Definitions

easter islander

List of languages by number of native speakers

This is a list of languages, ordered by the number of native-language speakers, with some data for second-language use. Languages are listed for secondary locations only when spoken by more than 1% of the population.

Since the definition of a single language is to some extent arbitrary, some mutually intelligible idioms with separate national standards or self-identification have been listed separately, depending on conventional use, for example Scandinavian, Hindustani, Dutch and Afrikaans, Indonesian and Malay.

The relevant estimate for the number of native speakers for the purposes of this list is that of SIL Ethnologue. Other estimates may vary, and the numbers should not be taken as more than indicating the rough order of magnitude of a linguistic community.

Top 20

Language Family Ethnologue (2005 estimate) Encarta estimate Other estimates Ranking by Ethnologue estimate
Mandarin Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 873,000,000 *1,210,000,000 882,000,000 native, 178,000,000 second language = 1,050,000,000 total
*Encarta estimate includes all Chinese dialects
1
Hindustani Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan 366,000,000 366,000,000 Standard Hindi 325,000,000, Ancient Hindi 100,000,000; A total of 650,000,000 including Urdu and secondary speakers, does not include Maithili. All Hindi dialects are mutually intelligible. 2
Spanish Indo-European, Italic, Romance 322,300,000 322,000,000 - 358,000,000 Ethnologue 14th edition listed 358 million native speakers. Total of 417 million including second-language speakers (1999). 3
English Indo-European, Germanic, West 309,350,000 341,000,000 Over 1,500,000,000 worldwide. Also see List of countries by English-speaking population which numbers 850,000,000 worldwide (as a total of first and additional language spoken). 4
Arabic Afro-Asiatic, Semitic 206,000,000 422,039,637 According to Encarta, which classified Chinese as a single language, Arabic is perceived to be the second largest language among native speakers Used by more than a billion Muslims around the world, it is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

5
Portuguese Indo-European, Italic, Romance 177,500,000 246,000,000 176 million native.

6
Bengali Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan 171,000,000 207,000,000 196 million native (2004 CIA) (includes 14 million Chittagonian and 10.3 million Sylheti). 7
Russian Indo-European, Slavic, East 145,000,000 167,000,000 165 million native, 110 million second language = 275 million total 8
Japanese Japanese-Ryukyuan 122,400,000 125,000,000 128 million native, 2 million second language = 130 million total 9
German Indo-European, Germanic, West 95,400,000 100,100,000 101 million native (88 million Standard German, 5 million Swiss German, 8 million Austrian German), 60 million second language in EU + 5 - 20 million worldwide. 10
Punjabi Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan 88,000,000 57,000,000 61–62 million (2000 WCD) (taken together with Eastern Punjabi (28 million) and Siraiki (14 million): 104 million total) 11
Wu Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 77,200,000 -- 77 million native 12
Javanese Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi 75,500,000 75,600,000 70-75 million 13
Telugu Dravidian, South Central 69,700,000 69,700,000 70 million native, 5 million second language, = 75 million total (2001) 14
Marathi Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan 68,000,000 68,000,000 68 million native, 3 million second language, = 71 million total 15
Vietnamese Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Vietic 67,400,000 68,000,000 70 million native, perhaps up to 16 million second language, = ~ 86 million total 16
Korean Considered either language isolate or Altaic 67,000,000 77,000,000 79 million if including secondary and non-native speakers. 17
Tamil Dravidian, Southern 66,000,000 66,000,000 68 million native, 9 million second language, = 77 million total 18
French Indo-European, Italic, Romance 64,860,000
78,000,000
113 million “native and real speakers” (includes 64,473,140 French people) , 250 million second language (worldwide including Africa and North Africa) = 363 million (as a total of first and additional language spoken) and up to 500 million total with significant knowledge of the language (2008). 19
Italian Indo-European, Italic, Romance 61,500,000 62,000,000 Regarded as fourth or fifth most studied language in the world, therefore there are about 120 million italophones in the world. 20

10 to 60 million native speakers

Language Family Ethnologue (2005 estimate) Encarta estimate Other estimates Ranking by Ethnologue estimate
Cantonese Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 54.8 million -- 66 million 21
Sindhi Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan Official in India, Pakistan. Significant communities in People’s Republic of China (Hong Kong) ?, Oman? and Gibraltar. 54.5 million (2006) 41.5 million native, 13 million second language, = 30 million total (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 22
Turkish Altaic, Turkic, Oghuz 50 million 61 million 74 million (2006 estimate) + 15 million second language = 89 million 23
Min Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 46.2 million -- Southern Min: 49m, Northern Min 10.43m 24
Gujarati Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan 46.1 million 46.1 million -- 25
Maithili Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan 45 million (included in "Hindi") 26
Polish Indo-European, Slavic, West 42.7 million 52 million -- 27
Ukrainian Indo-European, Slavic, East 39.4 million 47 million -- 28
Persian Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian 39.4 million 31.3 million ca. 72 million; sometimes taken to include all of Southwestern Iranian (Luri, Tati, and other); ca. 62 million second language, ca. 134 million total 29
Malayalam Dravidian, Southern - India 35.8 million 35.7 million 38 million native, 10 million second language = 48 million 30
Kannada Dravidian, Southern 35.4 million 35.4 million 55 million native, 9 million second language, = 64 million total 31
Tamazight (Berber) Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Northern National language in Algeria, Mali and Niger (Tuaregs); unrecognized in Morocco, Libya and Tunisia. Large migrant communities in France, Benelux, Spain and Germany . 32.3 million (2006) 37+ million (1998) 32
Oriya Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan 31.7 million 32.3 million -- 33
Azerbaijani Altaic, Turkic, Oghuz 31 million 31.4 million 25–35 million native, including Qashqai (data for Iran uncertain); 8 million second language (outside Iran) 34
Hakka Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 29.9 million -- 34 million 35
Bhojpuri Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan 26 million (included in "Hindi") 126 million total 36
Burmese Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese 22 million (1996) 32.3 million (2006) 32 million native, 10 million second language, = 42 million total 37
Gan Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 21 million -- 48 million, 29 million in Jiangxi 38
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 and second language (2001 A. Diller). Includes Southern Thai, Northern Thai/Western Lao, but not Shan, Isan, or Lao. 39

