Asia is home to about 4.46 billion people speaking about 2,300 languages. The population of the continent is about six times that of Europe, and it is not surprising that the continent has many languages. In Europe, most people speak the Indo-European languages, which include Slavic, Romance, and Germanic languages. In Asia, the language spectrum is much wider and include Indo-European, Sino-Tibetan, Dravidian, and Altaic. Asia is characterized by mountains, vast plains, islands, and jungles, a feature that allowed communities to isolate and develop languages without external influence. However, a majority of Asians speak the common languages associated with the continent; Chinese, Hindi, English, Russian, Indonesian, Bengali, and Japanese. The following are the most spoken languages on the continent.
Major Languages Spoken In Asia
The most spoken language in Asia is Chinese due to China's position as the world's most populated country with a population of about 1.4 billion people. The Chinese language consists of several dialects spoken by about 1 billion people in Asia and about 1.2 billion people globally. Mandarin is the most spoken dialect of the language and the official language of China. Other dialects include the Wu, Min, and Yue.
Hindi is an Indo-European language spoken by about 550 million people in Asia. It is used in official capacityin North and Central India. Hindi is also spoken in the United Arab Emirates and Mauritius. A large percentage of those who speak Hindi are in India, but it is not the national language of the country. It is mutually intelligible with the Urdu language spoken in Pakistan. it is the 4th most spoken language in the world only inferior to English, Spanish, and Mandarin.
About 300 million in Asia speaks the English language. It is used in official capacity in India, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Singapore. It is used in the unofficial capacity in Brunei, the Philippines, and as Pidgin English in Papua New Guinea. English was introduced to these states during the colonial period or adopted due to its global usage.
The Russian language is spoken by about 260 million people in Asia. It is used in official capacity in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Belarus. About 400 million people speak Russian across the globe. It was the official language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution. Russian is the eighth most spoken native language and the seventh most spoken language in the world. It is among the official language of the United Nations.
The World's Most Spoken Languages
Chinese is the most spoken language in the world with over 1.2 million speakers. It is mostly spoken in Asia, especially in China. Spanish is the second most used language with over 430 million speakers. Spanish is a native language of Spain and was spread to other countries during the colonial period. English is the third most spoken language with over 317 million followed by Arabic with about 300 million speakers worldwide.
Major Languages Spoken in Asia
|Rank||Language||Estimated Number of Speakers in Asia|
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