The top ten most spoken languages in the world

Translation, Languages, Top Ten Language, Most Spoken Languages,

Often clients enter the global market with great strategy and huge marketing budgets, only to find their message and vision is lost in a market which does not necessarily speak or understand their language. According to (June 2, 2021), the top ten most spoken mother tongue languages in the world are:

  • Mandarin 
  • Spanish 
  • English 
  • Hindi 
  • Arabic 
  • Portuguese 
  • Bengali 
  • Russian 
  • Japanese
  • Lahnda (Western Punjabi)

Knowing what the biggest languages in the world are, the next obvious question any marketing or sales team needs to ask is: what is the market size for these languages?

There is little indication as to which languages combinations are mostly translated into and from, but according to, Europe owns nearly half of the global language services market at 49%, followed by North America at 39.41%. Abby Falik, social entrepreneur and founder/CEO of Global Citizen Year published an article on LinkedIn titled Multilingualism is the New Lietracy, in which she states the following: “In Europe, 80% of primary school students and 94% of high school students are studying English. And in China, there are more people who speak English as a second language than there are people in the United States who speak it as their first.” This is testimony to the weakness of multilingualism in English speaking countries. Apart from the top ten spoken languages mentioned above, Javanese, German, Korean, French, Turkish, Vietnamese and Swahili have also been noted amongst the most translated languages.

According to a projection published at the end of 2020, the language services industry was expected to suffer slightly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The market size in 2020 was forecast to reach between US$47.5 million and US$48.4 billion and keep growing further throughout 2021 and 2022 ( With the language services market continuing to grow at a rate of over 12% year on year, one is often asked how it is sustainable taking into consideration the advent of new technologies, machine translations, and even crowd-sourced localisation.

Our experience has shown that some factors which are driving this growth include:

  • Increasingly global economy
  • International trade
  • Immigration patterns
  • Growth of online content 

Therefore, whether you are new to the industry or considering entering the industry, you need to be aware that there are about 18,000 ( suppliers already playing in the field. You need to offer something special to your clients, and excellent quality at competitive prices are what will make your clients use your services again and again.

The Language Inc. team

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