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Languages of the World

This entry provides a rank ordering of languages starting with the largest and sometimes includes the percent of total population speaking that language.
Afghanistan: Pashtu 35%, Afghan Persian (Dari) 50%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism
Albania: Albanian (Tosk is the official dialect), Greek
Algeria: Arabic (official), French, Berber dialects
American Samoa: Samoan (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), English note:  most people are bilingual
Andorra: Catalan (official), French, Castilian
Angola: Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages
Anguilla: English (official)
Antigua and Barbuda: English (official), local dialects
Argentina: Spanish (official), English, Italian, German, French
Armenia: Armenian 96%, Russian 2%, other 2%
Aruba: Dutch (official), Papiamento (a Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English dialect), English (widely spoken), Spanish
Australia: English, native languages
Austria: German
Azerbaijan: Azerbaijani (Azeri) 89%, Russian 3%, Armenian 2%, other 6% (1995 est.)
Bahamas, The: English, Creole (among Haitian immigrants)
Bahrain: Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu
Bangladesh: Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English
Barbados: English
Belarus: Byelorussian, Russian, other
Belgium: Dutch 58%, French 32%, German 10%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)
Belize: English (official), Spanish, Mayan, Garifuna (Carib), Creole
Benin: French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)
Bermuda: English (official), Portuguese
Bhutan: Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects
Bolivia: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara (official)
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian
Botswana: English (official), Setswana
Brazil: Portuguese (official), Spanish, English, French
British Virgin Islands: English (official)
Brunei: Malay (official), English, Chinese
Bulgaria: Bulgarian, secondary languages closely correspond to ethnic breakdown
Burkina Faso: French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population
Burma: Burmese, minority ethnic groups have their own languages
Burundi: Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area)
Cambodia: Khmer (official) 95%, French, English
Cameroon: 24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)
Canada: English 59.3% (official), French 23.2% (official), other 17.5%
Cape Verde: Portuguese, Crioulo (a blend of Portuguese and West African words)
Cayman Islands: English
Central African Republic: French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), Arabic, Hunsa, Swahili
Chad: French (official), Arabic (official), Sara and Sango (in south), more than 100 different languages and dialects
Chile: Spanish
China: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)
Christmas Island: English, Chinese, Malay
Cocos (Keeling) Islands: English, Malay
Colombia: Spanish
Comoros: Arabic (official), French (official), Comoran (a blend of Swahili and Arabic)
Congo, Democratic Republic of the: French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba
Congo, Republic of the: French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo has the most users)
Cook Islands: English (official), Maori
Costa Rica: Spanish (official), English spoken around Puerto Limon
Cote d'Ivoire: French (official), 60 native dialects with Dioula the most widely spoken
Croatia: Croatian 96%, other 4% (including Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and German)
Cuba: Spanish
Cyprus: Greek, Turkish, English
Czech Republic: Czech
Denmark: Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic (an Inuit dialect), German (small minority) note:  English is the predominant second language
Djibouti: French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar
Dominica: English (official), French patois
Dominican Republic: Spanish
Ecuador: Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
Egypt: Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated classes
El Salvador: Spanish, Nahua (among some Amerindians)
Equatorial Guinea: Spanish (official), French (official), pidgin English, Fang, Bubi, Ibo
Eritrea: Afar, Amharic, Arabic, Tigre and Kunama, Tigrinya, other Cushitic languages
Estonia: Estonian (official), Russian, Ukrainian, English, Finnish, other
Ethiopia: Amharic, Tigrinya, Oromigna, Guaragigna, Somali, Arabic, other local languages, English (major foreign language taught in schools)
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas): English
Faroe Islands: Faroese (derived from Old Norse), Danish
Fiji: English (official), Fijian, Hindustani
Finland: Finnish 93.4% (official), Swedish 5.9% (official), small Lapp- and Russian-speaking minorities
France: French 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)
French Guiana: French
French Polynesia: French (official), Tahitian (official)
Gabon: French (official), Fang, Myene, Bateke, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
Gambia, The: English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars
Gaza Strip: Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by Israeli settlers and many Palestinians), English (widely understood)
Georgia: Georgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7% note:  Abkhaz is the official language in Abkhazia
Germany: German
Ghana: English (official), African languages (including Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, and Ga)
Gibraltar: English (used in schools and for official purposes), Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian
Greece: Greek 99% (official), English, French
Greenland: Greenlandic (East Inuit), Danish, English
Grenada: English (official), French patois
Guadeloupe: French (official) 99%, Creole patois
Guam: English, Chamorro, Japanese
Guatemala: Spanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (more than 20 Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca)
Guernsey: English, French, Norman-French dialect spoken in country districts
Guinea: French (official), each ethnic group has its own language
Guinea-Bissau: Portuguese (official), Crioulo, African languages
Guyana: English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Hindi, Urdu
Haiti: French (official), Creole (official)
Holy See (Vatican City): Italian, Latin, French, various other languages
Honduras: Spanish, Amerindian dialects
Hong Kong: Chinese (Cantonese), English; both are official
