An increasingly multilingual world

An infographic recently published in the South China Morning Post shows the most spoken languages in the world and its number of speakers.  It shows that in a planet which is inhabited by 7 billion people, there are approximately 7,000 languages spoken on a daily basis. Furthermore, 23 of these are spoken by over half the entire population.

Chinese is the most spoken language on Earth. Nearly 1,2 million people speak it worldwide, mostly in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The second most spoken language is English (335 million speakers worldwide), 225 million of which are in the United States, 55,6 in the UK and 19,4 in Canada. Smaller populations of English speakers are located in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Singapore, Trinidad & Tobago, Sierra Leone, amongst others. Moreover, English is the most learnt language in the world. Currently, there are 1,500 million people practicing the simple past and present perfect tenses.

In a world with so many languages, it’s not surprising that a number of these countries don’t just stick to one of these but rather encourage multilingualism. The reason behind this may be linked to the country’s history with colonists or maybe geographic approximation to other nations. In Aruba (which is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands), Dutch is an official language and is taught in most schools as well as Spanish and English. Notwithstanding, the native language of Aruba is a creole language called Papiamento which means many Arubans are fluent in four different languages.

Luxembourg, which borders Germany and France, unsurprisingly has German and French as official languages yet many locals actually speak Luxembourgish. Schools furthermore, teach English as a compulsory subject which means that students in this part of the world also become fluent in at least four languages.

South Africa is possibly the most multilingual country given that it has 11 official languages. English is the main language used by the media and the government yet less than 10% of its population actually speak it as a first language. Some of the country’s most prominent languages are Zulu and Xhosa.

So if you’re thinking about learning a new language or raising multilingual kids, now you know where to head over to. Have a look at some of the benefits of foreign language education and learning here. Furthermore, if you’re looking for a fast and reliable service, please feel free to send a quote request by clicking on this link.