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English

A language of United Kingdom

ISO 639-3: eng

Population 55,000,000 in United Kingdom (1984). 508,000,000 including second-language speakers (1999 WA). Population total all countries: 309,352,280.
Region Also spoken in American Samoa, Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Cook Islands, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Finland, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guyana, Honduras, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, South Korea, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia (Peninsular), Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Montserrat, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nigeria, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Pitcairn, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, USA, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Dialects Cockney, Scouse, Geordie, West Country, East Anglia, Birmingham (Brummy, Brummie), South Wales, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cornwall, Cumberland, Central Cumberland, Devonshire, East Devonshire, Dorset, Durham, Bolton Lancashire, North Lancashire, Radcliffe Lancashire, Northumberland, Norfolk, Newcastle Northumberland, Tyneside Northumberland, Lowland Scottish, Somerset, Sussex, Westmorland, North Wiltshire, Craven Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, Sheffield Yorkshire, West Yorkshire. Lexical similarity 60% with German, 27% with French, 24% with Russian.
Classification Indo-European, Germanic, West, English
Language use National language.
Language development Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1382–2002.
Comments SVO; prepositions; genitives after noun heads; articles, adjectives, numerals before noun heads; question word initial; word order distinguishes subject, object, indirect objects, given and new information, topic and comment; active and passive; causative; comparative; consonant and vowel clusters; nontonal. Island, plains, hills. Deciduous forest. Industrial workers, fishermen; craftsman. Christian.

Also spoken in:

American Samoa

Language name   English
Population 1,248 in American Samoa, foreign born (1970 census).
Language use Official language. 15,050 mainly second-language speakers.
   

Anguilla

Language name   English
Population 946 in Anguilla (2004).
Language use Official language.
   

Antigua and Barbuda

Language name   English
Language use Official language.
   

Aruba

Language name   English
Population 3,000.
Dialects Aruba English.
   

Australia

Language name   English
Population 15,682,000 in Australia (1987).
Dialects Australian Standard English, Aboriginal English, Neo-Nyungar (Noonga, Noongar, Noogar).
Language use National language.
Comments Minor regional dialect differences. Neo-Nyungar is the community dialect of the Nyungar people.
   

Bahamas

Language name   English
Population 49,331 in Bahamas (2004).
Language use Official language.
   

Barbados

Language name   English
Population 13,000 in Barbados (1995).
Language use National language.
   

Belize

Language name   English
Language use Official language. 55,998 second-language speakers in Belize (1991 census). Used in education, government, commerce.
   

Bermuda

Language name   English
Population 58,800 in Bermuda (1989).
Dialects Bermudan English.
Language use Official language.
Comments Colloquial English may not be a creole but a regional variety of uncreolized English.
   

Botswana

Language name   English
Alternate names   Sekgoa
Language use Official language. International trade, medium of western influences, language of instruction from fifth grade, written language, official purposes, as second language. Taught from the beginning of primary school as a required subject.
   

British Indian Ocean Territory

Language name   English
Population 3,500 in British Indian Ocean Territory (2004).
Language use Official language.
Comments The indigenous population no longer resides in the islands. Current residents include members of the USA military, a small detachment of British officials, and support staff, mainly of Mauritian and Philippine origin.
   

British Virgin Islands

Language name   English
Population 2,000 in British Virgin Islands (1998).
Language use Official language.
   

Brunei

Language name   English
Population 8,000 in Brunei.
Language use National language. Used in government, education, and by educated speakers as first or second language.
   

Cambodia

Language name   English
Language use Replacing French as second language, especially in Phnom Penh.
   

Cameroon

Language name   English
Region Used mainly in South West and North West provinces.
Language use Official language.
   

Canada

Language name   English
Population 17,100,000 in Canada (1998 Statistics Canada). 820,000 first-language speakers in Quebec (1995 Statistics Canada); plus another 1,500,000 in Quebec whose first or second language is English (1995 Statistics Canada).
Dialects Newfoundland English.
Language use Official language.
   

Cayman Islands

Language name   English
Population 20,000 in Cayman Islands (2002).
Dialects Cayman Islands English.
Language use National language.
Comments The colloquial English seems to have borrowed creole features similar to Jamaica and Central America without having undergone creolization (John Holm 1989:479–480). Structurally similar to a creole language. May be close to Belize Kriol. Agriculturalists: cotton.
   

China

Language name   English
Population 59,000 in China (1993).
Region Mainly in Hong Kong.
   

Cook Islands

Language name   English
Population 683 in Cook Islands (1966 UN report).
Language use Official language.
   

Dominica

Language name   English
Population 10,000 in Dominica (2004).
Dialects Dominican English.
Language use Official language.
   

Dominican Republic

Language name   English
Population 8,000 in Dominican Republic (1989 J. Holm).
Region Samaná Peninsula, northeastern Dominican Republic.
Dialects Samaná English.
Language use Spanish is used as second language. Some use Haitian Creole.
Comments A community of descendants of ex-USA slaves settled in 1824. It is reported that there was a settlement of African slaves here in the early 1500s. There are features of creolization and archaic Black English.
   

