What Language Are You Speaking? Can We Guess It

<span class="author-by">by</span> Samantha <span class="author-surname">Stratton</span>

by Samantha Stratton

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Take this What Language Are You Speaking quiz to find out can we guess it. We update the quiz regularly and it’s the most accurate among the other quizzes.

Identifying the world’s most spoken languages is a more challenging undertaking than you may think. We can predict that Mandarin, English, Spanish, and Arabic will come (in roughly that order), but there will also be some surprises! Would you have imagined that Bengali is one of the top ten most spoken languages in the world?

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One little caveat: It is nearly impossible to assign actual facts, such as “X million native speakers,” to any of these languages. What constitutes a language or dialect is a contentious issue. More troubling is the fact that what we call “Chinese” is actually an entire family of languages nicely grouped together. The term “Hindi” is sometimes used as a catch-all for a variety of dialects and sub-dialects. We haven’t even considered the inaccuracy of data sources gathered at various times by various agencies. The figures below were produced by Ethnologue, which is usually regarded as the most comprehensive language data source currently available. Also, you must try to play this What Language Are You Speaking quiz.

What Language Are You Speaking?

1.3 billion native speakers of Chinese

The number of native speakers varies greatly — Ethnologue estimates 1.3 billion native speakers, nearly 1.1 billion of whom speak Mandarin — but there’s no doubt it’s the most spoken language on the planet. This is the language to learn if you want to learn a language spoken by one in every six people on the planet. Because Chinese is a tonal language with thousands of logograms, it will keep you busy.

471 million native speakers of Spanish

If only native speakers are considered, Spanish has a slight advantage over English, with approximately 471 million speakers. If you want to learn a language that will allow you to travel across continents, Spanish is your best chance. As with all of the languages on this list, the politics of language and associated identity are strongly contested: ask Catalan or Quechua speakers if Spanish is their native language, and you will receive a totally different response. However, it is the primary language of most of South and Central America, Spain, and, ahem, significant swaths of the United States.

370 Million Native Speakers of English

If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the 370 million or so native English speakers or one of the 978 million who speak it as a second language. This demonstrates English’s exceptional success as the lingua franca of business, travel, and international relations. Because of the ease with which English may be learned (particularly when compared to Chinese) and the ubiquitous soft power of American culture, English will continue to dominate the world stage for the foreseeable future. English is still associated with opportunity and a higher quality of life for some people.

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342 million native speakers of Hindi

India has 23 official languages, the most important of which are Hindi and Urdu. It is still hotly argued whether this is one language — Hindustani — or two dialects. Hindi, which is primarily spoken in northern India and parts of Pakistan, use the Devanagari alphabet, whereas Urdu employs Persian notation. At the time of writing, the debate over its role in Indian education and society has resurfaced: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist, is attempting to replace English as the primary language of official communication and education in the southern Indian states, a strategy that has been met with opposition. A little Hindi will get you a long way if you ever travel to the Indian subcontinent.

315 million native speakers of Arabic

According to recent estimates, Arabic has over 315 million native speakers. However, here is another example of numbers not telling the whole story: Arabic, like Chinese, has so many dialects that it is effectively a number of languages that have been put together for convenience. Modern Standard Arabic is mostly written, and it is closely related to Classical Arabic as used in the Quran. However, the spoken forms of Arabic in, for instance, Oman and Morocco are so dissimilar that two philosophy professors from these places could be able to discuss the finer aspects of the ancient texts while still struggling to order lunch.

For more personality quizzes check this: Masque Of The Red Death Quiz

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