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Language > Languages: Countries Compared

Edria Murray, Staff editor

Author: Edria Murray, Staff editor

An estimated 6700 languages are commonly spoken in the world today (This number increases to over 40,000 when regional dialects are considered). Estimates indicate that almost half of these languages could disappear during the next hundred years. Languages become extinct when the population decreases or the majority of the speakers use another language more often (either due to government / educational pressure or perceived social and economic advantage).

An official language is usually the language of law and goverment, however many countries require that important documents be translated into other languages. About half of the world's countries have at least one official language. The official language is not necessarily the most widely spoken especially when it defines nationalism (eg Ireland) or describes former colonial control (eg Liberia). In others (including Australia, Sweden and the United States) there is no official language but one language is commonly used by custom.

In most countries many local languages are spoken. As these languages are usually linked to ethnic groups, the choice of language in particular situations can be a political issue. In some countries (eg.Iraq - Arabic and Kurdish languages) language issues are serious enough to threaten the unity of the country or involve violent protest. For further information on some of the current language issues see Languages - a note

DEFINITION: A rank ordering of languages starting with the largest and sometimes includes the percent of total population speaking that language.
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION
Afghanistan Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 50%, Pashto (official) 35%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism
Akrotiri Greek
Albania Albanian (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek, Vlach, Romani, Slavic dialects
Algeria Arabic (official), French, Berber dialects
American Samoa Samoan 90.6% (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), English 2.9%, Tongan 2.4%, other Pacific islander 2.1%, other 2%; note: most people are bilingual
Andorra Catalan (official), French, Castilian, Portuguese
Angola Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages
Anguilla English (official)
Antigua and Barbuda English (official), local dialects
Argentina Spanish (official), Italian, English, German, French
Armenia Armenian 97.7%, Yezidi 1%, Russian 0.9%, other 0.4%
Aruba Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 66.3%, Spanish 12.6%, English (widely spoken) 7.7%, Dutch (official) 5.8%, other 2.2%, unspecified or unknown 5.3%
Australia English 79.1%, Chinese 2.1%, Italian 1.9%, other 11.1%, unspecified 5.8% (2001 Census)
Austria German (official nationwide) 88.6%, Turkish 2.3%, Serbian 2.2%, Croatian (official in Burgenland) 1.6%, other (includes Slovene, official in Carinthia, and Hungarian, official in Burgenland) 5.3%
Azerbaijan Azerbaijani (Azeri) 90.3%, Lezgi 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.3%, unspecified 1%
Bahrain Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu
Bangladesh Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English
Barbados English
Belarus Belarusian, Russian, other
Belgium Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)
Belize Spanish 46%, Creole 32.9%, Mayan dialects 8.9%, English 3.9% (official), Garifuna 3.4% (Carib), German 3.3%, other 1.4%, unknown 0.2%
Benin French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)
Bermuda English (official), Portuguese
Bhutan Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects
Bolivia Spanish 60.7% (official), Quechua 21.2% (official), Aymara 14.6% (official), foreign languages 2.4%, other 1.2%
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
Botswana Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English 2.1% (official), other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4%
Brazil Portuguese (official and most widely spoken language); note - less common languages include Spanish (border areas and schools), German, Italian, Japanese, English, and a large number of minor Amerindian languages
British Virgin Islands English (official)
Brunei Malay (official), English, Chinese
Bulgaria Bulgarian 84.5%, Turkish 9.6%, Roma 4.1%, other and unspecified 1.8%
Burkina Faso French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population
Burma Burmese, minority ethnic groups have their own languages
Burundi Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area)
Cambodia Khmer (official) 95%, French, English
Cameroon 24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)
Canada English (official) 59.3%, French (official) 23.2%, other 17.5%
Cape Verde Portuguese, Crioulo (a blend of Portuguese and West African words)
Cayman Islands English 95%, Spanish 3.2%, other 1.8%
