Library

 
View Text Low Bandwidth Version
Download Publication
Field Listing :: Languages
Print Page
This entry provides a rank ordering of languages starting with the largest and sometimes includes the percent of total population speaking that language.
Country
Languages(%)
Afghanistan Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 50%, Pashto (official) 35%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism, but Dari functions as the lingua franca
note: the Turkic languages Uzbek and Turkmen, as well as Balochi, Pashai, Nuristani, and Pamiri are the third official languages in areas where the majority speaks them
Akrotiri English, Greek
Albania Albanian 98.8% (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek 0.5%, other 0.6% (including Macedonian, Roma, Vlach, Turkish, Italian, and Serbo-Croatian), unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
Algeria Arabic (official), French (lingua franca), Berber dialects: Kabylie Berber (Tamazight), Chaouia Berber (Tachawit), Mzab Berber, Tuareg Berber (Tamahaq)
American Samoa Samoan 90.6% (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), English 2.9%, Tongan 2.4%, other Pacific islander 2.1%, other 2%
note: most people are bilingual (2000 census)
Andorra Catalan (official), French, Castilian, Portuguese
Angola Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages
Anguilla English (official)
Antigua and Barbuda English (official), local dialects
Argentina Spanish (official), Italian, English, German, French, indigenous (Mapudungun, Quechua)
Armenia Armenian (official) 97.9%, Kurdish (spoken by Yezidi minority) 1%, other 1% (2011 est.)
Aruba Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 69.4%, Spanish 13.7%, English (widely spoken) 7.1%, Dutch (official) 6.1%, Chinese 1.5%, other 1.7%, unspecified 0.4% (2010 est.)
Australia English 76.8%, Mandarin 1.6%, Italian 1.4%, Arabic 1.3%, Greek 1.2%, Cantonese 1.2%, Vietnamese 1.1%, other 10.4%, unspecified 5% (2011 est.)
Austria German (official nationwide) 88.6%, Turkish 2.3%, Serbian 2.2%, Croatian (official in Burgenland) 1.6%, other (includes Slovene, official in Carinthia, and Hungarian, official in Burgenland) 5.3% (2001 census)
Azerbaijan Azerbaijani (Azeri) (official) 92.5%, Russian 1.4%, Armenian 1.4%, other 4.7% (2009 est.)
Bahamas, The English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)
Bahrain Arabic (official), English, Farsi, Urdu
Bangladesh Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English
Barbados English (official), Bajan (English-based creole language, widely spoken in informal settings)
Belarus Belarusian (official) 23.4%, Russian (official) 70.2%, other 3.1% (includes small Polish- and Ukrainian-speaking minorities), unspecified 3.3% (2009 est.)
Belgium Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)
Belize Spanish 46%, Creole 32.9%, Mayan dialects 8.9%, English 3.9% (official), Garifuna 3.4% (Carib), German 3.3%, other 1.4%, unknown 0.2% (2000 census)
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 Sharchhopka 28%, Dzongkha (official) 24%, Lhotshamkha 22%, other 26% (includes foreign languages) (2005 est.)
Bolivia Spanish (official) 60.7%, Quechua (official) 21.2%, Aymara (official) 14.6%, Guarani (official), foreign languages 2.4%, other 1.2%
note: Bolivia's 2009 constitution designates Spanish and all indigenous languages as official; 36 indigenous languages are specified, including some that are extinct (2001 census)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnian (official), Croatian (official), Serbian (official)
Botswana Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English (official) 2.1%, other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4% (2001 census)
Brazil Portuguese (official and most widely spoken language)
note: less common languages include Spanish (border areas and schools), German, Italian, Japanese, English, and a large number of minor Amerindian languages
British Virgin Islands English (official)
Brunei Malay (official), English, Chinese
Bulgaria Bulgarian (official) 76.8%, Turkish 8.2%, Roma 3.8%, other 0.7%, unspecified 10.5% (2011 est.)
Burkina Faso French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population
Burma Burmese (official)
note: minority ethnic groups have their own languages
Burundi Kirundi 29.7% (official), Kirundi and other language 9.1%, French (official) and French and other language 0.3%, Swahili and Swahili and other language 0.2% (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area), English and English and other language 0.06%, more than 2 languages 3.7%, unspecified 56.9% (2008 est.)
