Hong Kong`s oldest English-language newspaper South China
Morning Post has published curious infographics
and demonstrated current situation as to the outspread of world languages and the factors affecting their future.
For instance, it is obvious the position of English as the international language is not threatened. Simultaneously, in the next decades it will be beneficial to learn and teach Chinese, while French
is an unobvious candidate for a reserve language. French
is the second most commonly-taught second language in the world. The total number of French speakers is a far cry from Chinese, but the native/learnt ratio is higher for the French language.
Russian is a different story. On the one hand, Russian is the eighth most spoken native language in the world with 166 million speakers and the eighth language in regard to the number of countries where it is spoken. On the other hand, Russian did not make top 7 of most commonly learnt languages on the planet and, for example, falls behind Portuguese in terms of the number of speakers (mainly due to the recently increased population of Brazil).
Here are some more interesting facts from the infographics:
*There are already 7.2 billion people in the world. 4.1 billion of them are native speakers of one of the 23 most common wotld languages.
*Chinese is the most common native language with 1.2 billion speakers.
*English is the most common language in the world with 1.5 billion non-native speakers and 1.8 billion speakers in total.
*French and English are the only languages with more learners than native speakers.