Central African Republic French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
Chad French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects
Chile Spanish (official), Mapudungun, German, English
China Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)
Christmas Island English (official), Chinese, Malay
Cocos (Keeling) Islands Malay (Cocos dialect), English
Colombia Spanish
Comoros Arabic (official), French (official), Shikomoro (a blend of Swahili and Arabic)
Congo, Republic of the French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)
Cook Islands English (official), Maori
Costa Rica Spanish (official), English
Cote d'Ivoire French (official), 60 native dialects with Dioula the most widely spoken
Croatia Croatian 96.1%, Serbian 1%, other and undesignated 2.9% (including Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and German)
Cuba Spanish
Cyprus Greek, Turkish, English
Czech Republic Czech 94.9%, Slovak 2%, other 2.3%, unidentified 0.8%
Democratic Republic of the Congo French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba
Denmark Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic (an Inuit dialect), German (small minority); note: English is the predominant second language
Dhekelia Greek
Djibouti French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar
Dominica English (official), French patois
Dominican Republic Spanish
East Timor Tetum (official), Portuguese (official), Indonesian, English; note: there are about 16 indigenous languages; Tetum, Galole, Mambae, and Kemak are spoken by significant numbers of people
Ecuador Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
Egypt Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated classes
El Salvador Spanish, Nahua (among some Amerindians)
Equatorial Guinea Spanish 67.6% (official), other 32.4% (includes French (official), Fang, Bubi)
Eritrea Afar, Arabic, Tigre and Kunama, Tigrinya, other Cushitic languages
Estonia Estonian (official) 67.3%, Russian 29.7%, other 2.3%, unknown 0.7%
Ethiopia Amarigna (Amharic) (official) 32.7%, Oromigna (official regional) 31.6%, Tigrigna (official regional) 6.1%, Somaligna 6%, Guaragigna 3.5%, Sidamigna 3.5%, Hadiyigna 1.7%, other 14.8%, English (official) (major foreign language taught in schools), Arabic (official)
European Union Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Gaelic, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) English
Faroe Islands Faroese (derived from Old Norse), Danish
Federated States of Micronesia English (official and common language), Chuukese, Kosrean, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi
Fiji English (official), Fijian (official), Hindustani
Finland Finnish 91.2% (official), Swedish 5.5% (official), other 3.3% (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities)
France French 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)
French Guiana French
French Polynesia French 61.1% (official), Polynesian 31.4% (official), Asian languages 1.2%, other 0.3%, unspecified 6%
Gabon French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
Gaza Strip Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by many Palestinians), English (widely understood)
Georgia Georgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7%; note: Abkhaz is the official language in Abkhazia
Germany German
Ghana Asante 14.8%, Ewe 12.7%, Fante 9.9%, Boron (Brong) 4.6%, Dagomba 4.3%, Dangme 4.3%, Dagarte (Dagaba) 3.7%, Akyem 3.4%, Ga 3.4%, Akuapem 2.9%, other 36.1% (includes English (official))
Gibraltar English (used in schools and for official purposes), Spanish, Italian, Portuguese
Greece Greek 99% (official), other 1% (includes English and French)
Greenland Greenlandic (East Inuit), Danish, English
Grenada English (official), French patois
Guadeloupe French (official) 99%, Creole patois
Guam English 38.3%, Chamorro 22.2%, Philippine languages 22.2%, other Pacific island languages 6.8%, Asian languages 7%, other languages 3.5%
Guatemala Spanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca)
Guernsey French, Norman-French dialect spoken in country districts
Guinea French (official); note - each ethnic group has its own language
Guinea-Bissau Portuguese (official), Crioulo, African languages
Guyana English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Urdu
Haiti French (official), Creole (official)
Holy See (Vatican City) Latin, French, various other languages
Honduras Spanish, Amerindian dialects
Hong Kong Cantonese 90.8% (official), English 2.8% (official), Putonghua (Mandarin) 0.9%, other Chinese dialects 4.4%, other 1.1%
Hungary Hungarian 93.6%, other or unspecified 6.4%
Iceland Icelandic, English, Nordic languages, German widely spoken
India Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2%, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9%, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Malayalam 3.2%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.2%, other 5.9%; note: English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 41% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language
