Home Earth Continents Countries Countries by Languages

Cities and Capitals around the World

Countries and Languages

Talking Heads exchange ideas © 2016
Talking Heads.
Images: kk

In which countries of the world is this language spoken?

Chinese Speaking Countries English Speaking Countries Spanish Speaking Countries French Speaking Countries Portuguese Speaking Countries Arabic Speaking Countries German Speaking Countries

What language is spoken in this country?

Run! Babylonian confusion in a global world
Babylonian confusion in a global world.
Image: kk
Q: In which countries of the world is Spanish the official language?
A: Spanish is the official language in 21 countries and a significant minority language in four more territories, including the United States.

Q: Arabic is spoken predominantly in how many countries?
A: Arabic is an official language in 22 sovereign states.

Q: How many French-speaking countries are there?
A: French is the official language in 29 countries and in all French overseas regions and departments.

Q: Is there a list of countries where English is spoken.
A: On this page is a list of English-speaking nations and territories (see below).

Q: In which countries is Portuguese spoken?
A: There are ten countries where Portuguese is the official language.

Q: What is the most widely spoken language in the world?
A: Mandarin Chinese is the language with the most native speakers, followed by English.

Below is a list of countries by mega languages or world languages, the most spoken languages in the world.



Chinese Speaking Countries and Territories

Flag of China
Chinese-speaking Countries in Asia

List of countries where Chinese is spoken or where Chinese is a widely spoken language.
China Hong Kong Macau
Tibet (Tibet Autonomous Region within PR China) Singapore Taiwan (Republic of China)
Countries with a significant number of Chinese speaking population (more than 5 million)
Indonesia (Java and Bali) Peninsular Malaysia Thailand

Chinese Guānhuà (Mandarin)
The Chinese word for Mandarin (Pǔtōnghuà) in Chinese characters (hanzi).

Standard Chinese or Modern Standard Mandarin is the official language of China. Taiwanese Mandarin is the official language in Taiwan, and it is generally mutually intelligible with Standard Chinese.

Cantonese and Mandarin are two varieties of the Chinese language. They share the same script of non-alphabetic characters (logograms), but the spoken languages are not mutually intelligible.

Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect and spoken in most of Northern and Southwestern China.
Cantonese is a variety of Chinese originating from the city of Guangzhou (Canton) and spoken in the Pearl River Delta, Hong Kong, and Macau.


English Speaking Countries and Territories

Flag of the United Kingdom
English-speaking Countries

English is one of the West Germanic Indo-European languages, it is the language of England, although Norman French and Latin influenced its vocabulary.

List of countries and regions where English is the national, the primary language, or is spoken by a significant portion of the population. The majority of states where English is an official language are former colonies of the British Empire.

English Speaking Countries in Europe
United Kingdom England (see UK) Scotland
Wales Northern Ireland Ireland
Gibraltar Malta Cyprus
English Speaking Countries in Africa
English is an official language in several African countries. It is the primary or majority language only in
Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.
English is the official language; however, Setswana is the first language.
French is by far the most understood language (by more than 80%).
The Gambia
The main languages are Mandinka, Fula, and Wolof. English is the language of education and business.
English is the official language and lingua franca in Ghana. French is widely taught. Akan is the primary native language and most commonly spoken throughout the country. Ghana's government wants to make French the second official language of the country. [1]
Official languages are English and Swahili.
Basotho is the country's primary language.
English varieties serve as the lingua franca of Liberia.
The official language is English. The common language is Chichewa, spoken by more than half of the population.
English and French are common languages of Mauritius.
The most common language in Namibia is Oshiwambo. The most widely understood language and lingua franca is Afrikaans.
Nigeria is a multilingual country. Nigerian English and Nigerian pidgin are spoken by one-third of the Nigerian population as a second language.
The principal language of Rwanda is Kinyarwanda. Official languages are Kinyarwanda, English, French, and Swahili.
Saint Helena
On St. Helena, a variant of English is spoken.
French-based Seychellois Creole is the most-spoken language in the Seychelles archipelago.
Sierra Leone
Krio, an English-based creole language, is the lingua franca in Sierra Leone.
South Africa
Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, and English are the primary spoken languages in South Africa.
Swaziland (Eswatini)
SiSwati is the official language, along with English in Eswatini.
English, Luganda, and Swahili are the dominant languages in Uganda.
English is the official language; major national languages are Nyanja (Chewa) and Bemba.
Shona and Ndebele are the country's main languages. English is lingua franca used by the government and in business.
English Speaking Countries in the Americas and the Caribbean
English and French are the two official languages and are spoken by the majority. About 56 percent of Canadians speak English, and 21 percent use French in everyday life.
United States
American English is de facto the national language of the US. Spanish is spoken by 13.5% of the population.
The only country in South America, where English is the primary language.
Belize is the only country in Central America where English is one of the main languages (the others are Kriol and Spanish). 

