Languages Of The World - List Of Most Spoken Languages In the World

The list of languages of the World is an important topic from the point of view of competitive examinations. Aspirants of government exams such as SSC, Bank, RRB etc. may encounter questions related to World languages or most spoken language of the world in the General Awareness section of these exams.

Candidates preparing for any competitive or government exams can check the following links for their preparation –

Static GK Daily Current Affairs Government Exam Mock Tests
SSC General Awareness Bank General Awareness Idioms & Phrases

This article will talk about the languages of the world. Candidates preparing for exams will get to know about world languages, most spoken languages of the world, 1st language of the world etc. The topic will help candidates ace the general awareness in the examination.

List of Languages in the World PDF:-Download PDF Here

Candidates preparing for the various government exams can refer to the detailed syllabus in the links given below:

Bank Exam Syllabus SSC Syllabus RRB Syllabus

Daily News

World Languages

Do you know which is the 1st language of the world that is still surviving in modern society?

1st Language of the World is Tamil – It is the earliest discovered language spoken by around 120 million people in the world. After Tamil comes in the list Sanskrit, followed by Greek, Chinese, Hebrew and Arabic. 

Languages are dynamic and the numbers are constantly in flux. There are about 6500 languages or maybe more in the world and many of which are not known to all as they are less widely spoken than other languages.

Research says, 40% of languages of the world are now endangered with less than 1,000 speakers remaining and only 23 languages make up for more than half the population of the world.

  • With so many languages in the US, there is no official language, some people think it’s English but it’s not. There are so many settlers bringing confusion in the official language to use.
  • A language dies out if there is no one to speak it, or record using written variations. The dialect dies out and today, there are 241 languages that have become extinct.
  • More than half of the global population speaks 23 languages only. This is compared to more than seven thousand languages.
  • Papua New Guinea is the country with the most number of languages in the world. It has 841 languages but it’s predicted that 40 of these languages are to become extinct as only a few people speak them.
  • The bible is the most translated document followed closely by Pinocchio. The bible is translated to 683 languages and parts of it has been translated to more than 3000 languages.
  • Sumerian is the oldest written language dating back to 3500 BC followed by Egyptian dating back to 3300BC. Old Chinese dates back to 1250BC
  • French is known in the world today as the love language. Not only because of the accent but France and Italy are known to be fine love destinations and it happens to be the most dominant in these countries.
  • The Papuan language is the language of Rotokas and it is known to have 11 letters only. This makes it the smallest alphabet.
  • Basque is the only language in the world that has no correlation to any other language.It is spoken in the mountains between Spain and France
  • One of the most beautiful languages to learn is Russian. It’s also considered by most people as the language of war.
  • While it’s not the most spoken language in the world, English is the most dominant. It’s well received and adopted in the world with many people finding it easy to learn and it’s an official language in most countries.
  • English is the language of airplane travel and it happens to be English adding to its dominance in the world. Everywhere in the world, the pilot and his crew know English.
  • The Cambodian language has the longest alphabet with more than 73 characters. It’s also one of the toughest languages to learn by yourself.
  • Instead of alphabets, the Chinese mandarin language consists of symbols. These represent different letters and are written differently. Most people assume they are drawn, not written.
  • Chinese Mandarin is considered to be the toughest language to learn in the world. All thanks to the lack of alphabets. They have symbols instead and its estimated that the average Chinese local knows more than 8000 symbols while you have to know more than 3000 symbols to read a newspaper.
  • The first language to be printed was German. It wasn’t the first language to be written however but it was printed on a book.
  • English and French are two of the most popular languages used on the internet. These two are taught in every country in the world with some of these countries adopting either as their official national language.
  • The English language has been influenced heavily by other languages. The word mortgage means death pledge in French.
  • Africa is one of the continents where the English language is well adopted. Nigeria has approximately 90 million English speakers as compared to the UK which has approximately 60 million.
  • Did you know there are more than 24 English dialects in the US alone? A native speaker can tell you people from New York, California, Boston and other places sound different

Well, do you know what are the most common languages or most spoken languages of the world? 

Here is the list of 12 most spoken languages of the world and the number of speakers for each one of them all around the world. 

