Which language is most widely spoken?

There are more than 6,000 languages spoken in the world today. In some large countries, several languages are spoken. (India has more than 800!) In other large countries, different versions or dialects of the same language are spoken in different areas. In both cases, an “official” language is usually chosen for the country. That language is used in schools, by the mass media (like television), and by the government. It is not surprising that Chinesethe language spoken in the world's most populous countryis the world's most widely spoken language. Although many different versions or dialects of Chinese are spoken in the country, the standard or official language, “Mandarin Chinese,” is spoken in its northern and central regions. It is the native language of nearly 900 million people. Spanish is the second most widely spoken language, and English is the third. English is the most common international language, which means it is spoken in more places around the world than any other.


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