According to the 2021 Living Languages report by Ethnologue, there are about 7,139 languages in the world. As for languages by region of origin, Asia has 2294, Africa has 2144, Pacific has 1313, Americas has 1061 and Europe has 287 languages. Let us look at the top 5 languages in the world. People love facts, which is why I started this blog with some facts around it.
As per Statista’s 2021 study, there are around 1.35 billion people worldwide who speak English, slightly more than the 1.12 billion Mandarin Chinese speakers. Hindi, Spanish and Arabic (Standard) languages accounted for the third, fourth and fifth most widespread languages, respectively. The study included both native speakers and people who speak the language as a second language. There are 600 million Hindi speakers, 543 million Spanish and 274 million of Arabic speakers. These top 5 languages are spoken by 3.88 billion speakers worldwide, which is 49% of the total population of 7.9 billion.
English is the most widely spoken language on the planet, whether measured by native speakers, the number of countries where it is spoken, or its use in business. It is regarded as the official business language. You may recall from my previous blog that I am from India and am currently studying in Ireland. For example, my home country, India which, despite its many languages and cultures, is one of the most diverse in the world, the corporate sector’s common language is English. Most Indians begin learning English in school, and with the rise of globalization and multinational corporations outsourcing business operations to India, English has become a common requirement for private sector employment. For example, if members of a company’s team have meetings with people from different countries, they would do so in English. Consider the importance of English in Ireland, where both Irish and English are official languages. When you think of Ireland, you would think of Irish as the primary language and English as a second, but that is not the case. Only 41% of Irish people speak Irish, while 99% speak English. Isn’t it surprising? I have given you two nations as examples. In fact, English is widely used as a medium in many countries, and it is widely used for both personal and professional purposes. Companies are hiring all kinds of employees such as full-time, part-time, freelance, and other types of employees remotely, but the common language between them is still English in most cases. Overall, there are only a few places where you can live without English.
Mandarin, Cantonese, Hunanese, Min, Gan, Wu, and Hakka are some of the dialects spoken by Chinese people. Among them, Mandarin is the most common. Mandarin, unlike English, is not a global language, but it is the world’s second most spoken language because it is one of the official languages of China, the world’s most populous country. Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in China. It is recognized as one of the United Nations’ six official languages. Taiwan and Singapore also contribute a small number of Mandarin speakers because Mandarin is one of their official languages. Mandarin is also spoken in a few other Asian countries, including Vietnam and Malaysia, but it is not formally recognized. The Chinese economy has exploded in recent years, transforming it into one of the world’s most important players, demonstrating that Mandarin has a wide range of applications in business.
Hindi is the world’s third most spoken language for the same reason that Mandarin is: it is widely spoken in the world’s second most populous country (India). Hindi is the most widely spoken language in India. If it is English for business, it would be Hindi for personal purposes. India is a global hub for information technology (IT) firms, and as a result, many multinational corporations have established offices in major cities across the country. As a result, there is an increase in the number of people moving to big cities for work. So, if they want to communicate with locals, they will use Hindi because it is so common. In most parts of India, Hindi is also taught in schools as one of the languages. As a result, most of them would be able to communicate at a fundamental level. Most employees in government companies would be well-versed with Hindi as they would be communicating with locals in Hindi.
Spanish is a romantic language with roots in vulgar Latin. It is the second most widely spoken language after English, with official status in over 20 countries including Spain, Mexico, and most of South and Central American countries. It is the second official language in the United States. The United States is a significant contributor to the global economy. In many countries, Spanish is one of the languages used for job applications. If you include Spanish as one of your recognized languages, your profile will stand out in places like India, Ireland, and the United States. Because there are more Spanish speakers in the world, they have more purchasing power, which may provide an opportunity for businesses to use Spanish in their messaging as a secondary language after English.
Arabic is the official language of about 25 countries, the majority of which are in the Middle East. With Chinese and Hindi, it was the most populous countries speaking their languages. With Arabic, it is widely spoken in the Middle east region, which makes it the fifth most spoken language. Arabic has influenced a great number of languages, including most European languages, Asian, and African languages. Although many languages are written from left to right, Arabic is the only one on this list that is written from right to left. Countries in the Middle East region represent a great opportunity for companies looking to expand globally, with a rapidly growing consumer base, potential trade opportunities, and profitable business partners, and learning Arabic will be an added advantage.
Now that you have understood the prominence of languages, are you interested in learning a second language and explore more opportunities?
SPEAK offers language sessions that focuses on a fun-way of learning and their sessions can act as an introduction if you aspire to master a language eventually by doing professional courses. You can also make friends from all over the world and learn about different cultures. SPEAK is present in 12 countries and has held sessions in 55 languages so far, including English, French, German, Spanish, and others, at Basic, Conversational, and Advanced levels. You can become a Buddy at SPEAK without any prior experience if you want to share your mother tongue and culture with fellow participants. You can join any language group as a participant to learn the language that is available at that moment.
SPEAK has been expanding to many cities to offer their services. SPEAK Dublin was started in 2020 in Ireland to help people with learning a second language. SPEAK Dublin is on Instagram and Facebook. Follow us to know more 😊