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Top World Languages Quiz

We have a list of the top 60 world languages by estimated number of native speakers. How many can you guess?
For the year 2010. Source: Wikipedia
Chinese and Hindustani dialects need to be guessed separately
Quiz by Quizmaster
Rate:
Last updated: November 2, 2018
First submittedFebruary 22, 2012
Times taken179,726
Rating4.71
8:00
Enter language here:
0
 / 58 guessed
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#
Language
955 mil
Mandarin
405 mil
Spanish
360 mil
English
310 mil
Hindi
295 mil
Arabic
215 mil
Portuguese
205 mil
Bengali
155 mil
Russian
125 mil
Japanese
102 mil
Punjabi
89 mil
German
82 mil
Javanese
80 mil
Wu
77 mil
Malay/Indonesian
76 mil
Telugu
#
Language
76 mil
Vietnamese
76 mil
Korean
75 mil
French
73 mil
Marathi
70 mil
Tamil
66 mil
Urdu
63 mil
Turkish
59 mil
Italian
59 mil
Cantonese
56 mil
Thai
49 mil
Gujarati
48 mil
Jin
47 mil
Min Nan
45 mil
Persian
40 mil
Polish
#
Language
39 mil
Pashto
38 mil
Kannada
38 mil
Xiang
38 mil
Malayalam
38 mil
Sundanese
34 mil
Hausa
33 mil
Oriya
33 mil
Burmese
31 mil
Hakka
30 mil
Ukrainian
29 mil
Bhojpuri
28 mil
Tagalog
28 mil
Yoruba
27 mil
Maithili
26 mil
Uzbek
#
Language
26 mil
Sindhi
25 mil
Amharic
25 mil
Fula
24 mil
Romanian
24 mil
Oromo
24 mil
Igbo
23 mil
Azerbaijani
22 mil
Awadhi
22 mil
Gan
21 mil
Cebuano
21 mil
Dutch
21 mil
Kurdish
19 mil
Serbo-Croatian
+3
level ∞
Sep 5, 2014
This quiz has been reset since Wikipedia has changed the source data they use. I think this version is probably more accurate.
+1
level 77
Oct 3, 2014
Amharic and Oromo show up on the list now. That's the one change I noticed.
+3
level 77
Sep 9, 2014
I was surprised that Greek wasn't on the list.
+18
level 84
Sep 10, 2014
Well, they're all Greek to me.
+16
level 77
May 7, 2016
1500 years ago it certainly would have been.
+1
level 75
Nov 2, 2018
Blame the ottomans
+6
level 77
Nov 5, 2018
Not really. Most of the former-Greek-speaking world now speaks Arabic. Plus some Turkish, Hebrew, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Persian and Urdu. Mostly blame the Arab caliphs. They were much more aggressive about destroying/repressing/subverting/subsuming local culture than the Ottomans ever were. At least up until toward the end of the Ottoman Empire when things were already starting to fall apart.
+1
level 48
Sep 23, 2014
There should be a sign language version of this.
+2
level 47
Apr 25, 2015
+1
level 62
Oct 3, 2014
I only got 24, but most of the ones I missed were ones that I hadn't heard of before.
+1
level 15
Oct 3, 2014
im surprised english isnt the top
+12
level 22
Oct 3, 2014
based on native speakers only, considering what the population of China is, it was bound to be above English, however ALL English speakers would put the language first I believe
+1
level 61
Sep 16, 2016
English isn't the top, even if you were to consider all speakers, regardless of what their first language may be, (although this lets English take Spanish's place as second most spoken language). Even though English is growing is speakers, it is unlikely to be first anytime soon due to the growth of Mandarin
+6
level 77
May 12, 2018
If you count everyone who speaks even intermediate or rudimentary English then it is easily #1.
+1
level 33
Feb 1, 2017
Well, the numbers are based on native speakers. I am fairly certain, that English is on top, if non-native speakers were included. Practically everyone from European countries, and other big nations, at least know some English.
+19
level 35
Feb 3, 2017
I'm surprised British, Mexican, Australian, Indian, or African weren't on this list
+1
level 20
Mar 12, 2019
HenryFails4 British is a dialect, Mexican isn't a language they speak Spanish, Australian is as well a dialect, Indian isn't a language same with African
+12
level 46
Mar 15, 2019
Ummm I don't know how to tell you this Frost...
