Did you know that English is spoken by over 2 billion people across the globe?
Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.
As aptly quoted by Rita Mae Brown, language surely tells about the person’s culture. Though Ms.Brown might have referred to the multiple languages spoken by people here, we cannot deny the fact that by the way, people speak English, one can easily tell where they come from. From a tea seller to top leaders, English prevails everywhere.
Now if you land in a different country and, try talking to people in their language as you genuinely made an effort to learn a few sentences, for some reason, they find it hard to interpret. However, when you make them understand in English, they instantly reply to you. You see the magic here? English is a true lifesaver.
The 15 English Speaking Countries In The World
With over 67 countries having their official language as English, there is no doubt that it is referred to as the Lingua Franca of the modern era. Even though we all learn our mother-tongue from a very young age, we tend to parallelly learn English with it.
Wherever you go, you can see the signboards in English and then the same instructions in that country’s official language. Be it in airports, bus stands, or even the direction signs. we can see it written in English only because it is known globally by almost everyone. So from asking riddles to our friends to writing essays/formal letters and e-mails in English, we all grew up.
From Willian Shakespeare in the United Kingdom to Mark Twain in the States, Mathew Reilly in Australia, Chinua Achebe in Nigeria, and R.K Narayan in India, the radius of the English language has certainly increased. So now let’s take a look at how many countries speak English.
1. The United States of America is among the top English speaking countries
Knowingly or unknowingly we always tend to use American English in our conversations. When you meet someone after a long time, the first thing that you say is What’s up, dude?. It has influenced people all over the world to a large extent. One can easily find out if he is an American by his accent. You don’t have to spare time to question him about his origin.
But did you know that the United States does not have an official language? Surprising right! Among the top English speaking countries, though there is no official language, American English is the most influential language globally and there are around 225 million people in the US who speak English currently.
2. India ranks among the top English-speaking countries in the world
The second country on the list is India. India has two official languages one being English and the other being Hindi. Though it does not have a national language, these two languages are widely spoken. If someone new meets you, in India, they would ask you “What is your good name?.” I’m sure at least once you would have come across someone asking you that.
Though there are 22 scheduled languages spoken in India, in schools, English is taught as the first or second language. You can see the diversity of languages in India with English spoken by 125 million people. So the next time you go to India be sure to ask them their good name or expect a reply to thank you as mention not.
3. Pakistan also has a significant English-speaking population
Yes! You read it right! It’s Pakistan among the top three. If you would have thought that Urdu is predominant in this Islamic state, well, you’re wrong. Pakistan has both Urdu and English as it’s official languages. Nearly half of the population speaks English as their second language if not their first.
Their English is slightly different when compared to others and is commonly called as Paklish or Pinglish. Sounds weird? Well, it’s just the blend of the word Pakistani English. You can see English taught in schools, the signboards, and also the official papers in English.
This second-largest archipelago country has bagged the fourth place in top English speaking countries. It is one of the beautiful tourist destinations and with around 7,641 islands, it has around 170 languages. Out of all those, English has grabbed the place in the list of official languages with Filipino.
Due to its people’s good hold on English, tourism increased over time. Now, the country’s economy depends majorly on tourism. Do you see the impact English has made in this place? Incredible right! So, the next time you happen to plan a trip to this enchanting place, you need not worry about learning a few lines of Filipino.
Nigeria is one of the largest film industries and has given birth to some of the great English writers too. While it’s official language is English, apart from people living in the urban area speaking in English, a majority of Nigerians speak what is called Nigerian Pidgin. Pidgin is a blend of English with their local language so that it’ll be easy to communicate with everyone easily there.
The Pidgin slightly varies from the regular English. Though it is not hard to understand, it is better you do your homework before going here. So, when in Nigeria be like a Nigerian and, if some locals offer you help, do reply with ‘You do well’, which simply means ‘Thank You’.
6. United Kingdom
With more than 98% of the population speaking English, the UK yet stands sixth in the list. The famous series ‘Peaky Blinder’ is from this place. If you’ve switched to watching British series from American series, then you would have surely observed a slight change in the accent and also certain words. Their pronunciation is what makes their English called British English else it would have been like normal English and it wouldn’t have been unique at all.