Indonesia Bahasa Indonesia (official, modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, local dialects (the most widely spoken of which is Javanese)
Iran Persian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%
Iraq Arabic, Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions), Turkoman (a Turkish dialect), Assyrian (Neo-Aramaic), Armenian
Ireland English (official) is the language generally used, Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official) spoken mainly in areas located along the western seaboard
Israel Hebrew (official), Arabic used officially for Arab minority, English most commonly used foreign language
Italy Italian (official), German (parts of Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German speaking), French (small French-speaking minority in Valle d'Aosta region), Slovene (Slovene-speaking minority in the Trieste-Gorizia area)
Jamaica English, English patois
Japan Japanese
Jersey English 94.5% (official), Portuguese 4.6%, other 0.9%
Jordan Arabic (official), English widely understood among upper and middle classes
Kazakhstan Kazakh (Qazaq, state language) 64.4%, Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the "language of interethnic communication") 95%
Kenya English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages
Kiribati I-Kiribati, English (official)
Kuwait Arabic (official), English widely spoken
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyz 64.7% (official), Uzbek 13.6%, Russian 12.5% (official), Dungun 1%, other 8.2%
Laos Lao (official), French, English, and various ethnic languages
Latvia Latvian (official) 58.2%, Russian 37.5%, Lithuanian and other 4.3%
Lebanon Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian
Lesotho Sesotho (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa
Liberia English 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages, of which a few can be written and are used in correspondence
Libya Arabic, Italian, English, all are widely understood in the major cities
Liechtenstein German (official), Alemannic dialect
Lithuania Lithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other and unspecified 4.4%
Luxembourg Luxembourgish (national language), German (administrative language), French (administrative language)
Macau Cantonese 85.7%, Hokkien 4%, Mandarin 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 2.7%, English 1.5%, Tagalog 1.3%, other 1.6%
Madagascar English (official), French (official), Malagasy (official)
Malawi Chichewa 57.2% (official), Chinyanja 12.8%, Chiyao 10.1%, Chitumbuka 9.5%, Chisena 2.7%, Chilomwe 2.4%, Chitonga 1.7%, other 3.6%
Malaysia Bahasa Malaysia (official), English, Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai; note: in East Malaysia there are several indigenous languages; most widely spoken are Iban and Kadazan
Maldives Maldivian Dhivehi (dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English spoken by most government officials
Mali French (official), Bambara 80%, numerous African languages
Malta Maltese (official) 90.2%, English (official) 6%, multilingual 3%, other 0.8%
Marshall Islands Marshallese (official) 98.2%, other languages 1.8%; note: English (official), widely spoken as a second language
Martinique French, Creole patois
Mauritania Arabic (official and national), Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof (all national languages), French, Hassaniya
Mauritius Creole 80.5%, Bhojpuri 12.1%, French 3.4%, English (official; spoken by less than 1% of the population), other 3.7%, unspecified 0.3%
Mayotte Mahorian (a Swahili dialect), French (official language) spoken by 35% of the population
Mexico Spanish only 92.7%, Spanish and indigenous languages 5.7%, indigenous only 0.8%, unspecified 0.8%; note - indigenous languages include various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional languages
Moldova Moldovan (official, virtually the same as the Romanian language), Russian, Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)
Monaco French (official), English, Italian, Monegasque
Mongolia Khalkha Mongol 90%, Turkic, Russian
Montserrat English
Morocco Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French often the language of business, government, and diplomacy
Mozambique Emakhuwa 26.1%, Xichangana 11.3%, Portuguese 8.8% (official; spoken by 27% of population as a second language), Elomwe 7.6%, Cisena 6.8%, Echuwabo 5.8%, other Mozambican languages 32%, other foreign languages 0.3%, unspecified 1.3%
Namibia English 7% (official), Afrikaans common language of most of the population and about 60% of the white population, German 32%, indigenous languages 1% (includes Oshivambo, Herero, Nama)
Nauru Nauruan (official; a distinct Pacific Island language), English widely understood, spoken, and used for most government and commercial purposes
Nepal Nepali 47.8%, Maithali 12.1%, Bhojpuri 7.4%, Tharu (Dagaura/Rana) 5.8%, Tamang 5.1%, Newar 3.6%, Magar 3.3%, Awadhi 2.4%, other 10%, unspecified 2.5%; note: many in government and business also speak English
