TOP 10 Languages in the world

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There are 6,909 languages actively being spoken in the world today, although only about sixpercent of them have more than a million speakers each. As globalization becomes more common so does the learning of languages. People in many different countries see the value of learning a foreign language to improve their international business relations.

Because of this, thenumber of people who speak certain languages will continue to rise. There are10 languages that currently dominate the globe. Here's a list of the 10 mostpopular languages spoken worldwide, along with the number of countries wherethe language is established, and the approximate number of primary or firstlanguage speakers for that language:

1、Chinese/Mandarin——37 countries, 13 dialects, 1,284 millionspeakers
2、Spanish——31 countries, 437 million
3、English——106 countries, 372 million
4、Arabic——57 countries, 19 dialects, 295 million
5、Hindi——5 countries, 260 million
6、Bengali——4 countries, 242 million
7、Portuguese——13 countries, 219 million
8、Russian——19 countries, 154 million
9、Japanese——2 countries, 128 million
10、Lahnda——6 countries, 119 million

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The Languages of China

With more than 1.3billion people living in China today, it is no surprise that Chinese is themost commonly spoken language. Due to the size of China's area and population,the country is able to sustain many unique and interesting languages. Whenspeaking of languages, the term "Chinese" encompasses at least 15dialects spoken in the country and elsewhere.

Because Mandarin is themost commonly spoken dialect, many people use the word Chinese to refer to it.While roughly 70 percent of the country speaks Mandarin, many other dialectsare spoken as well. The languages are mutually intelligible to a varyingdegree, depending on how close the languages are to one another. The four mostpopular Chinese dialects are Mandarin (898 million speakers), Wu (also known asShanghainese dialect, 80 million speakers), Yue (Cantonese, 73 million), andMin Nan (Taiwanese, 48 million).

Why Are There So Many Spanish Speakers?

While Spanish is not acommonly heard language in most parts of Africa, Asia, and the majority ofEurope, that hasn't stopped it from becoming the second most commonly spokenlanguage. The spread of the Spanish language is rooted in colonization.

Betweenthe 15th and 18th centuries, Spain colonized much of South, Central, and largeparts of North America as well. Before being incorporated into the UnitedStates, places like Texas, California, New Mexico, and Arizona were all part ofMexico, a former Spanish colony. While Spanish is not a common language to hearin most of Asia, it is very common in the Philippines because it too was once acolony of Spain.

Like Chinese, thereare many dialects of Spanish. The vocabulary between these dialects variesgreatly depending on what country one is in. Accents and pronunciation alsochange between regions. While these dialectical differences can sometimes causeconfusion, they do not block cross-communication between speakers.

English, a Global Language

English too, was acolonial language: British colonial efforts began in the 15th century andlasted until the early 20th century, including places as far flung as NorthAmerica, India and Pakistan, Africa, and Australia. As with Spain's colonialefforts, each country colonized by Great Britain retains some English speakers.

After World War II,the United States led the world in both technological and medical innovation.Because of this, it was considered beneficial for students pursuing work inthese fields to learn English. As globalization occurred, English became ashared common language. This caused many parents to push their children tostudy English as a second language in the hopes of better preparing them forthe business world. English is also a useful language for travelers to learnbecause it is spoken in so many parts of the globe.

A Global Language Network

Since the popularityof social media, the development of a Global Language Network can be mappedusing book translations, Twitter, and Wikipedia. These social networks are onlyavailable to elites, people with access to both traditional and new media.Statistics of use from these social networks indicate that while English isdefinitely the central hub in the Global Language Network, other intermediate hubsused by elites to communicate business and science information include German,French, and Spanish.
Currently, languagessuch as Chinese, Arabic, and Hindi are vastly more popular than German orFrench, and it is likely that those languages will grow in use of traditionaland new media.
Source: Matt Rosenberg,Which Languages Are Used the Most in the World Today?

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Mr WordPress · June 18, 2010 at 8:51 pm

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