Language Family Official status and where spoken natively, or as an immigrant language, by more than 1% of the population SIL estimate Other estimates Ranking by SIL estimate
Sundanese Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi Native to Indonesia (origin in western Java) 27 million (2006) 27 million (1990) 40
Romanian Indo-European, Italic, Romance 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. 41
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 42
Pashto Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Eastern Official in Afghanistan. Native to Pakistan. Significant communities in Iran, United Arab Emirates. 60 million (2006) 65-70 million (data uncertain; ethnic population ~60 million) 43
Serbo-Croatian Indo-European, Slavic, South Official in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, under names Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian respectively. Significant communities in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia. 21.1 million (2006) 17 million 44
Uzbek Altaic, Turkic, Eastern Official in Uzbekistan. Native to Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan 20.1 million (2006) 20 million (1995) 45
Dutch Indo-European, Germanic, West Official in Belgium, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Suriname. Significant communities in South Africa, Bonaire island and Sint Maarten island 20 million (2006) 25 million 46
Yoruba Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Defoid, Yoruboid Official in Nigeria. 20 million (2006) 19 million native, 2 million second language, = 21 million total (1993) 47
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 48
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) 49
Indonesian Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian 23.1 million, national language in Indonesia 17.1 million 140 million second language 50
Filipino Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-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 51
Kurdish Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern Official in Iraq. Native to Armenia, Iran, Syria, Turkey. Significant communities in Germany, Lebanon. 16 million (all varieties) ~31,417,000 (see article for full list) 52

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
Somali Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East Official in Somalia. Native to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya. Significant communities in Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Yemen. 9.8 million (2006) 10-16 million native and at least 500,000 second-language speakers.million (2004 WCD) 49
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) 50
Cebuano Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippines Native to Philippines 15 million (2006) 18.5 million native, ~11.5 million second language, = 30 million total (2000 census) 51
Greek Indo-European, Greek Official in Cyprus, Greece. Significant communities in Albania, Australia, Canada, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA. 15 million (2007) 12 million (2004), up to 10–12 million more second language 52
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) 53
Igbo Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Igboid Official in Nigeria 18 million (2006) 18 million native (1999 WA), unknown number second language. 54
Malagasy Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippines, Barito Official in Madagascar. Significant communities in Mayotte, Réunion. 10.5 million (2006) 17 million 55
Nepali Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan Official in Nepal, India (Sikkim). Significant communities in Bhutan. approx. 30 million in Nepal, 16 million as native tongue and 15 million as a second language (2006) 40 million (2006) 56
Assamese Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan Official in India (Assam). Significant communities in Bhutan and Bangladesh. 15.4 million (2006) 15 million (1997). Assamese is spoken and/or understood by most everyone in the state of Assam. Assam had a population of 26.7 million in 2003-04. So, Assamese has another 8-10 million second language speakers. Assamese is also understood and spoken widely in Arunachal Pradesh with a population of 1.1 million. These are mostly second or third language speakers. Various tribes in Nagaland with a population 2 million use Nagamese, a variant of Assamese, for communication. Thus, a total of approximately, 28-30 million people speak and understand Assamese. 57
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) 58
Khmer Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, 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) 59
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 60
Madurese Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi Native to Indonesia (Originally Java, Madura) 13.7 million (2006) 14 million (1995) 61
Hungarian Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Ugric Official in Hungary, Serbia (Vojvodina), Slovenia, Austria. Significant communities in Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, United States, Israel 14.5 million (2006) 14 million native (1995) 62
Sinhalese 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) 63
Fula 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) 64
Czech Indo-European, Slavic, West Official in Czech Republic. 12 million (2006) 12 million (1990 WA). 65

2 to 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, Benue-Congo, Bantu Official in South Africa. Significant communities in Lesotho, Swaziland 9.6 million (2006) 9.6 million native, ~16 million second language, = ~25 million total (1996 census) 68
Quechua Quechuan Official in Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru. Significant communities in Argentina 8.3 million (2006) 10.4 million, all varieties 69
Kazakh Altaic, Turkic, Northwestern, Southern Official in Kazakhstan. Significant communities in People's Republic of China (Xinjiang), Russia, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan 8.2 million (2006) 12 million 70
Tajik Indo-European, Indo-Iranian Official in Tajikistan. Significant communities in Uzbekistan 4.4 million. 7.9-17 million native (estimates vary due to lack of official data, moreover these exclude Tajiks of Afghanistan) 71
Chichewa (Nyanja) Niger-Congo, Benue-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 72
Haitian Creole Indo-European, Romance, Creole Official in Haiti. Significant communities in Bahamas, Canada (Quebec), Cuba, Cayman Islands (UK), Dominican Republic, France (Guadeloupe), United States (Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York). 7.4 million (2006) 12 million (2005) 73
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) 74
Lombard Indo-European, Romance Native to Italy -- 5 million Western Lombard + 3 million Eastern Lombard + others = 9.13 million (Ethnologue 2006) 75
Hebrew Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, North Central Official in Israel. Significant communities in USA (New York, California) and Gibraltar. 9.42 million (2006) 90
Swedish Indo-European, Germanic, North National language of Sweden. National language in Finland. 9 million (2006) 8.8 million (1986), ~9 million (2005) 76
Kongo Niger-Congo, Benue-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) 77
Akan Niger-Congo, Kwa National language in Ghana 7 million (2006) 8.3 million native, ~1 million second language, = ~10 million total (2004 SIL) 78
Albanian Indo-European, isolate Official in Albania, Macedonia, Republic of Kosovo . Significant communities in Greece, Italy. 6.0 million 3.6 million (data from Albania) 79
Hmong Hmong-Mien China. Significant communities in France (French Guiana), Laos, United States (Minnesota, Wisconsin), Vietnam 2.8 million (2006) ~4 million (Lemoine, 2005) 80
Yi Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmic People's Republic of China 4.2 million (2006) 7.8 million ethnic Yi (2000 census) 81
Tshiluba Niger-Congo, Benue-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. 82
Ilokano Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippines Philippines. Significant communities in United States (Hawaii). 8 million (2006) 7.7 million native (2000 census), ~2.3 second language = 10 million total 83
Uyghur Altaic, Turkic, Southeastern, Eastern Official in People's Republic of China (Xinjiang). Significant communities in Kazakhstan 7.6 million (2006) 7.6 million 84
Neapolitan Indo-European, Romance Native to Italy -- 7.5 million native 85
Bulgarian Indo-European, Slavic, South Official in Bulgaria. Significant communities in Moldova, Ukraine, the Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, USA 9 million (2006) 7.7 million in Bulgaria (2005) and ~1 million abroad = 8.5 million native 86
Kinyarwanda Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Official in Rwanda. Significant communities in Congo-Kinshasa, Uganda 7.3 million (1998) 87
Xhosa Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Official in South Africa. Significant communities in Lesotho 6.9 million (2006) 7.2 million (1996 census) 88
Balochi Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian Native to Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan. Significant communities in Oman, United Arab Emirates 7 million (2006) 7.0 million (1998) 89
Hiligaynon Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippines Philippines 7 million (2006) 6.9 million (2000 census), est. 4.1 million second language = ~11 million total 91
Tigrinya Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South 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 million native, 146,934 as second language (1994 census), = 6.9 million total 92
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) 93
Armenian Indo-European, isolate Official in Armenia. Significant communities in Russia, USA, Georgia, Lebanon, Syria, France. 6 million (2006) 6.7 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk, etc.) 94
Minangkabau Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi, Malayic Indonesia (Sumatra) 6.5 million (2006) 6.5 million (1981 Moussay) (dated data) 95
Turkmen Altaic, Turkic, Southwestern, Eastern Official in Turkmenistan. Significant communities in Afghanistan, Iran. 6.4 million (2006) 6.4 million (1995) 96
Makhuwa Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Major language of Mozambique. Significant communities in Tanzania 2.5 million (2006) 6.4 million, all varieties, including Lomwe 97
Santali Austro-Asiatic, Munda Official in India 6.2 million (2006) 6.2 million (1997) 98
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. 99
Afrikaans Indo-European, Germanic, West Germanic Official in South Africa. Significant communities in Namibia,Botswana, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and United Kingdom. 6.0 million (2006) 6.0 million native, 10.3 million second language, = 16 million total (1996 census) 100
Mongolian Altaic, Mongolian Official in People's Republic of China (Inner Mongolia), Mongolia 5.7 million (2006) 5.7 million 101
Bhili Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan India 1.3 million (2006) 5.6 million, all varieties (1994). Includes 1.6 million Wagdi, etc. 102
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?) 103
Finnish Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finnic Official in Finland. Significant communities in Sweden and Estonia. 6.1 million (2006) 5.4 million (1993) 104
Gikuyu Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Major language of Kenya 5.4 million (2006) 5.3 million (1994 I. Larsen BTL) 105
Slovak Indo-European, Slavic, West Official in Slovakia. 5.6 million (2006) 5.0 million (1990 WA) 106
More Niger-Congo, Gur National language of Burkina Faso 5.1 million (2006) ~5 million (1991) 107
Swahili Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Official in Congo-Kinshasa, Kenya, Tanzania. Significant communities in Comoros, Mayotte, Oman, Réunion. 5 million (2006) ~5 million native, ~80 million second language 108
Southern Quechua Quechuan Official in Peru, Bolivia ~5,000,000 109