Netherlands Dutch (official), Frisian (official)
Netherlands Antilles Papiamento 65.4% (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect), English 15.9% (widely spoken), Dutch 7.3% (official), Spanish 6.1%, Creole 1.6%, other 1.9%, unspecified 1.8%
New Caledonia French (official), 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects
New Zealand English (official), Maori (official), Sign Language (official)
Nicaragua Spanish 97.5% (official), Miskito 1.7%, other 0.8%
Niger French (official), Hausa, Djerma
Nigeria English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani
Niue Niuean, a Polynesian language closely related to Tongan and Samoan; English
Norfolk Island English (official), Norfolk - a mixture of 18th century English and ancient Tahitian
North Korea Korean
Northern Mariana Islands Philippine languages 24.4%, Chinese 23.4%, Chamorro 22.4%, English 10.8%, other Pacific island languages 9.5%, other 9.6%
Norway Bokmal Norwegian (official), Nynorsk Norwegian (official), small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities; note - Sami is official in six municipalities
Oman Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
Pakistan Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Siraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashtu 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official; lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski and other 8%
Palau Palauan 64.7% official in all islands except Sonsoral (Sonsoralese and English are official), Tobi (Tobi and English are official), and Angaur (Angaur, Japanese, and English are official), Filipino 13.5%, English 9.4%, Chinese 5.7%, Carolinian 1.5%, Japanese 1.5%, other Asian 2.3%, other languages 1.5%
Panama Spanish (official), English 14%; note - many Panamanians bilingual
Papua New Guinea Melanesian Pidgin serves as the lingua franca, English spoken by 1%-2%, Motu spoken in Papua region; note: 820 indigenous languages spoken (over one-tenth of the world's total)
Paraguay Spanish (official), Guarani (official)
Peru Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara, and a large number of minor Amazonian languages
Philippines Filipino (official; based on Tagalog) and English (official); eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan
Pitcairn Islands English (official), Pitkern (mixture of an 18th century English dialect and a Tahitian dialect)
Poland Polish 97.8%, other and unspecified 2.2%
Portugal Portuguese (official), Mirandese (official - but locally used)
Puerto Rico Spanish, English
Qatar Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language
Reunion French (official), Creole widely used
Romania Romanian 91% (official), Hungarian 6.7%, Romany (Gypsy) 1.1%, other 1.2%
Russia Russian, many minority languages
Rwanda Kinyarwanda (official) universal Bantu vernacular, French (official), English (official), Kiswahili (Swahili) used in commercial centers
Saint Barthelemy French (primary), English
Saint Helena English
Saint Kitts and Nevis English
Saint Lucia English (official), French patois
Saint Martin French (official language), English, Dutch, French Patois, Spanish, Papiamento (dialect of Netherlands Antilles)
Saint Pierre and Miquelon French (official)
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines English, French patois
Samoa Samoan (Polynesian), English
San Marino Italian
Sao Tome and Principe Portuguese (official)
Saudi Arabia Arabic
Senegal French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka
Serbia and Montenegro Serbian 88.3% (official), Hungarian 3.8%, Bosniak 1.8%, Romany (Gypsy) 1.1%, other 4.1%, unknown 0.9%; note: Romanian, Hungarian, Slovak, Ukrainian, and Croatian all official in Vojvodina
Seychelles Creole 91.8%, English 4.9% (official), other 3.1%, unspecified 0.2%
Sierra Leone English (official, regular use limited to literate minority), Mende (principal vernacular in the south), Temne (principal vernacular in the north), Krio (English-based Creole, spoken by the descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area, a lingua franca and a first language for 10% of the population but understood by 95%)
Singapore Mandarin 35%, English 23%, Malay 14.1%, Hokkien 11.4%, Cantonese 5.7%, Teochew 4.9%, Tamil 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 1.8%, other 0.9%
Slovakia Slovak (official) 83.9%, Hungarian 10.7%, Roma 1.8%, Ukrainian 1%, other or unspecified 2.6%
Slovenia Slovenian 91.1%, Serbo-Croatian 4.5%, other or unspecified 4.4%
Solomon Islands Melanesian pidgin in much of the country is lingua franca; English (official; but spoken by only 1%-2% of the population); 120 indigenous languages
Somalia Somali (official), Arabic, Italian, English
South Africa IsiZulu 23.8%, IsiXhosa 17.6%, Afrikaans 13.3%, Sepedi 9.4%, English 8.2%, Setswana 8.2%, Sesotho 7.9%, Xitsonga 4.4%, other 7.2%
South Korea Korean, English widely taught in junior high and high school
