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Top 10 Urban Areas by Language

Name the 10 largest cities based on urban area population by their official/de facto language or lingua franca. Numbers are population in million.
For some cities, although the language is not popular and with few native speakers, it does have an official status and therefore counted.
For some cities, although the language is popular, it does not have an official status and therefore not counted
Quiz by cuotak
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Last updated: April 21, 2022
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First submittedOctober 29, 2015
Times taken1,733
Average score63.3%
Rating4.25
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Arabic
19.8
Cairo
6.9
Riyadh
6.6
Dubai
6.1
Baghdad
6.0
Khartoum
4.9
Alexandria
4.5
Amman
4.3
Kuwait City
4.3
Jeddah
4.2
Casablanca
 
 
Chinese
22.1
Shanghai
21.5
Guangzhou / Foshan
19.4
Beijing
14.7
Shenzhen
11.9
Chengdu
10.9
Tianjin
9.7
Wuhan
9.1
Taipei
8.3
Chongqing
8.1
Dongguan
English
31.9
Delhi
24.0
Manila
22.2
Mumbai
20.9
New York
18.7
Kolkata
16.8
Dhaka
15.5
Lagos
15.5
Los Angeles
15.3
Karachi
14.2
Johannesburg / Pretoria
 
 
French
15.1
Kinshasa
11.0
Paris
7.0
Toronto
4.8
Abidjan
4.4
Yaounde
3.8
Bamako
3.7
Montréal
3.7
Mbuji-Mayi
3.6
Ouagadougou
3.5
Dakar
Russian
17.7
Moscow
5.2
St. Petersburg
2.3
Almaty
2.2
Minsk
1.7
Novosibirsk
1.6
Nizhny Novgorod
1.4
Yekaterinburg
1.3
Volgograd
1.3
Rostov-on-Don
1.2
Chelyabinsk
 
 
Spanish
21.5
Mexico City
16.2
Buenos Aires
9.3
Bogota
9.0
Lima
7.0
Santiago
6.0
Madrid
5.8
Caracas
5.6
Monterrey
5.4
Guadalajara
4.7
Barcelona
+10
Level 68
Oct 29, 2015
While French is one of two official languages in Canada, it is pretty hard to think of Toronto as a French speaking urban area. Surprisingly tough quiz.
+2
Level 75
Apr 21, 2022
Yeah. No. This was fun though.
+1
Level 61
Apr 22, 2022
Apparently only 2% of Torontonians can speak French fluently...
+1
Level 60
Oct 29, 2015
Nizhny Novgorod is spelled wrong. Other than that loved the quiz
+1
Level 67
Oct 29, 2015
Fixed, thanks
+1
Level 75
Oct 29, 2015
Great idea! But I guess in some cases it's difficult to decide what language a city belongs to
+2
Level 69
Apr 21, 2022
Guangzhou and Shenzhen as two separate cities? They're almost always combined as one urban area in jetpunk.
+2
Level 67
Apr 21, 2022
You can read my blog about this.
+1
Level 75
Apr 21, 2022
Makes sense to me. Good to see Dongguan separated as well. What's next - Baltimore?
+2
Level 67
Apr 21, 2022
Shouldn’t Amman be on the list of Arabic cities? Also, Chongqing has a city-proper population of 30 million.
+2
Level 75
Apr 21, 2022
Chongqing (city) isn't the same thing as Chongqing Shi. The city itself has nowhere near that many people.
+4
Level 59
Apr 21, 2022
Go to Manila, you wont find people talking much English. Same in India
+1
Level 55
Apr 23, 2022
Not when I've been there - India I mean. It may not be many people's first language, but it is spoken all over the place, and not just to foreigners. I've often heard Indians talking amongst themselves switching with gay abandon back and forth between English and other languages, most usually Hindi I presume.
+2
Level 62
Apr 21, 2022
I think this quiz would be better as biggest cities where at least x% of people speak the language. In a lot of cases it works as is, but just because English is an official language in India, doesn't mean you'll be able to go to those cities and have a conversation with most people you meet in English.
+1
Level 72
Apr 21, 2022
Why would being able to go to the city and have a conversation with most people you meet be the criteria though? If you speak fluent English and Brazilian Portuguese, you can have a conversation with most Spanish speakers. If you speak fluent English, you can have a conversation with most people in any major German city as well. Most people would not want to count Berlin as an "English-speaking" city, nor Barcelona as a "Portuguese-speaking" one, and that's not even getting into one-way or mutually unintelligible dialects, which exist in at least 4 or 5 languages that I'm aware of.

Should it need to be the official *and* commonly-spoken language? What about regions where a substantial minority speaks a different language? Should Guangzhou be excluded because of the prevalence of Cantonese speakers?

It's not obvious to me that the way it's done here is ideal, but it's really not obvious that there is a better way to do it either.

+1
Level 54
Apr 21, 2022
Man this quiz is everywhere lol. I think your definition of what you define as urban area and what your source define as urban area might be slightly skewed cause several of the URBAN populations of these cities are way off compared to the populations of Universally accepted sources and you’re missing several cities in different categories as well. Also a good majority of the populations of cities in the English and French speaking sections of the quiz don’t have very many of the languages speakers at all. Especially many of the Indian and African Cities listed. Just cause the country has it as Official language doesn’t mean a lot of people speak it. This quiz is a great idea but definitely needs a source change and some city changes too. Also yes I did read your blog on Metropolitan areas and Urban areas but even using your own system as outlined in your blog you’ve misclassified some the cities as well.
+2
Level 72
Apr 21, 2022
Wat.

The notes are pretty explicit about counting official languages whether or not there is a large population in the city that speak them. If you don't want that... make a different version. Not really much point in complaining that the quiz does the thing it says it's doing.

There is definitely no such thing as a "universally accepted source" about what exactly defines the urban area of a city.

Also, instead of saying like "you are missing several cities", how about naming a few of them?

+1
Level 55
Apr 23, 2022
Manila??