Over two billion people speak English (as of the 2000s), [ citation needed ] 4.9 million in New Zealand, and 4.7 million in the Republic of Ireland.making English the largest language by number of speakers, and the third largest language by number of native speakers. With 300 million native speakers, the United States of America is the largest English-speaking country, and most native speakers of English are US Americans. Additionally, there are 60 million native speakers in the United Kingdom, 29 million in Canada, 25.1 million in Australia,
England and the lowlands of Scotland is the home of the English language. The UK is the largest English-speaking country in Europe. In the European Union, English is one of 24 official languages and is widely used by EU institutions, by a majority of the population in the Republic of Ireland as their first language, and as a second language among much of the EU population.
Estimates that include second-language speakers vary greatly, from 470 million to more than 2 billion.David Crystal calculates that, as of 2003, non-native speakers outnumbered native speakers by a ratio of 3 to 1. When combining native and non-native speakers, English is the most widely spoken language worldwide.
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, Nigeria, Philippines, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago also have millions of native speakers of dialect continua ranging from English-based creole languages to Standard English. Other countries, such as Ghana and Uganda, also use English as their primary official languages.
As of 2012, India claims to have the world's second-largest English-speaking population. The most reliable estimate is around 10% of its population (125 million people), second only to the US, and is expected to quadruple in the following decade.
There are five countries with a majority of native English speakers that are sometimes described as the "core Anglosphere". They are: the United States of America (at least 231 million),the United Kingdom (60 million), Canada (at least 20 million), Australia (at least 17 million), and New Zealand (4.8 million).
English is also the primary natively spoken language in the countries and territories of the Republic of Ireland, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Barbados, the United States Virgin Islands, the Channel Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Bermuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Isle of Man, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, the Cayman Islands, Guam, Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, the Falkland Islands, Montserrat, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Pitcairn Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
Another substantial community of native speakers is found in South Africa (4.8 million).
Although the majority of the world does not speak English, it is considered the diplomatic language due to its widespread presence in developed nations. This has been widely criticized by scholars who believe that other languages should also be considered "diplomatic". [ citation needed ]
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, India, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Malta, the Marshall Islands, Mauritius, the Federated States of Micronesia, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, 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, Hong Kong, Honduras's Bay Islands, 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.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 Islamic country in which English is official. 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 (Keeling) Islands) 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),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.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.
Because English is so widely spoken, it has often been referred to as a "world language", the lingua franca of the modern era, [ citation needed ]and while it is not an official language in most countries, it is currently the language most often taught as a foreign language. It is, by international treaty, the official language for aeronautical and maritime 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.
English is studied most often in the European Union, and the perception of the usefulness of foreign languages among Europeans is 67 per cent in favour of English ahead of 17 per cent for German and 16 per cent for French (as of 2012 [update] ). 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 per cent in the Netherlands, 89 per cent in Malta, 86 per cent in Sweden and Denmark, 73 per cent in Cyprus, Croatia, and Austria, 70 per cent in Finland, and over 50 per cent in Greece, Belgium, Luxembourg, Slovenia, and Germany. In 2012, excluding native speakers, 38 per cent of Europeans consider that they can speak English.
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 scienceswith 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 per cent of all books published in the world [leclerc 2011][ full citation needed ] and 30 per cent of web content in 2011 (down from 50 per cent in 2000).
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,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.
Afrikaans is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa, Namibia and, to a lesser extent, Botswana and Zimbabwe. It evolved from the Dutch vernacular of Holland spoken by the largely Dutch settlers in the south-west of what is now South Africa, where it gradually began to develop distinguishing characteristics in the course of the 18th century. Hence, it is a daughter language of Dutch.
Catalan, known in the Valencian Community and Carche as Valencian, is a Western Romance language derived from Vulgar Latin. It is the only official language of Andorra, and a co-official language of three autonomous communities in eastern Spain: Catalonia, the aforementioned Valencian Community and the Balearic Islands. It also has semi-official status in the Italian comune of Alghero. It is also spoken in the Pyrénées-Orientales department of France and in two further areas in eastern Spain: the eastern strip of Aragon and the aforementioned Carche in the Region of Murcia. The Catalan/Valencian-speaking territories are often called the Països Catalans or "Catalan Countries".