Cabo Verde Portuguese (official), Crioulo (a blend of Portuguese and West African words)
Cambodia Khmer (official) 96.3%, other 3.7% (2008 est.)
Cameroon 24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)
Canada English (official) 58.7%, French (official) 22%, Punjabi 1.4%, Italian 1.3%, Spanish 1.3%, German 1.3%, Cantonese 1.2%, Tagalog 1.2%, Arabic 1.1%, other 10.5%
note: shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census (2011 est.)
Cayman Islands English (official) 90.9%, Spanish 4%, Filipino 3.3%, other 1.7%, unspecified 0.1% (2010 est.)
Central African Republic French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
Chad French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects
Chile Spanish 99.5% (official), English 10.2%, indigenous 1% (includes Mapudungun, Aymara, Quechua, Rapa Nui), other 2.3%, unspecified 0.2%
note: shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census (2012 est.)
China Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official; Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)
note: Zhuang is official in Guangxi Zhuang, Yue is official in Guangdong, Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uighur is official in Xinjiang Uygur, Kyrgyz is official in Xinjiang Uyghur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)
Christmas Island English (official), Chinese, Malay
Cocos (Keeling) Islands Malay (Cocos dialect), English
Colombia Spanish (official)
Comoros Arabic (official), French (official), Shikomoro (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 is the most widespread)
Cook Islands English (official) 86.4%, Cook Islands Maori (Rarotongan) (official) 76.2%, other 8.3% (2011 est.)
Costa Rica Spanish (official), English
Cote d'Ivoire French (official), 60 native dialects of which Dioula is the most widely spoken
Croatia Croatian (official) 95.6%, Serbian 1.2%, other 3% (including Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and Albanian), unspecified 0.2% (2011 est.)
Cuba Spanish (official)
Curacao Papiamentu (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 81.2%, Dutch (official) 8%, Spanish 4%, English 2.9%, other 3.9% (2001 census)
Cyprus Greek (official) 80.9%, Turkish (official) 0.2%, English 4.1%, Romanian 2.9%, Russian 2.5%, Bulgarian 2.2%, Arabic 1.2%, Filippino 1.1%, other 4.3%, unspecified 0.6% (2011 est.)
Czech Republic Czech 95.4%, Slovak 1.6%, other 3% (2011 census)
Denmark Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic (an Inuit dialect), German (small minority)
note: English is the predominant second language
Dhekelia English, Greek
Djibouti French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar
Dominica English (official), French patois
Dominican Republic Spanish (official)
Ecuador Spanish (Castillian) 93% (official), Quechua 4.1%, other indigenous 0.7%, foreign 2.2%
note: (Quechua and Shuar are official languages of intercultural relations; other indigenous languages are in official use by indigenous peoples in the areas they inhabit) (2010 est.)
Egypt Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated classes
El Salvador Spanish (official), Nahua (among some Amerindians)
Equatorial Guinea Spanish (official) 67.6%, other (includes French (official), Fang, Bubi) 32.4% (1994 census)
Eritrea Tigrinya (official), Arabic (official), English (official), Tigre, Kunama, Afar, other Cushitic languages
Estonia Estonian (official) 68.5%, Russian 29.6%, Ukrainian 0.6%, other 1.2%, unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
Ethiopia Oromo (official working language in the State of Oromiya) 33.8%, Amharic (official national language) 29.3%, Somali (official working language of the State of Sumale) 6.2%, Tigrayan (official working language of the State of Tigray) 5.9%, Sidamo 4%, Wolaytta 2.2%, Guragiegna 2%, Afar (official working language of the State of Afar) 1.7%, Hadiyya 1.7%, Gamo 1.5%, other 11.7%, English (major foreign language taught in schools), Arabic (2007 census)
European Union Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Gaelic, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish
note: only the 24 official languages are listed; German, the major language of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, is the most widely spoken mother tongue - about 18% of the EU population; English is the most widely spoken foreign language - about 38% of the EU population is conversant with it (2013)
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) English 89%, Spanish 7.7%, other 3.3% (2006 est.)
