For many of us, the languages we speak help form and influence our sense of self, and affect the way we are seen by others. In a sense, being able to speak a language makes you a member of the tribe, whether it's a native tongue or one you’ve learned in school or as an adult.
Some of those tribes are quite small: there are only about 50 speakers of Sarcee left, a language spoken by members of the Canadian branch of the Tsuu T’ina tribe. And many other languages have gone extinct, including Cornish, Dalmatian, Utaha, and Manx, all of which are no longer spoken by native or fluent speakers.
In contrast, many languages are thriving, as this list, taken from the World Atlas, shows. Here are the world’s most popular languages, calculated by considering all speakers – meaning both native speakers and those who’ve acquired one or more languages. Keep in mind that estimating how many people speak a language is quite difficult, so the statistics are reasonable estimates, not exact figures.