- Languages by speakers
This is a list of languages placed in order by the number of native-language speakers, with some data for second-language use. Only languages spoken natively by more than ten million are listed, and then they are listed for secondary locations only when spoken by more than 1% of the population.
For practical reasons in compiling this list, some mutually intelligible idioms with separate national standards or self identification have been listed separately, such as Scandinavian, Hindustani, and Malay. This should NOT be taken as an endorsement of any side of dialect versus language debates.
For the purposes of this article, a "
native language" is a language with which a person was raised, while a " second language" is a language that person would use for instruction or everyday communication outside the home. A person may be natively multilingual.
Data are not all up to date. For a comparison of various estimates, see
Language speaker data. For languages spoken by very few people, and so in danger of extinction, see list of endangered languages.
100 million native speakers or more
3–10 million native speakers
* [http://www.vistawide.com/languages/top_30_languages.htm Top 30 languages of the world]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/19990429232804/www.sil.org/ethnologue/top100.html List of top 100 languages in 13th edition of Ethnologue (1996)]
* [http://www2.ignatius.edu/faculty/turner/languages.htm Different lists of the most spoken languages (the Ethnologue list is from a previous, not the 2005, edition).]
* [http://www.ethnologue.com Ethnologue] - SIL's
Ethnologue, widely referenced source for the world's languages
* [http://encarta.msn.com/media_701500404/Languages_Spoken_by_More_Than_10_Million_People.html Languages Spoken by More Than 10 Million People] -
Encartalist, based on data from Ethnologue, but some figures (e.g. for Arabic) widely vary from it
* [http://www.krysstal.com/spoken.html 30 most widely spoken world languages]
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