Eritrea

Language name   English
Language use National language.
Comments Language of higher education and many technical fields.
   

Ethiopia

Language name   English
Population 1,986 in Ethiopia (1998 census).
Language use Official language. 169,726 second-language users. Language of higher education, many technical fields, and international communication.
   

Falkland Islands

Language name   English
Population 1,991 in Falkland Islands (1993 Johnstone).
Language use National language.
   

Fiji

Language name   English
Population 4,929 Europeans in Fiji (1976 census). An additional 10,276 or 1.8% of population (1976 census) are part-European, and speak English and Fijian.
Language use Official language. Also used by many urban Chinese (4,652 in 1976), Rotuman, occasionally by Indians, rarely by Fijians (P. Geraghty 1981). There are also reports of a Fijian Pidgin English. Main language of commerce, education, government.
   

Gambia

Language name   English
Population 1,000 in Gambia (2004).
Language use Official language.
   

Ghana

Language name   English
Language use Official language. Second-language speakers in Ghana: 1,000,000 (1977 Voegelin and Voegelin).
   

Gibraltar

Language name   English
Population 3,300 in Gibraltar (1993 Johnstone).
Dialects Yanito.
Language use Official language.
Comments Yanito is spoken by most Gibraltarians among themselves. It is a dialect of English with a strong Spanish influence, with over 500 words coming from Genoese (Ligurian) and Hebrew.
   

Grenada

Language name   English
Population 750 in Grenada (2004).
Dialects Grenadian English.
Language use Official language.
Comments Post-creole English with French Creole influences (M. Alleyne).
   

Guadeloupe

Language name   English
Population 200 in Guadeloupe (2002).
Region St. Barthélemy Island.
Dialects Gustavia English (St. Barth English).
Language use All are fluent in French.
Comments English with some creole influence.
   

Guam

Language name   English
Population 28,800 in Guam (1987).
Language use National language.
Comments USA military and dependents.
   

Guyana

Language name   English
Dialects Guyanese English.
Language use National language.
Comments Spoken as first language by some Blacks and some Hindustanis.
   

Honduras

Language name   English
Population 31,500 in Honduras (2001). Population includes 22,500 Bay Islands English speakers on the north coast.
Region Bay Islands (Guanaja, Roatán, Utila), and large cities along north coast of mainland.
Dialects Bay Islands English.
Comments Some creole influence.
   

India

Language name   English
Language use National language. Second-language speakers in India: 11,021,610 (1961 census).
   

Ireland

Language name   English
Population 2,600,000 in Ireland (1983).
Dialects South Hiberno English, North Hiberno English.
Language use National language.
   

Israel

Language name   English
Population 100,000 in Israel (1993).
Alternate names   Anglit
Language use Auxiliary official language.
   

Jamaica

Language name   English
Language use National language.
   

Kenya

Language name   English
Language use Official language. Mainly second-language speakers in Kenya.
   

Kiribati

Language name   English
Population 492 in Kiribati (2000).
Language use Official language.
   

Lebanon

Language name   English
Population 3,300 in Lebanon (2004).
Language use Has been used to some extent since the founding of the American University of Beirut in 1866. Many English language publications. Not spoken on the street or in Lebanese homes.
   

Lesotho

Language name   English
Language use Official language.
   

Liberia

Language name   English
Population 69,000 in Liberia (1993).
Dialects Liberian Standard English.
Language use Official language.
   

Malawi

Language name   English
Population 16,000 in Malawi (1993).
Language use Official language.
   

Malaysia (Peninsular)

Language name   English
   

Malta

Language name   English
Population 2,400 in Malta (1993 Johnstone).
Language use Official language.
   

Marshall Islands

Language name   English
Population 600 in Marshall Islands (2004).
Language use Official language.
   

Mauritius

Language name   English
Population 3,000 in Mauritius (1993 Johnstone).
Language use Official language. Not widely known. Used in secondary school, courts, for road signs.
   

Micronesia

Language name   English
Population 5,341 in Micronesia (2000).
Language use Official language.
   

Montserrat

Language name   English
Population 100 in Montserrat (2004).
Language use National language.
   

Namibia

Language name   English
Population 10,941 in Namibia (1991 census).
Language use Official language. Not understood or spoken by everyone.
   

Nauru

Language name   English
Population 714 in Nauru (2000).
Language use National language. 7,254 including second-language users (1979 Government figures).
   

Netherlands Antilles

Language name   English
Population 1,800 in Netherlands Antilles (2004).
Region More use on Saba and Statia than other islands.
Language use Gaining importance in Netherlands Antilles.
Comments Post-creole English is the dialect used (Alleyne).
   

New Zealand

Language name   English
Population 3,213,000 in New Zealand (1987).
Language use Official language.
   

