thumbnail

Top 5 Countries by Language

For each language, can you name the top five countries with the most native speakers?
Quiz by Jiaozira
Rate:
Last updated: November 23, 2021
You have not attempted this quiz yet.
First submittedAugust 21, 2018
Times taken3,413
Average score82.0%
Rating4.88
Report this quizReport
4:00
Enter country here
0
 / 50 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 ...
English
234 m
United States
54.5 m
United Kingdom
19.7 m
Canada
18.4 m
Australia
4.93 m
South Africa
 
 
French
66.7 m
France
7.30 m
Canada
4.19 m
Belgium
1.79 m
Switzerland
1.31 m
United States
Spanish
119 m
Mexico
46.3 m
Colombia
42.1 m
Argentina
40.5 m
United States
34.9 m
Spain
 
 
Arabic
99.0 m
Egypt
31.8 m
Sudan
31.0 m
Algeria
26.9 m
Saudi Arabia
24.0 m
Iraq
Russian
119 m
Russia
14.3 m
Ukraine
6.67 m
Belarus
3.79 m
Kazakhstan
2.26 m
Germany
 
 
Malay
42.7 m
Indonesia
21.0 m
Malaysia
1.20 m
Thailand
680 k
Singapore
348 k
Netherlands
German
69.7 m
Germany
7.12 m
Austria
5.16 m
Switzerland
964 k
United States
748 k
France
 
 
Mandarin
955 m
China
19.9 m
Taiwan
1.97 m
Singapore
1.02 m
Malaysia
643 k
Australia
Portuguese
205 m
Brazil
12.3 m
Angola
10.2 m
Portugal
1.91 m
Mozambique
790 k
United States
 
 
Hindi
528 m
India
863 k
United States
380 k
Fiji
250 k
South Africa
150 k
Suriname
+4
Level 75
Aug 22, 2018
nice! I am not too convinced about the lack of African nations under 'French'
+6
Level 69
Aug 23, 2018
It is very possible that some data is lacking. Besides that the majority of people in French speaking Africa actually speak a less popular local language and use French as a second language to communicate with other tribes and ethnicities.
+1
Level 75
Aug 23, 2018
Great quiz!
+2
Level 67
May 14, 2020
I wonder how Pakistan ends up among the countries with the highest number of "native" speakers of English. If for any reason it refers to the number of people using English as the means of communication irrespective of their nativity (which I doubt given the title and description of the quiz), even then India should come before Pakistan here. Please double check. Thanks.
+2
Level 69
May 14, 2020

You are right to be skeptic. I don't remember my sources, but I feel like native speakers and total speakers got mixed around for some of these. For instance Nepal has very few native Hindi speakers, but a handful of millions speak it as a second language and that's why it's on the quiz.

As for English, I believe South Africa should come after Australia in terms of native speakers.

I really need to clean up some of my older quizzes (although this one isn't too old, I'll get around to updating it). Cheers!

+2
Level 67
Sep 11, 2021
Updated numbers look good to me. Just sliiiightly surprised about Suriname beating Guyana in Hindi.
+1
Level 69
Sep 11, 2021
Caribbean Hindustani seems to have been dropped from usage in Guyana quicker than in Suirname. I cannot find any figures, but reportedly it's mainly the older generation in Guyana that still speaks any Hindi. Otherwise I have 150 thousand speakers for Suriname and 15 thousand for Trinidad.
+4
Level 84
Sep 11, 2021
Does this only count citizens and not expats or resident workers? I would have thought that a country like the UAE, KSA, or Qatar would have placed in the top 5 for Hindi or Malay, and maybe even Mandarin, if it counted the latter. Though I know there are more immigrants in those places who speak Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi, and Malayalam, so, maybe not.
+2
Level 69
Sep 11, 2021
I am not sure the reason behind, but Hindi is not a terribly common language amongst Indian expatriates in general. In the UAE I got a number of 144,000 Hindi-speakers for example. If I used or combined the figures with Urdu then more Gulf countries would surely be here. Since Hindi is used as a lingua franca for North Indians I would imagine that you would hear a lot of Hindi from L2 speakers, however.
+3
Level 59
Sep 11, 2021
Cool, like the quiz - although how can Saudi Arabia not be among the top for Arabic speakers? 34m people, Arabic is the language.
+2
Level 69
Sep 11, 2021
You're right, Arabic should probably be on here since I doubt foreigners make up such a large percentage of the population (and surely there are foreigners living in Saudi Arabia from other countries in the Arab World). Perhaps I got it confused due to the different Arabic dialects spoken in Saudi Arabia? Other way I will look into it thank you :)
+3
Level 71
Nov 23, 2021
Any updates on Saudi Arabia? Because the fact that it wasn't on here surprised me too.

