The 10 Most Widely Spoken Languages in the World

Download videos:

I no longer endorse italki.This video is about the ten most widely spoken languages in the world, measured in two ways: by the number of native speakers, and by the total number of speakers (including second language speakers). I hope you enjoy it and learn something from it!Support Langfocus on Patreon: Music: Intro music: "Take you home tonight" by Vibe Tracks.Main music: "Champ" by Gunnar Olsen (cut and looped).Outro music: "Talk to me" by Riot (cut and looped).

fluent foreign language grammar language study linguist linguistics phonology phrases polyglot pronunciation travel verb tense vocabulary

Generally speaking, english for everywhere.\nPlus \nSpanish for americas.\nFrench for africa.\nChinese for asia.\n\nI have no plans to live in africa and asia, therefore english and spanish should be enough. Since they are similar, after spanish I might learn portuguese though.
Aadit Singh
3:15 India doesn't have provinces xD They are called states.
Abdur Rahim
Indonesia and Malaysia are united
Abel S. Phoenix
I think that the most important languages are:\nWEST: English, Spanish, French. \nEAST: Mandarin, Arabic, Japanese and Russian.
Agnė Rinkevičiūtė
Pfft, everyone knows Japanese is the most important language. Because anime.
Alexander the great
Hindustani is spoken and understood in nepal and some parts of Afghanistan....this man does not seem to know much.....while hindustai is understood clearly by 2 billion people..from pakistan.. india...nepal...Afghanistan... to bangladesh..
the top 10 most important languages in my opinion are:\n1. English \n2. Spanish\n3. Arabic\n4. French\n5. Mandarin\n6. Portuguese \n7. Hindustani \n8. German\n9. Russian \n10. Malay
Portugal was the one who launched the time of the maritime discoveries and the rest were behind. Basically crossed almost the entire African coast, passed the Cape of Good Hope, discovered several Asian territories, the sea way for India and was the first European country to know Japan. And by the \
Andrzej Bednarek
A mi me gusta español. Es la lengua no1 de mi corazón! Y también es muy exitoso! Vivo en Polonia y hace unos 20 años el español era algo como ''un idioma exótico'' que casi nadie conocía. Luego, se presentaron las primeras telenovelas, peliculas, la música latina entró y... BANG!!! Hoy en día es una de las más populares lenguas extranjeras, cada escuela de idiomas ofrece clases de español.
Aritz Lizarraga Olascoaga
I totally agree with your opinions. The most important languages are:\n\n1 English 2 Spanish 3 French 4 Chinese 5 Arabic\n\nThe amount of native speakers alone does not make a language important. There has to be a lot of speakers as a whole combining native & non-native speakers. It has to be widely spread throughout the world, not concentrated in a continguous area. This criteria is followed by both English, Spanish and French and even by Portuguese. Something else that make Spanish, French and Portuguese useful is that the percentage of fluent English speakers is very low. German and Italian are mostly concentrated in Germany and Italy or, in the case of German, in Austria and Switzerland. German speakers are usually English speakers as well, so what is the point in learning it if you don't live there? There are some German students in some of the central European countries (formerly eastern European). But again there are more English speakers than German speakers there, so German is not a lingua franca even among the group formed by Czechs, Slovakians, Slovenians, Poles or Hungarians. Even in countries of eastern Europe (further east) like Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria Ukraine... German is not even second after English because there French & Russian is more important. In western Europe after English the next most studied languages are French and Spanish. In the case of China their language should not be discarded either because not a majority of them speak English. Moreover the Chinese diaspora is widely spread out through the world. And it's a huge diaspora. Chinese is becoming a lingua franca in eastern Asia. Moreover China has a huge population and size & it is the second most populated country in the world. It also has the second world economy. There's no point in learning Hindustani, Bengali... or any of the local languages because the area in which they are spoken is very concentrated, their diaspora is not huge, their world influence is not great & a large percentage of those languages' speakers speak English. My native language is Spanish but I want to be objective. Spanish is growing because more people are studying it and the population growth Spanish speaking countries. But there is little space to grow as much as English and French. In the majority of countries (or in all) where Spanish is spoken the non