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Linguaholic
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Most common language


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So as a lot of you will probably agree that the English language is the most commonly known and taught. Would you agree with that?

What languages would you put down as most common and or easiest to learn? 

Also, I would be quite interested in knowing what languages your school teache's in your country.

 

Have a fulfilling day,

Dan.

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According to Wikipedia, there's a pretty clear top three in terms of total number of speakers: Mandarin, English and Spanish in that order, with Arabic and Hindi in a virtual tie for fourth place. As far as non-native speakers are concerned, English is number one by some distance, so I think we can safely say that English is the most taught language in the world.

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Well I cam in ready to say English, but I am not so sure that Mandarin or even Spanish is not more popular.  I just think of all the countries out there that speak Spanish, in some form, and also just how large China is and how their influence is spreading.  English is still that language that people meet in the middle at, though, and I am not sure if that will change anytime soon.  It is interesting to think about though, and it makes me wonder if there are any studies or numbers out there.

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As the OP said, English appears to be the most common language. But, the new numbers show something completely different:

1. Chinese 2 1,197,000,000
2. Spanish 414,000,000
3. English 335,000,000
4. Hindi 260,000,000

But, officially, people from most countries still do business in English. Although, I am thinking I need to learn Spanish as well.

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I think Chinese is second to English in terms of being common internationally. It seems like much more people speak mandarin and Spanish but I suspect those numbers depend much more on locals rather than being an internationally used language and as far as that goes I think English still takes that spot. A few people around me have speculated that maybe someday Chinese would be the predominant language used but so far to me it seems unlikely. 

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What languages . . . are easiest to learn?




How easy a language will be to learn depends on what your native tongue is. Native English speakers for example won't find German that hard to know because they [English and German] have the same roots. Same applies to other language families.





So as a lot of you will probably agree that the English language is the most commonly known and taught. Would you agree with that?




According to an article I read a while back, English, Spanish. French, Chinese and Italian are the most studied languages in the world but in the U.S Spanish takes the #1 spot.

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It really came as a surprise to me that Mandarin is now the most widely taught language because English is still my choice if someone would ask me what language I think of as the most used and taught language globally. I guess both mandarin and Spanish are gradually becoming more popular these days but English is still the universal language that people commonly use in my opinion. :)

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Mandarin has the most speakers per individual, but seeing it's almost exclusively used in China and a few neighbouring countries, it's not the most widely spoken on a global scale.
For the latter one, I would still say English and Spanish.
Spanish in the Spanish speaking areas and English in the rest of the west.

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English, of course. It's the first language people reach out to when they don't have any native languages in common. English alphabet is widely used, too.

The second one, I guess, is Spanish. The most spoken language in South America and the second spoken in the US.

The third is, probably, Chinese.

Oh, damn! I wish the Italian was more popular in the world. It's a beautiful language. I love it so much.

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We don't need to guess; the figures, or good estimates at least, are out there. But I think there's some confusion as to whether we're talking about (1) native speakers, (2) all speakers, whether native or as a second language, or (3) second-language speakers only.

(1) is the table that djlearns posted. Native speakers only. Mandarin is way out in front with Spanish second and English third.

(2) still puts Mandarin in the lead, but English is clearly in second place, well ahead of Spanish, thanks to everybody who speaks English as a second language.

Subtract (1) from (2) and you get (3), just the second-language speakers. Here English is the winner. In fact more people speak English as a second language than as their mother tongue.

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I'm also really surprised to learn that Mandarin is fast becoming the most popular language that is being taught around the world. That really is news to me. I also would have said English was the most common language in the world. Spanish is also vying for that position. Amazing. But I do agree with Poftim that if we were speaking in terms of native speakers only, then that makes sense. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world but that is based on the number of people who speak it as a native language. English is the current lingua franca of the world and I don't think that would change in the coming decades. The ability to communicate well in English is a must if you want to open more career and business opportunities. 

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English is the most used language if you look at the number of non-native speakers. Mandarin is gaining popularity as well, but at the moment English is considered the worldwide lingua franca.

At school I was taught English and Russian mainly. I also took a year of German. Some schools in my country also teach French. 

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It's all about the English language to me. I think the future is English, and just because Mandarin is the most widely spoken doesn't mean it's the language diversified among all of the different races on the planet Earth. There are more different people speaking English than all the other languages, and that should tell everyone that English will eventually me the most widely used language on this planet in the future. Mandarin us just to hard to learn.

My opinion.

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Mandarin has the most speakers but most of the speakers of Mandarin are found in China. English is the most widely used language. It is spoken in all the countries that belong to the Commonwealth. On top of that, it is also spoken in countries which had been under US influence, like The Philippines. I believe the English language is popular because it is a very flexible language. There are so many words used in English which are borrowed from other languages. Furthermore, there are so many ways of speaking English. True, it would be good if there is just one standard way of speaking English but, even with so many dialects of English, an English speaker from one side of the planet can still be understood by another English speaker on the other side of the planet.

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