English-speaking world

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Nations in which English is an official language (de facto or de jure). Anglosphere countries are a subset of those where English is the main native language.
Anglosphere
Official as majority language
Official as minority language
Co-official as majority language
Co-official as minority language
Unofficial
Not official as majority language
Not official as minority language
The term "majority language" is here defined as a language of which more than 50% of the population have some command. It does not mean that this command is native, nor that English is the most widely used language of the respective country. Countries with English as Official Language.png
Nations in which English is an official language ( de facto or de jure ). Anglosphere countries are a subset of those where English is the main native language.
  Official as majority language
  Official as minority language
  Co-official as majority language
  Co-official as minority language
  Unofficial
  Not official as majority language
  Not official as minority language
The term "majority language" is here defined as a language of which more than 50% of the population have some command. It does not mean that this command is native, nor that English is the most widely used language of the respective country.

Over 2 billion people speak English [1] [2] . English is the largest language by number of speakers, [3] [ circular reference ] and the third largest language by number of native speakers [4] [ circular reference ]. With 300 million native speakers, the United States of America is the largest English speaking country. As pictured in the pie graph below, most native speakers of English are Americans.

English language West Germanic language

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. It is named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, as England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea. The language is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent by Latin and French.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Americans citizens, or natives, of the United States of America

Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.

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Additionally, there are 79 million native English speakers in Nigeria, 92 million in the Philippines, 60 million in the United Kingdom, 30 million in Bangladesh, 29 million in Canada, 25.1 million in Australia,[ citation needed ] 4.7 million in the Republic of Ireland, and 4.9 million in New Zealand. Other countries such as Ghana and Uganda also use English as their primary and official languages.

Nigeria Federal republic in West Africa

Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. The federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja, is located. The constitution defines Nigeria as a democratic secular country.

Philippines Republic in Southeast Asia

The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

In the European Union, English is one of 24 official languages and is widely used by institutions and majority of population as native (United Kingdom and Ireland) and as a second language in other member states.

European Union Economic and political union of European states

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. It has an area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi) and an estimated population of about 513 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.

Republic of Ireland Country in Europe, occupying 5/6 of the island of Ireland

Ireland, also known as the Republic of Ireland, is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the eastern side of the island. Around a third of the country's population of 4.8 million people resides in the greater Dublin area. The sovereign state shares its only land border with Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom. It is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, St George's Channel to the south-east, and the Irish Sea to the east. It is a unitary, parliamentary republic. The legislature, the Oireachtas, consists of a lower house, Dáil Éireann, an upper house, Seanad Éireann, and an elected President who serves as the largely ceremonial head of state, but with some important powers and duties. The head of government is the Taoiseach, who is elected by the Dáil and appointed by the President; the Taoiseach in turn appoints other government ministers.

Estimates that include second language speakers vary greatly, from 470 million to more than 2 billion. [5] David Crystal calculates that, as of 2003, non-native speakers outnumbered native speakers by a ratio of 3 to 1. [6] When combining native and non-native speakers, English is the most widely spoken language worldwide.

A person’s second language, or L2, is a language that is not the native language of the speaker, but is learned later. For example, there are two official languages of Canada and some people use both.

David Crystal British linguist and writer

David Crystal, is a British linguist, academic and author.

Besides the major varieties of English, such as British English, American English, Canadian English, Australian English, Irish English, New Zealand English and their sub-varieties, countries such as South Africa, India, the Philippines, Jamaica and Nigeria also have millions of native speakers of dialect continua ranging from English-based creole languages to Standard English.

British English is the standard dialect of English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective wee is almost exclusively used in parts of Scotland and Ireland, and occasionally Yorkshire, whereas little is predominant elsewhere. Nevertheless, there is a meaningful degree of uniformity in written English within the United Kingdom, and this could be described by the term British English. The forms of spoken English, however, vary considerably more than in most other areas of the world where English is spoken, so a uniform concept of British English is more difficult to apply to the spoken language. According to Tom McArthur in the Oxford Guide to World English, British English shares "all the ambiguities and tensions in the word 'British' and as a result can be used and interpreted in two ways, more broadly or more narrowly, within a range of blurring and ambiguity".