Spanish speakers are few. However in several countries where English & French are the official language there is still a lot of people that don't speak them, but will eventually do. In fact many Africans are passing only English or French to the new generation. In most African countries there are several languages but in order to communicate with each other they use English or French. This is more so in families whose members speak two different languages. In a family of a Hausa father and an Igbo mother they tend to speak in English, but this also happens in families whose parents speak the same language. In the case of French (& I think of English as well) there are millions of Africans that speakers that know French as a much as a Parisienne & it's their mother language. They are not just French students. The number of native French speakers is clearly undervalued. Not just that French is widely spoken & spread out geographically, but that French speakers, like Spanish speakers, generally do not speak English. Which are the languages that are official in more international institutions? English & French by far. Which are the six UN languages? English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and Arabic. Which countries have the most destructive bombs & lead the UN's Security Council? Russia, China, USA, France and the UK. For certain specific reasons (jobs...) there could be a language that is not in the list, but you always have to master English first. Arabic could be another useful language because there are not many of the speakers that know an extra language other than Arabic except in Morocco, Tunisia & Algeria, where quite many speak French, in Qatar and the Emirates, where quite many speak English or in Lebanon, where many speak English and French. Moreover some of the wealthiest world countries are the Arab gulf countries. It should be noticed too that Arabic is the liturgical language of about 1500 million Moslems. Russian could be somewhat useful because of the size of Russia plus neighboing countries and number of speakers. However Russian is declining since the fall of the USSR because Russian is not studied by communist countries. Russian is being substituted as a foreign language by English and French and German. This is even the case in formerly Soviet countries. In Central Asia not just English is in the game but Turkish, Arabic and Chinese. Despite the abandonment of the study of the Russian language in former communist countries, except for Cuba, Russian is a very important language in most countries in the ex USSR, except the Balts and Tajikistan.
The huge geographical area in which Russian is spoken and also the mutual intelligibility between it and other Slavic languages makes it one of the important world languages in my opinion.
Brian Millsaps
I'm glad that we agree on the 4 most beneficial languages to learn. I speak English and Spanish, but recently decided to begin learning French and Arabic. Of course, it's different for everyone, depending on their travel plans.
Chick Norton
I think all languages are important and just because it hasn't a lot of speakers, doesn't mean they should be lost.
Chris Nettleship
I'm currently learning both French and Spanish. It's helping my Spanish by noticing that much of the terminology and grammar rules are similar to French. \nIt's been much fun learning both and meeting new people who are enthusiastic about learning. \nThe future will probably see English used less as a lingua Franca so other languages will be needed.\nI struggled trying to learn Mandarin, it's tones and many vowel sounds together with a massively complicated script makes it almost impossible to pick up. Any tips with learning a non-latin origin language?
Cinthya M.
Woooow Español #2 gracias a España y Latino América ❤ El idioma Español es hermoso no lo cambiaría por ninguno. :')
Constancio Rosellini
Somos el segundo idioma mas hablado del mundo, Excelente Viva el idioma Español !!!!!
Cynthia C
this video is only two years old, but it really shows you how things (*cough* politics *cough*) can change... to me, the biggest change seems to be with mandarin and arabic.\nmandarin is slowly but surely gaining more traction as a language of importance considering the economic market and china’s new partnership (?) with the oil-rich middle eastern countries and it’s movement into the african countries.\nwith arabic, i think it’s the result of Islam growing in population as a religion; along with the (forced) spread of muslims around the world as they flee their original countries. But there are economic reasons for it as well, especially as we look at the old oil-wealth countries trying to re-vamp themselves economically.
Darius Davis
West: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German.\n\nEast: Russian, Mandarin, Hindustani, Japanese, Persian.
