English-speaking world

Last updated

Speakers of English are known as Anglophones and the countries where English is spoken natively by the majority of the population is termed the Anglosphere . Over two billion people speak English as of the 2000s, [1] [2] making English the largest language by number of speakers, and the third largest language by number of native speakers.

Contents

The United Kingdom and the United States, with 67 million and 330 million respectively, have the most native speakers. Additionally, there are 29 million in Canada, 25.7 million in Australia, 5 million in New Zealand, and 5 million in Ireland.[ citation needed ] Estimates that include second-language speakers vary greatly, from 470 million to more than 2 billion. [2] David Crystal calculates that as of 2003 non-native speakers outnumbered native speakers by a ratio of 3:1. [3] As of 2012, India claimed to have the world's second-largest English-speaking population: the most reliable estimate is around 10% of its population (125 million people), a number that is expected to quadruple by 2022. [4] When combining native and non-native speakers, English is the most widely spoken language worldwide.

England and the Scottish Lowlands, parts of the United Kingdom, are the birthplace of the English language, and the modern form of the language has been spreading around the world since the 17th century by the worldwide influence of the United Kingdom, and more recently, the United States. Through all types of printed and electronic media of these countries, English has become the leading language of international discourse and the lingua franca in many regions and professional contexts such as science, navigation and law. [5] The United Kingdom remains the largest English-speaking country in Europe.

Besides the major varieties of English, such as American English, British English, Canadian English, Australian English, Irish English, New Zealand English, and their sub-varieties, countries such as South Africa, India, Nigeria, the 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.

English-speaking peoples monument in London English speaking peoples.jpg
English-speaking peoples monument in London

Majority English-speaking countries

.mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}
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

English is the primary natively spoken language in several countries and territories. Five of the largest of these are sometimes described as the "core Anglosphere"; [6] [7] [8] they are the United States of America (with at least 231 million native English speakers), [9] the United Kingdom (60 million), [10] [11] [12] Canada (19 million), [13] Australia (at least 17 million), [14] and New Zealand (4.8 million). [15] English is also the primary natively spoken language in the Republic of Ireland, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. English is also spoken by a majority of people as a second language in countries such as Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovenia, and Sweden.

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).

  US (64.3%)
  UK (16.7%)
  Canada (5.3%)
  Australia (4.7%)
  South Africa (1.3%)
  Ireland (1.1%)
  New Zealand (1%)
  Other (5.6%)

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 Belize, Botswana, Cameroon (co-official with French), Eswatini (Swaziland), Fiji, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, the Marshall Islands, Mauritius, the Federated States of Micronesia, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Sudan, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, The Gambia, 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. [16] Pakistan also has the English language (Pakistani English) as a second official language after the Urdu language as the result of British rule (Raj). Sri Lanka and the Philippines use English as their third and second official language after Sinhala and Tamil, and Filipino, respectively.

English is one of the eleven official languages that are given equal status in South Africa (South African English), where there are 4.8 million native English speakers. [17] 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), [18] 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. [19] [20] 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 or an English creole 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 or an English creole 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, [21] and while it is not an official language in most countries, it is currently the language most often taught as a foreign language. [22] [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 per cent in favour of English ahead of 17 per cent for German and 16 per cent 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 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. [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 [21] 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 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). [23]

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, [27] 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. [28]

Related Research Articles

Languages of the United States Languages of a geographic region

Although the United States does not have an official language, the most commonly used language is English, which is the de facto national language, and the only one spoken at home by approximately 78% of the U.S. population. Many other languages are also spoken at home, especially Spanish, according to the American Community Survey (ACS) of the U.S. Census Bureau; these include indigenous languages and languages brought to the U.S. by people from Europe, Africa, and Asia. However, the majority of speakers of these languages are bilingual and also speak English. Although 21.6% of U.S. residents report that they speak a language other than English at home, only 8.4% speak English less than "very well." Several other languages, notably creoles and sign languages, have developed in the United States. Approximately 430 languages are spoken or signed by the population, of which 176 are indigenous to the area. Fifty-two languages formerly spoken in the country's territory are now extinct.

The Anglosphere is a group of English-speaking nations that share common cultural and historical ties to the United Kingdom, and which today maintain close political, diplomatic and military co-operation. While the nations included in different sources vary, the Anglosphere is usually not considered to include all countries where English is an official language, so it is not synonymous with anglophone, though the nations that are commonly included were all once part of the British Empire.

