Definitions

cebuan

Languages by speakers

This is a list of languages placed in order by the number of native-language speakers, with some data for second-language use. Only languages spoken natively by more than ten million are listed, and then they are listed for secondary locations only when spoken by more than 1% of the population.

For practical reasons in compiling this list, some mutually intelligible idioms with separate national standards or self identification have been listed separately, such as Scandinavian, Hindustani, and Malay. This should NOT be taken as an endorsement of any side of dialect versus language debates.

For the purposes of this article, a "native language" is a language with which a person was raised, while a "second language" is a language that person would use for instruction or everyday communication outside the home. A person may be natively multilingual.

Countries that are not sovereign states are listed according to the corresponding sovereign states.

Data are not all up to date. For a comparison of various estimates, see Language speaker data. For languages spoken by very few people, and so in danger of extinction, see list of endangered languages.

100 million native speakers or more

Language Family Encarta 2006 Ethnologue (2005 estimate) Other estimates Ranking by Encarta estimate
Mandarin Sino-Tibetan 844 million 885 million (1999) 873 million native, 178 million second language = 1051 million total 1
Arabic Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South Central 422 million 206 million (1998) Total population of Arab countries: 323 million (CIA 2006 est). 2
English Indo-European, Germanic, West, Anglic 341 million 322 million (1999) 380 million native, 600 million second language= 980 million total, and many people with some knowledge of the language 3
Spanish Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Iberian 322.2 million 332 million (1999) 380 million native, 100 million second language = 480 million total 4
Bengali Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Magadhan Prakrit, Bengali-Assamese 407 million 289 million (2006) 196 million native (2004 CIA) (includes 14 million Chittagonian and 10.3 million Sylheti). 5
Hindi Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan 182 million 366 million (Khariboli dialect) (1991) 948 million total with significant knowledge of the language 6
Portuguese Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Iberian 176 million 177.5 million (1998) 203 million native (2004 CIA), 20+ million second language = 223 million total 7
Russian Indo-European, Slavic, East 167 million 170 million (1999) 145 million native (2004 CIA), 110 million second language, = 255 million total (2000 WCD) 8
Japanese Japonic 125 million 125 million (1999) 128 million native, 2 million second language, = 130 million total 9

30–100 million native speakers

Language Family Ethnologue estimate SIL estimate Other estimates Ranking by Ethnologue estimate
German Indo-European, Germanic, West, High German 95.4 million (1995) 100.1 million (2006) 101 million native (95 million Standard German [2004 CIA], 5 million Swiss German), 60 million second language in EU + 5 - 20 million worldwide. 101 million native, 21 million second language, 122 million total 10
Punjabi Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central Zone (Eastern Punjabi) or North-Western Zone (Western Punjabi) Western Panjabi: 60.8 million (2005)
Eastern Panjabi 27.1 million
57.1 million (2006) Dependent on definition of Punjabi, Western: 61–62 million (2000 WCD), Eastern: 28 million, Siraiki: 14 million = 104 million total 11
Wu Sino-Tibetan 77.2 million (1996) -- 77 million native 12
French Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Oil 77 million (2000) 78 million (2006) 100 million native (Francophonie organization:2005) , 250 million second language (worldwide including Africa and North Africa) = 350 million total and more than 500 million total with significant knowledge of the language 13
Javanese Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi 70.5 million (1999) 75.6 million (2006) 70-80 million 14
Korean Altaic (disputed), Korean/Language isolate 70 million (1999) 78 million (2006) 71 million 15
Vietnamese Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Vietic 67.66 million (1996) 68 million (2006) 70 million native, perhaps up to 16 million second language, = ~ 86 million total 16
Telugu Dravidian, South Central 66.35 million (1996) 69.7 million 76 million native, 10 million second language, = 86 million total (2001) 17
Cantonese Sino-Tibetan 66 million (1996) -- 66 million native 18
Marathi Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central Zone 64.78m 68 million (2006) 68 million native, 3 million second language, = 71 million total 19
Tamil Dravidian, Southern 63.08 million 66 million (2006) 62 million native, 10 million second language, = 72 million total 20
Italian Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italian 61.5 million 62 million (2006) 61 million native 21
Turkish Altaic, Turkic, Southwestern, Oghuz 59 million (1996) 61 million (2006) 60 million native, 15 million second language, = 75 million total (2005 estimate). Total for Oghuz Turkish, including Azeri, Turkmen, and Qashqai, is 100 million native. 22
'''Urdu Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Hindustani 58 million (1996) 60.3 million (2006) 61 million native, 43 million second language, = 104 million total 23
Gujarati Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central Zone 44 million (1996) 46.1 million (2006) -- 24
Polish Indo-European, Slavic, West 44 million (1996) 44 million (2006) -- 24
Ukrainian Indo-European, Slavic, East 41 million 47 million (2006) -- 26
Persian Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern 39.4m 31.3 million (2006) ca. 61 million; sometimes taken to include all of Southwestern Iranian (Luri, Tati, and other); ca. 50 million second language, ca. 110 million total 27
Malayalam Dravidian, Southern 34.02 million (1996) 35.7 million (2006) 37 million native, 10 million second language = 47 million 28
Kannada Dravidian, Southern 33.66 million (1996) 35.4 million (2006) 55 million native, 9 million second language, = 64 million total (1997) 29
Azerbaijani Altaic, Turkic, Southwestern, Oghuz South Azerbaijani: 24 million
North Azerbaijani: 7 million
31.4 million (2006) 25–35 million native, including Qashqai (data for Iran uncertain); 8 million second language (outside Iran) 30
Oriya Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Magadhi 31 million (1996) 32.3 million (2006) -- 31
Hakka Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 29.9 million (2006) -- 34 million 32
Burmese Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese 22 million (1996) 32.3 million (2006) 32 million native, 10 million second language, = 42 million total 33
Thai Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai 20.05 million (1996) 46.1 million (2006) ~31 million native (1983 SIL, 1990 Diller, 2000 WCD) (dated data), = ~60 million first & second language (2001 A. Diller). Includes Southern Thai, Northern Thai/Western Lao, but not Shan, Isan, or Lao. 34