Hungary: Hungarian 98.2%, other 1.8%
Iceland: Icelandic
India: English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication, Hindi the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people, Bengali (official), Telugu (official), Marathi (official), Tamil (official), Urdu (official), Gujarati (official), Malayalam (official), Kannada (official), Oriya (official), Punjabi (official), Assamese (official), Kashmiri (official), Sindhi (official), Sanskrit (official), Hindustani (a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India) note:  24 languages each spoken by a million or more persons; numerous other languages and dialects, for the most part mutually unintelligible
Indonesia: Bahasa Indonesia (official, modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, local dialects, the most widely spoken of which is Javanese
Iran: Persian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%
Iraq: Arabic, Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions), Assyrian, Armenian
Ireland: English is the language generally used, Irish (Gaelic) spoken mainly in areas located along the western seaboard
Israel: Hebrew (official), Arabic used officially for Arab minority, English most commonly used foreign language
Italy: Italian (official), German (parts of Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German speaking), French (small French-speaking minority in Valle d'Aosta region), Slovene (Slovene-speaking minority in the Trieste-Gorizia area)
Jamaica: English, Creole
Japan: Japanese
Jersey: English (official), French (official), Norman-French dialect spoken in country districts
Jordan: Arabic (official), English widely understood among upper and middle classes
Kazakhstan: Kazakh (Qazaq, state language) 40%, Russian (official, used in everyday business) 66%
Kenya: English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages
Kiribati: English (official), I-Kiribati
Korea, North: Korean
Korea, South: Korean, English widely taught in junior high and high school
Kuwait: Arabic (official), English widely spoken
Kyrgyzstan: Kirghiz (Kyrgyz) - official language, Russian - official language note:  in May 2000, the Kyrgyzstani legislature made Russian an official language, equal in status to Kirghiz
Laos: Lao (official), French, English, and various ethnic languages
Latvia: Latvian or Lettish (official), Lithuanian, Russian, other
Lebanon: Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian
Lesotho: Sesotho (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa
Liberia: English 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages, of which a few can be written and are used in correspondence
Libya: Arabic, Italian, English, all are widely understood in the major cities
Liechtenstein: German (official), Alemannic dialect
Lithuania: Lithuanian (official), Polish, Russian
Luxembourg: Luxembourgish (national language), German (administrative language), French (administrative language)
Macau: Portuguese, Chinese (Cantonese)
Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of: Macedonian 70%, Albanian 21%, Turkish 3%, Serbo-Croatian 3%, other 3%
Madagascar: French (official), Malagasy (official)
Malawi: English (official), Chichewa (official), other languages important regionally
Malaysia: Bahasa Melayu (official), English, Chinese dialects (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai; note - in addition, in East Malaysia several indigenous languages are spoken, the largest of which are Iban and Kadazan
Maldives: Maldivian Dhivehi (dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English spoken by most government officials
Mali: French (official), Bambara 80%, numerous African languages
Malta: Maltese (official), English (official)
Man, Isle of: English, Manx Gaelic
Marshall Islands: English (universally spoken and is the official language), two major Marshallese dialects from the Malayo-Polynesian family, Japanese
Martinique: French, Creole patois
Mauritania: Hasaniya Arabic (official), Pular, Soninke, Wolof (official), French
Mauritius: English (official), Creole, French, Hindi, Urdu, Hakka, Bojpoori
Mayotte: Mahorian (a Swahili dialect), French (official language) spoken by 35% of the population
Mexico: Spanish, various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional indigenous languages
Micronesia, Federated States of: English (official and common language), Trukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosrean
Moldova: Moldovan (official, virtually the same as the Romanian language), Russian, Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)
Monaco: French (official), English, Italian, Monegasque
Mongolia: Khalkha Mongol 90%, Turkic, Russian (1999)
Montserrat: English
Morocco: Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French often the language of business, government, and diplomacy
Mozambique: Portuguese (official), indigenous dialects
Namibia: English 7% (official), Afrikaans common language of most of the population and about 60% of the white population, German 32%, indigenous languages: Oshivambo, Herero, Nama
Nauru: Nauruan (official, a distinct Pacific Island language), English widely understood, spoken, and used for most government and commercial purposes
Nepal: Nepali (official; spoken by 90% of the population), about a dozen other languages and about 30 major dialects; note - many in government and business also speak English (1995)
Netherlands: Dutch
Netherlands Antilles: Dutch (official), Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) predominates, English widely spoken, Spanish
New Caledonia: French (official), 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects
New Zealand: English (official), Maori (official)
Nicaragua: Spanish (official) note:  English and indigenous languages on Atlantic coast
Niger: French (official), Hausa, Djerma
Nigeria: English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani
Niue: Polynesian closely related to Tongan and Samoan, English
Norfolk Island: English (official), Norfolk a mixture of 18th century English and ancient Tahitian
Northern Mariana Islands: English, Chamorro, Carolinian note:  86% of population speaks a language other than English at home
Norway: Norwegian (official) note:  small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities
Oman: Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
Pakistan: Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Siraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashtu 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official and lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and other 8%
