Which do you think is the most spoken language in this planet?
There are several considerations when defining a world language, is it by number of speakers or by the number of countries in which the language is spoken? Is it the cultural importance or the history?
Let’s talk about the issue. As a disclaimer I’d say that figures and ranks expressed here are according to the Nationalencyklopedin, and I will try to put some clarity to the Lingua Franca of the world.
The most spoken language in the world is Mandarin Chinese. This language has nearly a billion speakers which are mainly concentrated in China. We cannot forget that size matters and the Asian giant is a huge monster in terms of number of citizens. However; Mandarin is only important if you’re in the area. But keep an eye to this as some changes may occur in the future. China might take over as the most important economy in the world one day, and its language may gain importance.
The second most spoken language in the world is Spanish. We are 405 million speakers worldwide, and when we refer to Spanish, we do not only refer to Spain, but all the planet. The list of Spanish speaking countries is immense, and it is one of the most important language for learners all around the world as there’s an increasing interest in learning Spanish nowadays.
English comes third with 360 million speakers in the world, but English has a clearer advantage compared to Spanish and Mandarin, English is more widely spread in the world. This is due to a high number of countries in which English is an official language apart from their main language.
There’s another advantage against Mandarin and Spanish, and it is that English is people’s favourite as a second language.
From my perspective, I see it very clear. If you’re lucky enough to speak English, you should study Spanish, and vice-versa. Having said that, unless you have a specific reason, why don’t you give Mandarin a try?
What’s pretty clear is that globalization makes us have the need of communicating.