10–30 million native speakers

->
Language Family Official status and where spoken natively, or as an immigrant language, by more than 1% of the population SIL estimate Number of speakers Ranking by number of native speakers
Sundanese Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi Native to Indonesia (originally western Java) 27 million (2006) 27 million (1990) 32
Amharic Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South Official in Ethiopia. Significant communities in Israel. 17.4 million (2006) 27 million native (32.7% Ethiopia [1994 census] and 2.7 million emigrants), 10% (7 million) as a second language = 34 million total 31
Romanian Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Eastern Official in Moldova, Romania, Serbia (Vojvodina). Significant communities in Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, USA. 26.3 million (2006) 26 million native, 4 million second language. The total is about 30 million. 34
Kurdish Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern Official in Iraq. Native to Armenia, Iran, Syria, Turkey. Significant communities in Germany, Lebanon. 6 million (2006) 20–40 million (disputed) 35
Dutch Indo-European, Germanic, West, Low Franconian Official in Belgium (Brussels and Flanders), Kingdom of the Netherlands, Suriname. Significant communities in South Africa, Bonaire island and Sint Maarten island 20 million (2006) 25 million 36
Pashto Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Eastern, Southeastern Official in Afghanistan. Native to Pakistan. Significant communities in Iran, United Arab Emirates. 26.8 million (2006) 21–27 million (data uncertain; ethnic population ~30 million) 37
Hausa Afro-Asiatic, Chadic, West Official in Niger, north Nigeria. Significant communities in Chad, Benin, Ghana, Sudan 24.2 million (2006) 24 million native, ~ 15 million second language, = ~ 40 million total 38
Oromo Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East Cushitic National language of Ethiopia. Significant communities in Kenya 17.2 million (2006) 24 million native (31.6% of Ethiopia [1994 census]), ~ 2 million second language, = 26 million total (1998 census) 39
Filipino Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippines, Central Philippines Official and Native in Philippines. Significant communities in Canada, People’s Republic of China (Hong Kong), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States (Alaska, California, Guam, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Islands). 17 million (2006) 22 million native (2000 census), ~65 million second language, = 85 million total 40
Uzbek Altaic, Turkic, Eastern Official in Uzbekistan. Native to Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan 20.1 million (2006) 20 million (1995) 41
Sindhi Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan Official in India, Pakistan. Significant communities in People’s Republic of China (Hong Kong) ?, Oman? and Gibraltar. 19.7 million (2006) 20 million native, 1 million second language, = 21 million total (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 42
Yoruba Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Defoid, Yoruboid Official in Nigeria. Native to Benin 20 million (2006) 19 million native, 2 million second language, = 21 million total (1993) 43
Somali Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East Cushitic Official in Somalia. Also spoken by Somalis in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Yemen and Kenya. Significant communities in Canada, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, United Arab Emirates,United Kingdom, United States 9.8 million (2006) 13–25 million (2004 WCD) 44
Lao Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Tai Official in Laos. Native to Thailand. 3.2 million (2006) ~19 million Lao-Phutai dialects (including Isan) (data dated) 45
Cebuano Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippines, Central Philippine, Visayan languages, Cebuan Native to Philippines 15 million (2006) 18.5 million native, ~11.5 million second language, =30 million total (2000 census) 46
Malay Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi, Malayic Official in Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore. Native to Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand. Significant communities in Australia, Bahrain. 23.6 million (2006) 18 million native, 3 million second language, = 21 million total (not counting Indonesian) 47
Igbo Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Igboid Official in Nigeria 18 million (2006) 18 million native (1999 WA), unknown number second language. 48
Serbo-Croatian Indo-European, Slavic, South Official in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and called Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian in respective countries. Significant communities in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia. 21 million (2006) 17 million 49
Malagasy Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippines, Barito Official in Madagascar. Significant communities in Mayotte, Réunion. 10.5 million (2006) 17 million 50
Nepali Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan Official in Nepal, India (Sikkim). Significant communities in Bhutan. 16.1 million (2006) 17 million native (2001 census), perhaps 10–15 million second language? 51
Assamese Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Magadhan Prakrit, Bengali-Assamese Official in India (Assam). Significant communities in Bhutan. 15.4 million (2006) 15 million (1997)
Hebrew Afro-Asiatic, Semitic Official in Israel. Significant communities in West Bank, USA (New York, California) and Gibraltar. 7 million (2006) ~7 million native (2004? needs verification), 15 million (1998) (15 million literate) 53
Shona Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu National language of Zimbabwe. Significant communities in Botswana, Mozambique. 14 million (2006) 15 million native, 1.8 million second language, = 16–17 million total, including Ndau, Manyika (2000 A. Chebanne) 54
Khmer Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer Official in Cambodia. Significant communities in Thailand, United States (California), Vietnam 8 million (2006) 14 million native, 1 million second language, = 15 million total (2004) 55
Zhuang Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Tai Official in People's Republic of China (Guangxi) 14 million (2006) 14 million native (1992), unknown number second language 56
Madura Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi Native to Indonesia (Originally Java, Madura) 13.7 million (2006) 14 million (1995) 57
Hungarian Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Ugric Official in Hungary, Serbia (Vojvodina), Slovenia. Significant communities in Israel, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine 14.5 million (2006) 14 million native (1995) 58
Sinhala Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan Official in Sri Lanka. Significant communities in United Arab Emirates 13.2 million (2006) 13 million native, 2 million second language, = 15 million total (1993) 59
Fulani Niger-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Senegambian Official in Niger, Nigeria. National language in Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal. Significant communities in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Sierra Leone. 11.4 million (2006) ~13 million (all varieties) 60
Tamazight Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Northern National language in Algeria (Kabyle), Morocco. Significant communities in France, Netherlands, Spain (Ceuta & Melilla). 3.5 million (2006) 13+ million (1998) 61
Haitian Creole Indo-European, Romance, Creole Official in Haiti. Significant communities in Bahamas, Canada (Quebec), Cayman Islands (UK), Dominican Republic, France (Guadeloupe), United States (Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York). 7.8 million (2006) 12 million (2005) 62
Czech Indo-European, Slavic, West Official in Czech Republic. 12 million (2006) 12 million (1990 WA). 63
Greek Indo-European, Greek Official in Cyprus, Greece. Significant communities in Albania, Australia, Canada, Egypt, Georgia. 12 million (2006) 12 million (2004), up to 5–6 million more second language 64
Kazakh Altaic, Turkic Official in Kazakhstan. Significant communities in People's Republic of China (Xinjiang), Russia, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan 8 million (2006) 12 million 65
Quechua Quechuan Official in Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru. Significant communities in Argentina 8.3 million (2006) 10.4 million, all varieties 66

