Top 12 Languages Spoken in Asia

Which languages have the most native speakers in Asia?
According to this source with continental adjustments made
Chinese and Hindustani dialects have to be guessed separately
Quiz by relessness
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Last updated: November 14, 2018
First submittedJanuary 7, 2017
Times taken19,129
Rating4.23
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Native Speakers
Language
950 mil
Mandarin
305 mil
Hindi
200 mil
Bengali
125 mil
Japanese
100 mil
Arabic
98 mil
Javanese
Native Speakers
Language
95 mil
Punjabi
80 mil
Wu (Shanghainese)
77 mil
Malay/Indonesian
76 mil
Telugu
76 mil
Vietnamese
76 mil
Korean
+15
Level 84
Jan 11, 2017
Interesting quiz. I was very surprised Cantonese didn't make the list. I was also surprised at some others that didn't make the cut, such as Persian, Tagalog, and Tamil.
+8
Level 79
Jan 11, 2017
Political or cultural significance of a language doesn't always correspond to the number of speakers. Only a bit over half of Irani population are Persian native speakers, a quarter of Filipinos are Tagalog and Cantonese is only the prestige dialect of its group.
+3
Level 46
Apr 6, 2017
Yes, I agree Cantonese was a surprise indeed.
+3
Level 59
Nov 7, 2017
Cultural links don't always mean the language is widely spoken. As Djilas mentioned before, Persian and Tagalog aren't that widely spoken. Same goes for other continents too. Here in Ireland, you'd struggle to find anyone incapable of understanding English bar immigrants.
+2
Level 44
Jan 14, 2017
Ironically, the photo of the banner at the top is of a dynasty who's original language (Manchu) is nearly extinct.
+1
Level 67
Apr 6, 2017
Manchu won't become extinct. It doesn't have a lot of native speakers but approximately 15 million people speak the language.
+3
Level 63
Apr 6, 2017
15 million? I think there are fewer 15 elderly people remaining in a remote village near Qiqihar who can still speak Manchurian. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchu_language
+3
Level 59
Apr 6, 2017
It turns out that out of 10 million Manchus only about 10 still speak the Manchu language natively.
+1
Level 44
Apr 11, 2017
Manchu was almost a dead language by the end of the Qing dynasty in the early 1900's (which began using manchu, and became extremely sinicized over the next several centuries to the point that almost no court officials could speak it), to say nothing of a hundred years after it's end today. Like the below commenters said, native Manchu speakers are almost gone today and fluent speakers be it first or second/third/etc. language are rare. Almost all ethnic Manchu speak Mandarin Chinese as a first language.
+1
Level 21
Jul 3, 2019
It might be owned by the Manchus for a while, but it's built in Ming dynasty by Han chinese.
+1
Level 69
Jan 22, 2017
Is Bengal acceptable for Bengali?
+4
Level 63
Feb 8, 2017
I tried Punjab for Punjabi but I think Bengal and Punjab are regions, not languages.
+2
Level 79
Apr 6, 2017
Bengali is the adjective, or name for the language. Bangla works as well.
+2
Level 65
Apr 6, 2017
Tried Nihongo but didn't work and stopped trying. Found out after the quiz that it's included as Japanese.
+7
Level 58
Apr 6, 2017
Erm, that's because the name for the language in English is Japanese
+7
Level 54
Apr 17, 2017
Even Japanese people wouldn't type "Nihongo" on this quiz.
+3
Level 59
Mar 14, 2019
Don't be ridiculous. If you really thought that it would be listed in japanese rather than english, then you would have tried "日本語", not "nihongo"
+1
Level 60
Apr 6, 2017
WU

spoken by 90 mil.

+2
Level 65
Sep 5, 2019
I lived in Shanghai for a year and only heard someone speaking Wu once.

Don't know about the source but 90M seems way over head to me.

+1
Level 58
Apr 10, 2017
0:50! ..Second time. First time around I missed half, and kept trying cantonese
+1
Level 71
May 2, 2017
shouldn't russian be on here? There's a lot of Central Asian countries where it's common as a second language, aside from Russia. at least give me a source somewhere with accurate information.
+3
Level 48
May 2, 2017
... native speakers.
+4
Level 48
May 17, 2017
According to the source there are 160 million speakers. 95 million live in Europe. Leaving 65 million in Asia (assuming there are none in the rest of the World). How am I being stubborn? That's less than 76 million for 11/12th place.
+1
Level 66
Jul 31, 2017
It was surprising that Cantonese was not on the list. I also wonder about English because India has a large number of English-speaking citizens and Sri Lanka, once Ceylon, had speakers of English.
+1
Level 68
Apr 29, 2018
150 million native Russian speakers - surely more than 76m of these in Asia?
+5
Level ∞
Apr 29, 2018
No
+2
Level 44
May 6, 2019
125 million English speakers in India alone
+2
Level 42
Dec 2, 2019
native speakers
+2
Level 47
Jan 25, 2020
oh this is like 3 years ago! i was thinking wheres tamil, urdu, cantonese etc. but it is in the list now
+1
Level 51
Jul 11, 2020
Got Javanese with 5 seconds left!
+2
Level 50
Feb 27, 2021
Missed Punjabi - wrote Punjab instead. Can that be accepted?
+1
Level 70
May 3, 2021
For anyone wondering, Wikipedia lists 70 million for Persian, 68 million for Urdu, 75 million for Tamil, and 83 million for Marathi (at the 2011 census; it seems like that should be added, especially as it is also listed on the Top World Languages quiz).