Language > Languages: Countries Compared

Author: Edria Murray<br>Staff editor

Author: Edria Murray<br>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..

AfghanistanAfghanistan 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
AkrotiriAkrotiri Greek
AlbaniaAlbania Albanian (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek, Vlach, Romani, Slavic dialects
AlgeriaAlgeria Arabic (official), French, Berber dialects
American SamoaAmerican 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
AndorraAndorra Catalan (official), French, Castilian, Portuguese
AngolaAngola Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages
AnguillaAnguilla English (official)
Antigua and BarbudaAntigua+ English (official), local dialects
ArgentinaArgentina Spanish (official), Italian, English, German, French
ArmeniaArmenia Armenian 97.7%, Yezidi 1%, Russian 0.9%, other 0.4%
ArubaAruba 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%
AustraliaAustralia English 79.1%, Chinese 2.1%, Italian 1.9%, other 11.1%, unspecified 5.8% (2001 Census)
AustriaAustria 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%
AzerbaijanAzerbaijan Azerbaijani (Azeri) 90.3%, Lezgi 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.3%, unspecified 1%
BahrainBahrain Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu
BangladeshBangladesh Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English
BarbadosBarbados English
BelarusBelarus Belarusian, Russian, other
BelgiumBelgium Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)
BelizeBelize 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%
BeninBenin French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)
BermudaBermuda English (official), Portuguese
BhutanBhutan Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects
BoliviaBolivia Spanish 60.7% (official), Quechua 21.2% (official), Aymara 14.6% (official), foreign languages 2.4%, other 1.2%
Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia+ Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
BotswanaBotswana Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English 2.1% (official), other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4%
BrazilBrazil 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 IslandsBrit. Virgin Isl. English (official)
BruneiBrunei Malay (official), English, Chinese
BulgariaBulgaria Bulgarian 84.5%, Turkish 9.6%, Roma 4.1%, other and unspecified 1.8%
Burkina FasoBurkina Faso French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population
BurmaBurma Burmese, minority ethnic groups have their own languages
BurundiBurundi Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area)
CambodiaCambodia Khmer (official) 95%, French, English
CameroonCameroon 24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)
CanadaCanada English (official) 59.3%, French (official) 23.2%, other 17.5%
Cape VerdeCape Verde Portuguese, Crioulo (a blend of Portuguese and West African words)
Cayman IslandsCayman Islands English 95%, Spanish 3.2%, other 1.8%
Central African RepublicCentral Africa French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
ChadChad French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects
ChileChile Spanish (official), Mapudungun, German, English
ChinaChina 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 IslandXmas Island English (official), Chinese, Malay
Cocos (Keeling) IslandsCocos Islands Malay (Cocos dialect), English
ColombiaColombia Spanish
ComorosComoros Arabic (official), French (official), Shikomoro (a blend of Swahili and Arabic)
Congo, Republic of theCongo, 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 IslandsCook Islands English (official), Maori
Costa RicaCosta Rica Spanish (official), English
Cote d'IvoireCote d'Ivoire French (official), 60 native dialects with Dioula the most widely spoken
CroatiaCroatia Croatian 96.1%, Serbian 1%, other and undesignated 2.9% (including Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and German)
CubaCuba Spanish
CyprusCyprus Greek, Turkish, English
Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech 94.9%, Slovak 2%, other 2.3%, unidentified 0.8%
Democratic Republic of the CongoCongo, DR. French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba
DenmarkDenmark Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic (an Inuit dialect), German (small minority); note: English is the predominant second language
DhekeliaDhekelia Greek
DjiboutiDjibouti French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar
DominicaDominica English (official), French patois
Dominican RepublicDominican Rep. Spanish
East TimorEast 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
EcuadorEcuador Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
EgyptEgypt Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated classes
El SalvadorEl Salvador Spanish, Nahua (among some Amerindians)
Equatorial GuineaEqu. Guinea Spanish 67.6% (official), other 32.4% (includes French (official), Fang, Bubi)
EritreaEritrea Afar, Arabic, Tigre and Kunama, Tigrinya, other Cushitic languages
EstoniaEstonia Estonian (official) 67.3%, Russian 29.7%, other 2.3%, unknown 0.7%
EthiopiaEthiopia 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 UnionEuropean 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)Falklands English
Faroe IslandsFaroe Islands Faroese (derived from Old Norse), Danish
Federated States of MicronesiaMicronesia English (official and common language), Chuukese, Kosrean, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi
FijiFiji English (official), Fijian (official), Hindustani
FinlandFinland Finnish 91.2% (official), Swedish 5.5% (official), other 3.3% (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities)
FranceFrance French 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)
French GuianaFrench Guiana French
French PolynesiaFr. Polynesia French 61.1% (official), Polynesian 31.4% (official), Asian languages 1.2%, other 0.3%, unspecified 6%
GabonGabon French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
Gaza StripGaza Strip Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by many Palestinians), English (widely understood)
GeorgiaGeorgia Georgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7%; note: Abkhaz is the official language in Abkhazia
GermanyGermany German
GhanaGhana 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))
GibraltarGibraltar English (used in schools and for official purposes), Spanish, Italian, Portuguese
GreeceGreece Greek 99% (official), other 1% (includes English and French)