English is the official language on the following Caribbean islands.

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Islands.
English Speaking Countries in Asia
Brunei Darussalam
The principal spoken language in the former British protectorate is Brunei Malay. English is widely spoken.
India is a society with a multitude of languages and dialects. English is after Hindi, the second-most spoken language in the country.
Pakistani English is widely used in education, trade, and the legal and judicial system.
Filipino (Tagalog) and English are the official languages of the country. Both languages are used in government, education, print, and broadcast media and in business.
Singapore has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. English and Mandarin are the predominant languages.
Sri Lanka
Sinhala and Tamil are the two official languages. English is widely used as a language of communication and education.

English is co-official or a recognized language also in Bahrain, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka.
English Speaking Countries in Australia and the Pacifics
There is no official language in Australia; the de facto national language is English. About 80% of the population speak English or Australian English.
American Samoa
Official languages are English and Samoan.
Cook Islands
Official languages in the self-governing island country are English and Cook Islands Māori.
Official languages of the island state are Fijian, English, and Fiji-Hindi.
The official and common language is English spoken by about 40 percent.
Although English is one of the two official languages, the commonly spoken language is Gilbertese. (96%).
Marshall Islands
The official languages are English and Marshallese (Ebon). Both languages are widely spoken.
Micronesia (Fed. States of)
Official language and language of communication is English.
About 95 percent of the population speak Nauruan at home. English is widely spoken and is the language of government and commerce.
New Zealand
English is the predominant language in New Zealand, spoken by about 95 percent of the population.
Official languages on the coral island are English and Niuean.
Northern Mariana Islands
Chamorro, Carolinian, and English are the official languages on the islands. Philippine languages are spoken by about 33%.
Palauan is one of the two official languages of the island state besides English.
Pitkern is a language based on an 18th-century mix of English and Tahitian; it is the language spoken on the Pitcairn Islands.
Samoan, a Polynesian language, is the official language on Samoa and American Samoa, alongside English.
Solomon Islands
The official language of the archipelago is English. Pijin, a Creole language, which is based on English, is the common language of communication (lingua franca).
Tongan (Lea Faka-Tonga) is the official language of Tonga besides English.
Spoken languages in Tuvalu are Tuvaluan (official), English (official), Samoan, and Kiribati.
In the archipelago of Vanuatu, Bislama, English, and some French are spoken; they are all official languages.
In more than 60 countries is English de jure and de facto official language.

English is the primary language* in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia (Australian English), the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize (Belizean Kriol), British Indian Ocean Territory, the British Virgin Islands, Canada (Canadian English), the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guernsey (Channel Island English), Guyana, Ireland (Hiberno-English), Isle of Man (Manx English), Jamaica (Jamaican English), Jersey, Montserrat, Nauru, New Zealand (New Zealand English), Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the United Kingdom, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the United States.


Spanish Speaking Countries and Territories

Flag of Spain
List of Spanish Speaking Countries

Spanish (español) is a Romance language, recognized in the Spanish constitution as Castilian (Castellano). It is the official language of Spain and the official language (either by law or de facto) in 19 other sovereign states and one dependent territory (Puerto Rico).