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
Guarani Tupi Official in Paraguay. Significant communities in Argentina. 5.1 million (2006) 4.9 million (1995) 110
Kirundi Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Official in Burundi. 4.9 million (1986) (dated data) 111
Sesotho (southern) Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Official in Lesotho, South Africa. 4.9 million (1996 census) 112
Romani Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan 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). 113
Norwegian Indo-European, Germanic, North Official in Norway. 5 million (2006) 4.7 million (2006, Statistics Norway) 114
Tibetan Sino-Tibetan,Tibeto-Burman, Bodic Official in People's Republic of China (Tibet, Qinghai, parts of Sichuan, Gansu) 1.3 million (2006) 4.6 million, all varieties 115
Tswana Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Official in Botswana, South Africa. National language of Namibia 4 million (2006) 4.4 million native, 200,000 second language, = 4.6 million total (1993 Johnstone) (dated data) 116
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) 117
Kashmiri Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan Official in and native to India. 4.5 million (2006) 4.6 million (1997) 118
Bikol Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippines Philippines 3.3 million (2006) 4.5 native, all varieties (2000 census), unknown number second language 119
Georgian Kartvelian Official in Georgia. Significant communities in Israel. 4.1 million (2006) 4.2 million (1993 UBS) 120
Qusqu-Qullaw Quechuan Official in Peru (Cusco and Puno departments) Also spoken in Bolivia, Argentina 4 million 121
Umbundu Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu National language of Angola ~4 million native, unknown number second language (1995 WA) 122
Konkani Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan Official in India (Goa).Significant communities in Uttara Kannada,Dakshina Kannada. 6 million (2006) ~4 million (1999 WA) 123
Balinese Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi, Bali-Sasak Indonesia (Bali, Lombok) 3.8 million (2006) 3.9 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 124
Northern Sotho (sePedi) Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Official in South Africa. Significant communities in Botswana 3.7 million (1996 census) 125
Luyia Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Kenya 3.6 million (2006) 3.6 million (1989 census) (dated data) 126
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 127
Bemba Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu National language of Zambia 2.2 million (2006) 3.6 million native, unknown number second language (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 128
Buginese Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi, South Sulawesi Indonesia 3.5 million native, 0.5 million second language, = ~4 million total (1991 SIL) 129
Luo (Dholuo) Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic Kenya 3.4 million (2006) 3.5 million (1994 I. Larsen BTL) (dated data) 130
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 131
Mazanderani Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western Iran 3.3 million (2006) 3.3 million (1993) (dated data) (numbers may be confused with or include Gilaki) 132
Gilaki Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western Iran 3.3 million (2006) 3.3 million (1993) (dated data) (numbers may be confused with or include Mazanderani) 133
Shan Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Tai Myanmar 3 million (2006) 3.3 million 134
Tsonga Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Official in South Africa. Significant communities in Mozambique, Swaziland. 3.2 million (2006) 3.3 million (1989, 1996) (dated data) 135
Galician Indo-European, Romance. Official in Galicia, Spain. 3.2 million (2006) 3.2 million (1986) (data dated) 136
Sukuma Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Tanzania 5 million (2006) 3.2 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 137
Yiddish Indo-European, Germanic, West official in Russia (Jewish Autonomous Oblast) Significant communities in Belarus, Israel, Latvia, Ukraine. 3 million (2006) 3.2 million 138
Jamaican Creole Indo-European, Germanic, West, Creole Jamaica. Significant communities in Panama, Costa Rica 2.8 million (2006) 3.2 million (2001) 139
Piemonteis Indo-European, Italic, North Italy (official in the Piedmont region), Argentina 3.1 million (2000) 3.1 million (2000), might not include speakers in Latin America 139
Kyrgyz Altaic, Turkic, Northwestern, Southern Official in Kyrgyzstan. Native to Tajikistan 3.1 million (2006) 3.1 million (1993 UBS) (dated data) 140
Waray-Waray Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippines Philippines 2.4 million 3.1 native (2000 census), unknown number second language 141
Ewe Niger-Congo, Kwa Official in Togo. National language of Ghana. 2.5 million (2006) 3.1 million native, 500,000 second language, = 3.6 million total (2003) 142
South Bolivian Quechua Quechuan Official in Bolivia, also spoken in Argentina 3,637,500 (ethnologue)sout 143
Lithuanian Indo-European, Baltic Official in Lithuania. Significant communities in Latvia. 4 million (2006) 3.1 million (1998) 144
Luganda Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Major language of Uganda 3.0 million native (1991 census), ~1 million second language (1999 WA), = ~4 million total 145
Lusoga Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Major language of Uganda, official status unclear/pending +/- 3 million native speakers (2002 census), +/- 100,000 second-language speakers (dated data) 146
Acehnese Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi, Malayic Indonesia 3 million (2006) ~3 million (1999 WA) 147
Kimbundu Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu National language of Angola ~3 million (1999 WA) 148
Hindko Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan Pakistan 2.5 million (2006) ~3 million (1993) (dated data) 149
Ibibio-Efik Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Cross River Efik official in Nigeria 1.5 million (2006) ~3 million, including Anaang (1990; 1998 B. Connell) (dated data) 150

