A Proportional Perspective of the World's Native Languages

Illustration for article titled A Proportional Perspective of the Worlds Native Languages

This fascinating infographic by Alberto Lucas López shows how 23 of the world’s mother tongues are proportioned, and how they’re distributed around the globe.

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Of the 7,102 languages around today, a mere 23 of them are the mother tongue of 50 million people or more. These select languages are spoken by a total of 4.1 billion people.

Illustration for article titled A Proportional Perspective of the Worlds Native Languages
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“We represent each language within black borders and then provide the numbers of native speakers (in millions) by country,” writes López at the South China Morning Post. “The colour of these countries shows how languages have taken root in many different regions.”

Globally, here’s how it breaks down:

Illustration for article titled A Proportional Perspective of the Worlds Native Languages

A zoomed-in version of the English portion, plus the list of Chinese macrolanguages:

Illustration for article titled A Proportional Perspective of the Worlds Native Languages
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You can find a full resolution version of the map here.

H/t Mental Floss!

Note: This article was modified to distinguish between native languages and spoken languages.

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Images: Alberto Lucas López/The South China Morning Post.

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DISCUSSION

a_blackpanther
a_blackpanther

So, this isn’t so much a map of “The World’s Spoken Languages” as it is a map of “The World’s Spoken Mother Tongues.” Which is a different thing entirely, because if it were a map of the world’s most spoken languages English (and several others) would have even more speakers - and there would some overlap between some of them.