American English Set of dialects of the English language spoken in the United States

American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. It is considered one of the most influential dialects of English globally, including on other varieties of English.

Canadian English is the set of varieties of the English language native to Canada. According to the 2011 census, English was the first language of approximately 19 million Canadians, or 57% of the population; the remainder of the population were native speakers of Canadian French (22%) or other languages. A larger number, 28 million people, reported using English as their dominant language. 82% of Canadians outside the province of Quebec reported speaking English natively, but within Quebec the figure was just 7.7% as most of its residents are native speakers of Quebec French.

India now claims to be the world's second-largest English-speaking country. The most reliable estimate is around 10% of its population or 125 million people, second only to the US and expected to quadruple in the next decade. [7]

Majority English-speaking countries

The Anglosphere - Countries where English is spoken natively by the majority of the population. Countries where over 50%25 of the population are native English speakers.png
  The Anglosphere - Countries where English is spoken natively by the majority of the population.

There are six large countries with a majority of native English speakers that are sometimes grouped under the term Anglosphere. In numbers of English speakers they are: the United States of America (at least 231 million), [8] the United Kingdom (in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) (60 million), [9] [10] [11] Canada (at least 20 million), [12] Australia (at least 17 million), [13] Republic of Ireland (4.8 million) and New Zealand (4.8 million). [14]

Pie chart showing the percentage of native English speakers living in "inner circle" English-speaking countries. Native speakers are now substantially outnumbered worldwide by second-language speakers of English (not counted in this chart [15] ).

   United States (64%)
   United Kingdom (16.6%)
   Canada (5.3%)
   Australia (4.7%)
   South Africa (1.3%)
   Ireland (1.3%)
   New Zealand (1.3%)
  Other (5.5%)

English is also the primary natively spoken language in the countries and territories of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Indian Ocean Territory, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guernsey, Guyana, the Isle of Man, Jamaica, Jersey, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Other substantial communities of native speakers are found in South Africa (4.8 million) [16] and Nigeria (79 million, 53%). [17] [ circular reference ]

Countries where English is an official language

In some countries where English is not the most spoken language, it is an official language. These countries include Botswana, Cameroon (co-official with French), Eswatini (Swaziland), Fiji, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Malta, the Marshall Islands, Mauritius, the Federated States of Micronesia, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Sudan, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. There also are countries where in a part of the territory English became a co-official language, in Colombia's San Andrés y Providencia and Nicaragua's Mosquito Coast. This was a result of the influence of British colonization and American colonization in these areas.

India has the largest number of second-language speakers of English (see Indian English); Crystal (2004) claims that combining native and non-native speakers, India has more people who speak or understand English than any other country in the world. However, most scholars and research that has been conducted dispute his assertions. [18] Pakistan also has the English language (Pakistani English) as a second official language after the Urdu language as the result of British rule (raj), making Pakistan the only Islam-country to speak English. Sri Lanka and The Philippines use the English language, too, as the second and third official language after Sinhala, Tamil, and Filipino.

English is one of the eleven official languages that are given equal status in South Africa (South African English). It is also the official language in current dependent territories of Australia (Norfolk Island, Christmas Island and Cocos Island) and of the United States of America (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico (in Puerto Rico, English is co-official with Spanish) and the US Virgin Islands), [19] and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.

Although the United States federal government has no official languages, English has been given official status by 32 of the 50 US state governments. [20] [21] Furthermore, per United States nationality law, the process of becoming a naturalized citizen of the US entails a basic English proficiency test, which may be the most prominent example of the claim of the nation not having an official language being belied by policy realities.

Although falling short of official status, English is also an important language in several former colonies and protectorates of the United Kingdom, such as Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates.