Language Family Official status and where spoken natively, or as an immigrant language, by more than 1% of the population Number of speakers Ranking by number of native speakers
Rajbangsi Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan India 3.0 million (1991 census) 151
Garhwali Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan India 2.9 million (2000) 152
Bambara Niger-Congo, Mande National language of Mali 2.8 million native, 10 million second language, = 13 million total 153
Ometo Afro-Asiatic, Omotic Ethiopia 2.8 million, all varieties, including Welayta (1998 census) 154
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 155
Betawi creole Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi, Creole Indonesia 2.7 million (1993 Johnstone) 156
Karen Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Karenic Myanmar, Thailand, India 2.6 million, all varieties (dated data) 157
Gondi Dravidian India 2.6 million (1997) 158
Senoufo Niger-Congo, Gur National language of Mali. Native to Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire. 2.6 million, all varieties (1991, 1993, 2001) 159
Latvian Indo-European, Baltic Official in Latvia. Significant communities in Australia, USA, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil. 2.5 million 160
Kalenjin Nilo-Saharan, East Sudanic, Nilotic Kenya 2.5 million (1989 census) 161
Kumauni Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan India 2.4 million in India (1998) 162
Kamba Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Kenya 2.4 million native, 600,000 second language, = 3.0 million total (1989 census) 163
Luri Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western Iran 2.4 million (1999, 2001) 164
K'iche' Mayan Guatemala 2.3 million (2000 SIL) 165
Kapampangan Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippines Philippines 2.3 million (2000 census) 166
Central Aymara Aymaran Official in Bolivia, Peru. Significant numbers in Argentina. 2.2 million Central Aymara (1987) 167
Tiv Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid Nigeria 2.2 million native, unknown number second language (1991 UBS) 168
Brahui Dravidian Pakistan, Afghanistan 2.2 million 169
Gbaya Niger-Congo, Ubangian Central African Republic, Congo-Kinshasa 2.2 million, all varieties, including Ngbaka (2000 WCD) 170
Zarma Nilo-Saharan, Songhai Official in Niger 2.2 million (1998) 171
Baoulé Niger-Congo, Kwa Côte d'Ivoire 2.1 million (1993 SIL) 172
Dogri Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan Official in India (Jammu and Kashmir states) 2.1 million (1997) 173
Lingala Niger-Congo, Benue-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. 174
Sasak Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi Indonesia 2.1 million (1989) 175
Kurux Dravidian India, Nepal 2.1 million (1997) 176
Mundari Austro-Asiatic, Munda India 2.1 million (1997) 177
Dinka Nilo-Saharan, East Sudanic, Nilotic Southern Sudan 2+ million 178
Slovene Indo-European, Slavic, South Slavic Official in Austria, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia. 2.0 million (1991 census) plus minorities in Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Italy; several hundred thousand (100 000 - 200 000) in US, Canada and Australia 179
Macedonian Indo-European, Slavic, South Official in Republic of Macedonia , also sizeable communities in Greece, Bulgaria and Albania 2.0 million (1995) 180
Buyei Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Tai China ~2 million (1990 census) 181
Beti-Pahuin Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Major language of Gabon, Equatorial Guinea. Significant communities in Cameroon, São Tomé and Príncipe. ~2 million. Includes Fang, Ewondo, etc. 182

