Is English the most spoken language in the world?
Updated: Jun 27
The short answer to this question is yes, although Chinese Mandarin comes in a close second. The number of native speakers of English is significantly less however, than Chinese.
How many people speak English?
There are approximately 1.5 billion people who speak English around the world. This is according to The world economic forum.
How many people speak English natively?
According to Berlitz, 375 million people speak English natively.
Which countries speak English as a native language?
Why don’t we find out? Here are a few of the major ones:
The United Kingdom
The United States
Also, some other countries classified by the UK government are also considered native English speaking countries here is the list, from the University of Northampton:
Antigua and Barbuda
St Kitts and Nevis
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tabago
One of the reasons there are so many native English-speaking countries around the world comes from the fact that the United Kingdom used to control a lot of territory around the world in its empire days. This mainly happened in the last century. Because of this, English spread rapidly in many territories and is the main reason why now English is the predominant business language of the world. Also we can say that the rise of the United States, with their huge economy and cultural influence, is also another reason why English is so widely used. Going forward into the future, the dominance of the United States globally will most likely mean English remains a truly global language.
Which countries speak English as a second language?
There are many countries around the world who use English as a second language. Some of the countries which speak English as a second language are listed below. I have taken some of these and other information about these countries from babbel
South Africa is a very interesting country, it is very diverse. There are actually 11 official languages in South Africa, being one of them. There are certainly many people from South Africa who speak English as a native language, However there are also many people there who speak it as a second language. It is also widely used as a business language in the country.
Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden
These Scandinavian countries all tend to rank highly in terms of English proficiency. There are many potential reasons for this one of them being Norwegian for example is a Germanic language, which had some of the same words as English does. Add to that the fact that young people in Scandinavia tend to watch a lot of Western ( American ) media on TV. In Finland they also learn English from a young age.
Singapore is a global, cosmopolitan city state. It comes as no surprise that English is widely spoken here. It is used a lot for business, but that goes without saying. Also many normal Singaporean and people speak English. Again, this comes from historical reasons. Singapore used to be a colony of the United Kingdom and hence English was adopted as a language. Why not take a trip to Singapore sometime? You will find if you go around Singapore you can use English a lot, in restaurants shops etc. This is one of the easier places to travel in Asia in terms of How widely English is spoken.
Luxembourg Is a veritable melting pot of languages. This is due to its geography. The country is situated in the middle of Western Europe very close to France, the Netherlands Germany and Belgium. It is also just across the water from the United Kingdom. It should come as no surprise that English is one of the languages spoken by people from Luxembourg. According to the government of Luxembourg, 80% of the population speak English in regards to work. That means you have a very high chance of encountering English if you’re working in the country. Also, other languages are very common such as French. In fact, 98% of the population speak French.
Absolutely, these are not the only countries where English is used as a second language. There are so many, too many to go over in this article unfortunately. But suffice to say you will find English spoken in many many places around the world.
How widely is English spoken?
As to the question of how widely English is spoken, it is fairly straightforward to say that it is very widely spoken. Pretty much in all corners of the world you can find English being spoken to varying degrees. It is true that in some parts of the world you don’t find English and They speak other languages such as Chinese, Spanish or Hindi. If you are able to use English then you will be able to communicate in business in many situations and in many countries. Also we need to consider how English has affected popular culture. A lot of media is produced in English including on the Internet. The fact is, if you have some degree of English language ability, you can access a huge portion of the Internet. If you are not able to read English or understand spoken English then you will be missing out on so much material and information. I think it is a good idea to view English language ability as a passport to the world. You definitely do not need to be a native speaker to have this passport. All you need is the ability to read speak and understand to a fair degree. If you have this you can become a global citizen!
This is not intended to criticize any other language at all. This article is just focusing on English and the benefits of it. Other languages play a crucial role in terms of business, education and cultural exchange. We should cherish all languages and cultures!
Is English the most spoken language?
We can say that yes, English is the most spoken language in the world. 1.5 billion people speak it. That is an incredible number! The answer changes somewhat when you consider whether it is a native language or spoken as a second language. But at the end of the day, learning English is highly beneficial if you want to succeed in global business, make friends from other cultures, or study things such as science and medicine. Even in terms of entertainment it is highly beneficial as you can access so much content made solely in English, from all corners of the world.