List of countries in which Spanish has full legal or official status or in which Spanish is widely spoken.
Spanish Speaking Countries in Europe
Spain is a multilingual country with five official languages; besides Spanish, there is Catalan, Galician, Basque, and Occitan. The dominant language in the country is Spanish (Castellano).
The main languages spoken in Andorra are Catalan (38.8%), Spanish (35.4%), and Portuguese (15%).
English is the official language of the British overseas territory on the Iberian Peninsula. Most locals are bilingual and also speak Spanish.
Spanish Speaking Countries in Africa
Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea is the only country in Africa with a Spanish speaking majority (68%).
Standard Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, and Tamazight (Berber) are the national languages. Many Moroccans also speak Spanish, especially in the northern regions around Tetouan and Tangier and parts of the south, due to historical ties and business interactions with Spain.
Spanish Speaking Countries in Asia
For more than 370 years, the Philippines was a colony of Spain. Spanish rule ended in 1898; until then, Spanish was the lingua franca of the country. Spanish remained an official language of government until 1973.
Spanish Speaking Countries in the Americas and the Caribbean
Argentina has no official language, but the principal (national) language is Spanish (in a number of variants).
Spanish 68%, Quechua 18%, and Aymara 11% are Bolivia's main languages.
The Chilean variant of Spanish is the primary language; indigenous languages are minority languages in the country.
In Colombia, they speak Spanish and 60+ Amerindian languages.
Costa Rica
Besides Spanish, several local indigenous languages are in use.
The vast majority of Cubans speak Spanish.
Dominican Republic
98% of the population of the Dominican Republic speaks Spanish.
Spanish is the most commonly spoken language in Ecuador.
El Salvador
Spanish is the official language of El Salvador.
In multilingual Guatemala, where Spanish is the official language, several Mayan dialects are also spoken.
The official language is Spanish; several indigenous languages are used by minorities.
The vast majority of the population speaks Spanish. The Mexican government recognizes hundreds of indigenous languages.
The official language of Nicaragua is Spanish spoken by 90% of the country's population.
More than 90% of Panama's population speak Spanish as their first language.
Paraguay is a bilingual country. Both Spanish and Guaraní are official languages.
The official languages of Peru are Spanish, Quechua, and other indigenous languages.
Puerto Rico
Spanish and English have official status, with Spanish being the main language.
United States
An estimated 41 million US residents, or 13.5% of the population, speak Spanish at home. [2]
Spanish is the national language; regional languages are Rioplatense Spanish, and Uruguayan Portuguese.
The primary language is Spanish; more than 20 regional indigenous dialects are also spoken.
Spanish is the official or national language** in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela.


French Speaking Countries and Territories

Flag of FranceList of French Speaking Countries

French is a Romance language and the primary language for over 250 million people and is widely used as a second language. In many countries, the use of the French language dates back to the colonial period.