1 to 2 million native speakers

Language Family Official status and where spoken natively by more than 1% of the population SIL estimate Ranking by number of native speakers
Zazaki Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western Turkey 1.5–2.5 million (all dialects) (1998 Paul) 183
Occitan Indo-European, Romance France, Italy, Spain, Monaco 1,939,000 183
Tulu Dravidian India 1.9 million (1997) 184
Ligurian Indo-European, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Gallo-Romance, Gallo-Italic Italy, France, Monaco 1,920,848 185
Sidamo Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East Ethiopia 1.9 million native, 100,000 second language, = 2.0 million total (1998 census) 186
Bashkir Altaic, Turkic, Northwestern, Northern Official in Russia (Bashkortostan) 1.9 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 187
Yao Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique ~1.9 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 188
Chuvash Altaic, Turkic Official in Russia (Chuvashia) 1.8 million native, 200,000 second language, = 2.0 million total (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 189
Ijaw (Izon) Niger-Congo, Ijoid languages Indigenous in Nigeria 1.8 million (all varieties) (Izon 1 million) 190
Fon Niger-Congo, Kwa National language of Benin Significant communities in Togo 1.7 million native (2000 Hoddenbagh), unknown number second language 191
SiSwati Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Official in South Africa, Swaziland. Significant communities in Lesotho 1.7 million (1996 census, 1993 Johnstone) 192
Irish Indo-European, Celtic, Goidelic Official in the Republic of Ireland; Northern Ireland, Small communities in USA, Canada and Australia 1,656,790 (2006 Irish Census) 193
Nyankore Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Uganda 1.6 million (1991 census) 194
Tatar Altaic, Turkic, Northwestern, Northern Official in Russia (Tatarstan). Significant communities in Bashkortostan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan 1.6 million (1989 census) [6.6 million ethnic Tatar] 195
Makasar Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi Indonesia 1.6 million native, 400,000 second language, = 2 million total (1989) 196
Gusii Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Kenya 1.6 million (1994 I. Larsen BTL) 197
Khandesi Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan India 1.6 million (1997) 198
Ndebele Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Official in South Africa. National language of Zimbabwe. 1.6 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 199
Chin Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman Myanmar, India 1.6 million (1990 BAP, 1996 UBS). All varieties, but not including Mizo etc. 200
Vlax Romani Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan Bosnia & Herzegovina, Romania, Albania, Colombia, Hungary 1.5 million 201
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) 202
Pangasinan Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippines Philippines 1.5 million (2000 census) 203
Tonga Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Zambia, Zimbabwe 1.5 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 204
Lampung Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi Indonesia ~1.5 million (1981 Wurm and Hattori) 205
Sardinian Indo-European, Romance Official in Italy (Sardinia) ~1.5 million (1977 M. Ibba, Rutgers University) 206
Scots Indo-European, Germanic, West Scotland, Significant communities in Northern Ireland ~1.5 million native (General Register Office for Scotland, 1996) 207
Dong Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Kam-Sui China 1.5 million 208
Mende Niger-Congo, Mande National language of Sierra Leone 1.5 million native, unknown number second language (1987 UBS) 209
Tày Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Tai Vietnam 1.5 million in Viet Nam (1999 census) 210
Nahuatl Uto-Aztecan, isolate Mexico 1.4 million (all varieties) (dated data) 211
Afar Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti 1.4 million (1998 census) 212
Dagbani Niger-Congo, Gur National language of Ghana 1.4 million, including Kusaal, Mampruli (2004 SIL) 213
Koli Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan India, Pakistan 1.4 million, all varieties (some data dated) 214
Chiga Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Uganda 1.4 million (1991 census) 215
Chechen Caucasic, Nakh Official in Russia (Chechnya). 1.33 million (2002 census) 264
Tumbuka Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Official in Malawi. Significant communities in Zambia 1.3 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 216
Iu Mien Hmong-Mien, Yao China 1.3 million, all varieties (1995 Wang and Mao) 217
Meru Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Kenya 1.3 million (1994 I. Larsen BTL) (dated data) 218
Gogo Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Tanzania ~1.3 million (1992 UBS) (dated data) 219
Teso Nilo-Saharan, East Sudanic, Nilotic Uganda. Significant communities in Kenya 1.3 million (1991 census) 220
Meithei Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman Official in India (Manipur) 1.3 million (1997) 221
Tamang Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman Nepal 1.3 million 222
Makonde Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Tanzania, Mozambique 1.3 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 223
Bai Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, unclassified China 1.2 million (2003) 224
Tuareg Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Southern Official in Niger. National language of Mali. 1.2 million (1991–1998) 225
Mandinka Niger-Congo, Mande National language of Senegal. Significant communities in Gambia, Guinea-Bissau. 1.2 million (2002) 226
Jula Niger-Congo, Mande Native to Burkina Faso, Significant communities in Côte d'Ivoire ~1.2 million native, 3–4 million second language 227
Temne Niger-Congo, Atlantic National language of Sierra Leone ~1.2 million native, 200,000 second language, = ~1.4 million total (1989 J. Kaiser) 228
Haya Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Tanzania ~1.2 million (1991 UBS) 229
Serer Niger-Congo, Atlantic National language of Senegal. Significant communities in Gambia. 1.2 million (2002) 230
Beja Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic or isolate Sudan, Eritrea 1.2 million (1982 SIL) 231
Nyamwezi Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Tanzania 1.2 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 232
Abron Niger-Congo, Kwa Ghana 1.2 million (2003) 233
Alur Nilo-Saharan, East Sudanic, Nilotic Congo-Kinshasa, Uganda 1.2 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 234
Sena Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Mozambique, Malawi 1.2 million, all varieties 235
Azande Niger-Congo, Ubangian Congo-Kinshasa, Southern Sudan, Central African Republic 1.1 million (dated data) 236
Walloon Indo-European, Romance Belgium 1.1 million (1998) 237
Anyi Niger-Congo, Kwa Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana 1.2 million (1993 SIL) 238
Malvi Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan India 1.1 million (1997) 239
Kinaray-a Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippines Philippines 1.1 million native (2000 census) 240
Soninke Niger-Congo, Mande National language in Mali, Mauritania, Senegal. Significant communities in Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia. 1.10 million (1991) 241
Ho Austro-Asiatic, Munda India 1.08 million (1997) 242
Estonian Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finnic Official in Estonia 1.08 million (1989 census) 243
Nyakyusa Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Tanzania, Malawi 1.05 million (1992 UBS) 244
Gwari Niger-Congo, Nupe Nigeria 1.05 million (1991 SIL, 2002 SIL) 245
Lugbara Nilo-Saharan, Central Sudanic, Moru-Madi Congo-Kinshasa, Uganda 1.04 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk, 1983 SIL) 246
Basque Language isolate, Euskadi and Navarre (Spain) and Iparralde (France) Basque Country 1.03 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk, 1983 SIL) 247
Naga Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman India 1.03 million, all varieties (1997) 248
Susu Niger-Congo, Mande National language of Guinea. Significant communities in Sierra Leone. 1.03 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 249
Tausug Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippine Philippines Significant communities in Indonesia (Kalimantan), Malaysia (Sabah) 1.02 million native (2000 census) 250
Chokwe Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu National language of Angola. Significant communities in Congo-Kinshasa 1.01 million (1990 UBS) 251
Kabardian Caucasic, Circassian Official in Russia (Kabardino-Balkaria). Significant communities in Karachay-Cherkessia, Turkey 1.01 million (1993 UBS, 2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 252
Ryūkyū Japonic, Ryūkyūan Japan 1.01 million, all varieties (2000 WCD) 253
Magindanaw Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippine Philippines 1.0 million native (2000 census), unknown number second language 254
Maranao Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Borneo-Philippine Philippines 1.0 million native (2000 census) 255
Ancash Quechua Waywash Official in Peru 1.0 million speakers 256
Songe Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Congo-Kinshasa ~1 million (1991 WA) 257
Rejang Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Sunda-Sulawesi Indonesia ~1 million (1981 Wurm and Hattori) 258
Bini Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Edoid Official in Nigeria ~1 million (1999 WA) 259
Ebira Niger-Congo, Nupe Nigeria ~1 million (1989 J. Adive) 260
Dagaare Niger-Congo, Gur National language of Ghana. Significant communities in Burkina Faso. ~1 million (2003) 261
Gujari Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan Afghanistan, India, Pakistan 0.99 million (2000 WCD) 262
Tharu Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan Nepal 0.99 million, all varieties 263
Venda Niger-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantu Official in South Africa 0.96 million (1996 census) 265
Arakanese Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman Myanmar, Bangladesh 0.95 million (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk) 266

