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Top 10 | The Most Spoken Languages In 2023

Have you asked yourself what the most spoken languages in the world are? Perhaps to know which would make the most sense to learn, or perhaps only out of curiosity.

In any case, I guarantee you are going to be as surprised as I was by AT LEAST one of the languages that made this list of the “Top 10 languages spoken in the world” (2023 Edition)

graphic with two kids talking that says "The most spoken languages in the whole world"

Before we start I want you to know that this list is based on the amount of speakers that the language has in total. In contrast, many lists put only the numbers of native speakers.

For me, I have found that to be problematic as a language learner because our goal is to communicate with more people in general, not just natives. With that out of the way let’s have a fun time learning about the 10 most spoken languages in the world!

New york city - USA

1: English – The most spoken language (1.121 Million)

English is the most spoken language in the world and is utilized in 67 countries and 27 territories as an official language! English has its origins in England and though it contains a great variety of accents and dialectical changes across the world.

Luckily, English is mostly understandable regardless of the dialect and is used as a Lingua Franca worldwide.

The 5 most notable countries (by quantity of people) that speak English:

• The United States of America: 332,915,073

• The United Kingdom: 68,207,116

• Canada: 38,067,903

• Australia: 25,788,215

• Liberia: 5,180,203

The great wall of china

2: Mandarin Chinese – The second most spoken language in the world (1.107 Million)

The biggest differences between traditional Chinese and Modern Chinese are shown in the characters that they use to write the words.

The traditional characters are a bit more complicated and for this reason, “Modern Chinese” is also referred to as “Simplified Chinese”

Countries With The Most Mandarin Speakers

  • China: 1,379,302,771

  • Taiwan: 23,508,428

  • Singapore: 5,888,926

  • Macao: 600,000

Hindi Gods in India

3: Hindi – The third most spoken language in the world (698 Million)

Hindi is the third most spoken language in the world. It is the official language of India, and also has a significant number of speakers in Nepal, USA, and Fiji to name a few.

If you live in a community with many Indian immigrants, or you want to visit India one day, this fun and exciting language will be of great use.

Hindi is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, vast vocabulary, poetic expressions, and its ability to connect millions of people across India and beyond.

The 5 most notable countries (by the quantity of people) that speak Hindi:

  • India: 422,000,000

  • Nepal: 8,000,000

  • The United States: 650,000

  • Mauritius: 450,000

  • Fiji: 380,000

Mexican dia de la muerte

4: Spanish – The fourth most spoken language in the world (512 Million)

There are 21 countries where Spanish is spoken as an official language! Of course, this number rises when we consider countries that don't consider it an official language but contain a great amount of speakers.

For example: The USA has the 2nd biggest Spanish-speaking population in the world, and the #1 biggest English Speaking population, and yet has no official language.

The 5 most notable countries (by the quantity of people) that speak Spanish:

  • Mexico: 130,000,000

  • The United States: 54,000,000

  • Colombia: 49,000,000

  • Spain: 46,000,000

  • Argentina: 44,700,000

in paris - france

5: French – The fifth most spoken language in the world (284 Million)

French is currently an official language in 29 countries in total, most notably within the borders of various African countries.

It is generally used amongst these African countries as a Lingua Franca due to the many less commonly used languages that each population has in their community. Out of the 6 official languages that the United Nations uses for communications, French is one of them.

The 5 most notable countries (by the quantity of people) that speak French:

  • France: 63,958,684

  • Democratic Republic of Congo: 48,924,702

  • Algeria: 14,903,789

  • Morocco: 13,456,845

  • Germany: 12,242,129

dubai city

6: Arabic – The sixth most spoken language in the world (273 Million)

Arabic is utilized by an approximate total of 273 million people, mainly within the borders of 19 countries. The Arabic language evolved from Aramaic, the language that is believed to have been the mother tongue of Jesus.

It is a language that varies greatly between its dialects, to the point that one dialect is incomprehensible to the speakers of another.

Luckily, apart from the spoken dialects exists “Standard Arabic” which is actually the version of Arabic that the Quran, the holy book of Muslims, is written in.

This standard Arabic is still utilized in international conferences, news, and to communicate with people from other Arabic-speaking coutries.

The 5 most notable countries (by the quantity of people) that speak Arabic:

  • Egypt: 82,449,200

  • Algeria: 40,100,000

  • Sudan: 28,164,500

  • Saudi Arabia: 27,178,770

  • Morocco: 25,003,930


7: Bengali – The seventh most spoken language in the world!

It would surprise me if any of us guessed that this language would make the list. If you are like me in this aspect, I can probably assume you don’t know much about the Bengali language either – So let's learn!

The Bengali language has a known existence of over 1,300 years, and boasts a beautiful script which to the average looks very similar to the Hindi script.

As you might guess it was derived from two ancient Indian scripts, most notably the Brahmi script. The language has only three tenses, but with their subdivisions, they make up 10.

The 5 most notable countries (by the quantity of people) that speak Bengali:

  • Bangladesh: 160,000,000

  • India: 85,000,000

russian city

8: Russian – The eighth most spoken language in the world (258 Million)

Although about 260 million people speak Russian, only around 150 million of those speak it as their first language. Russian is used mainly in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Kirghistan, and it is considered one of the hardest languages to learn due to its difficult grammar and pronunciation.

Nonetheless, Russian is simply an awesome language! The Cyrillic script, deep literary heritage, intriguing history, and immense cultural impact make it an irresistible language to explore and embrace.

The 5 most notable countries (by the quantity of people) that speak Russian:

  • Russia: 117,628,000

  • Ukraine: 14,408,000

  • Belarus: 6,557,000

  • Uzbekistan: 4,958,000

  • Kazakhstan: 3,610,000

rio janero Brazil

9: Portuguese – The ninth most spoken language in the world (234 Million)

Portuguese is another language on this list that evolved from Latin. The country that contains the most Portuguese speakers is (by far) Brazil with an impressive 204,000,000 people that speak it as a first language.

This language has been described by many to sound like a mix of Spanish and French.

The one indisputable fact is that the Portuguese language is incredibly beautiful and the people that speak it are extremely humble and friendly.

The 5 most notable countries (by the quantity of people) that speak Portuguese:

  • Brazil: 199,752,000

  • Angola: 12,628,000

  • Portugal: 10,222,000

  • Mozambique: 3,432,000

  • France: 813,000


10: Indonesian – The tenth most spoken language in the world (200 Million)

Indonesia is a country composed of some 17,000 islands with more than 700 unique languages spoken in total.

For the government and people of Indonesia of course, this provoked some problems.

To fix the issue, in the year 1945 the government created Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian Language) to bring all the islands and diverse people together.

Making this the only constructed language on this list.

The fun part about Indonesian is that it contains words from a huge variety of different languages; for example, I studied Indonesian for only about 2 months. Now when I hear people speaking Hindi, or Arabic, I can recognize a word or two because it was utilized in Indonesian.

Furthermore, Indonesian is famous for its easy grammar, because they constructed it in a way that it would be a breeze for anyone to learn as a second language.

And although Bahasa Indonesia is almost only used in the borders of Indonesia, the language of Malaysia (Bahasa Melayu) is almost identical with about a 90% similar vocabulary to Bahasa Indonesia!

That's it for this topic, if you are interested in learning why you should learn a language check out "Why Learning a Language Should be Your Top Priority: 7 Reasons"

I hope that you enjoyed learning about the most spoken languages in the world. If you have any comments, suggestions, or concerns shoot me a message.


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