So if you are still wondering why it is not at the top three of the list? Well, that is mainly because of the geographic size of this place that though a large population speaks English when compared to other countries, the numbers are less. However, if ever you’re craving for some french fries here, you should maybe ask for ‘chips’ and if you want potato chips you should ask for ‘crisps’ else you would get the chips!
We see a lot of youngsters learning the German Language before landing in Germany. So you might have thought they don’t speak English maybe? Yes, English is not the official language, however, many Germans converse in English for business purposes and with many foreigners going there for higher studies, English has surely found its place in Germany.
It is found that threequarters of people know English too. Knowing the local language is absolutely good in Germany so that you understand more about their culture, and connect better with them. However, you can fill in the blanks with English to convey the information so that people understand you rightly.
The second official language in Bangladesh is English. Like how in Pakistan it’s called Paklish, here it’s called Banglish or Benglish. It’s due to the mixture of Bengali and English. Here too, the majority of people have adopted to speaking in English in combination with their local language.
Though the Bengali language is given prime importance, English is taught in schools and colleges. This South-Asian country is the place where the most prestigious writer Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Price in Literature in 1913 for his translation of Gitanjali to English.
Canada is one place where the official language of English is also the mother tongue of the residents. With French taking the other share of the official language. Canadian English is a blend of both American and British English, but there are certain phrases that distinct the Canadians largely. Around 86.2% of people speak English in Canada.
Some of the most common Canadian things are asking for ‘Double-double’ coffee or using ‘Eh!’ at the end of each sentence. Their accent is slightly different which sets them apart from the rest of English speakers around the world.
Though English is not the official language of Egypt, it is widely being used in schools and also in media. There is even a newspaper that is published in English. With its great history and beautiful landscapes, Egypt tourism has increased which led to an increase in the speaking of English too.
You can now see why English was given importance along with Arabic. English has given shelter to thousands of tour guides in recent times. Egypt is constantly evolving as people from all over the world reside here for education or sightseeing. It even has three English Universities that facilitate students from anywhere.
Though this Kangaroo Continent has 76.8% of people speak in English, it does not have any official language. If you happen to plan a trip to Australia, right from the airport, you can feel the Australian vibes because everyone there has a noticeable accent of their own.
Though it is English, their pronunciation is different than the rest. For goodbye or farewell, Australians say ‘Hooroo.’ In this way, there are so many words that are different, and some that sound different though the spelling remains the same.
The official language may not be English in the largest country of Northern Europe, but, they have been ranked as the finest at speaking English in the world by a language proficiency company. With Swedish being spoken by a majority of locals here, English has still found a place.
In this beautiful place that is known for Northern Lights, one can see hundreds of tourists and which is why English is being used by many people nowadays. Even in schools, English is being taught and by the general public too.
With over 90% of the population speaking English in this nordic country, English is yet not its official language. But they have received the most English proficient countries on the planet. Awesome right! Their flawless English speaking often stuns people.
If you’re touring around to this wonderful place and happen to meet the people around, you can easily look start a conversation in English and not worry about the basic phrases that are common to a country.
Norway is also among the top English speaking countries. Around 90% of the people speak in English which constitutes about 4.5 million and almost everyone is fluent in it. Most of the Nordic countries are flawless in their English though their native language is different.
English is most common as a second language and since this is where one can watch the Northern lights, tourists flock in large numbers to watch this natural beauty. Because of the increase in the number of tourists in recent times, English is largely being used and one cannot question their fluency in this language.
15. New Zealand
A majority of New Zealand speak English around 96.1% and it is one of their official languages as well. You would be often confused about their origin because their accent is very similar to Australians. English is widespread and is spoken by the residents and also taught in schools.
However, there are few jargons which only people from New Zealand can understand like ‘Bob’s your uncle’ means ‘There you have it’. At first, it might be an eye-opener, but you would definitely get a hang of it and maybe proudly call yourself a Kiwi as anything New Zealand-ish is called Kiwi here.
How impressive is English right? With just 26 alphabets, it is spoken in 67 countries and with this one language, you can even uncover people’s origins. Which other English speaking countries should have been on our list?