English as a global language

States and territories in which English is the first language of the majority of the population.
States and territories in which English is an official, but not the majority language. Anglospeak.png
     States and territories in which English is the first language of the majority of the population.
     States and territories in which English is an official, but not the majority language.

Because English is so widely spoken, it has often been referred to as a "world language", the lingua franca of the modern era, [22] and while it is not an official language in most countries, it is currently the language most often taught as a foreign language. [23] It is, by international treaty, the official language for aeronautical [24] and maritime [25] communications. English is one of the official languages of the United Nations and many other international organizations, including the International Olympic Committee. It is also one of two co-official languages for astronauts (besides the Russian language) serving on board the International Space Station.[ citation needed ]

English is studied most often in the European Union, and the perception of the usefulness of foreign languages among Europeans is 67 percent in favour of English ahead of 17 percent for German and 16 percent for French (as of 2012). Among some of the non-English-speaking EU countries, the following percentages of the adult population claimed to be able to converse in English in 2012: 90 percent in the Netherlands, 89 percent in Malta, 86 percent in Sweden and Denmark, 73 percent in Cyprus, Croatia, and Austria, 70 percent in Finland, and over 50 percent in Greece, Belgium, Luxembourg, Slovenia, and Germany. In 2012, excluding native speakers, 38 percent of Europeans consider that they can speak English. [26]

Books, magazines, and newspapers written in English are available in many countries around the world, and English is the most commonly used language in the sciences [22] with Science Citation Index reporting as early as 1997 that 95% of its articles were written in English, even though only half of them came from authors in English-speaking countries.

In publishing, English literature predominates considerably with 28 percent of all books published in the world [leclerc 2011][ full citation needed ] and 30 percent of web content in 2011 (down from 50 percent in 2000). [27]

This increasing use of the English language globally has had a large impact on many other languages, leading to language shift and even language death, [28] and to claims of linguistic imperialism. English itself has become more open to language shift as multiple regional varieties feed back into the language as a whole. [29]

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References

  1. "Crystal, David. The language revolution. John Wiley & Sons, 2004".
  2. "Two thousand million?".
  3. "List of languages by total number of speakers, Ethnologue 2019".
  4. "List of languages by total number of speakers, Ethnologue 2019".
  5. "Two thousand million?".
  6. Crystal, David (2003). English as a Global Language (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 69. ISBN   978-0-521-53032-3.
  7. BBC News 27 Nov 2012: English or Hinglish - which will India choose?
  8. Ryan 2013, Table 1.
  9. Office for National Statistics 2013, Key Points.
  10. National Records of Scotland 2013.
  11. Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency 2012, Table KS207NI: Main Language.
  12. Statistics Canada 2014.
  13. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013.
  14. Statistics New Zealand 2014.
  15. Data are from national censuses conducted in 2010 or 2011 in the reported countries.
  16. Statistics South Africa 2012, Table 2.5 Population by first language spoken and province (number).
  17. "Two thousand million?".
  18. Crystal 2004b.
  19. Nancy Morris (1995). Puerto Rico: Culture, Politics, and Identity. Praeger/Greenwood. p. 62. ISBN   978-0-275-95228-0.
  20. "U.S. English, Inc". U.S. English. Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
  21. "U.S. English Chairman Applauds West Virginia Bill to Declare English the States Official Language". U.S. English. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  22. 1 2 David Graddol (1997). "The Future of English?" (PDF). The British Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 February 2007. Retrieved 15 April 2007.
  23. Crystal, David (2003a). English as a Global Language (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 69. ISBN   978-0-521-53032-3 . Retrieved 4 February 2015. Lay summary (PDF)Library of Congress (sample) (4 February 2015).Northrup, David (20 March 2013). How English Became the Global Language. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN   978-1-137-30306-6 . Retrieved 25 March 2015. Lay summary (25 March 2015).
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  27. Northrup 2013.
  28. David Crystal (2000) Language Death, Preface; viii, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
  29. Jambor, Paul Z. (April 2007). "English Language Imperialism: Points of View". Journal of English as an International Language. 2: 103–123.

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