thumbnail

Biggest Cities by Language

For each language, name the most populous city where that language is the most commonly spoken at home.
Based on urban area populations, according to citypopulation.de, 2023
For French, we accept two answers. Read comments for more info.
Quiz by Quizmaster
Rate:
Last updated: April 3, 2023
You have not attempted this quiz yet.
First submittedMay 9, 2011
Times taken197,635
Average score70.8%
Rating4.94
4:00
Enter city here:
0
 / 24 guessed
The quiz is paused. You have remaining.
Scoring
You scored / = %
This beats or equals % of test takers also scored 100%
The average score is
Your high score is
Your fastest time is
Keep scrolling down for answers and more stats ...
Language
Population
City
English
23.1 m
New York City
Spanish
24.9 m
Mexico City
French
15.0 m /
11.4 m
Kinshasa /
Paris
Korean
24.9 m
Seoul
Portuguese
23.0 m
São Paulo
Arabic
22.2 m
Cairo
Russian
18.8 m
Moscow
Turkish
16.1 m
Istanbul
Mandarin
20.9 m
Beijing
Japanese
40.8 m
Tokyo
Wu
40.0 m
Shanghai
Hindi
33.4 m
Delhi
Language
Population
City
Cantonese
67.8 m
Guangzhou
Tagalog
26.7 m
Manila
Marathi
26.6 m
Mumbai
Yoruba
21.4 m
Lagos
Bengali
21.3 m
Dhaka
Persian
16.2 m
Tehran
Tamil
12.2 m
Chennai
Vietnamese
13.5 m
Ho Chi Minh City
Gujarati
9.30 m
Ahmedabad
Italian
6.10 m
Milan
Hebrew
2.93 m
Tel Aviv
Serbo-Croatian
1.44 m
Belgrade
100 Recent Comments
+28
Level ∞
Apr 3, 2023
For French, I am 95% sure the correct answer is Paris. My assumption is that, in Kinshasa, many more people speak Lingala (or other indigenous languages) at home than speak French.

But as the DRC is a very poor country there is no data.

So I will allow Kinshasa even though its almost certainly not correct.