Faroe Islands Faroese (derived from Old Norse), Danish
Fiji English (official), Fijian (official), Hindustani
Finland Finnish (official) 94.2%, Swedish (official) 5.5%, other (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities) 0.2% (2012 est.)
France French (official) 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)
overseas departments: French, Creole patois, Mahorian (a Swahili dialect)
French Polynesia French (official) 61.1%, Polynesian (official) 31.4%, Asian languages 1.2%, other 0.3%, unspecified 6% (2002 census)
Gabon French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
Gambia, The English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars
Gaza Strip Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by many Palestinians), English (widely understood)
Georgia Georgian (official) 71%, Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7%
note: Abkhaz is the official language in Abkhazia
Germany German
Ghana Asante 14.8%, Ewe 12.7%, Fante 9.9%, Boron (Brong) 4.6%, Dagomba 4.3%, Dangme 4.3%, Dagarte (Dagaba) 3.7%, Akyem 3.4%, Ga 3.4%, Akuapem 2.9%, other (includes English (official)) 36.1% (2000 census)
Gibraltar English (used in schools and for official purposes), Spanish, Italian, Portuguese
Greece Greek (official) 99%, other (includes English and French) 1%
Greenland Greenlandic (East Inuit) (official), Danish (official), English
Grenada English (official), French patois
Guam English 43.6%, Filipino 21.2%, Chamorro 17.8%, other Pacific island languages 10%, Asian languages 6.3%, other 1.1% (2010 est.)
Guatemala Spanish (official) 60%, Amerindian languages 40%
note: there are 23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca
Guernsey English, French, Norman-French dialect spoken in country districts
Guinea French (official)
note: each ethnic group has its own language
Guinea-Bissau Portuguese (official), Crioulo, African languages
Guyana English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Urdu
Haiti French (official), Creole (official)
Holy See (Vatican City) Italian, Latin, French, various other languages
Honduras Spanish (official), Amerindian dialects
Hong Kong Cantonese (official) 89.5%, English (official) 3.5%, Putonghua (Mandarin) 1.4%, other Chinese dialects 4%, other 1.6% (2011 est.)
Hungary Hungarian 84.6%, other or unspecified 16.4% (2011 est.)
Iceland Icelandic, English, Nordic languages, German widely spoken
India Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2%, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9%, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Malayalam 3.2%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.2%, other 5.9%
note: English enjoys the status of subsidiary official language but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the most widely spoken language and primary tongue of 41% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language (2001 census)
Indonesia Bahasa Indonesia (official, modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, local dialects (of which the most widely spoken is Javanese)
note: more than 700 languages are used in Indonesia
Iran Persian (official) 53%, Azeri Turkic and Turkic dialects 18%, Kurdish 10%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 7%, Luri 6%, Balochi 2%, Arabic 2%, other 2%
Iraq Arabic (official), Kurdish (official), Turkmen (a Turkish dialect) and Assyrian (Neo-Aramaic) are official in areas where they constitute a majority of the population), Armenian
Ireland English (official, the language generally used), Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official, spoken mainly in areas along the western coast)
Isle of Man English, Manx Gaelic (about 2% of the population has some knowledge)
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, English patois
Japan Japanese
Jersey English 94.5% (official), Portuguese 4.6%, other 0.9% (2001 census)
Jordan Arabic (official), English (widely understood among upper and middle classes)
Kazakhstan Kazakh (Qazaq, state language) 64.4%, Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the "language of interethnic communication") 95% (2001 est.)
Kenya English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages
Kiribati I-Kiribati, English (official)
Korea, North Korean
Korea, South Korean, English (widely taught in junior high and high school)
Kosovo Albanian (official), Serbian (official), Bosnian, Turkish, Roma
Kuwait Arabic (official), English widely spoken
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyz (official) 64.7%, Uzbek 13.6%, Russian (official) 12.5%, Dungun 1%, other 8.2% (1999 census)
Laos Lao (official), French, English, various ethnic languages
Latvia Latvian (official) 56.3%, Russian 33.8%, other 0.6% (includes Polish, Ukrainian, and Belarusian), unspecified 9.4% (2011 est.)