+2
level 36
Sep 3, 2019
british, mexican, australian, and indian are not languages
+1
level 67
Oct 3, 2014
Countries which are given as English as primary languages, plus Isle of Man and Norfolk Island total = 602,834,228 Of course many more countries have English as one of the official languages but not primary.
+23
level 56
Jun 7, 2017
I bet Isle of Man and Norfolk Island made a huge difference to the overall total!
+1
level 77
Oct 3, 2014
You should probably accept Visaya/Bisaya for Cebuano.
+1
level ∞
Oct 3, 2014
We accept Binisaya/Visayan.
+1
level 77
Oct 3, 2014
hm... okay. Nobody in the Philippines says Visayan. They all say "Visayas." Sometimes Cebuano. Never heard Binisaya before.
+1
level 7
Oct 3, 2014
Funny how Philippines messed with their languages. They call Tagalog as Filipino given that the latter should only refer to the entire Nation, while the former should only refer to Manila and nearby areas only. Same with Cebuano, as they call it Visayan given that the word 'Visayan' originally exclusively refers to the people of Panay Island where i came from, that happens to be non-Cebuano speakers but speaks Aklanon, Karay-a, and Hiligaynon.
+1
level 7
Oct 3, 2014
Visayas is a place originally refers to the Island of Panay alone, host of the pre-hispanic state "The Confederation of Maja-as" and Visayan are its people. Now, Visayas includes the islands of Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Samar, and Leyte, that used to be called Pintados Islands and its people as Pintados but now they called Cebuano as Visayan. Binisaya, Bisaya, Visayan are the people, and Visayas is the group of all the islands i mentioned.
+2
level ∞
Oct 4, 2014
I'm not sure you're right @kalbahamut. Google wants to correct Visayas language to Visayan language and the Wikipedia article is against you too. Without further info, I'm going to leave it as is:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Visayas+language

+1
level 77
May 7, 2016
I'm sure that's probably correct in English. But I've spent months in the Philippines before... most of the time around Cebu.
+1
level 35
Oct 3, 2014
Im pretty sure chinese is mandarin
+9
level 77
May 7, 2016
Spoiler alert. So is Guy Pearce.
+1
level 56
Oct 11, 2017
Chinese covers a number of different languages (some of which are given in this quiz, such as Wu and Yue/Cantonese). There are not mutually comprehensible, linguists generally don't consider them to be the same language (despite the unifying aspect of the written language).
+2
level 39
Oct 4, 2014
Yes it literally translates as 'language' but can we please accept Bahasa for Indonesian/Malay, it's pretty commonly referred to by that name in a colloquial context.
+1
level ∞
Oct 4, 2014
Okay
+1
level 27
Oct 4, 2014
In India, you write it as Telegu, not Telugu. In fact, it is pronounced as Telegu.
+1
level 77
Oct 5, 2015
On both Indian media sites and official government sites I've only encountered Telugu, never Telegu. You can be right on pronunciation, as the phonetic transcription from any Indian language into English is terrible in general.
+1
level 60
Oct 22, 2014
Where is Ebonics?
+1
level 82
Oct 25, 2014
It's a Pidgin or Creole. Not sure those are counted?
+4
level 56
Oct 11, 2017
They are counted (creoles are fully-fledged languages after all) but they don't have enough speakers to appear on this quiz. Papua New Guinea and Haiti are sovereign countries where a creole is an official language.
+2
level 68
Sep 5, 2016
Word.
+1
level 82
Oct 25, 2014
Pashto .. I tried typing that! Pashtu, Pastu, Pashu... I learned it with an "u". Also Azerbaijani is one I guessed that didn't get accepted (didn't add the i at the end). Other than that I missed 5 I've heard about and remember by name and 23 that I probably would never have guessed..
+5
level 18
May 29, 2015
Have you tried Pasta? It just might give you credit if you're hungry.
+1
level 32
Oct 20, 2015
Pashtun should be accepted
+1
level 35
Sep 15, 2016
Not Pashtun: that's the people, not the language. But you can't write Pashtun without first writing Pashtu...