Palau: English and Palauan official in all states except Sonsoral (Sonsorolese and English are official), Tobi (Tobi and English are official), and Angaur (Angaur, Japanese, and English are official)
Panama: Spanish (official), English 14% note:  many Panamanians bilingual
Papua New Guinea: English spoken by 1%-2%, pidgin English widespread, Motu spoken in Papua region note:  715 indigenous languages
Paraguay: Spanish (official), Guarani (official)
Peru: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara
Philippines: two official languages - Filipino (based on Tagalog) and English, eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocan, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense
Pitcairn Islands: English (official), Pitcairnese (mixture of an 18th century English dialect and a Tahitian dialect)
Poland: Polish
Portugal: Portuguese
Puerto Rico: Spanish, English
Qatar: Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language
Reunion: French (official), Creole widely used
Romania: Romanian, Hungarian, German
Russia: Russian, other
Rwanda: Kinyarwanda (official) universal Bantu vernacular, French (official), English (official), Kiswahili (Swahili) used in commercial centers
Saint Helena: English
Saint Kitts and Nevis: English
Saint Lucia: English (official), French patois
Saint Pierre and Miquelon: French
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: English, French patois
Samoa: Samoan (Polynesian), English
San Marino: Italian
Sao Tome and Principe: Portuguese (official)
Saudi Arabia: Arabic
Senegal: French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka
Seychelles: English (official), French (official), Creole
Sierra Leone: English (official, regular use limited to literate minority), Mende (principal vernacular in the south), Temne (principal vernacular in the north), Krio (English-based Creole, spoken by the descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area, a lingua franca and a first language for 10% of the population but understood by 95%)
Singapore: Chinese (official), Malay (official and national), Tamil (official), English (official)
Slovakia: Slovak (official), Hungarian
Slovenia: Slovenian 91%, Serbo-Croatian 6%, other 3%
Solomon Islands: Melanesian pidgin in much of the country is lingua franca, English spoken by 1%-2% of population note:  120 indigenous languages
Somalia: Somali (official), Arabic, Italian, English
South Africa: 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
Spain: Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%
Sri Lanka: Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8% note:  English is commonly used in government and is spoken competently by about 10% of the population
Sudan: Arabic (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, Sudanic languages, English

note:  program of "Arabization" in process
Suriname: Dutch (official), English (widely spoken), Sranang Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes called Taki-Taki, is native language of Creoles and much of the younger population and is lingua franca among others), Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese
Svalbard: Russian, Norwegian
Swaziland: English (official, government business conducted in English), siSwati (official)
Sweden: Swedish note:  small Lapp- and Finnish-speaking minorities
Switzerland: German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 19.2%, Italian (official) 7.6%, Romansch 0.6%, other 8.9%
Syria: Arabic (official); Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian widely understood; French, English somewhat understood
Taiwan: Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects
Tajikistan: Tajik (official), Russian widely used in government and business
Tanzania: Kiswahili or Swahili (official), Kiunguju (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, and it has become the lingua franca of central and eastern Africa; the first language of most people is one of the local languages
Thailand: Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects
Togo: French (official and the language of commerce), Ewe and Mina (the two major African languages in the south), Kabye (sometimes spelled Kabiye) and Dagomba (the two major African languages in the north)
Tokelau: Tokelauan (a Polynesian language), English
Tonga: Tongan, English
Trinidad and Tobago: English (official), Hindi, French, Spanish, Chinese
Tunisia: Arabic (official and one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce)
Turkey: Turkish (official), Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian, Greek
Turkmenistan: Turkmen 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%
Turks and Caicos Islands: English (official)
Tuvalu: Tuvaluan, English
Uganda: English (official national language, taught in grade schools, used in courts of law and by most newspapers and some radio broadcasts), Ganda or Luganda (most widely used of the Niger-Congo languages, preferred for native language publications in the capital and may be taught in school), other Niger-Congo languages, Nilo-Saharan languages, Swahili, Arabic
Ukraine: Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian, Polish, Hungarian
United Arab Emirates: Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu
United Kingdom: English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland)
United States: English, Spanish (spoken by a sizable minority)
Uruguay: Spanish, Portunol, or Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier)
Uzbekistan: Uzbek 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%
Vanuatu: English (official), French (official), pidgin (known as Bislama or Bichelama)
Venezuela: Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects
Vietnam: Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)
Virgin Islands: English (official), Spanish, Creole
Wallis and Futuna: French, Wallisian (indigenous Polynesian language)
West Bank: Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by Israeli settlers and many Palestinians), English (widely understood)
Western Sahara: Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic
Yemen: Arabic
Yugoslavia: Serbian 95%, Albanian 5%
Zambia: English (official), major vernaculars - Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga, and about 70 other indigenous languages
Zimbabwe: English (official), Shona, Sindebele (the language of the Ndebele, sometimes called Ndebele), numerous but minor tribal dialects
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