New research has found that the Hausa language, which is widely spoken in Northern Nigeria and other African nations, is the world’s 11th most spoken language.
Hausa language, the most important indigenous lingua franca in West and Central Africa, spoken as a first or second language by about 40–50 million people. It belongs to the Western branch of the Chadic language superfamily within the Afro-Asiatic language phylum.
The home territories of the Hausa people lie on both sides of the border between Niger, where about one-half of the population speaks Hausa as a first language, and Nigeria, where about one-fifth of the population speaks it as a first language. The Hausa are predominantly Muslim. Their tradition of long-distance commerce and pilgrimages to the Holy Cities of Islam has carried their language to almost all major cities in West, North, Central, and Northeast Africa.
The basic word order is subject–verb–object (SVO). Hausa is a tone language, a classification in which pitch differences add as much to the meaning of a word as do consonants and vowels. The tone is not marked in Hausa orthography. In scholarly transcriptions of Hausa, accent marks indicate tone, which may be high (acute), low (grave), or falling (circumflex).
According to the Spectator Index, there are 150 million speakers of Hausa language all over the world, two million more than speakers of Punjabi (mainly in India) and 21 million more than German speakers.
Mandarin, which is spoken mainly in China, is the world’s most spoken language at 1.09 billion speakers, while English follows in second at 983 million speakers.
See the full list of leading languages by the number of speakers in million: