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Most Popular Languages

The 10 Most Popular Spoken Languages in the World

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Shanghai Skyline

A sightseeing ship on the Huangpu River against the night skyline of Pudongs Lujiazui Financial District in Shanghai, China.

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Updated March 15, 2013
Here's a listing of the ten most popular languages spoken worldwide, along with the approximate number of primary or first language speakers for that language.

1. Mandarin Chinese - 882 million
2. Spanish - 325 million
3. English - 312-380 million
4. Arabic - 206-422 million
5. Hindi - 181 million
6. Portuguese - 178 million
7. Bengali - 173 million
8. Russian - 146 million
9. Japanese - 128 million
10. German - 96 million

Various sources were used to compile this listing of the most popular languages of the world but the primary source was the CIA World Factbook.

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