+1
Level 66
Oct 5, 2015
Done with 28 seconds left. And from my phone, where I write slower.
+3
Level 80
Oct 5, 2015
You're wrong on Bengali...Dhaka should be the main city, not Kolkata. Wiki shows Dhaka having 14.4m in 2013. Kolkata has 14.38m in 2015.
+2
Level 70
Apr 16, 2016
And that even shows stats for different years, proving his point invalid.
+2
Level 80
Jul 21, 2018
So much for that
+2
Level 22
Dec 3, 2023
The point is that dhaka's pop in 2013 was more than kolkata's in 2015. Dhaka's pop has substantially increased. So in a span of 2 years its pop has had increased more than 14.38 million proving that he is right..
+1
Level 34
Oct 6, 2015
Guangzhou doesn't have 46.9 million people
+4
Level 70
Apr 16, 2016
Metro area, man.
+1
Level 22
Jul 11, 2024
metro area makes no sense because why is a small town in NJ counted as a part of NYC metropolitan area??
+1
Level 41
Jul 11, 2024
Because that's the kind of thing being defined by a metro area. It's meant to include all the surrounding areas including small towns that commute into the larger city and participate in its economy.
+1
Level 31
Oct 6, 2015
20 out of 24. I kept typing in Hong Kong; I did not think that guagzhou had such a big population. But the way what is the difference between Wu and Mandarin
+1
Level 31
Oct 6, 2015
Thought that Jerusalem was bigger than tel aviv
+4
Level 82
Aug 3, 2016
Difference between Wu and Mandarin is that they're different languages. 'Hello' in Mandarin is 'nihao', in Wu it is 'nong ho'. The number 10 in Mandarin is 'shi', in Wu it is 'sat'.
+4
Level 43
Jul 19, 2018
Although China we refer to regional differences as dialects, or 'fangyan'. Supposedly there are seven major dialects, including Wu and Cantonese. Putonghua or Mandarin is the 'official' Chinese language and it is based on the Beijing dialect. Some linguists consider the dialects as separate languages, some don't. There might as well be thousands of languages in China, as in many cases, even different regions in the same city have dialects that are incomprehensible to each other.
+1
Level 57
Oct 21, 2020
In linguistics, the various languages in China are different languages, not dialects. In Chinese, people and the government tend to call them dialects. The rule is that if they are not mutually intelligible, they are different languages. Mandarin and Cantonese are not mutually intelligible; neither are Mandarin and Wu.
+1
Level 59
Apr 30, 2023
I don’t think Dialects and Languages are mutually exclusive. I think that the distinction is negligible because the Chinese languages are clearly very similar, and yet also very clearly not mutually intelligible. Much like everything, it is a spectrum and where you draw the line is arbitrary.
+1
Level 92
Oct 7, 2015
Guangzhou does not have that large of a population, you can't just include other cities like Shenzhen, Dongguan and Huizhou into Guangzhou and even if you did, Shenzhen is a city where you speak mandarin due to the fact that the majority of the population have migrated from other provinces
+2
Level 42
Dec 11, 2021
But Cantonese is still widely spoken there, especially in informal situations and at home, which is also stated by the instructions above.
+1
Level 15
Oct 8, 2015
Now Ankara is turkey's capital
+12
Level 63
Feb 2, 2016
Your point is? The quiz is asking for the biggest cities where a language is most commonly spoken and Istanbul has thrice as many people as Ankara.
+1
Level 70
Apr 16, 2016
Missed just Lagos and Ahmedabad, got all others however.
+2
Level 59
Nov 9, 2016
I knew sau Paulo. just i forgotten it's spelling
+4
Level 31
Apr 2, 2017
sao paulo
+1
Level 68
Jun 14, 2017
Missed Gujarati but got everything else. What a fun quiz!
+2
Level 45
Jul 31, 2017
One of the funnest quizzes I've taken on jetpunk!
+1
Level 46
Dec 27, 2017
Does Kolkata have a larger metro population than Dhaka?
+1
Level 42
Dec 11, 2021
Dhaka is now larger than Kolkata.
+1
Level 41
Dec 29, 2017
Is Dhaka (at 18 million) not larger than Kolkata?
+2
Level ∞
Feb 2, 2018
It is now, yes. The quiz has been updated.
+2
Level 71
Jan 23, 2018
who else had no clue what Gujarati is lol
+6
Level ∞
Feb 2, 2018
Gandhi's native language
+1
Level 55
Jul 19, 2020
Gujaratis form a huge chunk of the expat population in US too!
+2
Level 65
Apr 9, 2018
According to English Wikipedia, urban Kinshasa has more inhabitants than urban Paris, maybe check on some other sources, too.
+6
Level ∞
Apr 10, 2018
While French is a popular second language in the D.R. Congo only a very small percentage of Congolese speak it natively.
+1
Level ∞
Apr 3, 2023
Update 2023: It's impossible to find good data. I think that Lingala is probably the most commonly-spoken native language in Kinshasa but I can't confirm. Kinshasa will be accepted now.
+1
Level 71
Jul 19, 2018
Isn't Shenzhen included in the numbers for Guangzhou? In that case, Shenzhen should be an acceptable answer.
+1
Level 30
May 29, 2024
No because Shenzhen is a new city that atrracts immigrants from all over China, and as a result very few people speak Cantonese at home. They mostly speak Mandarin or other Chinese dialects.
+1
Level 51
Jul 19, 2018
Idk if someone has mentioned it before, but Rome should be bigger than Milan today (even with urban area around it). See Wikipedia, etc.
+1
Level 42
Dec 11, 2021
Well, Rome is bigger than Milan by city limits, but vice versa by urban areas.
+4
Level 50
Jul 19, 2018
serbo-croatian does NOT exist. It existed in Yugoslavia times, in a political way. Same as Czechoslovakian. But they were separated languages. But political or not. It does not ecist.
+5
Level 82
Jul 20, 2018
Sometimes they replace a few words and insist it's a new language because of politics.
+2
Level ∞
Oct 10, 2020
It's a total farce. Apparently, they even hire "translators" to convert between the two "languages", which of course sound almost exactly the same.
+3
Level 70
Mar 18, 2020
A language does not cease to exist when countries split or are put together. (Instantly I mean, ofcourse it can change after a couple centuries). Look at belgium for instance. they speak french and dutch
+1
Level 35
Jul 20, 2018
Accept Beograd for Belgrade?
+1
Level 41
Jul 20, 2018
Jerusalem has more hebrew speakers than Tel Aviv
+3
Level 82
Jul 23, 2018
I think this is false if you consider the urban area. But more importantly this isn't based on the cities with the largest number of speakers of each language, it's about naming the biggest cities where each language is spoken more than any other language in those cities.
+1
Level 45
Mar 8, 2019
I never knew Guangzhou had so many people!

