Posts Tagged ‘Languages’

The world’s hardest languages

September 7, 2016

I got these video links from my expatriate e-mail pen pal Jack, who actually speaks some of these languages fluently.


Chinese vs. English as world languages

June 10, 2015
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Source: mental floss

The world’s 7.2 billion people speak thousands of languages.  But a majority—4.1 billion—speak one of 23 languages that are spoken by more than 50 billion people each.

Here are the top five:

1,197,000,000 Chinese speakers

399,000,000 Spanish speakers

335,000,000 English speakers

260,000,000 Hindi speakers

242,000,000 Arabic speakers

There are more speakers of Portuguese (203,000,000) than Russian (166,000,000) and more speakers of Korean (77,200,000) than French (75,900,000).

On the other hand, an estimated 1.5 billion people have learned English as a second language—several orders of magnitude more than are learning all of the world’s other major languages put together.

I have to point out that all these figures are estimates, made at different times using different methods, and may not be precisely accurate or comparable.  Still, the estimates are the best figures available and I’d guess they give a roughly true picture of the world.