Dennis medina
Spanish is my native and english is my 2nd language
DerRobMann (R.T. West)
My list:  English, Spanish, French, and surprise... German. As a native English speaker who had been around much of the world in my US Navy days... hands down, English is number 1. As someone who lives in Puebla, Mexico and who now uses Spanish daily... the numbers alone are staggering. Along with English, Spanish opens up communication with almost all of the Americas. French, in my opinion, still should be considered the lingua franca by those of culture, commerce, contribution to intellect, and by those who seem to mainly reject English because of concern with American-English speaking Imperialism. My German fourth choice is highly biased for 3 reasons:  I'm 3rd generation German-American. My grandmother spoke to me in German when I was young. And, because here in Puebla, Mexico, there are many job-providing German national companies whose influence cannot be understated.  Saludos, desde Colonia Centro Historico, Puebla, Mexico, DerRobMann sends...
Ding Liuoui
mandarin is also official language in singapore
Diogo Veloso
hey, I'm portuguese and I'm wondering what happens if we put spanish and portuguese together? I know they are not the same language but they are very similar and I would say someone who learns spanish could undertand portuguese quite well and vice-versa (especially if written).. so if we put it together would we win this battle? 😜\nportuguese is a significant language too soooo... 😏😁
Eleazar Ortiz
Eu sou falante nativo de espanhol mas agora estou estudando a língua portuguesa e só posso dizer una coisa, ese idioma é maravilhoso. Espero que vocé faça um vídeo sobre as semelhanças entre o espanhol e o português.
FZ Channel
I guess Frenchmen are crying in a corner now.
Farcas Beny
español el mejor idioma del mundo sin duda👌/Spanish is the best❤❤❤
Flávio Viana Gomide
I am sad because German is not on the list.
Fropi Do
i can speak, English, Spanish, French and Tagalog coz im Filipino. haha yes!
Gehad channel
I speak Arabic I am from egypt
Geo. M.
The word mandarin reminds me of a particular fruit that is similar to orange
Gustavo Facincani Dourado
I am Brazilian, I speak Portuguese, Spanish, English and I'm learning French \u003c3
Harsimran Singh
Such a shameful thing that despite being the 10th most widely spoken language of the world(as per native speakers), we Punjabi's do not promote and value our mother tongue!!!! Many of us find it cool to speak \
Hovhannes Hovhannisyan
Currently learning my fourth language(Spanish),and I fluently speak Armenian,English and Russian.
Isaac Esmoil
English is my first language. Espanol es mi segundo
Isma Hane
I speak Arabic my mother tongue, Frensh and English, German, and just a little of Spanish language
hindustani the most beautiful language 😊😊✌✌👌👌\n\nhit like indians and pakistanis
I think the most important languages are West-Frisian, Romansh, Welsh, Gaelic, Greenlandic and Faroese.
Jaxson Davis72
Hola estoy tratando de aprender español en Estse momento yo sólo sé un poco, pero espero aprender todo pronto.
Jose Ignacio
Esperanto fans should give up and convert to Spanish. The easiest and most organized/structured language of all... straight forward conventions without exceptions
Juan Villalba
Hi! It all depends on where you live or your cultural approaches.\nFor instance, I am Colombian. I speak Spanish (obviously), English, and Portuguese. Those are the main languages spoken in the Americas. I am also learning Russian as well.
In my opinion, The most important languages are: English, Spanish,Russian, French,Arabic,Turkish
Katso Bushi
For Biz #1.English #2.Mandarin #3.Japanese
Kavya Reddy
I'm learning Spanish :) I love spanish language. It's so beautiful.
Kevin Ambunya
Most important language in the world I don't know, but I think the most important language in Kenya, east Africa and Africa at large it is Swahili because its widely spoken in east Africa and China due to Chinese due to development agenda in the region, their workers population and I like Chinese agenda, they are not associated with war as many Western countries do😨😨😨.At least China is using its wealth and resources in business and which is shooting in Africa,thus I see Kenyans should learn Chinese as their second language other than English, I too am taking Chinese language
King Leopold II
Spanish FTW! I'm glad I speak it. Greetings from the bankrupt island, Puerto Rico
I speak English & Spanish☺ Pero me gustaría aprender otros idiomas.