+1
level 62
Sep 15, 2016
I couldn't think of Pashto so tried Afghani just for fun and it accepted it!
+1
level 54
Nov 25, 2014
I got 38. Among the ones that I missed, I hadn't heard of 12 of them before.
+3
level 47
May 1, 2015
how did somali not make it ???????????
+7
level 77
Oct 12, 2015
By there not being enough native speakers!!!!!!!!!!!!
+3
level 63
Dec 17, 2018
Did you count the question marks?
+1
level 19
May 8, 2019
Did he! (Notice how I used one exclamation point XD lol)
+2
level 14
Dec 10, 2015
Same thing bruh, the Somali diaspora is massive
+1
level 77
Sep 15, 2016
Somalia has a population of under 11 million people. Wikipedia says there are 17 million Somali native speakers, but that's still not enough to get on this list.
+2
level 56
Oct 11, 2017
It's almost as if people don't have the ability to look at the source provided... ;-)
+1
level 14
Jul 25, 2018
There are roughly 11 million Somalis in Somalia, 1.5 million in the Diaspora outside of Africa, 7 million in Ethiopia, 2 million in Kenya, and a few million in other parts of Africa. Added together, that's well over 17 million. According to Wikipedia, there are 20-21 million Somali people. That makes for more native Somali speakers than Serbo-Croatian. Source for number of Somalis worldwide: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somalis
+1
level 77
Nov 6, 2018
Do all of them speak the same language?
+1
level 18
May 16, 2015
What about Hawaiian? ;-)
+2
level 56
Oct 11, 2017
It just misses out...
+1
level 55
Aug 2, 2015
What about Pig Latin???!!!! Or Latin, for that matter!
+2
level 76
Feb 3, 2016
Neither has native speakers.
+1
level 32
Oct 20, 2015
whats the difference between Wu and Mandarin?
+16
level 80
Sep 15, 2016
Well, one's responsible for recreating dinosaurs on an island off the coast of Costa Rica, and the other one's the archnemesis of Iron Man.
+1
level 44
Nov 10, 2015
Sundanese????
+2
level 69
Sep 15, 2016
Spoken in western Java. It is the language of Sunda, which refers to a geographical region of SE Asia centred on the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra.
+1
level 58
Nov 17, 2015
I tried "Cambodian" and didn't get anything. But if I'd tried typing "Laotian" I'd have got it after three letters!
+1
level 62
Jan 27, 2016
There's no such language as "Laotian". It's just "Lao". Chinese should not be accepted for Madarin as stated in the "rules".
+1
level 14
Dec 10, 2015
30 out of 60... Not bad
+2
level 45
Dec 24, 2015
Great quiz! So nice to see all 4 languages that I speak in this list!
+2
level 42
Jan 21, 2016
I thought english would be second and spanish would be first
+1
level 69
Aug 8, 2016
Well the combined populations of all the primarily English and Spanish-speaking countries comes to about 800 million. China has almost 1.4 billion. It's pretty easy to see how Mandarin would come out on top.
+1
level 42
Jan 21, 2016
I thought swedish would be here
+2
level 77
Sep 15, 2016
There are fewer than 10 million people in Sweden and though there are Swedish speakers in Norway and Finland, There's definitely not another 10 million of them.
+2
level 69
Sep 15, 2016
In fairness the continental Scandinavian languages are mutually intelligible and should probably be considered dialects of a single language (especially when you hear the entirely separate Mandarin and Cantonese deemed 'dialects' of Chinese). If they were so considered, they would knock Serbo-Croatian off this list.
+1
level 42
Jan 21, 2016
I only got 22/60 but most of the rest i haven't heard
+1
level 65
Jan 25, 2016
One of the languages spoken in the Sudan is Sudanese not Sundanese as you have in the test.Small detail but when you type the correct letters it doesn't auto fill. Thanks in advance over
+5
level 77
Sep 15, 2016
Most people in Sudan speak Arabic. They definitely don't speak Sundanese.
+5
level 69
Sep 15, 2016
Awkward.
+5
level 56
Jun 7, 2017
Small details indeed...
+1
level 28
Feb 13, 2016
I am an Indian. but still ended up in 25.