GreenlandGreenland Greenlandic (East Inuit), Danish, English
GrenadaGrenada English (official), French patois
GuadeloupeGuadeloupe French (official) 99%, Creole patois
GuamGuam English 38.3%, Chamorro 22.2%, Philippine languages 22.2%, other Pacific island languages 6.8%, Asian languages 7%, other languages 3.5%
GuatemalaGuatemala Spanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca)
GuernseyGuernsey French, Norman-French dialect spoken in country districts
GuineaGuinea French (official); note - each ethnic group has its own language
Guinea-BissauGuinea-Bissau Portuguese (official), Crioulo, African languages
GuyanaGuyana English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Urdu
HaitiHaiti French (official), Creole (official)
Holy See (Vatican City)Vatican City Latin, French, various other languages
HondurasHonduras Spanish, Amerindian dialects
Hong KongHong Kong Cantonese 90.8% (official), English 2.8% (official), Putonghua (Mandarin) 0.9%, other Chinese dialects 4.4%, other 1.1%
HungaryHungary Hungarian 93.6%, other or unspecified 6.4%
IcelandIceland Icelandic, English, Nordic languages, German widely spoken
IndiaIndia 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
IndonesiaIndonesia Bahasa Indonesia (official, modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, local dialects (the most widely spoken of which is Javanese)
IranIran Persian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%
IraqIraq Arabic, Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions), Turkoman (a Turkish dialect), Assyrian (Neo-Aramaic), Armenian
IrelandIreland English (official) is the language generally used, Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official) spoken mainly in areas located along the western seaboard
IsraelIsrael Hebrew (official), Arabic used officially for Arab minority, English most commonly used foreign language
ItalyItaly 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)
JamaicaJamaica English, English patois
JapanJapan Japanese
JerseyJersey English 94.5% (official), Portuguese 4.6%, other 0.9%
JordanJordan Arabic (official), English widely understood among upper and middle classes
KazakhstanKazakhstan Kazakh (Qazaq, state language) 64.4%, Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the "language of interethnic communication") 95%
KenyaKenya English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages
KiribatiKiribati I-Kiribati, English (official)
KuwaitKuwait Arabic (official), English widely spoken
KyrgyzstanKyrgyzstan Kyrgyz 64.7% (official), Uzbek 13.6%, Russian 12.5% (official), Dungun 1%, other 8.2%
LaosLaos Lao (official), French, English, and various ethnic languages
LatviaLatvia Latvian (official) 58.2%, Russian 37.5%, Lithuanian and other 4.3%
LebanonLebanon Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian
LesothoLesotho Sesotho (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa
LiberiaLiberia English 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages, of which a few can be written and are used in correspondence
LibyaLibya Arabic, Italian, English, all are widely understood in the major cities
LiechtensteinLiechtenstein German (official), Alemannic dialect
LithuaniaLithuania Lithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other and unspecified 4.4%
LuxembourgLuxembourg Luxembourgish (national language), German (administrative language), French (administrative language)
MacauMacau Cantonese 85.7%, Hokkien 4%, Mandarin 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 2.7%, English 1.5%, Tagalog 1.3%, other 1.6%
MadagascarMadagascar English (official), French (official), Malagasy (official)
MalawiMalawi 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%
MalaysiaMalaysia 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
MaldivesMaldives Maldivian Dhivehi (dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English spoken by most government officials
MaliMali French (official), Bambara 80%, numerous African languages
MaltaMalta Maltese (official) 90.2%, English (official) 6%, multilingual 3%, other 0.8%
Marshall IslandsMarshall Isl. Marshallese (official) 98.2%, other languages 1.8%; note: English (official), widely spoken as a second language
MartiniqueMartinique French, Creole patois
MauritaniaMauritania Arabic (official and national), Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof (all national languages), French, Hassaniya
MauritiusMauritius 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%
MayotteMayotte Mahorian (a Swahili dialect), French (official language) spoken by 35% of the population
MexicoMexico 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
MoldovaMoldova Moldovan (official, virtually the same as the Romanian language), Russian, Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)
MonacoMonaco French (official), English, Italian, Monegasque
MongoliaMongolia Khalkha Mongol 90%, Turkic, Russian
MontserratMontserrat English
MoroccoMorocco Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French often the language of business, government, and diplomacy
MozambiqueMozambique 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%
NamibiaNamibia 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)
NauruNauru Nauruan (official; a distinct Pacific Island language), English widely understood, spoken, and used for most government and commercial purposes
NepalNepal 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
NetherlandsNetherlands Dutch (official), Frisian (official)
Netherlands AntillesN. 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 CaledoniaNew Caledonia French (official), 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects
New ZealandNew Zealand English (official), Maori (official), Sign Language (official)
NicaraguaNicaragua Spanish 97.5% (official), Miskito 1.7%, other 0.8%
NigerNiger French (official), Hausa, Djerma
NigeriaNigeria English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani
NiueNiue Niuean, a Polynesian language closely related to Tongan and Samoan; English
Norfolk IslandNorfolk Island English (official), Norfolk - a mixture of 18th century English and ancient Tahitian
North KoreaNorth Korea Korean
Northern Mariana IslandsN. Mariana Philippine languages 24.4%, Chinese 23.4%, Chamorro 22.4%, English 10.8%, other Pacific island languages 9.5%, other 9.6%
NorwayNorway Bokmal Norwegian (official), Nynorsk Norwegian (official), small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities; note - Sami is official in six municipalities