Spain Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%, are official regionally
Sri Lanka Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8%; note: English is commonly used in government and is spoken competently by about 10% of the population
Sudan Arabic (official), English (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, Sudanic languages; note: program of "Arabization" in process
Suriname Dutch (official), English (widely spoken), Sranang Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes called Taki-Taki, is native language of Creoles and much of the younger population and is lingua franca among others), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese
Svalbard Russian
Swaziland English (official, government business conducted in English), siSwati (official)
Sweden Swedish, small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities
Switzerland German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 20.4%, Italian (official) 6.5%, Serbo-Croatian 1.5%, Albanian 1.3%, Portuguese 1.2%, Spanish 1.1%, English 1%, Romansch (official) 0.5%, other 2.8%; note: German, French, Italian, and Romansch are all national and official languages
Syria Arabic (official); Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian widely understood; French, English somewhat understood
Taiwan Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects
Tajikistan Tajik (official), Russian widely used in government and business
Tanzania Kiswahili or Swahili (official), Kiunguja (name for Swahili in Zanzibar), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), many local languages; note: Kiswahili (Swahili) is the mother tongue of the Bantu people living in Zanzibar and nearby coastal Tanzania; although Kiswahili is Bantu in structure and origin, its vocabulary draws on a variety of sources including Arabic and English; it has become the lingua franca of central and eastern Africa; the first language of most people is one of the local languages
Thailand Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects
The Bahamas English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)
The Gambia English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars
Togo French (official and the language of commerce), Ewe and Mina (the two major African languages in the south), Kabye (sometimes spelled Kabiye) and Dagomba (the two major African languages in the north)
Tokelau Tokelauan (a Polynesian language), English
Tonga Tongan, English
Trinidad and Tobago English (official), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), French, Spanish, Chinese
Tunisia Arabic (official and one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce)
Turkey Turkish (official), Kurdish, Dimli (or Zaza), Azeri, Kabardian; note: there is also a substantial Gagauz population in the European part of Turkey
Turkmenistan Turkmen 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%
Turks and Caicos Islands English (official)
Tuvalu Tuvaluan, English, Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui)
Uganda English (official national language, taught in grade schools, used in courts of law and by most newspapers and some radio broadcasts), Ganda or Luganda (most widely used of the Niger-Congo languages, preferred for native language publications in the capital and may be taught in school), other Niger-Congo languages, Nilo-Saharan languages, Swahili, Arabic
Ukraine Ukrainian (official) 67%, Russian 24%, other 9% (includes small Romanian-, Polish-, and Hungarian-speaking minorities)
United Arab Emirates Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu
United Kingdom English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland)
United States English 82.1%, Spanish 10.7%, other Indo-European 3.8%, Asian and Pacific island 2.7%, other 0.7%; note: Hawaiian is an official language in the state of Hawaii
Uruguay Spanish, Portunol, or Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier)
Uzbekistan Uzbek 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%
Vanuatu local languages (more than 100) 72.6%, pidgin (known as Bislama or Bichelama) 23.1%, English 1.9%, French 1.4%, other 0.3%, unspecified 0.7% (1999 Census)
Venezuela Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects
Vietnam Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)
Virgin Islands English 74.7%, Spanish or Spanish Creole 16.8%, French or French Creole 6.6%, other 1.9%
Wallis and Futuna Wallisian 58.9% (indigenous Polynesian language), Futunian 30.1%, French (official) 10.8%, other 0.2%
West Bank Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by Israeli settlers and many Palestinians), English (widely understood)
Western Sahara Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic
Yemen Arabic
Zambia English (official), major vernaculars - Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga, and about 70 other indigenous languages
Zimbabwe English (official), Shona, Sindebele (the language of the Ndebele, sometimes called Ndebele), numerous but minor tribal dialects