I have also never heard of the language "Yoruba"...hehehe...

And for Hebrew I typed in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Amman, Baghdad,...I am so untalented.

For Vietnamese I tried Phnom Penh, and for all those languages like Marathi, Tamil or Gujarati I just tried all the Hindi cities I know...Still got all of them...but #facepalm

+1
Level 75
Mar 11, 2019
Fun but easy
+2
Level 68
Mar 21, 2019
Why no German?
+2
Level 52
Aug 6, 2019
Didn’t Kinshasa’s population pass Paris’ (although I assume there is still more French spoken in Paris)?
+2
Level 68
Nov 20, 2019
Kinshasa also has a plethora of native languages to account for, of which Paris has no dire need to worry.
+1
Level 69
Nov 4, 2019
I remembered at the end what hebrew was
+1
Level 65
Dec 29, 2019
EZ 4 ME (good quiz, hope to see more like these)
+1
Level 59
Jan 3, 2020
Needs an update. Kinshasa now has more inhabitants than Paris.
+4
Level ∞
Oct 10, 2020
While French is a popular second language in the D.R. Congo only a very small percentage of Congolese speak it natively.
+3
Level 57
Oct 21, 2020
Have you been to Kinshasa .... There is no way a majority of people living there speak French, and certainly not French at home as their usual language of communication. Yes, because of colonialism, it is an official language there, but that does not mean many or most people use it much.
+1
Level 16
May 14, 2020
Very interesting quiz!
+1
Level 49
Jul 8, 2020
fun
+1
Level 59
Nov 15, 2020
WOW i did a lot better than i thought
+1
Level 70
Nov 15, 2020
Excellent quiz, loved it.
+1
Level 65
Nov 15, 2020
I still find the Wu thing quite surprising. I lived for half a year in Shanghai and encountered a single Wu speaker. I don't know what people do at their homes, but on the street Wu is almost non-existent (from my laowai perspective, of course).
+1
Level 42
Dec 11, 2021
Well, I hear that Wu is dying out there.
+1
Level 65
Nov 15, 2020
Bengali is wrong, the most populous city is Kolkata, not Dhaka!
+2
Level 50
Nov 16, 2020
Kolkata is 14 million, Dhaka is close to 20 million. So, no, it's not wrong.
+1
Level 51
Nov 17, 2020
Rome is larger than Milan. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome
+1
Level 42
Dec 11, 2021
By city limits, but not by urban area.
+1
Level 56
Nov 18, 2020
Paris, 11.4 million?? I didn't even try it.
+1
Level 57
Dec 23, 2020
Fun quiz, but a bit too easy without a yellow bar, I accidentally got Ahmadabad and Chennai, just because I was guessing for other Indian languages
+1
Level 72
Jan 26, 2022
Wouldn't you have guessed them either way, if not then later?
+1
Level 17
Apr 7, 2021
Dutch?
+1
Level 42
Dec 11, 2021
Amsterdam, maybe.
+1
Level 43
May 19, 2021
Not gonna lie, the Italian and the Cantonese one confused me. I was surprised that Milan had more Italian speakers than Rome and Venice. As for the Cantonese one, I thought it was commonly spoken in South-East Asia. By the way I'm currently living in India so the Indian cities were quite easy for me lol.
+1
Level 42
Dec 11, 2021
Cantonese is not spoken natively in Southeast Asia (except for Cantonese immigrants living there).
+1
Level 66
Apr 15, 2024
Rome is the more populous city but Milan has a slightly more populous metro area
+1
Level 65
May 22, 2021
Easy!!
+1
Level 26
Aug 11, 2021
Only missed Ahmedabad, the rest I got it perfect. I love this quizes
+1
Level 47
Jan 7, 2022
How about German?
+2
Level 56
Jan 23, 2022
I do not think that Marathi is not the most commonly spoken language of Mumbai.