3–10 million native speakers

Language Family Official status and where spoken natively by more than 1% of the population SIL estimate Number of speakers Ranking by number of native speakers
Zulu Niger-Congo, Bantu Official in South Africa. Significant communities in Lesotho, Swaziland 9.1 million (2006) 9.6 million native, ~16 million second language, = ~25 million total (1996 census) 66
Chichewa (Nyanja) Niger-Congo, Bantu Official in Malawi, Zambia. Significant communities in Mozambique, Zimbabwe. 9.3 million native (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk), 0.4 million second language (1999 WA), = 9.7 million total 67
Belarusian Indo-European, Slavic, East Official in Belarus. Significant communities in Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Poland, Russia 10.2 million (2006) 9.1 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 68
Swedish Indo-European, Germanic, North National language of Sweden. Official language of Finland. 9 million (2006) 8.8 million (1986), ~9 million (2005) 69
Kongo Niger-Congo, Bantu National language in Angola, Congo-Brazzaville (Kituba), Congo-Kinshasa. 4.7 million (2006) 8.7 million, all varieties, including Yombe and creolized Kituba (1986–2002) (dated data) 70
Akan Niger-Congo, Kwa National language in Ghana 7 million (2006) 8.3 million native, ~1 million second language, = ~10 million total (2004 SIL) 71
Hmong Hmong-Mien China. Significant communities in France (French Guiana), Laos, United States (Minnesota, Wisconsin), Vietnam 2.8 million (2006) ~8 million, all varieties (1999 Li Yunbing) 72
Yi Tibeto-Burman People's Republic of China 4.2 million (2006) 7.8 million ethnic Yi (2000 census) 73
Tshiluba Niger-Congo, Bantu National language of Congo-Kinshasa 7.8 million native, 0.7 million second language, = 8.5 million total (1991 UBS). Includes 1.5 million Kiluba. 74
Ilokano Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippines, Northern Philippine, Northern Luzon Philippines. Significant communities in United States (Hawaii). 8 million (2006) 7.7 million native (2000 census), ~2.3 second language = 10 million total 75
Uyghur Altaic, Turkic Official in People's Republic of China (Xinjiang). Significant communities in Kazakhstan 7.6 million (2006) 7.6 million 76
Bulgarian Indo-European, Slavic, South Official in Bulgaria. Significant communities in Moldova. 9 million (2006) 6.6 million in Bulgaria (2005) and ~1 million abroad = 7.5 million native 77
Kinyarwanda Niger-Congo, Bantu Official in Rwanda. Significant communities in Congo-Kinshasa, Uganda 7.3 million (1998) 78
Xhosa Niger-Congo, Bantu Official in South Africa. Significant communities in Lesotho 6.9 million (2006) 7.2 million (1996 census) 79
Balochi Indo-European, Iranian Native to Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan. Significant communities in Oman, United Arab Emirates 7 million (2006) 7.0 million (1998) 80
Hiligaynon Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippines, Central Philippine, Visayan, Central Visayan Philippines 7 million (2006) 6.9 million (2000 census), est. 4.1 million second language = ~11 million total 82
Tigrinya Afro-Asiatic, Semitic Official in Eritrea, Ethiopia 5.1 million (2006) 4.5 million in Ethiopia (6% of population-1994 census), ~2.25 million in Eritrea (50% of population-CIA) = 6.75 native, 146,934 as second language (1994 census) = 6.9 million total 83
Catalan Indo-European, Romance Official and Native to Andorra, Spain (Balearic Islands, Catalonia, Valencia),Aragon (La Franja), France (Pyrénées-Orientales), Italy (Alghero). 6.6 million (2006) 6.7 million native, ~5 million second language, = ~12 million total (1996) (includes Valencian) 84
Armenian Indo-European, isolate Official in Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh (de jure part of Azerbaijan). Significant communities in Georgia, Lebanon, Syria, France. 6 million (2006) 6.7 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk, etc.) 85
