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Home to roughly 4.46 billion people, Asia is famous for its total number of spoken languages, about 2,300 to be precise. The language spectrum is wider here, as opposed to Europe for example. The collection of Asian languages includes Sino -Tibetan, Austronesian, Dravidian, Altaic and countless others. By the way, English is also spoken fluently as a second language in many countries in Asia. So, if you’re planning a trip to Asia, or wishing to study there, it’s about time you found out which are the most popular Asian languages!
The list has been put together by looking at the most common languages spoken in Asia, but also the most popular Asian and Pacific Island languages popular in the US and Europe and the most popular Asian languages for business. How to learn Asian languages? Mondly’s got your back!
So, without further ado, let’s discover which are the most popular Asian languages today!
The most popular language on our list is Chinese, which is only natural seeing as China leads the world population statistics with over 1.4 billion people. Mandarin is the most spoken dialect and China’s official language. It belongs to the Sino-Tibetan language family and is somewhat similar to Cantonese.
Other known dialects are Cantonese, Hokkien, Xiang, Hakka, Min, Wu, and Yue. You should know that the language has over 100.000 special characters, which are called logograms, and its speakers use four distinct tones to communicate. There is also a neutral tone and each one of the five is used in order to differentiate between words. At least, all the dialects use the same writing system, phew… Don’t worry, we’ll start you off with something easy like “hello” and “thank you”.
Chinese is also the third most common foreign language in the United States, with approximately 3.4 million speakers. By the way, it’s very possible that China will become the strongest economy by 2050, so you’d better start learning Chinese online soon. Apparently, Chinese speakers use both sides of the brain, while English speakers only use their left side.
Second on our list is Hindi, the most widely spoken language in India. This Indo-Aryan derived language is spoken by approximately 550 million people, including here the residents of Fiji. Written in the Devanagari script, Hindi is also spoken by some 81 million people in the US. If you are a fan of Bollywood, this is the language for you!
Coming from Sanskrit, Hindi is the fourth most-spoken native language in the world, behind Chinese, Spanish and English, and it’s also incredibly similar to Urdu. The two languages are so similar that two speakers of Urdu and Hindi can understand each other without issues! Even though it is the most popular language in India, it is not in fact the national language. This is due to the fact that the Indian constitution does not specify a national language as such. By the way, Hindi is also one of the easiest languages to learn by English speakers, so you should definitely give it a go!
Coming in at number three is Indonesian, also known as Bahasa Indonesia, a language that is very similar to Malay, the latter being the standardized version. To be more precise, Indonesian is actually considered a dialect of Malay, with differences mainly when it comes to accent and vocabulary.
However, natives can certainly distinguish between the two with ease. Good news for the language enthusiasts, Indonesian uses Latin script, which makes it one of the least challenging Asian languages to learn. Another interesting fact is that Indonesian is the third most used language in WordPress, with an astounding 1.5 million blogs written in this language.
With 240 million speakers in Asia alone, Indonesian is actually more popular than Korean (sorry Squid Game fans) or Japanese, even though it’s hard to believe. According to linguists, 10% of Asia’s population speaks Indonesian, and that’s a huge number indeed!
Which Asian language sounds the best? Well, it’s a matter of personal taste, to be perfectly frank. Try each of them on our app and decide for yourself!
Not any language can make the top three list, but we do however have some other interesting candidates:
- Japanese. Anime fans will most likely want to learn Japanese online in order to thoroughly enjoy their favorite shows. It will certainly help with counting the many episodes of Naruto and the likes;
- Korean. Check out the quick guide to Hangul!;
Start using Mondly for free on your computer or download the app and learn all these beautiful languages whenever you please!