100,000 to 1 million speakers

Chamula Tzotzil >
Language Family Official status and where spoken natively by more than 1% of the population Number of speakers
Welsh Indo-European, Celtic, Brythonic Official in Wales Also spoken by isolated populations in Argentina and England. 750,000+
Yucatán Maya Mayan, Yucatecan, Yucatec-Laca Mexico, Belize 705,000
Ossetic Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Eastern, Northeastern Spoken in Russia Official in North Ossetia, South Ossetia), Georgia, Turkey ~700,000
Ndonga Bantu Spoken in Namibia, Angola 690,000
Kwanyama Niger-Congo Angola, Namibia 671,000
Mari Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Finno-Volgaic Russia (Official in Mari El) 600,569
West Frisian Indo-European, Germanic, West Germanic Official in Netherlands (Friesland). 600,000 fluent speakers in 2004
700,000 (Ethnologue 1976)
Avar North Caucasian (disputed), Northeast Caucasian, Avar-Andic Official in Russia's Republic of Dagestan Also spoken in the rest of Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkey ~600,000
Friulian Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Gallo-Romance, Gallo-Rhaetian Italy ~600,000
Lozi Niger-Congo Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe 550,000
Udmurt Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Permic Russia (Official in Udmurtia), Kazakhstan 550,000
Kalmyk Altaic (controversial), Mongolic, Kalmyk-Oirat Spoken in Russia (Kalmykia), China, Mongolia 518,500
American Sign Language Sign Language No official status, used in USA, Canada and Guatemala. Also used in varying degrees in Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Chad, Gabon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Mauritania, Kenya, Madagascar and Zimbabwe. 100,000 to 500,000 in the USA
Breton Indo-European, Celtic, Brythonic Native in Brittany, no official status ≤ 500,000
Erzya Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-permic, Finno-Volgaic, Mordvinic Spoken in Russia ~500,000
Maltese Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South Central Official in Malta, European Union. Significant communities in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and Gibraltar ~500,000
Moksha Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-permic, Finno-Volgaic, Mordvinic Russia (Mordovia) ~500,000
Zaptotec Oto-Manguean, Zapotecan Mexico (Oaxaca, Puebla Guerrero) Also spoken in USA ~500,000
Fiji Hindi Indo-European Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada 460,000
Lezgian Northeast Caucasian, Lezgic Spoken in Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan 450,000
Hakha-Chin Sino-Tibetan Burma, India, Bangladesh 446-264
Mapudungun language isolate Significant communities in Chile, Argentina 440,000 (ethnologue)
Dargin Caucasian (geographical convention), North (disputed), Northeast Spoken in Dagestan, Russia 439,000
Ingush Caucasian (disputed), North (disputed), Northeast, Nakh, Veinakh (Chechen-Ingush) Spoken in Russia (Ingushetia, Chechnya) 415,000
Eastern Huasteca Nahuatl Uto-Aztecan, Aztecan, General Aztec, Huasteca Mexico 410,000
Karachay-Balkar Altaic, Turkic, Kypchak, Kypchak-Cuman Official languages of Russian areas of Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia 400,000
Buryat Altaic, Mongolic, Northern Mongolia, China, Russia 400,000
Western Huasteca Nahuatl Uto-Aztecan, Aztecan, General Aztec, Huasteca Mexico 400,000
Corsican Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Italo-Dalmatian Native in Corsica. 100,000-402,000
Aklanon Austronesian, Borneo-Philippines, Central Philippine, Visayan, Western Visayan, Aklan, Native in the Philippines. 394,545
Dhivehi Indo-Aryan Official inThe Maldives, Minicoy Island(India). 379,200
Samoan Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian (MP), Nuclear MP Official in Samoa and American Samoa (United States) 370,337
Sakha Altaic, Turkic, Northern Turkic Russia 363,000
Awngi Afro Asiatic, Cushitic, Central Ethiopica (Agew Awi Zone, Amhara Region) 356,980
Irish Gaelic, Celtic Official in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, spoken by communities in the United States, Canada and Australia. 350,000
Komi Uralic, Permic Spoken in Russia (Komi Republic, Perm Krai 350,000
Mazahua Oto-Manguean, Otopamean, Otomian Mexico 350,000
Papiamento Portuguese Creole Official in Netherlands Antilles and Aruba 329,000
Japanese Sign Language Sign Language no official status 320,000 signers
Icelandic Indo-European, Germanic, North Official in Iceland. Small community in Gimli, Manitoba, Canada. 310,000
Wayuu Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Caribbean Significant communities in Colombia, Venezuela 305,000 (ethnologue)
Aromanian Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Eastern Romance Greece, Albania, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Republic of Macedonia 300,000-700,000
Adyghe Caucasian (disputed), North Caucasian (disputed), Northwest Caucasian, Circassian Official in Russia's Republic of Adygea, Significant communities in the rest of Russia, Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Israel, Republic of Macedonia, Iraq 300,000
Laz South Caucasian Turkey, Georgia, Germany, Adjaria, Greece 300,000-500,000
Wanka Quechua Quechuan Official in Peru 300,000
Luxembourgish West Central German group of High German languages Official in Luxembourg 300,000
French Sign Language Sign Language spoken in France, no official status. French Sign Language is related to Dutch Sign Language (NGT), German Sign Language (DGS), Flemish Sign Language (VGT), Belgian-French Sign Language (LSFB) Irish Sign Language (ISL), American Sign Language (ASL), and Quebec Sign Language (LSQ). 80,000 - 300,000 signers
Kumyk Altaic, Turkic, Kypchak, Kypchak-Cuman Russia Dagestan 282,000
Nàmá Khoisan, Khoe, Khoekhoe, North Khoekhoe Official in Namibia. 250,000
Central Huasteca Nahuatl Uto-Aztecan, Southern Uto-Aztecan, Aztecan, General Aztec, Aztec Mexico 200,000
Kenyan Sign Language Sign Language Kenya ~200,000
Tuvan Altaic, Turkic, Northeastern Mongolia, Russia, China 200,000
Miskito Misumalpan Nicaragua, Honduras 183,400
Navajo Na-Dené, Athabaskan, Southern Athabaskan Spoken in the USA (Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico) 178,000
Maori Austronesian, Oceanic, Tahitic languages Official language of New Zealand/Aotearoa 165,000 fluent speakers (New Zealand Census, 2006. Statistics New Zealand).
Amis Austronesian Taiwan 137,651
Ngäbere Chibchan, Guaymi Spoken in Panamá 133,092 (1990 Panama Census)
Hererro Niger-Congo Namibia, Botswana 130,000
Mayan, Cholan-Tzeltalan, Tzeltalan Mexico 130,000 Highland Puebla Nahuatl Uto-Aztecan, Southern Uto-Aztecan, Aztecan, General Aztec, Aztec Mexico 125,000
Highland Totonac Totonacan, Totonac Mexico 120,000
Lak North Caucasian, Northeast Caucasian Russia (Southern Dagestan) 120,000
Orizaba Nahuatl Uto-Aztecan, Southern Uto-Aztecan, Aztecan, General Aztec, Aztec Mexico 120,000
P'urhépecha Language isolate Mexico Michoacán ~120,000
Tahitian Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian (MP), Central-Eastern MP, Eastern MP, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Central Pacific, East Fijian-Polynesian, Polynesian, Nuclear Polynesian, Eastern Polynesian, Central E. Polynesian, Tahitic France (French Polynesia) 120,000
Karelian Uralic Russia 118,000
Komi-Permyak Uralic Russia 116,000
Pardhan Gondi No official status, spoken in India 116,919
Franco-Provençal Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Gallo-Romance, Gallo-Rhaetian (SIL), Oïl (SIL), Southeastern (SIL) Italy, Switzerland, France ~113,000
Tongan Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central Eastern Malayo-Polynesian... Official in Tonga 105,319
Bachajón Tzeltal Mayan, Cholan-Tzeltalan, Tzeltalan Mexico 100,000
Ladino Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, West Iberian, Spanish Israel, Turkey 109,000
Gilbertese Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central Eastern, Eastern... Official in Kiribati 102,000
Spanish Sign Language Sign Language Spain more than 100,000 signers
Mezquital Otomi Oto-Manguean, Otopamean, Otomian Mexico, USA 100,000
Tabasaran Northeast Caucasian, Lezgian Russia (Southern Dagestan) 95,905
Mexican Sign Language Sign Language no official status 87,000-100,000 signers