Citation

"Countries Compared by Language > Languages. International Statistics at NationMaster.com", CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Language/Languages

Statistics for Language > Languages

Agriculture

Statistics and graphs related to agriculture are found here. How many agricultural workers are there per hectare? Tractors? Which country produces the maximum cotton? Who is the biggest exporter of bananas? Click in if these interest you.

TOP STATS: Agricultural land > Sq. km, Agricultural growth, Arable land > Hectares per capita and 322 more

Background

What is the background of the country? National bird? Get a quick summary of countries in this section.

TOP STATS: Overview, First human settlement > Date, Full name and 21 more

Conflict

TOP STATS: Terrorism > Global Terrorism Index, Civil war and unrest > Arab Spring death toll, War > Syrian Civil War > Foreign civilians killed and 29 more

Cost of living

TOP STATS: Average monthly disposable salary > After tax, Local purchasing power, Basic utilities > Garbage, water, heating, electricity for 85 sqm apartment and 52 more

Crime

No explanation needed for this section. Murders. Guns. Jails. Crimes. Judges. We have all of that and more out here. Actually we go deeper than your routine crime beat sections. How many adults were prosecuted? What percentage were convicted? How many were women? What is the death penalty rate in different countries? How safe do the citizens perceive they are? Do they trust the police? Will they report a crime? You'll find surprising answers here.

TOP STATS: Crime levels, Violent crime > Intentional homicide rate, Murder rate and 183 more

Culture

TOP STATS: Food and drink > Beer consumption, Happy Planet Index, Smoking > Cigarettes per adult per year and 67 more

Disasters

The tsunami rocked the civilized world with its widespread devastation. Learn the details of the losses incurred by the countries affected. How are the developed countries helping out? Who has pledged the most money? How do they compare? Check out...

TOP STATS: Chernobyl > Contaminated area (percent of country), Tsunami > Death toll, Hurricane Katrina > International aid response and 47 more

Economy

This category is all about money. GDP. Aid. Gross national income. Debt. Inflation. Trade balance. Foreign investment. Government spending. You get the idea.

TOP STATS: GDP, Population below poverty line, GDP per capita and 3717 more

Education

Any and every statistic which can be collected about schooling and the whole education sector can be found here. What is the duration of education in different countries? Is the percentage of enrollment different for sexes? How long do students spend learning their mother tongues? What is the mathematical aptitude of the average 8 year old? How many university degrees are awarded to females? What is the percentage of students who find school boring? We've tabulated them all for you.

TOP STATS: Pupil-teacher ratio, primary, Literacy > Total population, Children out of school, primary and 908 more

Energy

How does your country fare in Traditional Fuel Consumption? In Geothermal Energy Consumption? How many barrels of oil were imported into your country last year? Does your production of hydroelectricity match your consumption? Which countries in the world successfully produce nuclear energy for consumption? What is the average energy usage per person? All your questions regarding different forms of energy, their generation and consumption have been answered here.

TOP STATS: Electricity > Consumption, Oil > Consumption, Electricity > Consumption > Per capita and 2387 more

Environment

How much area is declared as protected in the different countries of the world? How many endangered species of reptiles, mammals, birds etc are found in different countries? What are the national levels of pollution? Emissions? Nuclear waste generation? Salination of water resources and expenditure for waste treatment. International treaties, ratification and complaince. You'll find almost all statistics related to environmental pollution and conservational efforts here.

TOP STATS: Ecological footprint, Pollution perceptions > Air pollution, Marine fish catch and 331 more

Geography

All the stats pertaining to the physical features of the country in question can be found here. This implies that if you are looking for the co-ordinates or map references of countries, the land area, climate, boundaries, terrain, natural resources or coastlines, your search ends here.

TOP STATS: Area > Comparative, Natural resources, Geographic coordinates and 102 more

Government

This category is all about the functioning of the government machinery. So, you'll find stats on the goverment administrative divisions, the executive, legistative and judiciary branches, constitution, parliamentary seats, secession attemps, suffrage, corruption - everything connected with our esteemed politicians.

