The five most popular languages in the world
It's amazing how many languages there are in the world. We take communication for granted, but simply move in any direction for a few hundred miles and how people speak to other changes dramatically. Both in terms of language spoken and even in terms of voice pitch and other elements which make up speech.
We are one species yet, we communicate so differently from one another. This poses a challenge when we try to trade in a global community.
According to Ethnologies’ catalogue of 2009, there are more than 6,900 different languages around the world.
Of these, almost 7,000 languages, only 230 are spoken in Europe, while more than 2,000 are spoken in Asia. In Papua New Guinea, a small Pacific country with a population of about 3.9 million people, the impressive number of 830 languages is over.
For now, we will focus on the top five - the ones that will probably never be threatened with extinction:
The most spoken language in the world is Chinese.
Estimating the number of Chinese speakers varies greatly. The number of Chinese speakers is estimated at nearly 1.2 billion people, of whom 1 billion speak mandarin. However even within China there are huge variations. Different regions have their own sub dialects, and the Chinese spoken in mainland China differs from that in Hong Kong, and also from that in Taiwan. In addition, there is more than one written form of alphabet.
However, the importance of this language in the world is cannot be challenged. With such a large population and powerful economy, the languages which belong to China will affect us all.
Following the Spanish language
In terms of native speakers, Spanish is ahead of English as there are more than 400 million people.
Spanish is still the official language of most Latin American countries, Spain and part of the North American population - making it the second most spoken language in the world.
There are differences in how Spanish is spoken around the world
The main difference is the accent, which can vary greatly from place to place.
The Argentinean accent is arguably the most distinctive. Argentinians pronounce the double 'l' of 'me llamo' (my name is) as 'me shamo', while the more standard pronunciation is 'me yamo'.
There are also some grammatical differences and many differences in vocabulary, particularly for day-to-day. Items such as clothes and food.
Spanish offers to discover a vast number of cultures, as well as the business possibilities emerging from new Spanish-speaking markets.
English is the third most spoken language in the world. About 360 million people have English as their mother tongue and 1 billion people speak it as a second language.
It demonstrates the success of English as a means of communication in business, travel and international relations. The relative ease of learning English (compared to Chinese for example) and the prevalence of American culture in the world maintain this domination of the English language.
In developing countries, English is often the key and symbol of a better life.
In 4th position arrives Hindi with about 425 million native speakers and 120 million as a second language.
Hindi is one of the languages spoken in India. It's the official language of India, English being the other official language. There are several regional languages in India, such as Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi and Assamese, but Hindi is used by the largest number of people as their first language.
Hindi is the main language of Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the capital Delhi in North India; Bihar and Jharkhand in Eastern India; Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in Central India and Rajasthan in West India. It's widely understood in several other states of India.
Hindi is also spoken in some countries outside India, such as in Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and Nepal.
To finish Arabic stands in 5th position. Recent data quantifies the number of native speakers to 250 million people.
Many countries speak Arabic as an official language, but not all of them speak it the same way. The language has many dialects, or varieties, such as Modern Standard Arabic, Egyptian Arabic, Gulf Arabic, Maghrebi Arabic, Levantine Arabic, and many others. Some of the dialects are so different from one another that speakers have a hard time understanding.
Classical Arabic is also the sacred language of Islam and, during prayers, the Koran recites itself in Arabic only.
Because of its importance in history, many other languages have borrowed words from Arabic.
Arabic is also becoming a popular language to learn in the Western world even though its grammar is sometimes very hard to learn for native speakers of Indo-European languages.
To Conclude among about 7,000 languages in the world plus thousands of dialects this 5 languages take an important place follow by Portuguese, Bengali, Russian, Japanese and Punjabi / Lahnda.