Top 10 Most Spoken Languages in the World (2024): Unveiling the Global Language Landscape

Top 10 Most Spoken Languages in the World (2024)


Language is the medium of communication. From ancient times in every culture some distinctive sounds, tones of words and dialects have developed over the period. In our world people speak around 7,000 different languages but the maximum number of the world population speaks only 23 languages. Frank Smith said, “One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” In this article, we bring a wide overview of the top ten most spoken languages in the world in 2024. 



Also Read: 

National Language of India: Understanding the Diversity of India’s Linguistic Heritage l Complete List with Other Official Languages of India

Rank Language Native speakers (in millions) Language family
1 English 1500 Indo-European
2 Mandarin Chinese 1100 Sino-Tibetan
3 Hindi 609.5 Indo-European
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


1. English 

1,452 million speakers 


Top 10 Most Spoken Languages in the World (2024)

English, a super popular language, started in medieval England with the Angles tribe. It’s now the most spoken language globally, thanks to the British Empire and the USA. While the people speak Mandarin Chinese and Spanish more, English is the top pick for second-language learners. It’s official in 59 countries and is used everywhere from the UN to the internet. With roots in Germanic dialects and bits of Norse and French, English is a cool mix of languages. Plus, it finds its linkage to Scots and other Germanic tongues.


2. Mandarin 

1,118 million speakers


Top 10 Most Spoken Languages in the World (2024)

Mandarin is a major Chinese language spoken by loads of people in northern and southwestern China. It includes the Beijing dialect, which is like the foundation of Standard Chinese, the official language of China. Even though Mandarin has different versions, they’re not all easy to understand. Still, the People of China speak it, with around a billion people talking in it. Mandarin has been important for centuries, especially in places like Beijing. It’s now the go-to language for government stuff and is even an official language in some places like China and Taiwan. Plus, it’s super popular among Chinese communities worldwide.


3. Hindi 

602+ million speakers


Hindi, also known as Modern Standard Hindi, is the go-to language in the Hindi Belt region of India. Khariboli dialect is the mother of the Hindi language,  Devanagari is the script and shares official status with English in the Indian government. Around nine states and three union territories speak Hindi and it’s also one of India’s 22 scheduled languages. Some Hindi variants of Hindustani outside India are languages like Fiji Hindi and Caribbean. Hindi ranks fourth globally as a first language, and third when combined with Urdu. It’s growing rapidly, becoming India’s fastest-expanding language, according to the 2011 census.


4. Spanish 

548+ million speakers

Castilian is another name for Spanish. It traces its roots back to Vulgar Latin spoken in the Iberian Peninsula. With over 500 million native speakers worldwide, it ranks as the second most spoken native language globally, after Mandarin Chinese. As a Romance language, it shares similarities with other Latin-based languages. Spanish’s influence extends beyond its native countries, with significant usage in the Americas and Spain. Spanish colonialism facilitated Its introduction to overseas territories. Today, it holds official status in numerous countries and international organizations, making it a widely recognized and influential language globally.



5. French 

280 million speakers

French is a Romance language from the Indo-European family, descending from Vulgar Latin spoken in the Roman Empire. It evolved from Latin in Northern Gaul and was influenced by Celtic languages and Frankish. Today, French is an official language in 27 countries and is spoken across all continents. Moreover, it is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. French has about 76 million native speakers and 235 million fluent speakers. Additionally, it’s widely taught and used in international organizations like the UN and the EU. By 2050, speculations tell around 700 million people will speak French, mainly in Africa.



6. Modern Standard Arabic 

274 million speakers

Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is the modern form of literary Arabic that developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is used in literature, academia, media, and law, but is not typically spoken as a first language, similar to how Latin is used today. MSA is taught in schools across the Arab world. It is different from the many local dialects spoken natively. While MSA is distinct from Classical Arabic, native speakers often consider them as two historical forms of one language, referring to both as eloquent Arabic.


7. Bengali 

272+ million speakers


Bengali, also known as Bangla, is an Indo-Aryan language from South Asia’s Bengal region. It boasts over 250 million native speakers and is the sixth most-spoken native language in the world. Bengali is the official language of Bangladesh and is widely spoken in India, particularly in West Bengal, Tripura, and the Barak Valley. It’s also growing rapidly in India, following Hindi, Kashmiri, and Meitei. Bengali’s rich literary history flourished during the Bengali Renaissance. The language movement in the mid-20th century sparked Bengali nationalism, leading to Bangladesh’s independence in 1971.


8. Russian 

258+ million speakers

Russian, an East Slavic language, is mainly spoken in Russia and is part of the Indo-European family. It’s the most spoken native language in Europe and the most widespread language in Eurasia. Russian remains an official language in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. It’s also widely used in Central Asia and parts of Eastern Europe. With over 258 million speakers, Russian is a top global language and one of the official languages of the UN and the International Space Station. In the Cyrillic script, Russian features distinctive “hard” and “soft” consonant sounds and reduced unstressed vowels.



9. Portuguese 

257+ million speakers

Portuguese is a Western Romance language, that originated from the Iberian Peninsula in Europe. It’s the official language of several countries, including Portugal and Brazil, and has co-official status in places like East Timor and Macau. Portuguese speakers are known as Lusophones. The language evolved from Vulgar Latin in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia and County of Portugal, retaining some Celtic phonology. With around 250 million speakers worldwide, Portuguese is the fifth most spoken native language. It plays a significant role in South America, Africa, and international organizations, making it one of the world’s most influential languages.



10. Urdu 

231.3 million speakers

Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language spoken mainly in South Asia. It is the national language of Pakistan and also an official language there, alongside English. In India, Urdu is famous for its cultural heritage and holds official status in several states. People in Nepal, South Africa, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh speak Urdu. Urdu and Hindi share a common base, making them mutually intelligible in casual conversation. Its vocabulary includes many Persian influences. With around 230 million speakers, Urdu is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages.




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