Mother Tongue, Other Tongue

China Bride Blog

Do you speak Chinese? Do you speak Chinese?

The phrase “mother tongue” is perhaps an indicator of just how important language is to our existence and survival. And yet, language can also separate and divide us. It is estimated there are more than 6700 languages in the world. However, twenty major languages are spoken by approximately 50% of all people. A list of major languages ranked according to native speakers includes:

1. Mandarin
2. Spanish
3. English
4. Hindi/Urdu
5. Arabic
6. Bengali
7. Portuguese
8. Russian
9. Japanese
10. German
11. Javanese
12. Punjabi
13. Wu
14. Telugu
15. Marathi
16. French
17. Vietnamese
18. Korean
19. Tamil
20. Italian

Different studies may rank languages in different order and other languages may also be included in the top 20. However, this list represents approximately half of the world’s estimated population of 6.8 billion people.

It must be remembered that the above list does…

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