WORD TO THE WISE

· Updated:

Mandarin and English are the most-spoken languages in the world, but the fuller picture is far more complicated and more interesting.

This diagram, created by WordTips, breaks down the world's 100 most-spoken languages by their roots (e.g., Indo-European for English and Spanish, or Sino-Tibetan for Mandarin) and by the number of native speakers and total speakers.

The resulting chart helps reveal some interesting insights. For instance, English is the most spoken language around the world, but in terms of native speakers it lags well behind Mandarin and Spanish — not all too surprising when you consider that English is the dominant language of global business. And while hundreds of millions of people speak Arabic as their native language, they are broken up into a number of country-specific dialects.

Also noteworthy are the languages on their own in their language families — while English shares roots with Spanish, Hindi and Russian, Japanese, Hungarian and Korean are sui generis.

Scroll through the rest of the chart to explore more (and you can view a zoom-able version here):



[WordTips via VisualCapitalist]

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