asia.

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs)

Which language is the king of all languages?

Declaring a single "king of all languages" is subjective and depends on various criteria. Each language holds its unique cultural, historical, and global significance. Mandarin Chinese boasts the highest number of native speakers, while English serves as a global medium of communication. The title "king of all languages" remains a matter of perspective, influenced by factors such as native speakers, cultural impact, and international influence.

What is the hardest language to learn in the world?

Mandarin Chinese is considered the most challenging language in the world. It poses a formidable challenge for English speakers, attributed to its tonal pronunciations (four tones), distinctive idioms, and extensive use of logographic characters.

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