+2
level 56
Jun 7, 2017
Why does being Indian have any relevance to how many you got?
+8
level 49
Sep 24, 2017
Because many languages here are from India?
+1
level 62
Aug 12, 2016
I forgot Spanish... Thought I already guessed it though. I even pictured the world map and said to myself: Well, most of the South American countries speak Spanish so I got that one covered... moving on. Duh...
+1
level 21
Sep 15, 2016
29 yay
+2
level 59
Sep 15, 2016
"...top 60 world languages..." 58 answers
+1
level 34
May 20, 2017
+1
+2
level 72
Sep 15, 2016
31 of 58. You know you're desperate when you actually try "jive". LOL!!
+1
level 69
Sep 15, 2016
Argh, forgot Tamil. I did get Hakka this time though, which I was annoyed at missing last time.
+1
level 62
Sep 15, 2016
Why are there only 58 answers when in the instructions it says 60?
+3
level 80
Sep 15, 2016
Shh. Those are the secret invisible answers.
+5
level 60
Sep 16, 2016
Based on latest polls for US election, about 100 million people speak Rubbish.
+3
level 37
Sep 18, 2016
Seriously? No American poll would call it "rubbish" that's a British thing
+2
level 44
Oct 27, 2016
I'm surprised that kiswahili/swahili did not make it on this list
+1
level 55
Feb 5, 2017
Me too. It's often used as a lingua franca in eastern Africa. But since decolonization it's also being taught as a first languages in schools in several countries. But I guess that when it comes to African languages, these always seem to be neglected or forgotten.
+2
level 56
Jul 15, 2018
Same, I looked it up on Wikipedia and apparently there are only 10 to 15 million native speakers. I'm guessing most people who speak Swahili speak it as a second language.
+2
level 21
Mar 26, 2017
Swiss is a language: Its called Swiss-German there is also Austro-German.
+7
level 38
Apr 17, 2017
Oh glory be, will we EVER come upon a country that Kalbahamut HAS NOT lived in?
+1
level 77
Aug 2, 2019
hallelujah! bounties never cease! a heretofore unnoticed personal attack by our enlightened savior diva. will I never stop finding new comments from this guy attacking me over his ridiculous obsessive vendetta he developed against me? (which he will, years of this ongoing behavior later, deny ever having. If he sees this response he's probably going to pipe in by saying that he wasn't talking about me and asking why I'm so paranoid, even though he calls me out by name here.)

aside: if anyone wants to see the 130 or so countries I have never set foot in before there's a map in my profile now.
+1
level 68
May 16, 2017
Swahili should definitely be on the list
+2
level 65
Aug 9, 2017
Swahili has over 130 million speakers, but only 5 million are native speakers. Not enough to make the list.
+1
level 41
Jul 31, 2019
Having lived in East Africa I can assure you there are definitely far more than 5 million native speakers of Swahili. I'm not sure what Wikipedia says that number is but it's certainly higher than some of the languages listed on this quiz.
+1
level 56
Dec 3, 2019
@bpp309 - you might have lived in East Africa, but I doubt you've met enough people to have been able to count all the native speakers!
+3
level 48
May 21, 2017
Malagasy and Saraiki are 59th and 60th if you wanted to ever listen to the title and add 60 languages.
+1
level 43
Aug 26, 2017
Can't believe I got "Azerbaijani" but not Persian.
+2
level 39
Oct 12, 2017
Where is "American". (jokes)
+1
level 63
Dec 17, 2018
haha
+1
level 52
Oct 25, 2017
Shouldn't Nepali be here, eh?
+1
level 56
Nov 15, 2017
Great quiz, very infomative. I got very few right and was glad to learn some new things.
+1
level 45
Dec 4, 2017
Awadhi is not a language, it is a dialect spoken in central Uttar Pradesh(state in India).
+2
level 76
Jul 24, 2018
I suppose it rather depends on how one defines "dialect".
+1
level 41
Dec 29, 2017
31-58. I missed many dialects spoken in Asia. I missed Bengali since I wrote "BENGAL" :(
+1
level 22
Jan 14, 2018
Missed Dutch, Serbo-Croatian and Cebuano... RIP
+1
level 46
Jan 27, 2018
Pashtu is a common variation of Pashto.