10,000 to 100,000 speakers

Language Family Official status and where spoken natively by more than 1% of the population Number of speakers
Mara Sino-Tibetan, Kuki-Chin(Central) India- Official in Mara Autonomous District Council and Chin state, Myanmar 94,000
Atayal Austronesian Taiwan 84,330
South Estonian Uralic Estonia 80,000
Altay Altaic, Turkic Russia, Mongolia, China 71,600
Võro Uralic, Baltic-Finnic South Estonian Estonia 70 000
Nogai Altaic, Turkic Russia 67,800
Faroese Indo-European, Germanic, North Official in Faroe Islands. 60,000 - 80,000
Santiago del Estero Quichua Quechuan Spoken in Argentina 66,000 (ethnologue)
Paiwan Austronesian Taiwan 61,000
Chamorro Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian (MP), Nuclear MP, Sunda-Sulawesi USA (Guam, Northern Mariana Islands) 60,000+
Khakas Altaic Russia ~60,000
Scottish Gaelic Indo-European, Celtic, Goidelic Official in Scotland. 58,652 speakers. Although 92,400 people aged three and over in Scotland had some Gaelic language ability in 2001
Thai Sign Language Sign Language Thailand 56,000
Ojibwe Algonquian Canada and northern United States 55,000
Leonese Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Iberian, Leonese, Spain and Portugal 55,000
Kalaallisut Eskimo-Aleut, Inuit Official in Denmark (Greenland) 54,000
Kashubian Indo-European, Slavic, West, Pomeranian Poland 53,000
Quebec Sign Language Sign Language Canada (Quebec) 50,000-60,000
Cree Algic Canada, United States 50,000

Language Family Official status and where spoken natively by more than 1% of the population Number of speakers
Sanskrit Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan chiefly India, but also Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal; Used in religious practices in Hinduism. 49,736 fluent speakers (1991 Indian census)
Western Argentine Guaraní Guaranean Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay 48,974 (ethnologue)
Eastern Bolivian Guaraní Tupi, Tupi-Guarani, Subgroup I Official in Bolivia, Also spoken in Argentina 48,974 (ethnologue)
Cook Islands Maori Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian (MP), Central-Eastern MP, Eastern MP, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Central Pacific, East Fijian-Polynesian, Polynesian, Nuclear Polynesian, Eastern Polynesian, Central E. Polynesian, Tahitic New Zealand (Cook Islands) 42,669
Ticuna Language isolate Peru, Brazil, Colombia 40,000
Meänkieli Dialect of Finnish, Baltic-Finnic, Uralic Sweden 40,000—70,000
Aguaruna Jivaroan Official in Peru 38,290 (2000 WCD)
Bunun Austronesian Taiwan 38,000
Romansh Indo-European, Romance Official in Switzerland. 35,000 native
Rutul Northeast Caucasian Russia, Azerbaijan +30,000
Ladin Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Gallo-Romance, Gallo-Rhaetian, Rhaetian Italy 30,000
Inuktitut Eskimo-Aleut, Inuit Official in Canada ~30,000
Llanito Indo-European, Romance, Germanic, West Vernacular of Gibraltar. Although widely understood in the surrounding Campo de Gibraltar area, in Spain. 30,000 (Ethnologue 2006)
Evenki Altaic, Tungusic Russia, China, Mongolia 29,000
Nenets Uralic Russia 27,273
Mbyá Guaraní Tupian, Tupí-Guaraní, Guaraní (I) Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay 27,000
Sioux Siouan-Catawban, Siouan, Mississippi Valley, Dakotan USA, Canada 26,300
Wichí Lhamtés Vejoz Mataco-Guaicuru Argentina 25,000 (ethnologue)
Asháninka Arawakan, Maipuran, Southern Maipuran, Pre-Andine Official language of Peru 23,750 - 28,500 (2000 SIL)
Huichol 20,000 Mexico (Nayarit, Zacatecas, Jalisco) 20,000
Taba Austronesian Indonesia 20,000
Warao Warao Venezuela, Guyana 18,000 (ethnologue)
Nivaclé Mataco-Guaicuru Paraguay 18,200 (ethnologue)
Agul Northeast Caucasian, Lezgian Russia, Azerbaijan 17,373 (1989 Census)
Kaiwá Brazil 15,512 (Ethnologue)
Cherokee Iroquoian, Southern Iroquoian USA (Oklahoma) 15,000-22,000
Northern Sami Uralic Norway, Finland, Sweden 15,000—20,000
Mahl Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Insular Indo-Aryan India 15,000-20,000
Mirandese Indo-European,Italic,Romance,Italo-Western,Gallo-Iberian,Ibero-Romance,West Iberian, Astur-Leonese Portugal 15,000
Tsez North Caucasian Russia 15,000
Wichí Lhamtés Güisnay Mataco-Guaicuru Argentina 15,000 (ethnologue)
!Kung Khoisian Namibia, Angola 15,000
Norwegian Sign Language Sign Language Norway 4,000-15,000
Tuamotuan Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian... France (French Polynesia) 14,400
South Ucayali Ashéninka Arawakan, Maipuran, Southern Maipuran, Pre-Andine Official in Peru 13,000
Yaghnobi Eastern Iranian Tajikistan 12,500
South African Sign Language Sign Language South Africa 12,200
Pajonal Ashéninka Arawakan, Maipuran, Southern Maipuran, Pre-Andine Official in Peru 12,000
Pichis Ashéninka Arawakan, Maipuran, Southern Maipuran, Pre-Andine Official in Peru 12,000
Khanty Uralic Russia 12,000
Chiripá Tupi, Tupi-Guarani, Subgroup I Brazil, Paraguay 11,500 (ethnologue)
Chayahuita Cahuapanan Official in Peru 11,384 (2000, WCD)
Tuvaluan Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Central Pacific, East Fijian-Polynesian, Polynesian, Nuclear Polynesian, Samoic, Ellicean Tuvalu, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand 10,670
Aragonese Indo-European, Romance Huesca province (Spain). No official status. 10,000 native, 30,000-50,000 with some knowledge (Dated data)
Central Alaskan Yup'ik Eskimo-Aleut United States (Alaska) ~10,000
North Frisian Indo-European, Germanic, West Germanic, Frisian Germany (recognized minority language in Nordfriesland) 10,000 (Ethnologue)
Shor Altaic Russia 9,800
Zuñi Isolate United States (Arizona) Zuñi pueblo 9,651