Laura Cvijic
1. English\n2. Spanish\n3. Arabic\n4. Chinese\n5. Russian\n6. French\n7. Portuguese\n8. Hindustani\n9. Malay\n10. Farsi\n\nI'll try to justify:\nKnowing Spanish you can feel yourself free also in Brazil and the rest Portuguese-speaking world, or at least, learning Portuguese won't be hard at all, they are almost the same.\n\nArabic must be higher than Chinese in reason that Chinese doesn't yet play somehow significant role in South-East Asia to be there lingua franca (besides it's not common anywhere)\n\n...Whereas, Arabic has so cultural influence on so many countries.\n\nI believe, by 2050 Chinese may easily become World's 2nd language (the 3rd will be Portuguese, I'll explain below why).\n\nRussian has 300 mln speakers, the widest geography. Its speakers in almost all regions are... not good in English, that's why, French cannot be higher than it in ALL relations.\n\nPortuguese must be higher than Hindu, because:\n1. In India English has much higher position. NO writer will ever publish his book in Hindi, simply because Hindi is smth like Modern Standard Arabic. You can learn it 5 years and then have no interlocutors to practice with.\n2. It's only NORTHERN India and Pakistan, while Portuguese is LA and South Africa + easy contact with all Spanish speaking regions\n\nMalay has almost 300 mln\n\nAnd Farsi is the 2nd Middle East spoken language after Arabic.\n\nP.S. but actually, there are only 7 significant languages in the World
LeYoshi Vénère
French is blowing because Africa population is blowing, especially Congo.
Levent A
There's absolutely no discuss for this that in Europe the most important language is German language number two is french and that's it.
I love Spanish! It’s the most beautiful language in the world!
Luis Fhernando Regalado Peña
the most important languages are English and spanish.
Maqtal Samatar Salah
Im surprised with the people who are so proud of Portuguese.
Martin O'Hara
The African map shows Equatorial Guinea as Portuguese - speaking. No. It is Spanish - speaking.
Matt Barrett
5 esperanto speakers disliked this video
Matthew Waterton
So many people in my country- Slovenia go and learn russian. I however am going down a much harder road- learning japanese
Minhaz Arefin
Hi Paul, waiting for a video on Bengali Language. You can talk about history of \
Mohan Barman
Bengali is the sweetest language
Mohmd Nassir
excellent video really liked it.\nI think top 3 languages that connect you to majority of world's population is :English/Arabic/Chinese\nbecause \n1-they are spoken by many people and\n2-each of them are from completely different language family
Mr. Nobody
1.English 2.Spanish 3.French 4Mandarin
French is spoken in Canada (Québec), Belgium, Switch, Luxembourg, about ten islands in the world, Monaco, France (of course) and in many African countries (31 as it's said in the video); but it's also spoken in some arabic countries like Algeria or Tunisia and still have some French words in their arabic dialect\nThis language is kind of important (less than English of course) but if you want to speak a language which could help you to understand more people you should learn it
I would not put Arabic in the top 5. While it is spoken in many countries of Africa and middle east it lacks a strong entertainment industry backbone, economic and scientific importance. With the general instability in the region it international importance will decline more because.
Omkar Bhatkar
i am indian and i never heard language called hindustani...😂😂😂
Phra Sompong
Malay currently use in Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Southern Thailand and Southern Phillipine. Biggest Language in South East Asia!!
Real Chinese with Jadie
I thought French is one of most widely used languages...
Robert Aldridge
If you speak English, Spanish and Hindustani, you can converse with 3/4 of the earth's population. Amazing.
Robert Hubert
Paul - \n\nYou should add cultural influences to your list of what makes a language important. For example, Italian does not cover 20+ countries or have 200 million+ speakers, but it is an important language of immigration and culture in the USA and elsewhere, particularly in Brazil and Argentina, where half the population is of Italian heritage. It is the third most important European immigrant language in the US, following Spanish and German. Italian culture is everywhere, even here in the southern states. And of course, it is the international language of music and opera. All that, from a language that can claim only about 75 million speakers. I can now count myself as one of them!
