List of most widely spoken languages (by number of countries)

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This is a list of the most widely spoken languages in the world sorted by the number of countries in which the language is spoken. A language has been deemed to be spoken in a country if it is the official language of that country or is spoken traditionally or/and natively as a first language by a majority of that country's inhabitants. The definition of a single language is to some extent arbitrary, and there is no universal agreement on the number of countries in the world, since a number of states have disputed sovereignty status and because the definition of country also to some extent is arbitrary. That means that this list should be seen as tentative. For example, in San Andrés, Colombia, the inhabitants not only speak Spanish but English too.

Rank Language Number of countries Countries
1
English
54, plus 27 territories
American Samoa (United States), Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda (United Kingdom), Botswana, Cameroon, Canada, Cook Islands (New Zealand), Curaçao (Netherlands), Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guam (United States), Guyana, Hong Kong (China), India, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Federated States of Micronesia, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Andrés y Providencia (Colombia), Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sint Maarten (Netherlands), Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, U.S. Virgin Islands (United States), Vanuatu, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
2
French
38, plus 16 territories
Algeria, Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Guinea, Haiti, Laos, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Monaco, Morocco, New Caledonia (France), Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, Vanuatu.
3
Arabic
27
Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestine, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.
4
Spanish
20, plus 1 territory
Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico (United States), Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela.
5
Portuguese
9, plus 1 territory
Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Macau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Timor-Leste, Goa (India).
6
Fulfulde
20
Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote D'ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo
7
German
8
Austria, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy)
8
Russian
7
Belarus, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Transnistria, Ukraine
9
Italian
6
Italy, Croatia,[1] Malta,[2] Monaco,[3] San Marino, Slovenia, Switzerland, Vatican City
10
Chinese
6
China, Hong Kong (in the form of Cantonese), Macau (in the form of Cantonese), Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan
10
Dutch
6
Netherlands, Belgium, Aruba, Curacao, Suriname, Sint Maarten
11
Malay/Indonesian
5
Indonesia (known as Indonesian, and Malay is a separate regional language), Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, East Timor (in the form of Indonesian, as working language)
11
Tamil
5
India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia (west coast), Singapore, Mauritius
11
Swahili
5
Tanzania, Kenya, DRC, Uganda, Burundi
11
Serbo-Croatian
5
Serbia (as Serbian), Croatia (as Croatian), Montenegro (as Montenegrin), Bosnia and Herzegovina (as Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian), Kosovo (as Serbian)
11
Persian language
5
Iran, Afghanistan (as Dari), Tajikistan (as Tajik), Uzbekistan (as Tajik), Iraq
12
Bengali
4, plus 1 territory
India, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia,[4] Sierra Leone (honorary official language),[5] Karachi (Pakistan) (as a recognized secondary language)[6][7][8][9]
13
Hindi
3
India, Fiji (as Fiji Hindi), Mauritius
13
Armenian
3
Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Georgia
14
Punjabi
2
India, Pakistan
14
Turkish
2
Turkey, Cyprus
14
Romanian
2
Romania, Moldova
14
Swedish
2
Sweden, Finland
14
Greek
2
Cyprus, Greece
14
Korean
2
North Korea, South Korea
14
Albanian
2
Albania, Kosovo
14
Urdu
2
India, Pakistan


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Languages of Croatia. Ethnologue.com
  2. ^ A view of the linguistic situation in Malta. Ignasi Badia i Capdevila
  3. ^ Society in Monaco. monaco-iq.com
  4. ^ Asians in the Middle East
  5. ^ "Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan". eb.archive.org. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Syed Yasir Kazmi (October 16, 2009). "Pakistani Bengalis". DEMOTIX. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ "کراچی کے 'بنگالی پاکستانی'(Urdu)". محمد عثمان جامعی. 17 November 2003. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ "The Language Movement : An Outline". Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Karachi Department of Bengali". Retrieved April 2, 2013.