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World Factbook, aided with Aneki, and the Guinness World Records: English is currently the 2nd most commonly spoken language in the world. It has over 500 million speakers. It is behind only Mandarin, which has over 1 billion speakers. English is today the third most widely distributed language as a first spoken language in the world, after Mandarin and Hindi . Something around 600 million people use the various dialects of English regularly. About 377 million people use one of the versions of English as their mother tongue, and a similar number of people use one of them as their second or foreign language as well. English is used widely in either the public or private sphere in more than 100 countries all over the world. In addition, the language has occupied a prominent place in international academic and business communities. The current status of the English language at the start of the new millennium compares with that of Latin in most of Western Europe since the fall of the Roman Empire. English is also the most widely used language for young backpackers who travel across continents, regardless of whether it is their mother tongue or a secondary language.