Lebanon Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian
Lesotho Sesotho (official) (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa
Liberia English 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages few of which can be written or used in correspondence
Libya Arabic (official), Italian, English (all widely understood in the major cities); Berber (Nafusi, Ghadamis, Suknah, Awjilah, Tamasheq)
Liechtenstein German 94.5% (official) (Alemannic is the main dialect), Italian 1.1%, other 4.3% (2010 est.)
Lithuania Lithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other 0.9%, unspecified 3.5% (2011 est.)
Luxembourg Luxembourgish (official administrative language and national language (spoken vernacular)), French (official administrative language), German (official administrative language)
Macau Cantonese 83.3%, Mandarin 5%, Hokkien 3.7%, other Chinese dialects 2%, English 2.3%, Tagalog 1.7%, Portuguese 0.7%, other 1.3%
note: Chinese and Portuguese are the official languages (2011 census)
Macedonia Macedonian (official) 66.5%, Albanian (official) 25.1%, Turkish 3.5%, Roma 1.9%, Serbian 1.2%, other 1.8% (2002 census)
Madagascar French (official), Malagasy (official), English
Malawi English (official), Chichewa (common), Chinyanja, Chiyao, Chitumbuka, Chilomwe, Chinkhonde, Chingoni, Chisena, Chitonga, Chinyakyusa, Chilambya
Malaysia Bahasa Malaysia (official), English, Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai
note: in East Malaysia there are several indigenous languages; most widely spoken are Iban and Kadazan
Maldives Dhivehi (official, dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English (spoken by most government officials)
Mali French (official), Bambara 46.3%, Peul/foulfoulbe 9.4%, Dogon 7.2%, Maraka/soninke 6.4%, Malinke 5.6%, Sonrhai/djerma 5.6%, Minianka 4.3%, Tamacheq 3.5%, Senoufo 2.6%, unspecified 0.6%, other 8.5%
Malta Maltese (official) 90.2%, English (official) 6%, multilingual 3%, other 0.8% (2005 census)
Marshall Islands Marshallese (official) 98.2%, other languages 1.8% (1999 census)
note: English (official), widely spoken as a second language
Mauritania Arabic (official and national), Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof (all national languages), French, Hassaniya (a variety of Arabic)
Mauritius Creole 86.5%, Bhojpuri 5.3%, French 4.1%, two languages 1.4%, other 2.6% (includes English, the official language, which is spoken by less than 1% of the population), unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
Mexico Spanish only 92.7%, Spanish and indigenous languages 5.7%, indigenous only 0.8%, unspecified 0.8%
note: indigenous languages include various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional languages (2005)
Micronesia, Federated States of English (official and common language), Chuukese, Kosrean, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi
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% (official), Turkic, Russian (1999)
Montenegro Serbian 42.9%, Montenegrin (official) 37%, Bosnian 5.3%, Albanian 5.3%, Serbo-Croat 2%, other 3.5%, unspecified 4% (2011 est.)
Montserrat English
Morocco Arabic (official), Berber languages (Tamazight (official), Tachelhit, Tarifit), French (often the language of business, government, and diplomacy)
Mozambique Emakhuwa 25.3%, Portuguese (official) 10.7%, Xichangana 10.3%, Cisena 7.5%, Elomwe 7%, Echuwabo 5.1%, other Mozambican languages 30.1%, other 4% (1997 census)
Namibia English (official) 7%, Afrikaans (common language of most of the population and about 60% of the white population), German 32%, indigenous languages (includes Oshivambo, Herero, Nama) 1%
Nauru Nauruan 93% (official, a distinct Pacific Island language), English 2% (widely understood, spoken, and used for most government and commercial purposes), other 5% (includes I-Kiribati 2% and Chinese 2%)
note: percentages represent main language spoken at home; Nauruan is spoken by 95% of the population, English by 66%, and other languages by 12% (2011 est.)
Nepal Nepali (official) 44.6%, Maithali 11.7%, Bhojpuri 6%, Tharu 5.8%, Tamang 5.1%, Newar 3.2%, Magar 3%, Bajjika 3%, Urdu 2.6%, Avadhi 1.9%, Limbu 1.3%, Gurung 1.2%, other 10.4%, unspecified 0.2%
note: 123 languages reported as mother tongue in 2011 national census; many in government and business also speak English (2011 est.)