Minangkabau Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi, Malayic Indonesia (Sumatra) 6.5 million (2006) 6.5 million (1981 Moussay) (dated data) 86
Turkmen Altaic, Turkic Official in Turkmenistan. Significant communities in Afghanistan, Iran. 6.4 million (2006) 6.4 million (1995) 87
Makhuwa Niger-Congo, Bantu Major language of Mozambique. Significant communities in Tanzania 2.5 million (2006) 6.4 million, all varieties, including Lomwe 88
Santali Austro-Asiatic, Munda Official in India 6.2 million (2006) 6.2 million (1997) 89
Batak Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi, Northern Sumatra Indonesia 2 million (2006) ~6.2 million, all varieties (c. 1991 UBS) (dated data). Includes Toba, Dairi, Simalungun, etc. 90
Albanian Indo-European, isolate Official in Albania, Macedonia, Serbia (Kosovo). Significant communities in Greece, Italy. 5.1 million (2006) 6.0 million (data from Albania dated) 91
Afrikaans Indo-European, Germanic, Low Franconian, Dutch Official in South Africa, Namibia. Significant communities in Botswana. 6.4 million (2006) 6.0 million native, 10.3 million second language, = 16 million total (1996 census) 92
Mongolian Altaic, Mongolian Official in People's Republic of China (Inner Mongolia), Mongolia 5.7 million (2006) 5.7 million 93
Bhili Indo-European, Indic India 1.3 million (2006) 5.6 million, all varieties (1994) (dated data). Includes 1.6 million Wagdi, etc. 94
Danish Indo-European, Germanic, North Official in Denmark, Faroe Islands (Denmark), Greenland (Denmark). Significant communities in Germany (Southern Schleswig) 5.3 million (2006) 5.6 million (2006?) 95
Finnish Uralic, Finnic Official in Finland. Significant communities in Sweden and Estonia. 6.1 million (2006) 5.4 million (1993) (dated data) 96
Gikuyu Niger-Congo, Bantu Major language of Kenya 5.4 million (2006) 5.3 million (1994 I. Larsen BTL) 97
Slovak Indo-European, Slavic, West Official in Slovakia. 5.6 million (2006) 5.0 million (1990 WA) 98
More Niger-Congo, Gur National language of Burkina Faso 5.1 million (2006) ~5 million (1991) 99
Swahili Niger-Congo, Bantu Official in Congo-Kinshasa, Kenya, Tanzania. Significant communities in Comoros, Mayotte, Oman, Réunion. 5 million (2006) ~5 million native, ~40 million second language [data need verification; only 700 thousand native in Tanzania] 100
Guarani Tupi Official in Paraguay. Significant communities in Argentina. 5.1 million (2006) 4.9 million (1995) 101
Kirundi Niger-Congo, Bantu Official in Burundi. 4.9 million (1986) (dated data) 102
Sesotho (southern) Niger-Congo, Bantu Official in Lesotho, South Africa. 4.9 million (1996 census) 103
Romani Indo-European, Indic Significant communities in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Iran, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey 3.1 million (2006) 4.8 million, all varieties, including Domari (data for Vlax 2002–2004; for Domari 2000 WCD). 104
Norwegian Indo-European, Germanic, North Official in Norway. 5 million (2006) 4.7 million (2006, Statistics Norway) 105
Tibetan Sino-Tibetan Official in People's Republic of China (Tibet, Qinghai, parts of Sichuan, Gansu) 1.3 million (2006) 4.6 million, all varieties 106
Tswana Niger-Congo, Bantu Official in Botswana, South Africa. National language of Namibia 4 million (2006) 4.4 million native, 0.2 million second language, = 4.6 million total (1993 Johnstone) (dated data) 107
Kanuri Nilo-Saharan, Saharan Official in Niger, Nigeria. Significant communities in Chad (Kanembu) 4.4 million native, 0.5 million second language, = 4.9 million total (data mostly from 1985) (dated data) 108
Kashmiri Indo-European, Indic Official in India (Jammu and Kashmir), Native to Pakistan. 4.5 million (2006) 4.6 million (1997) 109
Bikol Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippines, Central Philippine Philippines 3.3 million (2006) 4.5 native, all varieties (2000 census), unknown number second language 110
Georgian Kartvelian Official in Georgia. Significant communities in Israel. 4.1 million (2006) 4.2 million (1993 UBS) 111
