What is your mother tongue? Is it English? Mandarin? Hindi? Perhaps you speak a language fluently that few others around the world will have even heard of?
In his intricate infographic A World Of Languages, created for the South China Morning Post, graphic designer Alberto Lucas Lopéz displays the diverse array of the most spoken languages across the globe. “There are at least 7,102 known languages alive in the world today,” Lopéz writes. “Twenty-three of these languages are a mother tongue for more than 50 million people. The 23 languages make up the native tongue of 4.1 billion people. We represent each language within black borders and then provide the numbers of native speakers (in millions) by country. The colour of these countries shows how languages have taken root in many different regions.”
The data for Lopéz’s infographic was supplied by Ethnologue who describe their site as a ‘comprehensive reference work cataloging all of the world’s known living languages.’ According to their research, English is by far the most widespread language on the planet – with 110 countries reporting that their natives speak the language – due to the historical impact England had on the world. However, Chinese languages are reportedly spoken by 1,197 million people worldwide. Check the infographic out to see how popular your mother tongue is!