Nigeria

Language name   English
Language use Official language. Second-language speakers in Nigeria: 1,000,000 (1977 Voegelin and Voegelin). Used in government and education.
   

Niue

Language name   English
Population 78 in Niue (2004).
Language use National language. Second-language speakers in Niue: 2,082.
   

Norfolk Island

Language name   English
Population 1,678 in Norfolk Island (1980 Government report).
Language use Official language.
   

Northern Mariana Islands

Language name   English
Language use National language.
   

Pakistan

Language name   English
Language use Official language. Mainly second-language speakers in Pakistan.
   

Palau

Language name   English
Language use Official language.
   

Papua New Guinea

Language name   English
Population 50,000 in Papua New Guinea (1987).
Language use Official language.
Language development Taught in primary schools.
   

Philippines

Language name   English
Population 32,802 in the Philippines (1990 census).
Language use Official language. 52% of the population said they could speak it as a second language (1980 census).
   

Pitcairn

Language name   English
Population 46 (1998 UN).
Language use Official language.
   

Puerto Rico

Language name   English
Population 82,000 in Puerto Rico (1995).
Language use National language. 376,371 second-language users (1970 census).
   

Rwanda

Language name   English
Population 300 in Rwanda (2004).
Language use Official language. Mainly second-language speakers in Rwanda. There may be more users of English than of French.
   

Saint Helena

Language name   English
Population 5,400 in Saint Helena (2004).
Language use National language.
   

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Language name   English
Population 200 in Saint Kitts and Nevis (2004).
Language use National language.
   

Saint Lucia

Language name   English
Population 1,600 in Saint Lucia (2004).
Dialects Saint Lucian English.
Language use Official language.
Comments There is an emerging English vernacular on Saint Lucia in a certain rural area. It is significantly restructured, heavily French creole influenced, English lexicon (Paul Garrett 1998).
   

Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Language name   English
Population 188 in Saint Pierre and Miquelon (1967 census).
   

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Language name   English
Population 400 in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (2004).
Language use National language.
   

Samoa

Language name   English
Population 200 in Samoa (2004).
Language use Official language.
   

Seychelles

Language name   English
Population 1,601 in Seychelles (1971 census).
Language use Official language.
Comments Principal language of the schools.
   

Sierra Leone

Language name   English
Language use Official language. Used in administration, law, education, commerce.
   

Singapore

Language name   English
Population 227,000 in Singapore (1985).
Language use Official language. Second-language users (literate in English) are 71% of population (2000 census). Ethnic groups which use English: Chinese 154,000, 68%; European and Eurasian 34,000, 15%; Indian 32,000, 14%; Malay 6,000, 3%. Chinese varieties and Tamil also used at home.
   

Solomon Islands

Language name   English
Language use National language.
   

Somalia

Language name   English
Language use Official language. Used more in the north.
   

South Africa

Language name   English
Population 3,457,467 in South Africa (1996 census).
Language use Official language. The main means of communication in urban areas. Many second-generation people from India, Portugal, Germany, and Greece speak English as first language.
   

Sri Lanka

Language name   English
Population 74,170 in Sri Lanka (2000 WCD).
   

Swaziland

Language name   English
Language use Official language.
Comments Taught in all government and private schools.
   

Tanzania

Language name   English
Language use Official language. Second-language speakers in Tanzania: 1,500,000 (1977 Voegelin and Voegelin). Used by some Asian residents as first language.
Language development Taught in primary schools. Used as medium of instruction in secondary schools and universities.
   

Tokelau

Language name   English
Population 40 in Tokelau (2004).
Language use National language. Used in schools.
   

Tonga

Language name   English
Language use Official language.
   

Trinidad and Tobago

Language name   English
Population 2,600 in Trinidad and Tobago (2004).
Language use Official language.
   

Turks and Caicos Islands

Language name   English
Population 920 in Turks and Caicos Islands (2004).
Language use Official language.
   

U.S. Virgin Islands

Language name   English
Population 8,414 in U.S. Virgin Islands (1970 census).
Language use Official language.
   

Uganda

Language name   English
Language use Official language. Second-language speakers: 1,000,000 in Uganda (1977 Voegelin and Voegelin). Used in primary schools, law courts.
   

USA

Language name   English
Population 210,000,000 in the USA (1984). 8,400,000 USA residents 14 years old or older who do not speak fluent English; 38% or 7,700,000 households headed by immigrants.
Dialects Black English.
Comments Many regional dialects.
   

Vanuatu

Language name   English
Population 1,900 in Vanuatu (1995).
Language use Official language. First-language speakers are from the United Kingdom.
   

Zambia

Language name   English
Population 41,434 in Zambia (1969 census).
Language use Official language. Spoken as first language by Europeans mainly. A small minority of Zambian Africans speak it as a first language. Used as a second language. The only language of Parliament.
   

Zimbabwe

Language name   English
Population 375,490 in Zimbabwe (1969 census).
Language use Official language. Spoken by most Europeans and an increasing number of Africans. Used in all or most education.