Umbundu Niger-Congo, Bantu National language of Angola ~4 million native, unknown number second language (1995 WA) 112
Konkani Indo-European, Indic Official in India (Goa).Significant communities in Uttara Kannada,Dakshina Kannada. 6 million (2006) ~4 million (1999 WA) 113
Balinese Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi, Bali-Sasak Indonesia (Bali, Lombok) 3.8 million (2006) 3.9 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 114
Northern Sotho (sePedi) Niger-Congo, Bantu Official in South Africa. Significant communities in Botswana 3.7 million (1996 census) 115
Luyia Niger-Congo, Bantu Kenya 3.6 million (2006) 3.6 million (1989 census) (dated data) 116
Wolof Niger-Congo, Atlantic National language in Mauritania, Senegal. Significant communities in The Gambia. 3.4 million (2006) 3.6 million native (2002), unknown number second language 117
Bemba Niger-Congo, Bantu National language of Zambia 2.2 million (2006) 3.6 million native, unknown number second language (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 118
Buginese Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi, South Sulawesi Indonesia 3.5 million native, 0.5 million second language, = ~4 million total (1991 SIL) 119
Luo (Dholuo) Nilo-Saharan, Nilotic Kenya 3.4 million (2006) 3.5 million (1994 I. Larsen BTL) (dated data) 120
Maninka Niger-Congo, Mande National language of Guinea, Mali. Significant numbers in Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone. 2.5 million (2006) 3.3 million, all varieties 121
Mazanderani Indo-European, Iranian Iran 3.3 million (2006) 3.3 million (1993) (dated data) (numbers may be confused with or include Gilaki) 122
Gilaki Indo-European, Iranian Iran 3.3 million (2006) 3.3 million (1993) (dated data) (numbers may be confused with or include Mazanderani) 123
Shan Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Tai Myanmar 3million (2006) 3.3 million 124
Tsonga Niger-Congo, Bantu Official in South Africa. Significant communities in Mozambique, Swaziland. 3.2 million (2006) 3.3 million (1989, 1996) (dated data) 125
Galician Indo-European, Romance. Official in Spain. 4 million (2006) 3.2 million (1986) (data dated) 126
Sukuma Niger-Congo, Bantu Tanzania 5 million (2006) 3.2 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 127
Yiddish Indo-European, Germanic (German/Hebrew blend) Significant communities in Belarus, Israel, Latvia, Ukraine. 3 million (2006) 3.2 million 128
Jamaican Creole Indo-European, Germanic, Creole Jamaica. Significant communities in Panama, Costa Rica 2.8 million (2006) 3.2 million (2001) 129
Kyrgyz Altaic, Turkic Official in Kyrgyzstan. Native to Tajikistan 3.1 million (2006) 3.1 million (1993 UBS) (dated data) 130
Waray-Waray Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippines, Central Philippine, Visayan, Central Visayan Philippines 2.4 million 3.1 native (2000 census), unknown number second language 131
Ewe Niger-Congo, Kwa Official in Togo. National language of Ghana. 2.5 million (2006) 3.1 million native, 0.5 million second language, = 3.6 million total (2003) 132
Lithuanian Indo-European, Baltic Official in Lithuania. Significant communities in Latvia. 4 million (2006) 3.1 million (1998) 133
Luganda Niger-Congo, Bantu Major language of Uganda 3.0 million native (1991 census), ~1 million second language (1999 WA), = ~ 4 million total 134
Lusoga Niger-Congo, Bantu Major language of Uganda, official status unclear/pending +/- 3 million native speakers (2002 census), +/- 100 000 second language speakers (dated data) 135
Acehnese Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi, Malayic Indonesia 3 million (2006) ~3 million (1999 WA) 136
Kimbundu Niger-Congo, Bantu National language of Angola ~3 million (1999 WA) 137
Hindko Indo-European, Indic Pakistan 2.5 million (2006) ~3 million (1993) (dated data) 138
Ibibio-Efik Niger-Congo, Cross River Efik official in Nigeria 1.5 million (2006) ~3 million, including Anaang (1990; 1998 B. Connell) (dated data) 139

