Ordered by number of native speakers, these numbers should be taken as no more than an indication of the rough order of magnitude of a linguistic community. the estimates used for this list are those of the SIL Ethnologue, and other estimates will vary.
Figures are accompanied by dates the data was collected; for many languages, an old date means that the current number of speakers will be substantially greater. A range of dates means that the figure is the sum of data from more than one country and from different years.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
More than 100 million native speakers
|Mandarin||Sino-Tibetan,Chinese||845 million (2000)||1025 million||One of the six official languages of the United Nations.All varieties of Chinese language: 1,200 million (2000)||1|
|Spanish(Castilian)||Indo-European,Romance||329 million (1986–2000)||390 million||400 million native. 500 million total (2009)One of the six official languages of the United Nations.||2|
|English||Indo-European,Germanic||328 million (2000–2006)||—||Approximately 375 million L1 speakers, 375 million L2 speakers, and 750 million EFL speakers. Totaling about 1.5 billion speakers.One of the six official languages of the United Nations.||3|
|Hindi-Urdu(Hindustani)||Indo-European,Indic||240 million (1991–1997)||405 million (1999)||490 million total speakers.||4|
|Arabic||Afro-Asiatic,Semitic||206 million (1999), 221 million, 232 million(206M is ‘all Arabic varieties’; 221M is Arabic ‘macrolanguage’, not counting Hassaniya; 232M is sum of counts for all dialects)||452 million (1999)||280 million native.One of the six official languages of the United Nations.||5|
|Bengali||Indo-European,Indic||181 million (1997–2001)||250 million||6–7|
|Portuguese||Indo-European,Romance||178 million (1998)||193 million||220 million native, 240 million total.Ethnologue estimate misses ~12 million in Angola||6–7|
|Russian||Indo-European,Slavic||144 million (2002)||250 million||One of the six official languages of the United Nations.||8|
|Japanese||Japonic||122 million (1985)||123 million||9|
|Punjabi||Indo-European,Indic||109 million (2000)All varieties: Lahnda, Seraiki, Hindko, Mirpur||—||10|