+1
level 46
Mar 22, 2018
i got bengali with 10 seconds left, i kept trying "bengalese" and wondering why it didnt work lol
+1
level 16
Apr 29, 2018
Filipinos are already 100,000,000+. How come the number of Tagalog speakers are only 28, 000,000 and Cebuano speakers are only 21, 000,000? This quiz isn't accurate at all.
+2
level ∞
Apr 30, 2018
Go to the Wikipedia page that is listed and do some more research. I'm sure the numbers make sense if you do a little more digging.
+1
level 2
May 15, 2018
How is Swahili not on this list???
+1
level ∞
May 16, 2018
Swahili is not a common first language. It is a common second language used by people of different tribes to communicate with each other.
+1
level 23
May 29, 2018
Piglatin?
+1
level 11
May 31, 2018
For all the people who thought that American is a language, the same as Australian, it is just English which has different words with the same meaning. For example, rubbish is trash/garbage in America.
+1
level 77
Jun 15, 2018
You could call it a separate dialect but even that is a bit of a stretch.
+4
level 73
Jul 24, 2018
Who thinks American is a language? Unnecessary post.
+1
level 63
Dec 17, 2018
pretty sure there would be plenty.
+1
level 42
Jun 15, 2018
just typed the many of indian languages
+1
level 49
Jul 11, 2018
Why is Azerbaijani classed as a different language to Turkish? I thought that they were mutually intelligible.
+1
level 58
Jan 12, 2019
Do you mean on the quiz or in general? Mutual intelligibility =/= same language
+4
level 74
Jul 29, 2018
Kannada?? Their English isn't that different.
+3
level 37
Aug 17, 2018
That's Canada. THis is a language of Indian state of Karnataka
+1
level 37
Aug 17, 2018
Aren't Bhojpuri and Awadhi dialects of Hindi??
+3
level 23
Aug 30, 2018
i forgot sugondese
+3
level 37
Oct 21, 2018
Can Farsi be accepted for Persian?
+1
level 43
Nov 2, 2018
I agree. I typed Farsi first and then I finally tried Persian. Farsi is the modern term.
+1
level 67
Nov 2, 2018
Seconded - every immigrant from Iran I know calls their native language Farsi, not Persian.
+1
level ∞
Nov 2, 2018
Sorry about that. Fixed.
+1
level 50
Nov 2, 2018
No Elbonian?
+3
level 45
Nov 3, 2018
Ther is no Serbo-Croatian language as such.You have Serbian language, and you have Croatian language, but no Serbo-Croatian.Pls, correct this. Thx
+1
level 44
Nov 3, 2018
I swear i wrote Hindi wtf
+2
level 50
Nov 3, 2018
please allow Panjabi
+1
level 37
Nov 5, 2018
1.5 billion people are native speakers of a European language, that's a lot. I bet that if you take into account the second and third speakers, that's make the majority of humankind easily.
+1
level 37
Nov 5, 2018
For the Indo-european family of languages, it makes 2.5 billion. Quite impressive.
+1
level 63
Dec 16, 2018
I got 22 on the first try, I need 40 for the badge.. :/ most of the ones I didnt get are weird names I never heard of and will have a hard time remembering> The ones I do recognise I probably wont remember either haha.
+1
level 63
Feb 12, 2019
Please accept gujrati as an alternative spelling
+1
level 56
Dec 3, 2019
That's not a spelling that ever appears in English. If your first attempt didn't work, it doesn't take much effort to try something very similar.
+1
level 79
Feb 12, 2019
How is it that I always forget Bhojpuri! :) I mean really, what the heck? Half of these have 0% of familiarity with me. Never seen them before in my life. And to think, over a half a percent of the world's population speaks Kannada natively and they probably don't even live in Canada!
+1
level 50
Apr 19, 2019
This was a lot harder than I imagined it would be
+1
level 64
Jun 2, 2019
I was typing in Sudanese and it wasnt being accepted
+1
level 77
Jul 7, 2019
Because it's not a correct answer.
+1
level 29
Aug 22, 2019
I somehow missed Japanese. ...even though I speak Japanese.