Languages of the United Kingdom Languages of a geographic region

English, in various dialects, is the most widely spoken language of the United Kingdom, but a number of regional languages are also spoken. There are 14 indigenous languages used across the British Isles: 5 Celtic, 3 Germanic, 3 Romance, and 3 sign languages: 2 Banszl and 1 Francosign language. There are also many languages spoken by people who arrived more recently in the British Isles, mainly within inner city areas; these languages are mainly from South Asia, Eastern and Western Europe.

This article details the geographical distribution of speakers of the German language, regardless of the legislative status within the countries where it is spoken. In addition to the German-speaking area in Europe, German-speaking minorities are present in many countries and on all six inhabited continents.

Latin Americans are the citizens of the Latin American countries. Latin American countries are multi-ethnic, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds. As a result, some Latin Americans do not take their nationality as an ethnicity, but identify themselves with both their nationality and their ancestral origins. Aside from the indigenous Amerindian population, all Latin Americans have some ancestors who immigrated since 1492. Latin America has the largest diasporas of Spaniards, Portuguese, black Africans, Italians, Lebanese and Japanese in the world. The region also has large German, French and Jewish diasporas.

French language in Canada Historical and sociological aspects of the French language in Canada

French is the mother tongue of approximately 7.2 million Canadians according to the 2016 Canadian Census. Most Canadian native speakers of French live in Quebec, the only province where French is the majority and the sole official language. 71.2 percent of Quebec's population are native francophones, and 95 percent of the population speak French as their first or second language.

Welsh people Ethnic group native to Wales

The Welsh are a Celtic nation and ethnic group native to Wales. "Welsh people" applies to those who were born in Wales and to those who have 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.

Geographical distribution of Russian speakers

This article details the geographical distribution of Russian-speakers. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the status of the Russian language often became a matter of controversy. Some Post-Soviet states adopted policies of de-Russification aimed at reversing former trends at Russification.

In linguistics, a sprachraum is a geographical region where a common first language, with dialect varieties, or group of languages is spoken.

Languages of New Zealand Languages of a geographic region

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 language West Germanic language

English is a West Germanic language first spoken in early medieval England, which has become the leading language of international discourse in the 21st century. 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.

Portuguese in the United Kingdom are citizens or residents of the UK who are connected to the country of Portugal by birth, descent or citizenship.

Scottish people Ethnic group native to Scotland

The Scottish people or Scots are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically, they emerged from an amalgamation of two Celtic-speaking peoples, the Picts and Gaels, who founded the Kingdom of Scotland in the 9th century. Pictish-Gaels were then displaced by Viking settlers to the north and west, who in turn became Norse-Gaels, and, becoming Gaelicised by the 13th century, left a Norse legacy in places such as the Hebrides.

The Ghanaian people are a nation originating in the Ghanaian Gold Coast. Ghanaians predominantly inhabit the republic of Ghana, and are the predominant cultural group and residents of Ghana, numbering 20 million people as of 2013. Native Ghanaians make up 85.4 per cent of the total population. The word "Ghana" means "warrior king".

Languages in censuses

Many countries and national censuses currently enumerate or have previously enumerated their populations by languages, native language, home language, level of knowing language or a combination of these characteristics.

Geographical distribution of French speakers Overview of the geographical distribution of French speakers

This article details the geographical distribution of speakers of the French language, regardless of the legislative status within the countries where it is spoken. French-based creoles are considered separate languages for the purpose of this article.

CANZUK Proposed political and economic union between Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom

CANZUK is an acronym for a proposed alliance comprising Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom as part of an international organisation or confederation similar in scope to the former European Economic Community. This includes increased trade, foreign policy co-operation, military co-operation and mobility of citizens between the four states. The idea is lobbied by the advocacy group CANZUK International and largely supported by the right-wing and is popular amongst British nationalists. Other supporters include the liberal think tanks such as the Adam Smith Institute, the Henry Jackson Society, Bruges Group and politicians from the four countries.

This article details the geographical distribution of speakers of the Italian language, regardless of the legislative status within the countries where it is spoken. In addition to the Italian-speaking area in Europe, Italian-speaking minorities are present in many countries.

Urdu-speaking people Identification term in South Asia

Various Urdu-speaking people are spread across South Asia. The vast majority of native Urdu-speakers are Muslims of the Urdu Belt of Northern India, followed by the Deccani people of the Deccan plateau in south-central India and the Muhajir people of Pakistan.

