What is this list?

1. xin nian kuai le
2. nav varsh ki subhkamna
3. happy new year
4. feliz año nuevo
5. subho nababarsho
6. feliz ano novo
7. С Новым Годом
8. akemashite omedetô
9. ein gutes neues Jahr / prost Neujahr
10. seh heh bok mani bat uh seyo

These are the typical new year greetings in the ten most prominent languages on our planet (see below), according to freelang.net, which is citing Ethnologue. These statistics are notoriously hard to pin down. Estimating the number of speakers of a certain language is more complicated than just sitting down with a map in one hand and a calculator in the other. For example, does one count only native speakers, or also secondary speakers? If secondary speakers are considered, English moves to number 2 on the list below. Where does a dialect end and a language begin? If its 15 major variants were considered one language rather than dialects, Arabic would be #6 on this list with 198-201M native speakers, so let’s add عام
سعيد to our new year’s greeting group.

Top Ten Languages and number of speakers:
1. Mandarin Chinese, 874M
2. Hindi, 366M
3. English, 341M
4. Spanish, 322-358M
5. Bengali, 207M
6. Portuguese, 176M
7. Russian, 167M
8. Japanese, 125M
9. German, 100M
10. Korean, 78M

Perhaps you want to learn a new language this year, or just improve your mastery of the one or two you know already. If you wish that for you, I wish it too. As they say in Puerto Rico (more frequently than Feliz Año Nuevo), “Que el año nuevo te traiga muchas cosas buenas”—May the new year bring you many good things. Indeed.

How to say Happy New Year in all languages
Most common languages in the world

About Verla

Wordfreak. Retired private investigator and Spanish court interpreter. Erstwhile librarian. Texan by birth, cheesehead by upbringing, latina by soul, in New Mexico by choice. Lover of things purple. Passionate participant in the Librivox audiobook recording project. We record books that are in the public domain in the U.S. The recordings are then placed in the public domain themselves.
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