I was also surprised that less than half of Iraqis speak Arabic. I'm guessing the rest of the population speaks Kurdish and/or Persian?

Anyways, great quiz!

+2
Level 69
Nov 23, 2021
Yes, it is now added. I keep stalling these updates when it probably doesn't matter that the stats are reset. No points on the line here, haha!

I got a number of almost 27 million Arabic speakers in Saudi Arabia, and I just bumped Iraq to 67% Arabic-speaking. I believe that both of these numbers may be higher. I've had a little trouble finding good figures for Arabic, some sources split Arabic into Mesopotamian Arabic, Gulf Arabic, etc., and so that may have thrown it off.

+3
Level 70
Sep 11, 2021
Things that have surprised me the most:

- so many people in Angola speak Portuguese natively

- there aren't even 150k Hindi speakers in the UK

- there are fewer than 15.7m Arabic speakers in Saudi Arabia

+1
Level 69
Sep 11, 2021
Yes!

- For Angola, the country has been moving towards Portuguese as a native language, and younger generations tend to speak Portuguese rather than Indigenous African languages. A big part of this, I read, was from the immense internal displacement during the Civil War. I always assumed Portuguese had a similar role in Angola to, say French in the DRC, so this surprised me!

- Most Indian emmigrants speak other languages than Hindi (although North Indians will typically use Hindi as a L2 lingua franca). Perhaps even more surprisingly, Hindi has less than 70 thousand speakers in the UK! Urdu has more than 250,000 speakers and is functionally the same language in its informal variety bar for slightly different vocabulary.

- Probably a mistake on my part, they can happen :)

+2
Level 70
Sep 12, 2021
According to wikipedia, over 40% of India speak Hindi natively and I intuitively expected more immigrants from India in the UK than from Russia in Germany so the fact that there are over 15 times as many Russian speakers in Germany than there are Hindi speakers in the UK is really against my expectations!

You just learn new things everyday on JetPunk. :)

+1
Level 69
Sep 13, 2021
It is very interesting! If I'm not mistaken the regions of India which produce the most emmigrants are typically the more wealthy regions (i.e. Punjab). States which speak the most Hindi (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, etc.) are often the less wealthy states and people who live here less often have the finances to move overseas.

We have a lot of Punjabi people here in Canada, although all the Canadian Punjabis I've met can speak Hindi as a second language too :)

+2
Level 74
Sep 12, 2021
Nominated.

For me, it was surprising the number of Spanish native speakers in Spain. The number I usually see is well above 40m.

+1
Level 69
Sep 13, 2021
Interesting, it may depend on the source you use! Even counting people's native language can be a difficult endeavour as languages mix/people use multiple languages at home.

My figures are ever so slightly out of date, so according to Pew Research the population speaking Spanish as a native languages should be a little over 38 million people, out of a population of 47 million (2020)

+2
Level 62
Sep 12, 2021
There are about 5 million people in Ireland, almost all speaking English.
+1
Level 69
Sep 13, 2021
Yes, as of 2020 that is true. However the population statistics are from a couple years back and the Republic of Ireland only recently crossed 5 million people. Also, since this quiz only considers native English speakers, a majority of the immigrants to Ireland + the Gaeltacht are discluded from the quiz. We can assume that similar population growth has happened in the other countries under English too, so it's unlikely the rankings have changed recently.

Sorry for rambling, I wanted to make my quiz reasoning clear!

+2
Level 23
Nov 23, 2021
i thought the UAE would be here because majority of the population is Indian
+1
Level 69
Nov 23, 2021
There are 144,000 Hindi speakers in the UAE, since most Indian expats speak other Indian languages as their mother tongue.
+1
Level 59
Nov 23, 2021
The test Spain - 34.9 m

Reality - All the f... people (48 m) speaking spanish in Spain, wherever the region

+3
Level 69
Nov 23, 2021
It is by native language, so people who speak Catalan, Galician, Asturian, etc. won't be counted even though they speak Spanish as a second language.
+1
Level 69
Dec 28, 2022
I do realise that some countries have a different perspective on what L1 or mother tongue means, however.