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List of languages by number of native speakers

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Title: List of languages by number of native speakers  
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List of languages by number of native speakers

Current distribution of human language families

This article ranks human languages by their number of native speakers.

However, all such rankings should be used with caution.[1] First, it is difficult to define the difference between a language and a dialect, or between a language and a macrolanguage; for example, Chinese is sometimes considered a single language and sometimes a macrolanguage whose many varieties are all independent languages.

For a list of languages with the smallest numbers of native speakers, see lists of endangered languages.

Contents

  • Nationalencyklopedin 1
  • Charts and graphs 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Nationalencyklopedin

The following table contains the top 100 languages by estimated number of native speakers in the 2007 edition of Nationalencyklopedin. As census methods in different countries vary to a considerable extent, and some countries do not record language in their censuses, any list of languages by native speakers, or total speakers, is based on estimates. Updated estimates from 2010 are also provided.[2]

The top eleven languages have additional figures from the 2010 edition of the Nationalencyklopedin. Numbers above 95 million are rounded off to the nearest 5 million.

Top languages by population per Nationalencyklopedin 2007 (2010)
Language Native speakers
(millions)
Fraction of world
population (2007)
Mandarin 935 (955) 14.1%
Spanish 390 (405) 5.85%
English 365 (360) 5.52%
Hindi 295 (310)[3] 4.46%
Arabic 280 (295) 4.43%
Portuguese 205 (215) 3.08%
Bengali 200 (205) 3.05%
Russian 160 (155) 2.42%
Japanese 125 (125) 1.92%
Punjabi 95 (100) 1.44%
German 92 (89) 1.39%
Javanese 82 1.25%
Wu (Shanghainese) 80 1.20%
Malay/Indonesian 77 1.16%
Telugu 76 1.15%
Vietnamese 76 1.14%
Korean 76 1.14%
French 74 1.12%
Marathi 73 1.10%
Tamil 70 1.06%
Urdu 66 0.99%
Turkish 63 0.95%
Italian 59 0.90%
Yue (Cantonese) 59 0.89%
Thai 56 0.85%
Gujarati 49 0.74%
Jin 48 0.72%
Southern Min 47 0.71%
Persian 45 0.99%
Polish 40 0.61%
Pashto 39 0.58%
Kannada 38 0.58%
Xiang (Hunnanese) 38 0.58%
Malayalam 38 0.57%
Sundanese 38 0.57%
Tamazight 34 0.52%
Hausa 34 0.52%
Odia (Oriya) 33 0.50%
Burmese 33 0.50%
Hakka 31 0.46%
Ukrainian 30 0.46%
Bhojpuri 29[4] 0.43%
Tagalog 28 0.42%
Yoruba 28 0.42%
Maithili 27[4] 0.41%
Uzbek 26 0.39%
Sindhi 26 0.39%
Amharic 25 0.37%
Fula 24 0.37%
Romanian 24 0.37%
Oromo 24 0.36%
Igbo 24 0.36%
Azerbaijani 23 0.34%
Awadhi 22[4] 0.33%
Gan Chinese 22 0.33%
Cebuano (Visayan) 21 0.32%
Dutch 21 0.32%
Kurdish 21 0.31%
Serbo-Croatian 19 0.28%
Malagasy 18 0.28%
Saraiki 17[5] 0.26%
Nepali 17 0.25%
Sinhalese 16 0.25%
Chittagonian 16 0.24%
Zhuang 16 0.24%
Khmer 16 0.24%
Turkmen 16 0.24%
Assamese 15 0.23%
Madurese 15 0.23%
Somali 15 0.22%
Marwari 14[4] 0.21%
Magahi 14[4] 0.21%
Haryanvi 14[4] 0.21%
Hungarian 13 0.19%
Chhattisgarhi 12[4] 0.19%
Greek 12 0.18%
Chewa 12 0.17%
Deccan 11 0.17%
Akan 11 0.17%
Kazakh 11 0.17%
Northern Min 10.9 0.16%
Sylheti 10.7 0.16%
Zulu 10.4 0.16%
Czech 10.0 0.15%
Kinyarwanda 9.8 0.15%
Dhundhari 9.6[4] 0.15%
Haitian Creole 9.6 0.15%
Eastern Min 9.5 0.14%
Ilocano 9.1 0.14%
Quechua 8.9 0.13%
Kirundi 8.8 0.13%
Swedish 8.7 0.13%
Hmong 8.4 0.13%
Shona 8.3 0.13%
Uyghur 8.2 0.12%
Hiligaynon 8.2 0.12%
Mossi 7.6 0.11%
Xhosa 7.6 0.11%
Belarusian 7.6[6] 0.11%
Balochi 7.6 0.11%
Konkani 7.4 0.11%
Total 5,610 85%

Charts and graphs

[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ Paolillo, John C.; Das, Anupam (31 March 2006). "Evaluating language statistics: the Ethnologue and beyond" (PDF).  
  2. ^ a b Mikael Parkvall, "Världens 100 största språk 2007" (The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007), in Nationalencyklopedin. Asterisks mark the 2010 estimates for the top dozen languages.
  3. ^ Includes approx. 100 million speakers of other Hindi languages listed below.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h This may be only a fraction of total speakers; others are counted under "Hindi" above.
  5. ^ Numbers may also be counted in Punjabi above
  6. ^ Only half this many use Belarusian as their home language.

External links

  • The Ethnologue's most recent list of languages by number of speakers
  • Languages Spoken by More Than 10 Million People (Archived 2009-10-31) – Encarta list, based on data from Ethnologue, but some figures (e.g. for Arabic) widely vary from it
  • Map of World Languages. Download of MP3 audio files in 1600 language combinations.
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