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The Top 3 Spoken Languages in the World

With more than 7,000 languages registered around the world, it’s easy to wonder; “What are some of the most used languages in the world?” For example, in Papua New Guinea, there are over 800 languages spoken. Using Ethnologue, the translation experts at Absolute Translations – the UK’s leading providers of certified translation services, have put together a list of the top three most spoken languages around the world:


1. Mandarin Chinese

While not strictly a single language, Chinese is recorded as the most spoken language in the world; with a total of 1.1 billion speakers. The biggest of the Chinese languages, Mandarin, is written using Han characters, an ancient pictorial system where each symbol represents a different word. In Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, they use traditional Chinese characters while simplified characters can be found in China, Singapore and Malaysia.

When it comes to learning Mandarin, it’s estimated that you would need to know 2,000 – 3,000 characters to read a newspaper. However, for businesses looking to communicate with Chinese organisations, you will require an expert understanding, local knowledge and practical experience. That’s why you should utilise an expert translation service with professional Chinese translators.

To find out more information about our Chinese translation services, visit here.

2. English

Following the historical dominance of the British Empire – and the economic and cultural clout of the United States, English is well-established as the world’s lingua franca. While English may be the second most spoken language in the world, it is heavily influenced by other languages. At its core, English is a Germanic language but Latin vocabulary was introduced into the language by French-speaking Normans who conquered Britain in the 11th Century.

With English’s lingua franca status, it’s no surprise that most people choose to conduct business deals in English. In fact, more people speak English in China than in the whole of the United States. If you’re looking for a professional translator who adapts to American phrasing and technological jargon, see our English translation services here.

3. Hindustani

A combination of the languages, Hindi and Urdu – two dialects of the same language, Hindustani is spoken by a total of 544 million speakers around the world. While Hindi and Urdu have differences in vocabulary and pronunciation, speakers of the language can easily communicate with each other. It’s the writing systems of the languages which differentiate them. Hindu is written using Devanagari script and Urdu is written right-to-left with a script closely related to the Arabic alphabet.

No matter what the language, Absolute Translations can assist the translation and interpretation of documents in over 200 languages. We work with localised translators across the globe to deliver first-rate customer service and quick turnaround times.

So, if you want to find out more information about our expert translation services; get in touch with us on 0333 577 0767.