Netherlands Dutch (official), Frisian (official)
New Caledonia French (official), 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects
New Zealand English (de facto official) 89.8%, Maori (de jure official) 3.5%, Samoan 2%, Hindi 1.6%, French 1.2%, Northern Chinese 1.2%, Yue 1%, Other or not stated 20.5%, New Zealand Sign Language (de jure official)
note: shares sum to 120.8% due to multiple responses on census (2013 est.)
Nicaragua Spanish (official) 95.3%, Miskito 2.2%, Mestizo of the Caribbean coast 2%, other 0.5%
note: English and indigenous languages found on the Caribbean coast (2005 est.)
Niger French (official), Hausa, Djerma
Nigeria English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani, over 500 additional indigenous languages
Niue Niuean (official) 46% (a Polynesian language closely related to Tongan and Samoan), Niuean and English 32%, English (official) 11%, Niuean and others 5%, other 6% (2011 est.)
Norfolk Island English (official) 67.6%, other 32.4% (includes Norfolk Island 23.7%, which is a mixture of 18th century English and ancient Tahitian) (2011 est.)
Northern Mariana Islands Philippine languages 32.8%, Chamorro (official) 24.1%, English (official) 17%, other Pacific island languages 10.1%, Chinese 6.8%, other Asian languages 7.3%, other 1.9% (2010 est.)
Norway Bokmal Norwegian (official), Nynorsk Norwegian (official), small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities
note: Sami is an official language in nine municipalities
Oman Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
Pakistan Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Saraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashto (alternate name, Pashtu) 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official; lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and other 8%
Palau Palauan (official on most islands) 66.6%, Carolinian 0.7%, other Micronesian 0.7%, English (official) 15.5%, Filipino 10.8%, Chinese 1.8%, other Asian 2.6%, other 1.3%
note: Sonsoral (Sonsoralese and English are official), Tobi (Tobi and English are official), and Angaur (Angaur, Japanese, and English are official) (2005 est.)
Panama Spanish (official), English 14%
note: many Panamanians are bilingual
Papua New Guinea Tok Pisin (official), English (official), Hiri Motu (official), some 836 indigenous languages spoken (about 12% of the world's total); most languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers
note: Tok Pisin, a creole language, is widely used and understood; English is spoken by 1%-2%; Hiri Motu is spoken by less than 2%
Paraguay Spanish (official), Guarani (official)
Peru Spanish (official) 84.1%, Quechua (official) 13%, Aymara (official) 1.7%, Ashaninka 0.3%, other native languages (includes a large number of minor Amazonian languages) 0.7%, other 0.2% (2007 Census)
Philippines Filipino (official; based on Tagalog) and English (official); eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan
Pitcairn Islands English (official), Pitkern (mixture of an 18th century English dialect and a Tahitian dialect)
Poland Polish (official) 96.2%, Polish and non-Polish 2%, non-Polish 0.5%, unspecified 1.3% (2011 est.)
Portugal Portuguese (official), Mirandese (official, but locally used)
Puerto Rico Spanish, English
Qatar Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language
Romania Romanian (official) 85.4%, Hungarian 6.3%, Romany (Gypsy) 1.2%, other 1%, unspecified 6.1% (2011 est.)
Russia Russian (official) 96.3%, Dolgang 5.3%, German 1.5%, Chechen 1%, Tatar 3%, other 10.3%
note: shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census (2010 est.)
Rwanda Kinyarwanda only (official, universal Bantu vernacular) 93.2%, Kinyarwanda and other language(s) 6.2%, French (official) and other language(s) 0.1%, English (official) and other language(s) 0.1%, Swahili (or Kiswahili, used in commercial centers) 0.02%, other 0.03%, unspecified 0.3% (2002 est.)
