What languages are spoken on Earth?

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The actual number of languages spoken in the world is difficult to calculate. One of the problems is that of the definition of what constitutes a language. Most estimates are between 6800-7000.

This leads to the following range in answers:

  • The National Virtual Translation Center says there are about 6,900 languages in the world.
  • The Ethnologue organization's current catalog includes 6,809 distinct languages.
  • The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language says that estimates of total living languages in the world vary from 3,000 to 10,000.
  • Voegelins' Classification and Index of the World's Languages (1977) lists 20,000 languages and dialects, grouped into about 4,500 living languages.
  • The Linguistic Society of America says: No exact figure exists, and we are losing languages every year, as only living speakers die. But a good estimate is about 6,800 languages.
The Ethnologue catalogue lists 6,809 living languages spoken in the world. It is not possible to list them here.

For more information about the most common languages of the world, click here.

Here is a list of the 100 most spoken languages on Earth, representing 85% of the world's population:

  1. Mandarin (entire branch)
  2. Spanish
  3. English
  4. Hindi
  5. Arabic
  6. Portuguese
  7. Bengali (Bangla)
  8. Russian
  9. Japanese
  10. Punjabi
  11. German
  12. Javanese
  13. Wu Chinese (Shanghainese)
  14. Malay (including Malaysian and Indonesian)
  15. Telugu
  16. Vietnamese
  17. Korean
  18. French
  19. Marathi
  20. Tamil
  21. Urdu
  22. Turkish
  23. Italian
  24. Yue Chinese (including Cantonese)
  25. Thai
  26. Gujarati
  27. Jin
  28. Southern Min Chinese (including Hokkien and Teochew)
  29. Persian
  30. Polish
  31. Pashto
  32. Kannada
  33. Xiang Chinese (Hunanese)
  34. Malayalam
  35. Sundanese
  36. Hausa
  37. Odia (Oriya)
  38. Burmese
  39. Hakka
  40. Ukrainian
  41. Bhojpuri
  42. Tagalog (Filipino)
  43. Yoruba
  44. Maithili
  45. Uzbek
  46. Sindhi
  47. Amharic
  48. Fula
  49. Romanian
  50. Oromo
  51. Igbo
  52. Azerbaijani
  53. Awadhi
  54. Gan Chinese
  55. Cebuano (Visayan)
  56. Dutch
  57. Kurdish
  58. Serbo-Croatian
  59. Malagasy
  60. Saraiki
  61. Nepali
  62. Sinhalese
  63. Chittagonian
  64. Zhuang
  65. Khmer
  66. Turkmen
  67. Assamese
  68. Madurese
  69. Somali
  70. Marwari
  71. Magahi
  72. Haryanvi
  73. Hungarian
  74. Chhattisgarhi
  75. Greek
  76. Chewa
  77. Deccan
  78. Akan
  79. Kazakh
  80. Northern Min
  81. Sylheti
  82. Zulu
  83. Czech
  84. Kinyarwanda
  85. Dhundhari
  86. Haitian Creole
  87. Eastern Min Chinese (including Fuzhounese)
  88. Ilocano
  89. Quechua
  90. Kirundi
  91. Swedish
  92. Hmong
  93. Shona
  94. Uyghur
  95. Hiligaynon/Ilonggo (Visayan)
  96. Mossi
  97. Xhosa
  98. Belarusian
  99. Balochi
  100. Konkani
There are 6,809 living languages spoken in the world.
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What is the most spoken language on Earth?

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Great Britain is a tiny country but one with attitude. The industrial revolution some two centuries ago gave Great Britain the ability to travel further than ever before. Ship