Language Family Total No of Speakers
English Indo-European 1.452 billion
Mandarin Chinese

(incl. Standard Chinese, but excl. other varieties)

Sino-Tibetan 1.118 billion

(excl. Urdu)

Indo-European 602.2 million
Spanish Indo-European 548.3 million
French Indo-European 274.1 million
Modern Standard Arabic

(excl. dialects)

Afro-Asiatic 274.0 million
Bengali Indo-European 272.7 million
Russian Indo-European 258.2 million
Portuguese Indo-European 257.7 million

(excl. Hindi)

Indo-European 231.3 million

(excl. Malay)

Austronesian 199.0 million
Standard German Indo-European 134.6 million
Japanese Japonic 125.4 million
Nigerian Pidgin English Creole 120.7 million
Marathi Indo-European 99.1 million
Telugu Dravidian 95.7 million
Turkish Turkic 88.1 million
Tamil Dravidian 86.4 million
Yue Chinese

(incl. Cantonese)

Sino-Tibetan 85.6 million
Vietnamese Austroasiatic 85.3 million
Tagalog Austronesian 82.3 million
Wu Chinese

(incl. Shanghainese)

Sino-Tibetan 81.8 million
Korean Koreanic 81.7 million
Iranian Persian

(excl. Dari and Tajik)

Indo-European 77.4 million
Hausa Afro-Asiatic 77.1 million
Egyptian Spoken Arabic

(excl. other Arabic dialects)

Afro-Asiatic 74.8 million
Swahili Niger–Congo 71.4 million
Javanese Austronesian 68.3 million
Italian Indo-European 67.9 million
Western Punjabi

(excl. Eastern Punjabi)

Indo-European 66.4 million
Kannada Dravidian 64.0 million
Gujarati Indo-European 62.0 million
Thai Kra–Dai 60.7 million
Amharic Afroasiatic 57.5 million
Bhojpuri Indo-European 52.5 million
Eastern Punjabi

(excl. Western Punjabi)

Indo-European 51.7 million
Min Nan Chinese

(incl. Hokkien)

Sino-Tibetan 49.7 million
Jin Chinese Sino-Tibetan 47.1 million
Yoruba Niger–Congo 45.6 million
Hakka Chinese Sino-Tibetan 44.1 million
Burmese Sino-Tibetan 43.0 million
Sudanese Spoken Arabic Afro-Asiatic 42.3 million
Polish Indo-European 40.6 million
Algerian Spoken Arabic Afro-Asiatic 40.3 million
Lingala Niger–Congo 40.3 million

Reference – [Wikipedia]

Aspirants of government exams can check other topics relevant from exam point of view:

Unemployment In India Famous Books and Authors
Millets In India Letter Writing Format
Prepositions Rule Governors in India
List of Country, Capital & Currency Tenses Rules

Online Quiz 2023

Now that you are aware of the 1st language of the world, common languages of the world, let us move ahead to the official languages of the world.

Check the list of Official Languages of India in the given link.

The table below lists more than 190 official languages of different countries of the world. Candidates will also be able to download the languages of the world PDF at the end of this article. 

Languages of the World
Countries Official Languages
Albania Albanian
Ethiopia Amharic
Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen Arabic
Sudan Arabic, English
Armenia Armenian
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan
Bangladesh Bengali
Vanuatu Bislama
Myanmar (Burma) Burmese
Andorra Catalan
Malawi Chichewa
China Chinese, Mandarin
Czech Republic Czech
Denmark Danish
Afghanistan Dari
Maldives Dhivehi
Belgium, Suriname Dutch
Bhutan Dzongkha
Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cameroon, Canada, Fiji, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Federated States of Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia English
Singapore English, Malay, Chinese, Tamil
Pakistan English, Urdu
Estonia Estonian
Finland Finnish
Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Republic of the Congo, Côte-d’Ivoire, Djibouti, France, Gabon, Haiti, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Senegal, Switzerland, Togo French
Netherlands Frisian
Georgia Georgian
Austria, Liechtenstein, Germany German
Greece Greek
Bolivia, Paraguay Guaraní
India Hindi, English
Hungary Hungarian
Iceland Icelandic
Indonesia Indonesian
Ireland Irish
Italy, Vatican City (Holy See) Italian
Japan Japanese
Kazakhstan Kazakh
Cambodia Khmer
The Democratic Republic of the Congo Kikongo
Rwanda Kinyarwanda, French, English
North Korea, South Korea Korean
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyz
Laos Lao
Latvia Latvian
Lithuania Lithuanian
Luxembourg Luxembourgish
Macedonia Macedonian
Madagascar Malagasy
Malaysia, Brunei Malay
Malta Maltese
Moldova Moldovan
Mongolia Mongolia
Montenegro Montenegrin
Zimbabwe Ndebele, English, Shona
Nepal Nepali
Norway Norwegian
Palau Palauan, English
Iran, Tajikistan Persian
Poland Polish
Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe Portuguese
Peru Quechua
Romania Romanian
Russia, Belarus Russian
Samoa Samoan, English
San Marino San Marino
Central African Republic Sango
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia Serbian
Seychelles Seychellois Creole
Sri Lanka Sinhala, Tamil
Slovakia Slovak
Slovenia Slovene
Somalia Somali
South Africa Sotho
Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Philippines, Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela Spanish
Taiwan Standard Chinese
Kenya, Tanzania Swahili
Uganda Swahili, English
Swaziland Swati, English
Sweden Swedish
East Timor (Timor-Leste) Tetum
Thailand Thai
Eritrea Tigrinya
Guinea, Papua New Guinea Tok Pisin
Botswana Tswana
Bulgaria, Cyprus, Turkey Turkish
Turkmenistan Turkmen
Ukraine Ukrainian
Uzbekistan Uzbek
Vietnam Vietnamese
Nigeria Yoruba

