How can Spanish be the second most spoken language in the world?

GarryA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

How can Spanish be the second most spoken language in the world?

how can Spanish be the second most spoken language in the world? Sure, China is probably # 1 but just the population of the U.S.A. alone at more than 400 million is greater than all the native hispanohablantes. Add in Australia, South Africa, England, Scotland and a few other countries and 2nd and 3rd place must be very close.  Almost every country conducts business in English so there are a lot of English as a second language speakers. Am I missing something?

Asked 4 months ago
DavidC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi there Garry -

That statistic which you are quoting: i.e., "... Spanish ... the second most spoken language in the world?" must be referring to first language speakers >

List of languages by number of native speakers - Wikipedia

> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_number_of_native_speakers

As you imply, if you include people who speak it as a second or third language, then English will rank even above Chinese.

Another interesting point, incidentally, arises if you consider which of the world's languages are sufficiently closely related to be mutually intelligible [as indeed Shui indicates]. This is another "plus" in favour of learning Spanish - because you should then be able to hold [simple] conversations with an Italian, and you will be able to read Portuguese [and sometimes even understand it if spoken slowly].

 

InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Garry

As David correctly assumed, the text is referring to native speakers, not including second languages.

Saludos

How can Spanish be the second most spoken language in the world?

how can Spanish be the second most spoken language in the world? Sure, China is probably # 1 but just the population of the U.S.A. alone at more than 400 million is greater than all the native hispanohablantes. Add in Australia, South Africa, England, Scotland and a few other countries and 2nd and 3rd place must be very close.  Almost every country conducts business in English so there are a lot of English as a second language speakers. Am I missing something?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your Spanish level for FREE

Test your Spanish to the CEFR standard

Find your Spanish level
Let me take a look at that...