These Are The Languages That Have The Most Sounds.

Languages have different phonetic inventories. Some languages use more sounds than others. A perceptually distinct sound unit is technically called a phoneme. Two sounds are different if they are perceived to constitute two distinct phonemes by native speakers. The following list ranks the most common languages by the number of sounds they use. It is important to note that this ranking disregards diphthongs for the simple reason that they are merely a combination of vowels that already exist in a language. 


1. Lithuanian

Vowels: 12

Consonants: 47

Total number of sounds: 59

2. Danish

Vowels: 32 

Consonants: 20 

Total number of sounds: 52

3. Hindustani

Vowels: 11

Consonants: 37

Total number of sounds: 48

4. Welsh

Vowels: 14

Consonants: 31

Total number of sounds: 45

5. German 

Vowels: 20

Consonants: 25

Total number of sounds: 45

6. Belarusian

Vowels: 6

Consonants: 39

Total number of sounds: 45

7. Norwegian 

Vowels: 19

Consonants: 25

Total number of sounds: 44

8. Irish Gaelic

Vowels: 11

Consonants: 33

Total number of sounds: 44

9. Bulgarian

Vowels: 8

Consonants: 36 

Total number of sounds: 44


10. Hungarian

Vowels: 14

Consonants: 27

Total number of sounds: 41

11. Ukranian

Vowels: 6

Consonants: 34

Total number of sounds: 40

12. Russian

Vowels: 6

Consonants: 34

Total number of sounds: 40

13. Slovak

Vowels: 10

Consonants: 29

Total number of sounds: 39

14. Latvian

Vowels: 12

Consonants: 27

Total number of sounds: 39

15. French

Vowels: 17

Consonants: 22

Total number of sounds: 39

16. Estonian

Vowels: 9

Consonants: 30

Total number of sounds: 39

17. Dutch

Vowels: 16

Consonants: 23

Total number of sounds: 39

18. Icelandic

Vowels: 16

Consonants: 22

Total number of sounds: 38


19. Portuguese

Vowels: 14

Consonants: 23

Total number of sounds: 37

20. Polish

Vowels: 6

Consonants: 31

Total number of sounds: 37

21. Czech

Vowels: 10

Consonants: 27

Total number of sounds: 37

22. Albanian

Vowels: 7

Consonants: 30

Total number of sounds: 37

23. English

Vowels: 12

Consonants: 24

Total number of sounds: 36

24. Catalan

Vowels: 8

Consonants: 28

Total number of sounds: 36

25. Swedish

Vowels: 17

Consonants: 18

Total number of sounds: 35

26. Mandarin

Vowels: 9

Consonants: 26

Total number of sounds: 35

27. Finnish

Vowels: 16

Consonants: 18

Total number of sounds: 34


28. Arabic

Vowels: 6

Consonants: 28

Total number of sounds: 34

29. Hausa

Vowels: 10

Consonants: 24

Total number of sounds: 34

30. Esperanto

Vowels: 5

Consonants: 27

Total number of sounds: 32

31. Persian

Vowels: 6

Consonants: 26

Total number of sounds: 32

32. Turkish

Vowels: 8

Consonants: 23

Total number of sounds: 31

33. Serbo-Croatian

Vowels: 5

Consonants: 25

Total number of sounds: 30

34. Italian 

Vowels: 7

Consonants: 23

Total number of sounds: 30

35. Basque

Vowels: 6

Consonants: 24

Total number of sounds: 30

36. Romanian

Vowels: 7

Consonants: 22

Total number of sounds: 29


37. Galician

Vowels: 7

Consonants: 19

Total number of sounds: 26

38. Spanish

Vowels: 5

Consonants: 20

Total number of sounds: 25

39. Greek

Vowels: 5

Consonants: 18

Total number of sounds: 23

40. Japanese

Vowels: 5

Consonants: 17

Total number of sounds: 22


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3 thoughts on “These Are The Languages That Have The Most Sounds.”

  1. Oh dear oh dear. Well, I shan’t be revisiting this site in a hurry. This list seems to me not only not of the ‘most common languages’ (Welsh? Seriously?) But also somewhat amiss in its counting of phonemes per language. Have a nice day.

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