In Asia, there are 4.46 billion people who speak close to 2,300 languages – that’s a lot! In a country where the population is six times that of Europe, this shouldn’t be surprising. Here’s a list of Asia’s most popular languages and their speakers if you’re thinking about learning a new language.
Asian languages are the most widely spoken in the world. Languages spoken in Asia: Which is the most popular? In the below, we have mentioned 5 most spoken languages in Asia including 2 hardest languages to learn.
1 – Chinese
Chinese is the most spoken language in Asia with 1 billion speakers and 1.2 billion speakers worldwide! There is actually more than one language in this family. Around 51 percent of Asia’s total population speaks Mandarin Chinese, which is most popular in China.
In addition to Wu, Min, and Yue dialects, Chinese is also expressed in other dialects. What makes Chinese so popular? Well, China has a massive population thanks to rapid economic growth over the past few decades. You better start studying the language now since China is projected to become the world’s leading economy by 2050! Are you interested in learning Chinese?
2 – Hindi
There are 550 million Hindi speakers in Asia. In India, Sanskrit is the most commonly spoken language. Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu are also popular languages in the country, but Hindi is the lingua franca of the Hindi belt, a central region of India united by the language.
Urdu is also mutually intelligible with Hindi, so speakers of both languages can understand each other. The Indian language is the fourth most widely spoken language in the world, after Chinese, Spanish, and English. Although Hindi is India’s most spoken language, it is not the country’s national language, as the Constitution of India never designated any language as such! Additionally, English speakers found Hindi to be the easiest language to learn.
3 – English
There are over 300 million native speakers of English in Asia and over 2 billion in the world (native and foreign speakers). This one shouldn’t come as a surprise, either – as the world’s foremost language, English is immensely popular in Asia.
In some countries, English was introduced during colonization or was adopted because of English’s widespread presence. Malaysia, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Singapore, and Hong Kong use it on an official basis. Papua New Guinea also uses Pidgin English. About 17 percent of Asia’s population speaks English!
4 – Russian
Asia has 260 million speakers, and Russian is on the list too! Due to Russia’s size (by land mass), this makes sense. Russian is not only spoken in former Soviet states, but also in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and disputed territories of Georgia. Additionally, Russian is one of the official languages of the UN. Russian is a valuable language to learn.
5 – Indonesian
It is actually more popular than the different languages like Korean or Japanese, with 240 million speakers in Asia. There are about 10 percent of Asians who speak Indonesian. Indonesia and East Timor are the only countries that use it as a working language.