In this article, we will look at the 25 most spoken native languages in the world. We will also be discussing an overview of the language-learning market. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, you can directly go to the 5 Most Spoken Native Languages in the World.
Analysis of the Language Learning Market
With globalization on the rise and businesses expanding around the globe, the need to learn new languages is growing more than ever. According to a report published by Global Market Insights, the global language learning market was valued at $52 billion in 2022. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.8% from 2023 to 2032, reaching $337.2 billion towards the end of the projected period.
As opposed to the majority of markets, COVID-19 had a positive impact on the language learning sector. Due to the closure of schools, universities, and colleges around the globe, e-learning platforms witnessed a surge in registrations. According to a survey conducted by Lingoda, a European language teaching platform, nearly 60% of their respondents started learning a language during the pandemic. Moreover, 90% of these respondents planned to continue their learning after the pandemic as well.
Language Market Trends and Segmentation
The language learning market is segmented into three major categories including individual, academic, and corporate. The individual learning segment holds approximately 60% of the market’s share and is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR during the projected period. The ability to personalize the learning experience and control over the time and course material are the factors driving growth in the market. Language learning platforms are catering to this demand through introducing features including flexible learning materials, pre-recorded interactive exercises, and self evaluation tools. You can also take a look at 16 Easiest Languages for Spanish Speakers to Learn.
Furthermore, the European region accounted for 30% of the revenue share of the market in 2022. The factors driving the growth of the language learning market include improved digital infrastructures, region-wide internet penetration, and rapid adoption of 5G services. According to the GSMA Mobile Economy Europe report 2023, Europe has an 85% mobile penetration rate, with over 158 million 5G connections. Language learning platforms can leverage the digital infrastructure of Europe in delivering high resolution lecture videos and can also incorporate Virtual and Augmented Reality to enhance the learning experience. You can also look at the 20 Biggest Augmented Reality And VR Companies In The World and the 25 Most Difficult Languages to Learn.
Major Companies in the Language Learning Market
Chegg Inc (NYSE:CHGG) is an American student-first learning platform that bridges the gap between learning and earning by offering various tools and services for students. The services provided by Chegg Inc (NYSE:CHGG) include homework help, online tutoring, textbook rentals, and expert Q&A. On November 10, 2023, Chegg Inc (NYSE:CHGG) enhanced its learning portfolio by acquiring Busuu, a leading language learning platform for international languages. The language learning courses provided by Busuu are internationally recognized and are preferred by businesses and corporations around the globe. Moreover, on February 5, Chegg Inc (NYSE:CHGG) announced the appointment of David Longo as the company’s Chief Financial Officer. David Longo is succeeding Andrew Brown and will assume office on February 21.
Founded in 2007, Babbel GmBH is one of the first language-learning platforms in the world. It operates an online learning platform that has millions of active subscribers. Babbel offers various short courses in different languages that are easy to learn. Moreover, the app-based model, which is supported by Android and iOS, makes it feasible for users to learn from anywhere and at any time. On November 14, 2023, Babbel reported that it has partnered with Forest Stewardship Council GmbH to facilitate English language learning for indigenous and deserving people. This partnership will not only enable these people to access the Babbel app, but Babbel will also provide live English language classes. Cristian Silva, the representative from Babbel for this partnership, said:
“At Babbel, we believe that language shouldn’t be a barrier but a bridge to connect people around the world. Our goal is to make language learning easy, effective, and flexible so businesses and organizations can communicate better with international clients and partners and thrive in the global market.”
Udemy (NASDAQ:UDMY) is another leading learning platform that provides various courses and skills in dozens of different languages. The company aims to bridge the gap between knowledge and skills. Udemy (NASDAQ:UDMY) also has a special branch called Udemy Business that offers employee training and development courses for business owners. Apart from this, the platform is also renowned for language learning and offers both free and paid courses in various languages. On November 16, Udemy (NASDAQ:UDMY) reported its partnership with Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) to join the Google Cloud Endorsed Content Program. The partnership will allow Udemy (NASDAQ:UDMY) to add Google Cloud-endorsed content to its portfolio and will also provide an opportunity for Udemy instructors to preview new products by Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) for their course content.
With this context, let’s look at the 25 most spoken native languages in the world.
Copyright: kbuntu / 123RF Stock Photo
To compile the list of the 25 most spoken native languages in the world, we sourced our data from the 22nd edition of Ethnologue. Ethnologue’s database provides information regarding more than 7,000 languages and the corresponding population that speaks these languages. The 22nd edition of Ethnologue details the total and native speakers of a particular language. We selected the top 25 languages from the database based on the number of native speakers and then ranked the list in ascending order.
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25 Most Spoken Native Languages in the World
Number of Native Speakers: 52,303,000
First on our list is the Bhojpuri Language, which is spoken as a native language by over 52 million people across the globe. It is an Indo-Aryan language spoken widely across Northern India and in parts of the Terai region of Nepal.
