Major international languages are those used between people of different nations to communicate with each other. While there are many languages that cross borders, major international languages are used across the globe. A major international language is used as a lingua franca across wide areas, with non-native speakers often communicating to each other using this secondary language. One difference between a major international language and a major language or a regional language are that it is used among and between widely differing cultures. Thus, Mandarin Chinese and Chinese writing, while spoken internationally, are mostly used just within the Chinese or East Asian communities both in the Orient and in diaspora communities. Even though the number of people who can write Chinese is much greater than the number who can write Interlingua, for example, the latter is used across the globe among different cultures.
There are generally thought to be only 2 major international languages in use currently - English and Interlingua. English is a natural language and Interlingua is a planned language.
This is the only natural major international language, and is the most widespread of the two. English is a major language in use throughout most of the world, partly as a result of British colonialism, partly due to a large repository of English-language popular culture available to people around the world, and perhaps partly because it spans the Germanic and Romance language sub-families, which together are the most widespread language sub-families in the world. The majority of first-language English speakers do not, in fact, reside in Europe. Most nations in continental Pemhakamik are either majority English or have a large minority who speak English natively, for example, and such other nations ranging from Sundarapore to Hong Kong to Aotearoa to Good Hope have populations in which a majority of people can speak English. Besides this (and what makes it more international than merely diasporic), English is the most-used language between people whose first languages are not the same. English is the most-taught second-language in the world.
Interlingua was only created in the 20th century, but it was created to facilitate understanding between speakers of European languages - particularly Romance language-speakers. Most people who know a Romance language can descipher Interlingua and vice versa. In addition, most words in Interlingua are related to words already found in English, as well, so educated English speakers can often read Interlingua to some extent without any prior knowledge. The main benefit over other Romance languages is its simplicity. Verb conjugations are made easy, as the "I", "you", "it", "we", "you both/all", and "they" forms of a verb are all the same - something that can't be said for any natural Romance language. Furthermore, verb conjugations are regular, and there is no grammatical gender with nouns. Words chosen are forms recognizable to most Romance-language speakers, as well as well-educated English-speakers. It was created independently of any government organization, but was later selected by various Romance-speaking countries such as Spain, Portugal, Catatania, Mejico, Brazil, Rhone as well as the Italian league nations as a neutral means of international communication among themselves. Currently, it is being taught in a majority of schools as a second language not only in these countries but in various others (including many English-speaking and Northern European ones). Many people use Interlingua for travel, both to more easily understand the local languages, and to communicate with the locals (although speaking in the local languages is obviously appreciated).
Regional and Semi-major International Languages
Simplenglish is a planned language that is intelligible to English speakers yet is much simpler to learn. Over the past few decades, the success of Interlingua in fostering international communication also brought about the adoption of Simplenglish by many schools in non-English-speaking countries. Native English-speakers, on the other hand, have had to accept that this other language is not just "incorrect English" but rather a scientifically created English-like language that is much easier to learn. Like Interlingua, verb conjugation becomes simple and regular. Simplenglish is also largely phonetic, though not completely so. This is so that anyone with even a little education in the language can sound out and correctly spell words, yet while also being able to type Simplenglish on a regular computer without utilizing any special keyboard layout or special characters.
Chinese is not one language, but rather a group of languages, comparable to the Romance language sub-family. However, unlike Romance, Chinese writing is logographic - each character has a meaning. Thus, while pronunciations may differ between Chinese languages, the symbols mean the same thing. It is similar to 1, 2, and 3 having the same meaning everywhere but variously being known as "one, two, three", "uno, dos, tres", and "un, deux, trois". Thus, if we only consider the writing system, we can speak of a single Chinese language with various dialects. Chinese is the main written language used in many countries in East Asia, including all of the Chinese Union nations and Taiwan. Furthermore, it is also an important written language in Sundarapore, Tangut, and many ethnic Chinese areas of Malaya, Hawaii, Pacifica, and many other places. In Korea and Japan, Vietnam, and Vietmoi, Chinese characters (with similar or identical meanings) are understood by most people as a part of their own writing systems.
Spanish is used as a means of communication in many countries, often as a second language. Native speakers make up a majority of residents in Spain as well as former and current overseas colonies like nearby Ceuta and Melilla, Mejico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Equatoria and various island nations and colonies. In many other places, Spanish is also an important minority language or second language, as is the case in numerous North African and some Pachan nations, Luzon, and neighboring countries like Catatania and Portugal.
15 Most-learned non-native languages by speakers
Below is a list of the top fiteen most learned non-native languages according to language-learning class enrollment figures. (Note that all language learning outside of the classroom, as is usual with official languages and lingua francas, are not included.)
- Central German
- Nusantara Malay