There are more than 6.5 billion people in the world today. Nearly 2/3 of them are Asians living on less than 1/3 of the land. Only about 5% of the world's people live in North America.
While English is not spoken as a native language by the largest number of people, it is the most world wide in its distribution . It has become the second language of choice in most countries . About 1/4 to 1/3 of humanity now understand and speak it to some degree.
78 ,000,000 Korean 10. 100 ,000,000 German (standard) 9. 125 ,000,000 Japanese 8. 167 ,000,000 Russian 7. 176 ,000,000 Portuguese 6. 207 ,000,000 Bengali (India and Bangladesh) 5. 322-358 ,000,000 Spanish 4. 341 ,000,000 English 3. 366 ,000,000 Hindi (India) 2. 874 ,000,000 Mandarin Chinese 1. TOTAL SPEAKERS SPOKEN AS "NATIVE" LANGUAGE
Some facts and figures about the English Language.
According to research by the British Council , "English has officia l or special status in at least seventy-five countries with a total population of over two billion. English is spoken as a native language by around 375 million and as a second language by around 375 million speakers in the world. Speakers of English as a second language will soon outnumber those who speak it as a first language. Around 750 million people are believed to speak English as a foreign language . One out of four of the world's population speak English to some level of competence. Demand from the other three-quarters is increasing."
* * Native - the language you learned at home with your family when you were small. * Official - the language that is used in official documents, spoken on the radio and on television * Second language - language you learn because you have to live in the country where the language is spoken. * Foreign language - languages spoken abroad, a language you can choose to study at school.