TOP STATS: Government type, Legal system, Administrative divisions and 392 more

Health

Statistics about the health of a country's citizens are present in this category. You can find stats related to birth weights, rates on smoking, HIV incidence, incidence of cancer, circulatory and other diseases, stats on infant and maternal mortality, life expectancy, suicide rates, teenage pergnancy and other health related topics. We also have some details on health expenditure and health care funding out here.

TOP STATS: Obesity, Physicians > Per 1,000 people, Life expectancy at birth, total > Years and 529 more

Industry

Lists all industry related stats like production of cars, buses trucks, LCVs, different industries like biotech firms and so on.

TOP STATS: Manufacturing, value added > Current US$ per capita, Manufacturing output, Car > Production and 94 more

Labor

You can find detailed stats on the economic activity of the labor force broken over different age-groups and sexes. We also have stats on employment in different sectors, trade union memberships, the average work time, the average number of days the workers take off or even just don't show up! How many female decision makers does a country have? Doctors? What is the normal gender division of the housework? What are the unemployment details and benefits available? How long does an average person need to work to buy a loaf of bread? A car? A television set? Compare these values for different countries.

TOP STATS: Labor force > By occupation, Unemployment rate, Labor force, total and 374 more

Language

What are the main languages spoken in the countries? How many English language speakers are there per country? How about French and Spanish? Check out the results here..

TOP STATS: Languages, Major language(s), French status and 21 more

Lifestyle

Here we rank countries based on amphetamine and cannabis use. But more interestingly, we go into their mindset. What do the citizens of different countries think of their armed forces? Will they report a crime? Do they trust their neighbours? What about their governments? Are they happy with life in general? How charitable are they? What is their political orientation? Are they proud of their countries? Will they fight for their countries? This is an utterly captivating category.

TOP STATS: Quality of life index, Food and drink > Soft drink > Consumption, Happiness net and 110 more

Media

Countries are ranked here depending on the penetration level of computers, phones, fax machines, radios, television sets, mobile phones etc. We also have other stats related to media like vastness of different networks, revenue and employment in different telecom sectors here.

TOP STATS: Internet users, Broadcast media, Telecoms > Mobile cellular subscriptions > Per 100 people and 429 more

Military

Want to know the size of the army in Iran? The number of tanks in Germany? Want to compare the weapon holdings in North and South Korea? Worried about the WMDs world over? Need to know the exact number of countries who have signed terrorism conventions? Or just curious about the coalition forces in the Gulf War? We've tried to collect all details available in the public domain for you here.

TOP STATS: WMD > Missile, Military expenditures, WMD > Nuclear and 285 more

People

Facts relating to the actual life of people are found here. So we have birth and death rates, marriage and divorce rates, single parents, one-person households and teenage pregnancies, size of households and elderly institutions, ethnicity and chinese population - just about every stat you always wanted to know! What is the average age of women when they first get married? How happy are they when compared to their mothers? What is the gender development index in different countries? What will the population be in 2020? Don't miss this category even if you didn't come searching for it specifically.

TOP STATS: Population, Ethnic groups, Age structure > 65 years and over and 1058 more

Religion

Where else could you find the number of Catholics, Catholic priests, Catholic parishes, Jehovahs Witnesses and the number of permanent deacons, and compare them all between major nations in a per-capita format? Check them all here.

TOP STATS: Religions, Major religion(s), Islam > Percentage Muslim and 111 more

Sports

Who scored the maximum medals in the olympics? What about the summer and winter olympics? What are the latest FIFA rankings? Which country has the maximum number of Mt. Everest ascents? Get all the answers in this sports section.

TOP STATS: FIFA World Ranking > Men, World Cup Totals > Losses, World Cup Totals > Wins and 508 more

Terrorism

This is a category which needs particular highlighting as the growing concern and need for awareness continues to press upon our front pages, in the minds of our leadership and politicians, and indeed, in our everyday conversations. We hope to expand this category into timely and essential data you can rely on to make sense of global and national security, political and societal violence, and our perceptions which are shaped by these notions.

TOP STATS: Number of Known Terrorist Organizations Present, Global Terrorism Indicator, Victims of the September 11th 2001 attacks and 30 more

Transport

Here you can find the numbers on the different modes of transportation. How many cars does a country have? Airports? What is the lenght of its highways? What proportion is paved? What about runways, heliports and ports? Lets not leave out waterways or the merchant navy. We have them all here.