Number of Native Speakers: 57,076,220
Gujarati ranks as the 24th most spoken native language in the world. It is a member of the Indo-Aryan language family and is officially recognized by the Indian Constitution. Gujarati is spoken as a native language by over 57 million people worldwide.
23. Iranian Persian
Number of Native Speakers: 57,192,350
Iranian Persian is the official language of Iran and is the native language of over 57 million people worldwide. Iranian Persian has two major dialects, Dari and Tajik; Dari is the official language of Afghanistan, and Tajik is the official language of Tajikistan.
Number of Native Speakers: 64,647,380
The Italian language ranks 22nd on our list, with over 64 million native speakers around the globe. Italian is a Romance Language, and most of its speakers are found in Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia. It is the official language of San Marino, Italy, Switzerland, and Vatican City.
Number of Native Speakers: 68,200,000
Javanese is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by over 68 million native speakers around the globe, most of whom live on Java Island. The Javanese language has various dialects based on the region, whereas Nagoko and Krama are two of the commonly spoken dialects of the language.
Number of Native Speakers: 70,555,140
Urdu is the official language of Pakistan and is spoken as a native language by over 70 million people worldwide. It is categorized as a member of the Indo-Aryan group and is closely associated with Hindi.
19. Standard German
Number of Native Speakers: 75,282,080
German is the official language of Germany and Austria; it ranks 19th on our list and is spoken as a native language by over 75 million people around the globe. It belongs to the Indo-European language family along with English, Dutch, and Frisian.
18. Egyptian Spoken Arabic
Number of Native Speakers: 77,436,230
It is the official language of Egypt and is spoken as the first language by over 77 million people around the globe. As Egypt is the most populous country in the Arab region, Egyptian Spoken Arabic is the most commonly spoken dialect of Arabic.
Number of Native Speakers: 78,587,030
Tamil is most commonly spoken in India and is part of the Dravidian language family. It is the official state language of Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, and Singapore and is spoken as a native language by over 78 million people.
Number of Native Speakers: 80,770,190
French is the 16th most spoken native language on our list. It belongs to the Romance Language family and is spoken by over 80 million native speakers around the globe. It is the official language of more than 25 countries worldwide, including France and Corsica.
Number of Native Speakers: 81,721,540
Korean makes it to the top 15 most spoken native languages on our list, with over 81 million native speakers around the globe. It is the official language of North and South Korea and is also widely spoken in China, the United States, and parts of Japan.
Number of Native Speakers: 82,966,790
Telugu is the most commonly spoken member of the Dravidian language family and is widely spoken in southeastern India. It is spoken by over 82 million native speakers around the globe.
Number of Native Speakers: 83,201,270
Marathi belongs to the Indo-Aryan language family and is commonly spoken across various parts of India. Marathi is the official language of the Indian state of Maharashtra and is spoken by over 83 million people as a native language.
12. Wu Chinese
Number of Native Speakers: 83,353,940
Wu is a dialect of the Chinese language commonly spoken in Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang provinces of China. It dates back to the Ming dynasty and is spoken as a native language by more than 83 million people around the globe.
Number of Native Speakers: 84,010,500
The Turkish language belongs to the Atlantic group of languages and is spoken widely in Cyprus, Turkey, Europe, and the Middle East. Turkish ranks as the 11th most-spoken native language in the world and has over 84 million native speakers worldwide.
Number of Native Speakers: 85,023,700
Belonging to the Mon-Khmer language family, Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam and is spoken by over 85 million native people around the globe. Regarding vocabulary, Vietnamese is similar to Chinese and is also influenced by the Thai language. Moreover, there are various dialects of Vietnamese that greatly differ from each other.
9. Yue Chinese
Number of Native Speakers: 86,116,370
Yue, also known as Cantonese, is one of the different types of Chinese spoken in Southern China. This version of the Chinese language is mostly spoken in Hong Kong, Macau, Guangxi, and Guangdong. There are various varieties of Yue Chinese, including but not limited to Si-yi, Gao-Yang, and Wu-Hua.
Number of Native Speakers: 123,285,670
Japanese is regarded as an isolated language, meaning that it is not related to any other languages in the world. It is primarily spoken in Japan as a first language and also in parts of North and South America. Japanese ranks as the 8th most spoken native language on our list and is spoken by over 128 million native speakers around the globe.
Number of Native Speakers: 146,954,150
The Russian language ranks 7th on our list of 25 most spoken native languages in the world, with over 146 million native speakers around the world. It is the official language of Russia and belongs to the Slavic language family.
Number of Native Speakers: 233,808,880
Ranking 6th on our list is Bengali, with over 233 million native speakers around the globe. It is the official state language of Bangladesh; however, it is widely spoken in parts of India and by immigrants in the United States, the United Kingdom, and parts of Europe as well.
Click to continue reading and see 5 Most Spoken Native Languages in the World.
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Disclosure: None. 25 Most Spoken Native Languages in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.