References

  1. "Crystal, David. The language revolution. John Wiley & Sons, 2004".
  2. 1 2 Crystal, David (2008). "Two thousand million?". English Today. 24: 3–6. doi:10.1017/S0266078408000023.
  3. Crystal, David (2003). English as a Global Language (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 69. ISBN   978-0-521-53032-3.
  4. Masani, Zareer. "English or Hinglish - which will India choose?". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  5. The Routes of English.
  6. Mycock, Andrew; Wellings, Ben. "The UK after Brexit: Can and Will the Anglosphere Replace the EU?" (PDF). ...the core Anglosphere states – the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand...
  7. Press, Stanford University. "The Anglosphere: A Genealogy of a Racialized Identity in International Relations | Srdjan Vucetic". www.sup.org.
  8. "Getting Real About the Anglosphere". 17 February 2020. ...from what might be called the “core” Anglosphere nations: Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States;
  9. Ryan 2013, Table 1.
  10. Office for National Statistics 2013, Key Points.
  11. National Records of Scotland 2013.
  12. Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency 2012, Table KS207NI: Main Language.
  13. Statistics Canada 2014.
  14. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013.
  15. Statistics New Zealand 2014.
  16. Crystal 2004b.
  17. Statistics South Africa 2012, Table 2.5 Population by first language spoken and province (number).
  18. Nancy Morris (1995). Puerto Rico: Culture, Politics, and Identity. Praeger/Greenwood. p. 62. ISBN   978-0-275-95228-0.
  19. "U.S. English, Inc". U.S. English. Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
  20. "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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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).
  23. 1 2 Northrup 2013.
  24. "ICAO Promotes Aviation Safety by Endorsing English Language Testing". International Civil Aviation Organization. 13 October 2011.
  25. "IMO Standard Marine Communication Phrases". International Maritime Organization. Archived from the original on 27 December 2003.
  26. European Commission (June 2012). Special Eurobarometer 386: Europeans and Their Languages (PDF) (Report). Eurobarometer Special Surveys. Retrieved 12 February 2015. Lay summary (PDF) (27 March 2015).
  27. David Crystal (2000) Language Death, Preface; viii, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
  28. Jambor, Paul Z. (April 2007). "English Language Imperialism: Points of View". Journal of English as an International Language. 2: 103–123.

Bibliography

Australian Bureau of Statistics (28 March 2013). "2011 Census QuickStats: Australia" . Retrieved 25 March 2015.
Afhan Meytiyev (26 September 2013). "English and diplomacy" (PDF). Scotland's Census 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
Bao, Z. (2006). "Variation in Nonnative Varieties of English". In Brown, Keith (ed.). Encyclopedia of language & linguistics. Elsevier. pp. 377–380. doi:10.1016/B0-08-044854-2/04257-7. ISBN   978-0-08-044299-0. Lay summary (6 February 2015).  via ScienceDirect  (Subscription may be required or content may be available in libraries.)
Crystal, David (19 November 2004b). "Subcontinent Raises Its Voice". The Guardian . Retrieved 4 February 2015.
Crystal, David (2006). "Chapter 9: English worldwide". In Denison, David; Hogg, Richard M. (eds.). A History of the English language . Cambridge University Press. pp.  420–439. ISBN   978-0-511-16893-2.
National Records of Scotland (26 September 2013). "Census 2011: Release 2A". Scotland's Census 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
"The Routes of English". 1 August 2015.
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (11 December 2012). "Census 2011: Key Statistics for Northern Ireland December 2012" (PDF). Statistics Bulletin. Table KS207NI: Main Language. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
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).
Office for National Statistics (4 March 2013). "Language in England and Wales, 2011". 2011 Census Analysis. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
Ryan, Camille (August 2013). "Language Use in the United States: 2011" (PDF). American Community Survey Reports. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-02-05. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
Statistics Canada (22 August 2014). "Population by mother tongue and age groups (total), 2011 counts, for Canada, provinces and territories" . Retrieved 25 March 2015.
Statistics New Zealand (April 2014). "2013 QuickStats About Culture and Identity" (PDF). p. 23. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 January 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
Census 2011: Census in brief (PDF). Pretoria: Statistics South Africa. 2012. Table 2.5 Population by first language spoken and province (number). ISBN   9780621413885. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 May 2015.
English and Diplomacy: http://english.fullerton.edu/publications/clnArchives/pdf/MethievLgDplmcy.pdf