Write at least 150 words.

Languages with the most native speakers

Languages with the most native speakers

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The table below gives information about languages with the most native speakers. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Model answer

The table illustrates the number of native speakers of six languages as well as the number of speakers of these languages as an additional language. It is noticeable that the number of speakers of Mandarin Chinese is strikingly higher than the other languages with over one billion speakers.

People who speak Mandarin largely speak it as a first language (900 million). In comparison to this only 190 million people speak Mandarin Chinese as an additional language. What is remarkable about English speakers is that the number of speakers of English as an additional language is higher than that of native speakers of English (603 and 339 million respectively).

While the total number of Hindi speakers (490 million) is roughly equal to that of Spanish speakers (420 million); when it comes to speaking these languages as an additional language the number for Hindi is much higher (120 million) than that for Spanish (70 million).

Native speakers of Arabic and Portuguese are similar in number with 206 million and 203 million respectively. However, the number of Arabic speakers as an additional language (24 million) is almost 2.5 times higher than speakers of Portuguese as an additional language.

(195 words)


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an achievement that requires great courage, skill, or strength
used to introduce a statement that contrasts with or seems to contradict something that has been said previously
(of a part of the body) deprived of the power of physical sensation