According to Ethnologue, the foremost reference on living languages, there are 7,099 languages spoken in the world today and just 23 of these languages account for more than half of our global population of 7.6 billion people. (See the authoritative Worldometers for remarkable live statistics on our planet’s population.)
Among these 23 languages are Malay (#23, with 60.8 million first-language speakers), Persian (#22, with 61.9 million first-language speakers), and Italian (#21, with 63.4 million first-language speakers).
Below are the top 20 languages, by number of first-language speakers, ordered from #20 to #1. Make your best guess then click on the green “plus” sign to reveal each one. If you get a good score, feel free to boast in a comment below!
Now give these quizzes a try, too!
What Do You Know About Bilingualism? Take This Quiz and Test Your Knowledge! (based on the book Bilingual: Life and Reality by Francois Grosjean)
Another Fun Quiz on Bilingualism! Test Your Knowledge! (based on the book A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide to Bilingualism by Colin Baker)
Take This Quiz on Bilingual Acquisition in Children! How Many Will You Get Right? (based on the book Bilingual First Language Acquisition by Annick De Houwer)