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The World’s Top 20 Languages

English is known as a magpie language that picks up words from almost every other language and culture it comes in contact with, from Abenaki to Zulu. And although some languages have understandably widened the English vocabulary more than others, modern English dictionaries contain more of a geographical melting pot than ever before.

Listed here—in order by number of native speakers—are the world’s top 20 languages (according to Ethnologue, a global catalog of the Protected content currently in use worldwide). Alongside each entry on the list are just some of the words which English has borrowed from it.

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