What Is the Most Commonly Spoken Language in the World?

Mandarin Chinese is the most commonly spoken language around the world, with over 955 million speakers. It is one of six official languages in the United Nations along with Arabic, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. Mandarin is one of many Chinese dialects, and is largely spoken in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. In 1932 the Mandarin dialect, from the area of Beijing, was selected by Chinese officials in order to create a standard national language. While Mandarin is now the common language of China and taught in schools across the world, many Chinese continue to speak in their regional dialects.

More about languages:

  • The US does not have an official language.
  • The Bible is the most translated book, being translated into over 2,000 languages.
  • Around 2,500 languages have been identified by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as being in danger of vanishing.
More Info: Ethnologue

Discussion Comments


In relation to the second bullet point, I'm not surprised that the Bible is the most translated book, as it's a universal tool that should be available to most people, if not all of them.

However though, one thing that I can't help but wonder is why the Bible has so many translations. Also, I don't specifically mean translations into different languages, but more so, I'm referring to versions.

However, maybe one reason why this is, is due to the fact that language is always getting updated, and keeping up with biblical translations can really help one to keep up with the times.

For example, have you ever noticed how way back when, any biblical translations used old English? Obviously, that would be rather hard for us to decipher today, so in the case, modern language has to be used.

I guess it's also best to consider that because the Bible has so many languages, there are different interpretations of words, and more than often, there's rarely a "correct" meaning, so to speak.


From reading this article and some of the tidbits of information, I find it interesting how there's more to language than one can possibly imagine. Using on example, I didn't know that the US didn't have an official language.

However, considering that the United States of America is one of the most diverse places in the world (especially in terms of nationality), it's no surprised that there's no "official" language. For example, while many people in the U.S. do speak the English language, we really obviously shouldn't assume that this is the case for everyone.

After all, there are many people in the United States who can speak a multitude of languages, especially if they're an immigrant, or are from another country.

For example, a few years ago in college, I knew several of my immigrant friends who spoke English plain and clear. However, they weren't born in America, and could also speak a "native" language as well. Overall, it's definitely a good idea to take things like this into perspective.


No Euroxati, it is because the Chinese are the most populous in the world. Otherwise Mandarin is only a regional language. Remember, the question is not which language is the most international, but rather, "the most commonly spoken".


I don't know about anyone else, but I'm actually quite surprised that Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world.

Overall, maybe one of the reasons why this is, is mostly due to the fact that when someone grows up around a certain language, they tend to believe that said language is the most spoken.

Does anyone else relate to what I'm saying? Using one example, when I was a kid, growing up around people who spoke English, I had always assumed that was the main language of the world, until I started going to school and learning about other languages.

In my opinion, it really shows how depending on what kind of language one is speaking, they can certainly view the world a whole lot differently than others, especially if it's from a certain perspective.

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