1–3 million native speakers

Language Family Official status and where spoken natively, or as an immigrant language, by more than 1% of the population Number of speakers
Rajbangsi Indo-European, Indic India 3.0 million (1991 census) (dated data)
Garhwali Indo-European, Indic India 2.9 million (2000)
Bambara Niger-Congo, Mande National language of Mali 2.8 million native, 10 million second language, = 13 million total
Ometo Afro-Asiatic, Omotic Ethiopia 2.8 million, all varieties, including Welayta (1998 census)
Indian Sign Language Language isolate (Sign language) Bangladesh, India, Pakistan 2.7 million in India, plus unknown number in Bangladesh, Pakistan (2003). Same language as Pakistani Sign Language
Betawi creole Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian Indonesia 2.7 million (1993 Johnstone) (dated data)
Karen Tibeto-Burman Myanmar, Thailand 2.6 million, all varieties (dated data)
Gondi Dravidian India 2.6 million (1997)
Senoufo Niger-Congo, Gur National language of Mali. Native to Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire. 2.6 million, all varieties (1991, 1993, 2001) (dated data)
Kalenjin Nilo-Saharan, Nilotic Kenya 2.5 million (1989 census) (dated data)
Kumauni Indo-European, Indic India 2.4 million in India (1998)
Kamba Niger-Congo, Bantu Kenya 2.4 million native, 0.6 million second language, = 3.0 million total (1989 census) (dated data)
Luri Indo-European, Iranian Iran 2.4 million (1999, 2001)
K'iche' Mayan Guatemala 2.3 million (2000 SIL)
Kapampangan Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian Philippines 2.3 million (2000 census)
Aymara Aymaran Official in Bolivia, Peru. Significant numbers in Argentina. 2.2 million Central Aymara (1987), plus unknown number Southern Aymara in Peru (dated data; needs confirmation)
Tiv Niger-Congo, Bantoid Nigeria 2.2 million native, unknown number second language (1991 UBS) (dated data)
Brahui Dravidian Pakistan, Afghanistan 2.2 million
Gbaya Niger-Congo, Ubangian Central African Republic, Congo-Kinshasa 2.2 million, all varieties, including Ngbaka (2000 WCD)
Zarma Nilo-Saharan, Songhai Official in Niger 2.2 million (1998)
Baoul Niger-Congo, Kwa Côte d'Ivoire 2.1 million (1993 SIL) (dated data)
Dogri Indo-European, Indic Official in India (Jammu and Kashmir) 2.1 million (1997)
Lingala Niger-Congo, Bantu National language of Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa. 2.1 million native (2000 WCD), 7 million second language in Congo-Kinshasa (1999 WA), unknown additional second language speakers in Congo-Brazzaville, = 9+ million total. According to Britannica (2005 Yearbook) more than 36 million people speak lingala as lingua franca.
Sasak Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian Indonesia 2.1 million (1989) (dated data)
Kurux Dravidian India, Nepal 2.1 million (1997)
Mundari Austro-Asiatic, Munda India 2.1 million (1997)
Dinka Nilo-Saharan, Nilotic Southern Sudan 2+ million
Slovene Indo-European, Slavic Official in Austria, Italy, Slovenia. 2.0 million (1991 census) (dated data)
Buyei Tai-Kadai China ~2 million (1990 census) (dated data)
Beti-Pahuin Niger-Congo, Bantu Major language of Gabon, Equatorial Guinea. Significant communities in Cameroon, São Tomé and Príncipe. ~2 million. Includes Fang, Ewondo, etc.
Dimli Indo-European, Iranian Turkey 1.5–2.5 million (all dialects) (1998 Paul)
Tulu Dravidian India 1.9 million (1997)
Sidamo Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic Ethiopia 1.9 million, 0.1 million second language, = 2.0 million total (1998 census)
Bashkir Altaic, Turkic Official in Russia (Bashkortostan) 1.9 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk)
Yao Niger-Congo, Bantu Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique ~1.9 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk)
Chuvash Altaic, Turkic Official in Russia (Chuvashia) 1.8 million native, 0.2 million second language, = 2.0 million total (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk)
Ijaw Niger-Congo, unclassified Nigeria 1.8 million (all varieties)
Fon Niger-Congo, Kwa National language of Benin Significant communities in Togo 1.7 million native (2000 Hoddenbagh), unknown number second language
Swazi Niger-Congo, Bantu Official in South Africa, Swaziland. Significant communities in Lesotho 1.7 million (1996 census, 1993 Johnstone)
Nyankore Niger-Congo, Bantu Uganda 1.6 million (1991 census) (dated data)