List of Languages in the World PDF:-Download PDF Here

Languages of the World – Sample Question For General Awareness

Before diving deep into the topic languages of the world, check out a few sample questions given below. Candidates willing to appear for various government exams might encounter such types of questions in the general awareness section.

Sample Questions on languages of the world

Q.1. Approximately how many languages are there in the world?

  1. 3000
  2. 6500
  3. 7100
  4. 5400

Answer (2) 6500

Q.2. Which is the common official language of Austria, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland? 

  1. English
  2. Swedish
  3. German
  4. French

Answer (3) German

Q.3. What is the country with the greatest number of official languages? 

  1. China
  2. USA
  3. South Africa
  4. India

Answer (4) India

Q.4. Which country has more English speakers than the United States?

  1. China
  2. UK
  3. Japan
  4. India

Answer (1) China

Q.5. How many countries do have an Official Language?

  1. 3
  2. 5
  3. 7
  4. 1

Answer (2) 5 countries do not have official languages.

Q.6. Which was the first language to be spoken in outer space?

  1. English
  2. German
  3. Russian
  4. Italian

Answer (3) Russian, then the Soviet Union, became the first country in the world to send a human to outer space – Yuri Gagarin

Q.7 Which is the most widespread native language in Europe?

  • Ukrainian
  • Russian
  • German
  • English

Answer (2) Russian

Q.8. Of all the continents, which have the most languages?

  • Asia
  • South America
  • North America
  • Africa

Answer (1) Asia

Q.9 Out of the following, which of these is the most widely used business language in South East Asia?

  • Bahsa
  • Malay
  • Indonesian
  • Cantonese

Answer (4) Cantonese

Q.10 When did Hindi become the official language of India?

  • 1965
  • 1951
  • 1971
  • 1984

Answer (1) 1965

Besides these MCQ type questions, the knowledge of world languages forms an important part of the descriptive section of the exam as an essay topic. Check previous year question papers with solution PDF to understand the type of questions asked in the general awareness section of government examinations.

Candidates preparing for the upcoming government exams must carefully go through the list of languages of the world to score well in the GA/GK section.

For any further questions or information regarding the competitive exams, check the following links:

SSC Exams RRB Exams
UPSC CAPF Insurance exam

Frequently Asked Question about Languages of the World


What are some of the most widespread spoken languages of the world?

Chinese, English, Spanish, Arabic, French, Persian, German, Russian, Malay, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish, Lahnda, Tamil, Urdu, Korean, Hindi, Bengali, Japanese, Vietnamese, Telugu, and Marathi.

How many languages are spoken in the world?

More than 7,100 languages are spoken in the world today.

What is the youngest language?

Rich in idiom and emotion, Afrikaans was born 340 years ago in the homes of South Africa’s white Dutch, German and French settlers. Not only is it the world’s youngest national language, it is one of the smallest, with just 13 million speakers.

What is the origin of English?

Having emerged from the dialects and vocabulary of Germanic peoples—Angles, Saxons, and Jutes—who settled in Britain in the 5th century CE, English today is a constantly changing language that has been influenced by a plethora of different cultures and languages, such as Latin, French, Dutch, and Afrikaans.


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  1. I am very glad for precision given in this article about languages of the world. Thank you.