Once upon a time, the Netherlands was a world power and our influence spread across a vast part of the globe and yet, today, only a small portion of the world population speaks Dutch. Many people think that English is the most widely spoken language in the world, but that is only partly true. So, which language is spoken by the most people and how can your company benefit from that by making sure that documents are properly translated? Today’s blog is about the most widely spoken languages in the world in 2021.

There are only 24 million people in the world who speak Dutch, ranking us as number 51 on the list of spoken languages. What is the most commonly spoken language and which other languages are in the ‘Top Ten’? This is an overview of the ten most important languages, which are spoken by around 3.4 billion people around the world.

The most widely spoken languages in the world

  1. Mandarin, 930 million people
  2. Spanish, 460 million people
  3. English, 380 million people
  4. Hindi, 340 million people
  5. Arabic, 320 million people
  6. Portuguese, 225 million people
  7. Bengali, 215 million people
  8. Russian, 160 million people
  9. Japanese, 125 million people
  10. Punjabi, 115 million people

Other languages that are widely spoken and often used by Dutch companies are:

  • German, 95 million people
  • French, 75 million people
  • Italian, 60 million people
  • Polish, 40 million people
  • Dutch, 24 million people
  • Greek, 12 million people
  • Swedish, 9 million people
  • Danish, 6 million people
  • Norse, 4.5 million people


This list is based on the native languages spoken by people across the globe. Knowing that China has such a huge population, it makes sense that Mandarin is the number one language. Surprisingly, however, Hindi is not the second most spoken language even though India has the second-largest population. That’s because English is also spoken in India and many people speak different local or regional languages rather than Hindi.

These figures tell us about the number of native speakers of a given language; however, there are also languages that people in various countries speak more or less fluently in addition to their native tongue. English ranks as number one on this list, followed by Mandarin, Hindi, and Spanish.

More than one language for local and international success

Looking at this list, companies wanting to operate successfully at the international level have to consider their target audience and the language this audience speaks. Not only because of ever-expanding globalisation but also because of the huge growth in international trade and the opportunities this offers.

Even if you only want to operate within the Netherlands, it has almost become a must to choose a multilingual approach to reach your audience. In 2020, around 25 per cent of the Dutch population could trace their origins to other countries. This makes it quite likely that potential clients speak another language rather than (or better than) Dutch. For many companies, using English as a second language would be an obvious choice.


Excellent translations offer excellent opportunities for every company that takes both the most widely spoken languages and locally spoken languages into account. At Textcase, we understand that you may not be fluent in every language and so it might be difficult to correctly translate your company information or anything else you wish to communicate. This could be the content of your website, brochures, flyers, or simply your business cards; you may also be interested in publishing a book or subtitling promotional videos.

Textcase gladly offers its services whenever you want to optimise your translations and, by doing so, optimise your chances of success at home and abroad.

Native speakers

Textcase uses a huge team of translators from every corner of the globe. We work with many translators whose native languages are on the list of the world’s top 10 languages.

Would you like to have your content translated into one of these languages, or any other language for that matter? Then we have an expert who can provide you with a perfect translation.

We can ensure that your company’s information will have a professional look and tone in every language, this will exponentially increase your opportunities on the national and international playing field.


Do you have questions or would you like to receive a free quotation? Then please get in touch. Our team is ready to help you.


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