Roman Soiko
انا اتكلام عربية 我说普通话 Yo hablo español Eu falo portugues Я говорю по русский India has states not provinces
Sabar Mohamed
the best are English, Spanish and Arabic
Sagir Ahmed
Correction:\n\nBengali doesn't have 200 million native speakers because most of them speak its political non linguistic dialects. \n\nThey have very different phonology and grammar. Many don't have aspirations, many have tones etc. \n\nWe can compare its political dialects:\n\nHow are you?\nBengali: Apni kemon achen?\nSylheti: Afne kila asóin? (But mostly they say: Kita xóbor, bála ni? Which translates to Bengali: Ki khobor, [eTa] ki bhalo?)\nChittagonian: Õne keén asén? (Can have different common translations, I'm not sure about those.)\n\nI went there.\nBengali: Ami shekhane giyechhilam.\nSylheti: Ami/mui hono geslam.\nRangpuri: Mui heiṭe geisilung.\nChittagonian: Aĩ éṛe ɡeslam.\n\nWhat should I bring for you?\nBengali: Ami tomar jonne ki anbo?\nSylheti: Ami/mui tumar lagi kita anmu/antam?\nNokhailla: Ai tuãr lai ki ainnum?\nRajbongsi: Mui tomar zonne ki anim?\n\nWhere are you going?\nBengali: Apni kothae jacchen?\nSylheti: Afne xano zait rá?\nMymensinghiya: Anne koi zaitasen?\n\nWater\nBengali: jol, pani\nSylheti: fani, zol\nNokhailla: hani\nChittagonian: fani\n\nWhere have you come from?\nBengali: Apni kotha theke eshechen?\nSylheti: Afne xan táki/tone aisóin?\nMymensinghiya: Anne koi táikka aisén?\n\nI have forgotten.\nBengali: Ami bhule giyechi.\nSylheti: Ami faóri gesí.\nMymensinghiya: Ami búilla gesí.\n\nTerms for boy and girl:\n\nBoy - Girl\nBengali: Chele - mee\nSylheti: Fua - furi, surga - surgi\nRangpuri: cengra, cengri\nMymensinghiya: sera - seri\nChittagonian: fua - mei fua\nNokhailla: hula - maia \n\nEtc. You can get more info online. \n\nThe real number of native Bengali speakers should be near 50 million.
Savage-American Imperialist
The most important languages in the world: \n\n1. English\n2. Spanish\n3. French\n4. Portuguese\n5. German\n6. Russian\n7. Mandarin\n8. Japanese\n9. Arabic\n10. Hindustani
For some reason, hearing English is the #1 Lingua franca makes me really proud of my native language
Sue Melero
Spanish my native language, english my second, and I think I'll go for chinese ( mandarin)
Yeah true.\n\nI would say English has at least 500 million native speakers around the globe, in all continents.
The description of the video is in my native language (French). That's weird because I'm used to have YouTube translating the title but this is the first time ever that its also translating the description. Is it the same for you or....?
Vampire Squid
So thats the reason why its so rare for Native English speakers to be bilingual?
Vlatik Pipik
Interesting fact, there is an artificial language called Slovio, which can understand the 500 million people.\nIt is designed in such a way that it can be easily read and understood by all Slavic people (Russians, Poles, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Czechs, Belarusians, Slovaks, Slovenes, Serbs, Croats, etc)\nAll my friends from different Slavic countries, can read any text in this language without any problems.\nThis is genius! But, unfortunately, is not popular.\nIt is a pity, because it could be the international language of all Slavs.
Webster Io
1. English\n2. Spanish\n3. French\n4. Arabic\n5. Russian\n6. Poutugese and italian\n7. Chinese\n8. Korean\n9. Roman hindi\n10. Vietnamese\n\n\nThese are the languages I come across on youtube often :D
WellThis 146
Did anyone else realize that South Sudan was not on here?
Yakin Alan
If you are looking for a job in the continental Europe. Number one is German...
Yuki Kun
Yay Japanese! I'm not Japanese but I'm studying it and I love Japan.