Below 10,000

Language Family Official status and where spoken natively by more than 1% of the population Number of speakers
Israeli Sign Language Sign Language Israel ~10,000
Huambisa Jivaroan Official in Peru 9,333 (2000 WCD)
Lakota Siouan-Catawban, Siouan, Mississippi Valley, Dakotan, Sioux USA 8,000-9,000
Chukchi Chukotko-Kamchatkan Russia 7,742
Huitotot Bora-Huitoto, Huitoto-Ocaina Official in Peru Also spoken in Colombia 7,378-8,162 (Adelaar, 2004)
Southern Aymara Aymaran Official in Peru Also spoken in Brazil 7,212 (2001 SIL)
Ucayali-Yurúa Ashéninka Arawakan, Maipuran, Southern Maipuran, Pre-Andine Official in Peru Also spoken in Brazil 7,212
Megleno-Romanian Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Eastern Romance Greece, Romania, Republic of Macedonia 5,000-12,000
Veps Uralic Russia 6,355
Western Desert Language Pama-Nyungan Australia 6,103 (Ethnologue)
Flemish Sign Language Sign Language Belgium (Flanders and Brussels-Capital Region) 6,000
Perené Ashéninka Arawakan, Maipuran, Southern Maipuran, Pre-Andine Official in Peru 5,500
Achuar-Shiwiar Jivaroan Official in Peru, Also spoken in Ecuador 5,000
Cashibo-Cacataibo Panoan Peru 5,000 (Ethnologue, 1999)
Finnish Sign Language Sign Language Finland 5,000 (estimate)
Dolgan Altaic Russia ~5,000
Saisiyat Austronesian Taiwan 4,750
Rapa Nui (Easter Islander) Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central Eastern, Eastern, Oceanic, Central-Eastern, Remote Oceanic, Central Pacific, East, Polynesian, Nuclear Polynesian, Eastern Polynesian Chile (Rapa Nui (Easter Island)) 4,650
!Xóõ Khoisian Namibia, Botswana 4,200
Ajyíninka Apurucayali Arawakan, Maipuran Official in Peru 4,000
Akhvakh Northeast Caucasian Russia (Dagestan) 3,500
Koryak Chukotko-Kamchatkan Russia 3,019
Jaqaru Aymaran Official in Peru 3,009
Candoshi-Shapra Language Isolate Official in Peru 3,000 (1991, SIL)
Yague Peba-Yaguan Official in Peru 3,000-4,000 (dated)
Kala Lagaw Ya Pama-Nyungan Australia 3,000-4,000
Ludic Uralic Russia (Karelia) 3,000
Inupiaq Aleut Canada 3,500
Mansi Uralic Russia Khantia-Mansia 3,184
Carolinian Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central Eastern, Eastern, Oceanic, Central-Eastern, Remote Oceanic, Micronesian, Micronesian Proper, Ponapeic-Trukic United States Official in Northern Mariana Islands 3,000
Warlpiri Pama-Nyungan Australia 3,000
Godoberi Northeast Caucasian Russia (Dagestan) 3,000
Murui Huitoto Witotoan, Witoto, Witoto Proper, Minica-Murui Official in Peru, also spoken in Colombia 2,900 (SIL, 1995)
Bora Witotan Official in Peru Also spoken in Colombia 2,828
Saterland Frisian
(East Frisian)
Indo-European, Germanic, West Germanic, Frisian Germany (recognized minority language in Saterland, East Frisia) 2,250
11,000 (Ethnologue)
Kven Uralic Norway 2,000-8,000
Cashinahua Panoan Official in Peru Also spoken in Brazil 2,000
Inuinnaqtun Aleut Canada 2,000
Lule Sami Uralic Norway, Sweden 2,000
Arrernte Pama-Nyungan Australia 1,500
Manx Gaelic Indo-European, Celtic Isle of Man 1,750
Minica Huitoto Witotoan Official in Peru, Also spoken in Colombia 1,705 (2000 WCD)
Selkup Uralic Russia (Yamalia) 1,570
Culina Arauan Official in Peru Also spoken in Brazil 1,303
Chipaya Uru-Chipaya Official in Peru 1,200
'''She Hmong-Mien China 1,200
Walmajarri Pama-Nyungan Australia 1,000

Language Family Official status and where spoken natively by more than 1% of the population Number of speakers
Ottoman Altaic-Turkic Turkey 900
Kildin Sami Uralic Russia (Murmansk Oblast, Karelia) 500
Nganasan Uralic Russia (Taymyria) 500
Southern Sami Uralic Sweden, Norway 500
Inari Sami Uralic Finland 400
Skolt Sami Uralic Finland, Russia (Karelia) 400
Ingrian Uralic Russia (Ingria) 300
Washo Hokan United States (Washoe County, Nevada) 252
Comanche Uto-Aztecan United States (Oklahoma) 200
Hinukh Northeast Caucasian Russia (Dagestan) 200
Livonian Uralic Latvia (Livonia) 150
Enets Uralic Russia (Krasnoyarsk Krai) 70
Pite Sami Uralic Sweden, Norway 20
Ume Sami Uralic Sweden, Norway 20
Votic Uralic Russia ≥20
Ter Sami Uralic Russia (Murmansk Oblast) 10

Macrolanguages

The following are the largest ISO 639 macrolanguages, which in different sources may be counted as either one or several languages.

References

See also

External links

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