According to this wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai,

Marathi is spoken by 32.2% of the population, Hindi by 25.9% of population and Urdu by 11.7%. But Hindi and Urdu in spoken form (as spoken language is the criterion for this quiz) are the same language often described by the name 'Hindustani' which takes it's total to 37.6%, more than Marathi.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindustani_language

+1
Level 72
Jan 26, 2022
It is though. Also, Urdu is a Pakistani language more than its Indian.

Source: born and bought up in Mumbai.

+2
Level 56
Feb 1, 2022
1. Being born and brought up in Mumbai is neither a source nor does it give you a mathematical answer on which language is spoken more at home when the numbers are so close. Also I have lived in Mumbai for 10 years but it does not change the answer at all

2. Urdu being a "Pakistani language" is neither correct not does it bring any value to this discussion

+1
Level 22
Dec 3, 2023
Hindi and Urdu are not the same language. They have substantial vocabulary and grammatical differences. Just because they sound similar doesn't mean they are to be considered one. Also, the official language of Mumbai is Marathi. So, either way Marathi comes first..
+1
Level 56
Jan 29, 2024
They have differences in the formal register and not in the language commonly spoken at home. The difference is in the script but so is the case between Serbo Croatian "langauges".

Being official also does not change anything

+1
Level 72
Jan 26, 2022
As someone whose first language is Gujarati, it makes me happy to see so many people getting stumped by it.
+1
Level 47
Apr 6, 2022
Lol, who wouldn't if they were put in the same situation.
+1
Level 47
Apr 6, 2022
Check your sources again, even though it is better for integrity to be more conservative with your numbers citypopulation.de is quite inaccurate messing up on countries by giving them less or more than they have. In my opinion, put more research into what source you use or just average between two sources (although it would be more work). I love your quizzes and I just want to give one piece of insight so you are aware. Don't take this harshly but not lightly either! : )
+2
Level 53
Apr 26, 2022
Im pretty sure Kinshasa has more people than Paris and they are both french cities? Correct me if Im wrong with proof.
+1
Level 53
Jun 6, 2022
German?!?
+1
Level 43
Jun 10, 2022
I actually tried to type Southern American megacities on the Spanish one and went totally blank on Mexico City:(
+2
Level 35
Aug 6, 2022
First Try 100%. I loved it keep up the nice and quick quizzes
+3
Level 50
Nov 29, 2022
Why do I feel so smart getting Ahmedabad on accident?
+2
Level 60
May 12, 2023
Milan, not Rome?
+2
Level 78
May 12, 2023
Very fun.
+2
Level 41
May 12, 2023
German missing...
+1
Level 68
May 12, 2023
100%, 1:24
+1
Level 32
May 13, 2023
Shanghainese here, saying Wu is Shanghai's main language is like saying Irish is Dublin's main language. It just isn't.
+1
Level 32
Jun 23, 2023
where did you get the numbers? new york city doesn't even have 10 million let alone 20 million
+1
Level 54
Oct 1, 2023
its urban area and nyc's urban area is massive
+1
Level 55
Dec 7, 2023
according to google Rome has a larger population than Milan so I'm confused as to why Milan is the answer... am I being stupid
+1
Level 53
Mar 29, 2024
"Metro area" is a vague term, for example, London proper has more people than NYC proper yet it is commonly accepted the metro area has more people. However, if you drew a ring the size of the NYC metro area around London, the population would once again be higher.
+1
Level 66
Apr 15, 2024
i ate that