For those (especially INDONs) who claimed Bahasa Melayu (Malay Language) was originated from Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian Language), this video has proved that you are totally wrong. \n\nBe it linguistically and historically, Bahasa Indonesia is actually the variant of Malay Language. It is because both Malay and Indonesian language rooted from Bahasa Melayu Johor-Riau. And of course modern Bahasa Melayu spoken mainly by Malay peoples in Malaysia, Singapura, Brunei and partly Indonesia is closer to the old Bahasa Melayu Riau compared to the Bahasa Indonesia.\n\nThe main reason why Bahasa Melayu Riau was chosen to become Indonesia national language because, back in the day, Malay language used to be Maritime Southeast Asia (Malay Archipelago) lingua franca. It was even widely used by non-native speaker. As a result, instead of Javanese language (predominant ethnic in Indonesia ), Bahasa (Melayu) Indonesia used as Language of Unity among Indonesian and been declared as national language of Indonesia.
abdul ahad
yeah... BENGALI my Native language😁😍✌. I am from BANGLADESH. how many of are you from Bangladesh or speak BENGALI???
4:21 : \
eloisa fantasia
El idioma más importante es el esperanto 🤣
Funny Spanish sentence:\n\n¿Cómo como como Como? \n\nThat can mean \
inui tatsumi
I noticed that there was a Spanish speaking country in the every group of the 2018 FIFA world cup. Is it a coincidence...?\nA: Uruguay (the others are Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt)\nB: Spain (Portugal, Morocco, Iran)\nC: Peru (France, Australia, Denmark)\nD: Argentina (Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria)\nE: Costa Rica (Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia)\nF: Mexico (Germany, Sweden, South Korea)\nG: Panama (Belgium, Tunisia, England)\nH: Colombia (Poland, Senegal, Japan)
kbjz ent ent
I think malay because:francois valentijn, a Dutch author in 1726 recorded: their language, Malay language, not only spoken on the seafront but also used throughout the Malay Archipelago and in the eastern states, as a language understood anywhere by every people, like French and latin in europe or as lingua franca in it ... it's not only understood in persia, even further than that, and in the east to the islands of the philippines. and if you do not know the language You are considered an uneducated person in the east. there are 37 countries which has the distribution of Malay language speakers. this is one of the major speakers of the Malay language in the world:Malaysia,Indonesia,Philippines,Cocos Island,Cambodia,Sri Lanka,Brunei Darussalam,Singapore,Vietnam(melayu champa),South Thailand and South Africa...At the international level, the Malay language is also studied in several other countries of the world such as the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), China, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, United Kingdom and Leiden University, Netherlands..
matheo chacon
I speak French, Spanish, German, English and a little bit of Russian
swap D.
i love to speak English,Hindi and marathi languages.
I think you have to brush up your English. WIDE means the largest geographical area. Therefore Mandarin is not spoken in a large area as it is concentrated only in one country. THE TOP 3 WIDELY SPOKEN LANGUAGES ARE: ENGLISH, FRENCH and SPANISH. I don't know in what order, but they certainly cover an immense area. Take French for example: it is spoken in Europe (France et al), in Africa (most of the northern part), in the Caribbean (Haiti), in America (Canada) and in Asia (Viet-Nam).
Most useful languages to learn:\n#1 English \n#2 Spanish \n#3 Chinese \n#4 Arabic \n#5 French \n#6 Russian \n#7 Portuguese \n#8 German \n#9 Japanese \n#10 Hindi \nDiscuss!
I can speak English, Urdu , Spanish 💕
And I'm trying to learn French. And it's not even in the list. But still love French ♡
zafirah burnn
never thought that malay could be on the list. proud to be malaysian
Искандар Рози
Hey, Arabic are spoken as third language in Malaysia...
Ложь путинского режима
English is most important language in the world.
عرب الجزائر Arabs of Algeria
salam alaykom marhba \u003c3
अभय अग्रवाल
Hindi is second most spoken language in the world. You know India's population is 1.25 billion (1250 millions) and more than 40% say Hindi as their native language. Now 40% of 1.25 billion is 500 millions. And Hindi is also official language of Fiji do it should had more than 500 million native speakers. Plus native speakers of Urdu language. More than 75% Indians speak Hindi. So about 35% Indians say Hindi as their 2nd language and total speakers of Hindustani language should be more than 1 billion. So it should be on #2.\nThank you.