OmanOman Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
PakistanPakistan 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%
PalauPalau 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%
PanamaPanama Spanish (official), English 14%; note - many Panamanians bilingual
Papua New GuineaPapua NG 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)
ParaguayParaguay Spanish (official), Guarani (official)
PeruPeru Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara, and a large number of minor Amazonian languages
PhilippinesPhilippines Filipino (official; based on Tagalog) and English (official); eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan
Pitcairn IslandsPitcarn English (official), Pitkern (mixture of an 18th century English dialect and a Tahitian dialect)
PolandPoland Polish 97.8%, other and unspecified 2.2%
PortugalPortugal Portuguese (official), Mirandese (official - but locally used)
Puerto RicoPuerto Rico Spanish, English
QatarQatar Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language
ReunionReunion French (official), Creole widely used
RomaniaRomania Romanian 91% (official), Hungarian 6.7%, Romany (Gypsy) 1.1%, other 1.2%
RussiaRussia Russian, many minority languages
RwandaRwanda Kinyarwanda (official) universal Bantu vernacular, French (official), English (official), Kiswahili (Swahili) used in commercial centers
Saint BarthelemySt Barthelemy French (primary), English
Saint HelenaSaint Helena English
Saint Kitts and NevisSt Kitts+ English
Saint LuciaSaint Lucia English (official), French patois
Saint MartinSaint Martin French (official language), English, Dutch, French Patois, Spanish, Papiamento (dialect of Netherlands Antilles)
Saint Pierre and MiquelonSt Pierre+ French (official)
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesSt Vincent+ English, French patois
SamoaSamoa Samoan (Polynesian), English
San MarinoSan Marino Italian
Sao Tome and PrincipeSoa Tome+ Portuguese (official)
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia Arabic
SenegalSenegal French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka
Serbia and MontenegroSerbia+ 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
SeychellesSeychelles Creole 91.8%, English 4.9% (official), other 3.1%, unspecified 0.2%
Sierra LeoneSierra 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%)
SingaporeSingapore 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%
SlovakiaSlovakia Slovak (official) 83.9%, Hungarian 10.7%, Roma 1.8%, Ukrainian 1%, other or unspecified 2.6%
SloveniaSlovenia Slovenian 91.1%, Serbo-Croatian 4.5%, other or unspecified 4.4%
Solomon IslandsSolomon 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
SomaliaSomalia Somali (official), Arabic, Italian, English
South AfricaSouth 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 KoreaSouth Korea Korean, English widely taught in junior high and high school
SpainSpain Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%, are official regionally
Sri LankaSri 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
SudanSudan Arabic (official), English (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, Sudanic languages; note: program of "Arabization" in process
SurinameSuriname 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
SvalbardSvalbard Russian
SwazilandSwaziland English (official, government business conducted in English), siSwati (official)
SwedenSweden Swedish, small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities
SwitzerlandSwitzerland 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
SyriaSyria Arabic (official); Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian widely understood; French, English somewhat understood
TaiwanTaiwan Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects
TajikistanTajikistan Tajik (official), Russian widely used in government and business
TanzaniaTanzania 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
ThailandThailand Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects
The BahamasThe Bahamas English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)
The GambiaThe Gambia English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars
TogoTogo 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)
TokelauTokelau Tokelauan (a Polynesian language), English
TongaTonga Tongan, English
Trinidad and TobagoTrinidad+ English (official), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), French, Spanish, Chinese
TunisiaTunisia Arabic (official and one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce)
TurkeyTurkey Turkish (official), Kurdish, Dimli (or Zaza), Azeri, Kabardian; note: there is also a substantial Gagauz population in the European part of Turkey
TurkmenistanTurkmenistan Turkmen 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%
Turks and Caicos IslandsTurks+ English (official)
TuvaluTuvalu Tuvaluan, English, Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui)
UgandaUganda 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
UkraineUkraine Ukrainian (official) 67%, Russian 24%, other 9% (includes small Romanian-, Polish-, and Hungarian-speaking minorities)
United Arab EmiratesUAE Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu
United KingdomUnited Kingdom English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland)
United StatesUnited 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
UruguayUruguay Spanish, Portunol, or Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier)
UzbekistanUzbekistan Uzbek 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%
VanuatuVanuatu 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)
VenezuelaVenezuela Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects
VietnamVietnam Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)
Virgin IslandsVirgin Islands English 74.7%, Spanish or Spanish Creole 16.8%, French or French Creole 6.6%, other 1.9%
Wallis and FutunaWallis+ Wallisian 58.9% (indigenous Polynesian language), Futunian 30.1%, French (official) 10.8%, other 0.2%
West BankWest Bank Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by Israeli settlers and many Palestinians), English (widely understood)
Western SaharaWestern Sahara Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic
YemenYemen Arabic
ZambiaZambia English (official), major vernaculars - Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga, and about 70 other indigenous languages
ZimbabweZimbabwe English (official), Shona, Sindebele (the language of the Ndebele, sometimes called Ndebele), numerous but minor tribal dialects