Tatar Altaic, Turkic Official in Russia (Tatarstan). Significant communities in Bashkortostan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan 1.6 million (1989 census) [6.6 million ethnic Tatar]
Makasar Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian Indonesia 1.6 million native, 0.4 million second language, = 2 million total (1989) (dated data)
Macedonian language Indo-European, Slavic Official in Republic of Macedonia 1.6 million (1986) (dated data)
Gusii Niger-Congo, Bantu Kenya 1.6 million (1994 I. Larsen BTL) (dated data)
Khandesi Indo-European, Indic India 1.6 million (1997)
Ndebele Niger-Congo, Bantu Official in South Africa. National language of Zimbabwe. 1.6 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk)
Chin Tibeto-Burman Myanmar, India 1.6 million (1990 BAP, 1996 UBS) (dated data). All varieties, but not including Mizo etc.
Sara Nilo-Saharan, Central Sudanic, Bongo-Bagirmi National language of Chad. Significant communities in Central African Republic. 1.5 million native, all varieties, large number second-language speakers (dated data)
Pangasinan Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian Philippines 1.5 million (2000 census)
Latvian Indo-European, Baltic Official in Latvia. Significant communities in Australia. 1.5 million
Tonga Niger-Congo, Bantu Zambia, Zimbabwe 1.5 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk)
Lampung Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian Indonesia ~1.5 million (1981 Wurm and Hattori) (dated data)
Sardinian Indo-European, Romance Official in Italy (Sardinia) ~1.5 million (1977 M. Ibba, Rutgers University) (dated data)
Scots Indo-European, Germanic, West, Anglic Scotland, Significant communities in Northern Ireland ~1.5 million native (General Register Office for Scotland, 1996)
Dong Tai-Kadai China 1.5 million
Mende Niger-Congo, Mande National language of Sierra Leone 1.5 million native, unknown number second language (1987 UBS) (dated data)
Tày Tai-Kadai Vietnam 1.5 million in Viet Nam (1999 census)
Nahuatl Uto-Aztecan, isolate Mexico 1.4 million (all varieties) (dated data)
Afar Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti 1.4 million (1998 census)
Dagbani Niger-Congo, Gur National language of Ghana 1.4 million, including Kusaal, Mampruli (2004 SIL)
Koli Indo-European, Indic India, Pakistan 1.4 million, all varieties (some data dated)
Chiga Niger-Congo, Bantu Uganda 1.4 million (1991 census) (dated data)
Tumbuka Niger-Congo, Bantu Official in Malawi. Significant communities in Zambia 1.3 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk)
Iu Mien Hmong-Mien, Yao China 1.3 million, all varieties (1995 Wang and Mao)
Meru Niger-Congo, Bantu Kenya 1.3 million (1994 I. Larsen BTL) (dated data)
Gogo Niger-Congo, Bantu Tanzania ~1.3 million (1992 UBS) (dated data)
Teso Nilo-Saharan, Nilotic Uganda. Significant communities in Kenya 1.3 million (1991 census) (dated data)
Meithei Tibeto-Burman Official in India (Manipur) 1.3 million (1997)
Tamang Tibeto-Burman Nepal 1.3 million
Makonde Niger-Congo, Bantu Tanzania, Mozambique 1.3 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk)
Bai Tibeto-Burman, unclassified China 1.2 million (2003)
Tuareg Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Southern Official in Niger. National language of Mali. 1.2 million (1991–1998) [dated data]
Mandinka Niger-Congo, Mande National language of Senegal. Significant communities in Gambia, Guinea-Bissau. 1.2 million (2002)
Jula Niger-Congo, Mande Native to Burkina Faso, Significant communities in Côte d'Ivoire ~1.2 million native, 3–4 million second language
Temne Niger-Congo, Atlantic National language of Sierra Leone ~1.2 million native, 0.2 million second language, = ~1.4 million total (1989 J. Kaiser) (dated data)
Haya Niger-Congo, Bantu Tanzania ~1.2 million (1991 UBS) (dated data)
Serer Niger-Congo, Atlantic National language of Senegal. Significant communities in Gambia. 1.2 million (2002)
Beja Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic or isolate Sudan, Eritrea 1.2 million (1982 SIL) (dated data)
Nyamwezi Niger-Congo, Bantu Tanzania 1.2 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk)
Irish Celtic, Goidelic[[Ireland 1.2 million "competent speakers" (2007 census)
Abron Niger-Congo, Kwa Ghana 1.2 million (2003)
Alur Nilo-Saharan, Nilotic Congo-Kinshasa, Uganda 1.2 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk)
