Many people are influenced/motivated to learn certain languages by how widely spoken they are. To that end, besides English, what is the most widely spoken language in the EU28? Bonus points for listing the top 5.

  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about trivia and it has nothing to do about the process of language acquisition. Jul 23, 2018 at 2:48
  • @bytebuster It has to do with motivation to learn a language.
    – AML
    Jul 23, 2018 at 10:13
  • I fail to see how the top 5 most spoken L2 languages deals with anything related motivation to learn Jul 24, 2018 at 17:46
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    @AnthonyPham Similar idea behind this question: languagelearning.stackexchange.com/questions/3643/…. A highly spoken or widely spoken language is a strong motivation for many language learners.
    – AML
    Jul 24, 2018 at 19:28

1 Answer 1


Regarding the European Commission's Eurobarometer data (page 22) the top 3 list of most widespread second languages:

  1. German - 5%
  2. French - 5%
  3. Spanish - 3%

The top 5 list of most widespread foreign languages in early 2012 (without English what is spoken by the 20.09% of the EU's population as a foreign language):

  1. French - 7.62%
  2. German - 6.69%
  3. Spanish - 4.6%
  4. Russian - 2.71%
  5. Italian - 1.79%

You can check the full list: here.

  • Please edit your answer to answer what I asked, which was as a second language only and not including English.
    – AML
    Jul 23, 2018 at 12:19
  • Sorry about that. I found data about the top 3 L2 languages so I edited my answer. Jul 23, 2018 at 12:49
  • Your previous answer was good, just take out English and add in the 5th language. Please add it back, in addition to this information (along with the relevant page number in the big PDF).
    – AML
    Jul 23, 2018 at 13:42
  • It's interesting that Spanish is FAR more popular in the US than it is in Europe. It makes sense, but the disparity is huge: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – AML
    Jul 23, 2018 at 18:06

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