"All countries compared for Language > Languages", 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


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 machinery > Tractors, Arable land > Hectares, Agricultural growth and 306 more


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

TOP STATS: Overview, Full name

Cost of living

TOP STATS: Transport prices > Gas/petrol > 1 litre, Real estate prices > Interest rate, Real estate prices > Apartment purchase price per sqm > Outside city centre and 50 more


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: Rapes, Murders > Per capita, Total crimes and 155 more


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: Tsunami > Death toll, Tsunami > Foreigners death toll, Tsunami > Funds pledged and 43 more


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 per capita, GDP, Population below poverty line and 3530 more


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: Literacy > Total population, Average IQ, Tertiary enrollment and 511 more


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: Oil > Consumption, Electricity > Consumption per capita, Oil > Production and 2359 more


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: Marine fish catch, Ecological footprint, CO2 Emissions and 249 more


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: Natural resources, Area > Comparative, Area > Land and 79 more


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: Legal system, Capital city > Geographic coordinates, Constitution and 323 more


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, Abortions, Teenage pregnancy and 350 more


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

TOP STATS: Car > Production, Manufacturing output, Heavy truck > Production and 88 more


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: Unemployment rate, Strikes, Agricultural workers > Male and 323 more


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, Spanish speakers, French status and 13 more


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: Happiness net, Cannabis use, Happiness level > Very happy and 103 more


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: Personal computers > Per capita, Television viewing, Broadcast media and 319 more


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, Manpower fit for military service > Males age 16-49, Military expenditures and 175 more


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, Divorce rate and 628 more


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, Islam > Percentage Muslim, Religions > All and 26 more


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: Chess > GrandMasters, FIFA World Ranking > Men, World Cup Totals > Wins and 508 more


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: Background, 2002 Bali bombings > Deaths, Convention on hostages and 30 more


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: Transportation > Note, Pipelines > Condensate, Ports and terminals and 376 more

A note 15
Note 19


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<br>Staff editor

Edria Murray<br>Staff editor


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

Posted on 14 Jul 2010




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

Posted on 12 Jul 2009




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 <br>Staff Editor

Ian Graham <br>Staff Editor


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 <br>Staff Editor

Ian Graham <br>Staff Editor


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




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 <br>Staff Editor

Ian Graham <br>Staff Editor

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