Sena Niger-Congo, Bantu Mozambique, Malawi 1.2 million, all varieties
Azande Niger-Congo, Ubangian Congo-Kinshasa, Southern Sudan, Central African Republic 1.1 million (dated data)
Walloon Indo-European, Romance Belgium 1.1 million (1998)
Anyi Niger-Congo, Kwa Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana 1.2 million (1993 SIL) (dated data)
Malvi Indo-European, Indic India 1.1 million (1997)
Kinaray-a Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian Philippines 1.1 million native (2000 census)
Soninke Niger-Congo, Mande National language in Mali, Mauritania, Senegal. Significant communities in Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia. 1.10 million (1991) (dated data)
Ho Austro-Asiatic, Munda India 1.08 million (1997)
Estonian Uralic, Finnic Official in Estonia 1.08 million (1989 census) (dated data)
Nyakyusa Niger-Congo, Bantu Tanzania, Malawi 1.05 million (1992 UBS) (dated data)
Gwari Niger-Congo, Nupe Nigeria 1.05 million (1991 SIL, 2002 SIL) (dated data)
Lugbara Nilo-Saharan, Central Sudanic, Moru-Madi Congo-Kinshasa, Uganda 1.04 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk, 1983 SIL) (dated data)
Basque Language isolate, Euskadi and Navarre (Spain) and Iparralde (France) Basque Country 1.03 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk, 1983 SIL) (dated data)
Naga Tibeto-Burman India 1.03 million, all varieties (1997)
Susu Niger-Congo, Mande National language of Guinea. Significant communities in Sierra Leone. 1.03 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk)
Tausug Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian Philippines Significant communities in Indonesia (Kalimantan), Malaysia (Sabah) 1.02 million native (2000 census)
Chokwe Niger-Congo, Bantu National language of Angola. Significant communities in Congo-Kinshasa 1.01 million (1990 UBS) (dated data)
Kabardian Caucasic, Circassian Official in Russia (Kabardino-Balkaria). Significant communities in Karachay-Cherkessia, Turkey 1.01 million (1993 UBS, 2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) (dated data)
Ryūkyū Japonic, Ryūkyūan Japan 1.01 million, all varieties (2000 WCD)
Magindanaw Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian Philippines 1.0 million native (2000 census), unknown number second language
Maranao Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian Philippines 1.0 million native (2000 census)
Songe Niger-Congo, Bantu Congo-Kinshasa ~1 million (1991 WA) (dated data)
Rejang Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian Indonesia ~1 million (1981 Wurm and Hattori) (dated data)
Bini Niger-Congo, Edo Official in Nigeria ~1 million (1999 WA)
Ebira Niger-Congo, Nupe Nigeria ~1 million (1989 J. Adive) (dated data)
Dagaare Niger-Congo, Gur National language of Ghana. Significant communities in Burkina Faso. ~1 million (2003)
Gujari Indo-European, Indic Afghanistan, India, Pakistan 0.99 million (2000 WCD)
Tharu Indo-European, Indic Nepal 0.99 million, all varieties
Chechen Caucasic, Nakh Official in Russia (Chechnya). 0.96 million (1989 census) (dated data!)
Venda Niger-Congo, Bantu Official in South Africa 0.96 million (1996 census)
Arakanese Tibeto-Burman Myanmar, Bangladesh 0.95 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk)

Fewer than 1 million native speakers

Language Family Official status and where spoken natively by more than 1% of the population Number of speakers
Welsh Indo-European, Celtic, Insular Celtic, Brythonic Official in Wales. 700,000
Frisian Indo-European, Germanic, West Germanic, Anglo-Frisian Official in The Netherlands. 600,000 fluent speakers in 2004.
Corsican Indo-European, Romance, Italic Official in Corsica. ≤ 400,000
Maltese Afro-asiatic, Semitic Official in Malta. Significant communities in Australia, United Kingdom and Gibraltar 371,900 (ethnologue 2006)
Samoan Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Polynesian American Samoa, Samoa 370,337
Fijian Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic Official inFiji 334,061 (ethnologue 2005)
Icelandic Indo-European, Germanic, North Germanic West Scandinavian Official in Iceland. Small community in Gimli, Manitoba, Canada.
Tahitian Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Polynesian French Polynesia 124,262
Tongan Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Polynesian Tonga 105,319
Portugal Northern Portugal 3,123

References

External links

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