Saint Barthelemy French (primary), English
Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha English
Saint Kitts and Nevis English (official)
Saint Lucia English (official), French patois
Saint Martin French (official), English, Dutch, French Patois, Spanish, Papiamento (dialect of Netherlands Antilles)
Saint Pierre and Miquelon French (official)
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines English, French patois
Samoa Samoan (Polynesian) (official), English
San Marino Italian
Sao Tome and Principe Portuguese 98.4% (official), Forro 36.2%, Cabo Verdian 8.5%, French 6.8%, Angolar 6.6%, English 4.9%, Lunguie 1%, other (including sign language) 2.4%
note: shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census (2012 est.)
Saudi Arabia Arabic (official)
Senegal French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka
Serbia Serbian (official) 88.1%, Hungarian 3.4%, Bosnian 1.9%, Romany 1.4%, other 3.4%, undeclared or unknown 1.8%
note: Serbian, Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian, Croatian, and Rusyn all official in Vojvodina (2011 est.)
Seychelles Seychellois Creole (official) 89.1%, English (official) 5.1%, French (official) 0.7%, other 3.8%, unspecified 1.4% (2010 est.)
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 Mandarin (official) 36.3%, English (official) 29.8%, Hokkien 8.1%, Tamil (official) 4.4%, Cantonese 4.1%, Teochew 3.2%, Malay (official) 1.2%, other Chinese dialects 1.1%, other 1.7% (2010 est.)
Sint Maarten English (official) 67.5%, Spanish 12.9%, Creole 8.2%, Dutch (official) 4.2%, Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 2.2%, French 1.5%, other 3.5% (2001 census)
Slovakia Slovak (official) 78.6%, Hungarian 9.4%, Roma 2.3%, Ruthenian 1%, other or unspecified 8.8% (2011 est.)
Slovenia Slovenian (official) 91.1%, Serbo-Croatian 4.5%, other or unspecified 4.4%, Italian (official, only in municipalities where Italian national communities reside), Hungarian (official, only in municipalities where Hungarian national communities reside) (2002 census)
Solomon Islands Melanesian pidgin (in much of the country is lingua franca), English (official but spoken by only 1%-2% of the population), 120 indigenous languages
Somalia Somali (official), Arabic (official, according to the Transitional Federal Charter), Italian, English
South Africa IsiZulu (official) 22.7%, IsiXhosa (official) 16%, Afrikaans (official) 13.5%, English (official) 9.6%, Sepedi (offcial) 9.1%, Setswana (official) 8%, Sesotho (official) 7.6%, Xitsonga (official) 4.5%, siSwati (official) 2.5%, Tshivenda (official) 2.4%, isiNdebele (official) 2.1%, sign language 0.5%, other 1.6% (2011 est.)
South Sudan English (official), Arabic (includes Juba and Sudanese variants), regional languages include Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Zande, Shilluk
Spain Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, and Basque 2%
note: Catalan is official in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, and the Valencian Community (where it is known as Valencian); in the northwest corner of Catalonia (Vall d'Aran), Aranese is official along with Catalan; Galician is official in Galicia; Basque is official in the Basque Country and in the Basque-speaking area of Navarre
Sri Lanka Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8%
note: English, spoken competently by about 10% of the population, is commonly used in government and is referred to as the link language in the constitution
Sudan Arabic (official), English (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, Fur
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), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese
Svalbard Norwegian, Russian
Swaziland English (official, used for government business), siSwati (official)
Sweden Swedish (official), small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities
Switzerland German (official) 64.9%, French (official) 22.6%, Italian (official) 8.3%, Serbo-Croatian 2.5%, Albanian 2.6%, Portuguese 3.4%, Spanish 2.2%, English 4.6%, Romansch (official) 0.5%, other 5.1%
note: German, French, Italian, and Romansch are all national and official languages; totals more than 100% because some respondents indicated more than one main principal language (2012 est.)
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), Kiunguja (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; 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 (official) 90.7%, Burmese 1.3%, other 8%
note: English is a secondary language of the elite (2010 est.)
Timor-Leste Tetum (official), Portuguese (official), Indonesian, English
note: there are about 16 indigenous languages; Tetum, Galole, Mambae, and Kemak are spoken by a significant portion of the population
Togo French (official, 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 93.5% (a Polynesian language), English 58.9%, Samoan 45.5%, Tuvaluan 11.6%, Kiribati 2.7%, other 2.5%, none 4.1%, unspecified 0.6%
ntoe: shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census (2011 ests.)