TOP STATS: Airports, Roadways > Unpaved, Motor vehicles and 445 more

Travel

TOP STATS: Inbound tourism > Arrivals, Outbound tourism > Departures, Inbound tourism > Passenger transport spending and 19 more

Weather

TOP STATS: Precipitation, Temperature > Highest temperature ever recorded, Climate summary and 4 more

STAT
COUNTRIES COVERED
A note 15
Note 19

0

Samuel, you’re correct in saying that many languages are spoken in India. The 1991 Indian census, which says there are 18 languages spoken by at least 50,000 people in India, has a list of the languages recorded.

Hindi is the most widespread language, spoken by about 40 percent of the population, followed by Bengali (8.3 percent), Telugu (7.87 percent) and Marathi (7.45 percent).

There are 12 languages with more than 10 million speakers in the country, and four more with more than a million speakers each. Almost four percent of people in India speak a language other than the 18 named in the census.

Posted on 22 Mar 2005

Ian Graham, Staff Editor

Ian Graham, Staff Editor

0

Nonya, the main language of Puerto Rico is Spanish, with 3,437,120 speakers representing over 90 percent of the population. There are also 82,000 people who speak English as their mother tongue and another 376,371 second language users. English and Spanish are Puerto Rico’s two national languages.

Posted on 26 Apr 2005

Ian Graham, Staff Editor

Ian Graham, Staff Editor

0

Three of the most widely dispersed languages in the world are of European origin, a reflection of the influence of colonialism on the spread of language and culture. French is used in 40 countries in Europe, the Americas and Africa. Spanish is used in 28 countries, including most of Central and South America. English is used in 85 countries in Europe, North America, Africa, and Australia, and in Asian countries such as India, Singapore and the Philippines.

According to the Summer Institute for Linguistics Ethnologue Survey conducted in 1999, there are 937,132,000 native speakers of Chinese in the world. The other languages with more than 100 million native speakers are Spanish, English, Bengali/Bangla, Hindi/Urdu, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian and Japanese.

Africa is the most linguistically diverse continent, with over 2,000 languages. The most widely spoken languages in Africa are Arabic (in the north), Swahili and Hausa. Some African languages are spoken by only a few thousand people.

Posted on 21 Feb 2005

Ian Graham, Staff Editor

Ian Graham, Staff Editor

0

An estimated 6700 languages are commonly spoken in the world today (This number increases to over 40,000 when regional dialects are considered). Estimates indicate that almost half of these languages could disappear during the next hundred years. Languages become extinct when the population decreases or the majority of the speakers use another language more often (either due to government / educational pressure or perceived social and economic advantage).

An official language is usually the language of law and goverment, however many countries require that important documents be translated into other languages. About half of the world's countries have at least one official language. The official language is not necessarily the most widely spoken especially when it defines nationalism (eg Ireland) or describes former colonial control (eg Liberia). In others (including Australia, Sweden and the United States) there is no official language but one language is commonly used by custom.

In most countries many local languages are spoken. As these languages are usually linked to ethnic groups, the choice of language in particular situations can be a political issue. In some countries (eg.Iraq - Arabic and Kurdish languages) language issues are serious enough to threaten the unity of the country or involve violent protest. For further information on some of the current language issues see Languages - a note

Posted on 24 Mar 2005

Edria Murray, Staff editor

Edria Murray, Staff editor

0

This is great that people can receive the loans moreover, that opens up new possibilities.

Posted on 14 Jul 2010

Freda32LIVINGSTON

Freda32LIVINGSTON

0

.i think ,, philippines is the country with the most number of dialects spoken ..

Posted on 12 Jul 2009

♥♥27♥♥

♥♥27♥♥

0

Hindi is very different from Urdu. Speaker of one language can hardly understand the other. If you read some Hindi text and Urdu text, you can see the difference. So please dont write Hindi/Urdu. And moreover if you ask any Hindi speaker in India, he would perefer to say he speaks Hindi rather than Urdu. So both are very different languages. Why don't you people then write like English/French and combined population of both.

Posted on 21 May 2009

Rohit

Rohit

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