Globalisation has forced many people to both communicate and cooperate outside of their home country in languages other than their own. This important trend has led to some languages becoming more important than others. With more than 7,000 languages spoken throughout the world, there are just a few that take the front stage in communication today.

There are 10 which are considered to be the most important languages. These are listed and described below.

  • English

At least 375 million people speak English as their native language, but around 1.5 billion use it at least now and again. Also, English, as time has gone by, has become the most influential of all world languages. It is the official language of some of the world’s biggest economies, which include the United Kingdom, the U.S.. and Canada,

  • Chinese/Mandarin

982 million people are Mandarin native speakers, while around 1.1 billion can speak the Chinese Mandarin dialect. They mostly live in China which is today one of the world’s leading economies.

  • Spanish

Spanish is one of the most commonly spoken global languages with 330 million or more native speakers. Added to that number are 420 million people who speak it as a 2nd language. Spanish today is the main language in at least twenty countries, most of which are in South America.

  • Japanese

About 127 million people speak Japanese as a native language and another million speak it now and again. It’s not that popular outside of Japan, but it is a popular language to learn for those interested in working in the computer industry.

  • German

Germany is the most commonly spoken language in the European continent. There are about 105 million native speakers with at least 80 million people speaking it as a 2nd language around the world.

  • Russian

There are 150 million native speakers of Russian while 110 million speak it as non-native speakers. Russian is the official language of 38 territories.

  • French

French is spoken by 79 million people as their native language but there are altogether 370 million speakers of the language throughout the world. 

  • Arabic

Arabic is the official language of 22 countries in the Arab league with 205 million native speakers and a further 100 million non-native speakers worldwide.

  • Hindi

Hindi has 450 million native speakers with 200 million non-native speakers. Most are in India, which is the 7th largest economy globally.

  • Portuguese

215 million people are native Portuguese speakers, while there are 235 million speakers in total. It’s the primary language in Portugal, Brazil, and seven other countries, and is often considered the major language of the Southern Hemisphere which makes it one of the most important languages to know.

This list of the most important languages is based on the number of speakers and their influence in the modern world. But in order to decide what language to learn, you need to consider both the issues of practicability and likability.