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. It is the largest country of the British Isles.
Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of the People's Republic of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea. With over 7.5 million people of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.
Macau, also spelled Macao, and officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a city in the western Pearl River Delta by the South China Sea. It is a special administrative region of China and maintains separate governing and economic systems from those of mainland China. With a population of 696,100 and an area of 32.9 km2 (12.7 sq mi), it is the most densely populated region in the world.
The demographics of Nauru, an island country in the Pacific Ocean, are known through national censuses, which have been analysed by various statistical bureaus since the 1920s. The Nauru Bureau of Statistics have conducted this task since 1977—the first census since Nauru gained independence in 1968. The most recent census of Nauru was in 2011, when population had reached ten thousand. The population density is 478 inhabitants per square kilometre, and the overall life expectancy is 59.7 years. The population rose steadily from the 1960s until 2006 when the Government of Nauru repatriated thousands of Tuvaluan and I-Kiribati workers from the country. Since 1992, Nauru's birth rate has exceeded its death rate; the natural growth rate is positive. In terms of age structure, the population is dominated by the 15–64-year-old segment (65.6%). The median age of the population is 21.5, and the estimated gender ratio of the population is 0.91 males per one female.
Spanish, or Castilian, is a Romance language that originated in the Iberian Peninsula and today is a global language with more than 483 million native speakers, mainly in Spain and the Americas. It is the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese, and the world's fourth-most spoken language, after English, Mandarin Chinese and Hindi.
Vanuatu, officially the Republic of Vanuatu, is a Pacific island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 540 kilometres (340 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji.
Spanish was the official language of the Philippines from the beginning of Spanish rule in the late 16th century, through the conclusion of the Spanish–American War in 1898 and remained co-official, along with English, until 1987. It was at first removed in 1973 by a constitutional change, but after a few months it was re-designated an official language by presidential decree and remained official until 1987, with the present Constitution re-designating it instead as an "optional and voluntary language".
The Welsh are a Celtic nation and ethnic group native to Wales. The term "Welsh people" applies to people from Wales and people of Welsh ancestry perceiving themselves or being perceived as sharing a cultural heritage and shared ancestral origins. Wales is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. The majority of people living in Wales are British citizens.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country mostly located in central North America, between Canada and Mexico. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, it is the world's third- or fourth-largest country by total area. With a 2019 estimated population of over 328 million, the U.S. is the third most populous country in the world. Americans are a racially and ethnically diverse population that has been shaped through centuries of immigration. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City.
Afghanistan refugees are nationals of Afghanistan who left their country as a result of major wars or persecution. The 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan marks the first wave of internal displacement and refugee flow from Afghanistan to neighboring Pakistan and Iran that began providing shelter to Afghan refugees. When the Soviet war ended in 1989, these refugees started to return to their homeland. In April 1992, a major civil war began after the mujahideen took over control of Kabul and the other major cities. Afghans again fled to neighboring countries, including Tajikistan and India, and to regions such as Europe.
English is the predominant language and a de facto official language of New Zealand. Almost the entire population speak it either as native speakers or proficiently as a second language. The New Zealand English dialect is most similar to Australian English in pronunciation, with some key differences. The Māori language of the indigenous Māori people was made the first de jure official language in 1987. New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) has been an official language since 2006. Many other languages are used by New Zealand's minority ethnic communities.
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 ancient Germanic peoples that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula on the Baltic Sea. English is most closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, while its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Old Norse, as well as Latin and French.
Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.
The Gaels are an ethnolinguistic group native to Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man in northwestern Europe. They are associated with the Gaelic languages: a branch of the Celtic languages comprising Irish, Manx and Scottish Gaelic. Historically, the ethnonyms Irish and Scots referred to the Gaels in general, but the scope of those ethnicities and nationalities is today more complex.
Germanic-speaking Europe refers to the area of Europe that today uses a Germanic language. Over 200 million Europeans speak a Germanic language natively. At the same time 515 million speak a Germanic language natively in the whole world (6.87%).
The Russian language is among the top fifteen most spoken languages in the United States. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, many Russians have migrated to the United States and brought the language with them. Most Russian speakers in the United States today are Russian Jews. According to the 2010 United States Census the number of Russian speakers was 854,955, which made Russian the 12th most spoken language in the country.