Tonga English and Tongan 87%, Tongan (official) 10.7%, English (official) 1.2%, other 1.1%, uspecified 0.03% (2006 est.)
Trinidad and Tobago English (official), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), French, Spanish, Chinese
Tunisia Arabic (official, one of the languages of commerce), French (commerce), Berber (Tamazight)
Turkey Turkish (official), Kurdish, other minority languages
Turkmenistan Turkmen (official) 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%
Turks and Caicos Islands English (official)
Tuvalu Tuvaluan (official), English (official), Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui)
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 (official) 67%, Russian (regional language) 24%, other (includes small Romanian-, Polish-, and Hungarian-speaking minorities) 9%
note: 2012 legislation enables a language spoken by at least 10% of an oblast's population to be given the status of "regional language," allowing for its use in courts, schools, and other government institutions; Ukrainian remains the country's only official nationwide language
United Arab Emirates Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu
United Kingdom English
note: the following are recognized regional languages: Scots (about 30% of the population of Scotland), Scottish Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland), Welsh (about 20% of the population of Wales), Irish (about 10% of the population of Northern Ireland), Cornish (some 2,000 to 3,000 in Cornwall) (2012)
United States English 82.1%, Spanish 10.7%, other Indo-European 3.8%, Asian and Pacific island 2.7%, other 0.7% (2000 census)
note: the US has no official national language, but English has acquired official status in 28 of the 50 states; Hawaiian is an official language in the state of Hawaii
Uruguay Spanish (official), Portunol, Brazilero (Portuguese-Spanish mix on the Brazilian frontier)
Uzbekistan Uzbek (official) 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%
Vanuatu local languages (more than 100) 63.2%, Bislama (official; creole) 33.7%, English (official) 2%, French (official) 0.6%, other 0.5% (2009 est.)
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 74.7%, Spanish or Spanish Creole 16.8%, French or French Creole 6.6%, other 1.9% (2000 census)
Wallis and Futuna Wallisian (indigenous Polynesian language) 58.9%, Futunian 30.1%, French (official) 10.8%, other 0.2% (2003 census)
West Bank Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by Israeli settlers and many Palestinians), English (widely understood)
Western Sahara Standard Arabic (national), Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic
World Mandarin Chinese 12.44%, Spanish 4.85%, English 4.83%, Arabic 3.25%, Hindi 2.68%, Bengali 2.66%, Portuguese 2.62%, Russian 2.12%, Japanese 1.8%, Standard German 1.33%, Javanese 1.25% (2009 est.)
note 1: percents are for "first language" speakers only; the six UN languages - Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Russian, and Spanish (Castilian) - are the mother tongue or second language of about half of the world's population, and are the official languages in more than half the states in the world; some 150 to 200 languages have more than a million speakers
note 2: all told, there are an estimated 7,100 languages spoken in the world; aproximately 80% of these languages are spoken by less than 100,000 people; about 50 languages are spoken by only 1 person; communities that are isolated from each other in mountainous regions often develop multiple languages; Papua New Guinea, for example, boasts about 836 separate languages
note 3: approximately 2,300 languages are spoken in Asia, 2,150, in Africa, 1,311 in the Pacific, 1,060 in the Americas, and 280 in Europe
Yemen Arabic (official)
Zambia Bembe 33.4%, Nyanja 14.7%, Tonga 11.4%, Chewa 4.5%, Lozi 5.5%, Nsenga 2.9%, Tumbuka 2.5%, Lunda (North Western) 1.9%, Kaonde 1.8%, Lala 1.8%, Lamba 1.8%, English (official) 1.7%, Luvale 1.5%, Mambwe 1.3%, Namwanga 1.2%, Lenje 1.1%, Bisa 1%, other 9.4%, unspecified 0.4%
note: Zambia is said to have over 70 languages, although man of these may be considered dialects; all of Zambia's major languages are members of the Bantu family (2010 est.)
Zimbabwe English (official), Shona, Sindebele (the language of the Ndebele, sometimes called Ndebele), numerous but minor tribal dialects
Back to Top
 
GO TOP