quarta-feira, março 05, 2008

Portuguese and Spanish in top 10 languages most spoken in the world

Top 10 Languages most spoken in the world, in reverse order

10. French -- Number of speakers: 129 million
9. Malay—Indonesian Number of speakers: 159 million

8. Portuguese -- Number of speakers: 191 million Think of Portuguese as the little language that could. In the 12th Century, Portugal won its independence from Spain and expanded all over the world with the help of its famous explorers like Vasco da Gama and Prince Henry the Navigator. Because Portugal got in so early on the exploring game, the language established itself all over the world, especially in Brazil (where it's the national language), Macau, Angola, Venezuela, and Mozambique. To say "hello" in Portuguese, say "Bom dia" (bohn DEE-ah).

7. Bengali -- Number of speakers: 211 million
6. Arabic -- Number of speakers: 246 million
5. Russian -- Number of speakers: 277 million

4. Spanish -- Number of speakers: 392 million Aside from all of those kids who take it in high school, Spanish is spoken in just about every South American and Central American country, not to mention Spain, Cuba, and the U.S. There is a particular interest in Spanish in the U.S., as many English words are borrowed from the language, including: tornado, bonanza, patio, quesadilla, enchilada, and taco grande supreme. To say "hello" in Spanish, say "Hola" (OH-la).

3. Hindustani -- Number of speakers: 497 million
2. English -- Number of speakers: 508 million
1. Mandarin -- Number of speakers: 1 billion+

In fact, since many Portuguese speakers can also understand Spanish, Spanish/Portuguese speakers may be the second largest language group in the world, the original lingua franca.

Habla/fala comigo !