Francophone countries of the world. A list of countries where French is native language, or French is regularly used.
French Speaking Countries in Europe
According to Article 2 of the French Constitution, French is the official and national language in France.
Wallonia, the southern portion of the country, is primarily French-speaking.
There are three official languages in Luxembourg: German, French, and Luxembourgish.
The official language of Monaco is French.
About 23% of the country's population speaks French, especially in the western part of Switzerland.
French Speaking Countries in Africa
The official languages in Algeria are Modern Standard Arabic and Berber. French is widely used in government, the media, and in education.
French is the official language; Fon, Yom, and Yoruba are the national languages.
Burkina Faso
The multilingual country is home to an estimated 70 languages. French is the official language used by the government, the civil service, and the press.
Kirundi and French are the official languages of Burundi.
The country is home to a Babylonian amount of languages. At least 250 languages are in use. The official languages are French and English. For years there has been a conflict between the minority English-speaking and majority French-speaking regions. Hundreds of people have been killed in the Anglophone regions of the country. [3]
Central African Republic
French and Sangho are the official languages of the Central African Republic. About one-third of the population can speak French.
French and Modern Standard Arabic are both national languages in Chad, along with over 120 indigenous languages.
The Comoros constitution states that Comorian (Shikomoro), French, and Arabic are the official languages of Comoros.
The most widely spoken language in the country is Comorian.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The official language is French, while the national languages are Kituba, Lingala, Luba-Kasai, and Swahili.
Congo, Republic of the
The national languages of the Republic of the Congo are Kituba, and Lingala, while French is the official language.
Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
The official language is French, which serves as the lingua franca between the nation's 78 indigenous languages.
The official languages of this tiny country on the Bab al-Mandab Strait are Arabic and French. Somali and Afar are the national languages.
Equatorial Guinea
Spanish, French, and Portuguese are the official languages. Annobonese Creole (Fa d'Ambu), Pidgin English, and Fang are standard languages.
Gabon's official language is French spoken by 80% of the population. National languages are Fang (32%), and other Bantu languages.
Guinea is home to 40+ indigenous languages. National languages are Fula (or Pular), Mandinka, Susu, Kissi, Kpelle, and Loma.
Official language on the island is Malagasy; French is the language of the elite.
Like many African nations, Mali is a multilingual country. The official language is French, Bambara is the lingua franca, the national language, and the most widely spoken language.
English and French are de facto official languages. However, the most widely spoken language is the French-based Mauritian Creole.
There are two official languages in Morocco, Standard Arabic and Tamazight (Berber). French is the language of business, culture, and education in the country.
The country has not less than eleven national languages. French is the official language spoken by about 11% of the population. Hausa and Zarma are the most widely spoken languages in the West African country.
French and French-based Réunion Creole are the most commonly spoken languages on the island of Réunion.
Kinyarwanda is the national language of Rwanda. About 6% of the population speaks French.
In 2008, the government changed the medium of education from French to English.
French is the official language of the multilingual country. The national language and lingua franca is Wolof. Other national languages spoken in Senegal are Jola-Fonyi, Mandinka, and Serer.
The French-based Seychellois Creole (Seselwa Creole) is the common language in the Seychelles. French and English are official languages, although English is more commonly used.
French is the official and most used language in Togo. Éwé and Kabiyé are indigenous national languages.
The official language is Arabic; Tunisian Arabic is Tunisia's everyday language. French is widely used in education, in the media, and business.
French Speaking Countries in the Americas and the Caribbean
Canada is de facto a bilingual country, English (56%) and French (21%) are the official languages, and both have equal legal status.
The third official language is Inuktitut in the Canadian territory of Nunavut.
French Guiana
French is the official language and national language. Guianese Creole (Créole Guyanais), a French-based creole language, is the people's language.
Guadeloupe is an overseas region of France in the Caribbean. The official language is French. French-based Guadeloupean Creole is widely used within the community.
Haiti knows two official languages, French and Haitian Creole. About 42% of Haitians speak French; it is the language of the government, the media, and in education.
French is the official language in the overseas département of France. The common language is the French-based Martinican Creole, a creole language with some elements of English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
French Speaking Countries in Oceania
French Polynesia
The dominant language is French; about 20% of the population speak most Tahitian at home.
New Caledonia
French is the official language of the island group. The archipelago knows about 30 indigenous languages; the most widely spoken Melanesian-Polynesian dialects are Drehu, Nengone, and Paicî.
Bislama is the language of choice and lingua franca on the archipelago with more than 100 indigenous languages.

French is the official language** in Belgium, Benin, Burkina, Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central, African, Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte, d'Ivoire, Democratic, Republic, of, the, Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial, Guinea, France, Guinea, Haiti, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Republic, of, the, Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo, and Vanuatu.

Arabic Speaking Countries and Territories

Flag of Saudi ArabiaList of Arabic Speaking Countries

Arabic is a Semitic language spoken by the Arabs. Arabic and its various dialects are spoken by more than 400 million people, mainly in the Middle East and North Africa.

List of countries where Arabic is the primary language or where Arabic is more widely spoken.

Arabic Speaking Countries in Africa
Algeria Chad Comoros
Djibouti Egypt Libya
Mauritania Morocco South Sudan
Sudan Tunisia
Arabic Speaking Countries in Asia (Middle East)
Bahrain Iraq Israel
Jordan Kuwait Lebanon
Oman Palestinian territories Qatar
Saudi Arabia Syria United Arab Emirates

Arabic is the official language in 22 countries**
Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Semi-autonomous regions where Arabic is an official language
Palestine, Somaliland, Western Sahara (Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic), and Zanzibar (Tanzania).

Arabic has the status of a national language in Eritrea, and in the African countries of Mali, Niger, and Senegal, where Islam is the dominant religion.

Arabic is a minority language in Cyprus, Iran, and Turkey.

Portuguese Speaking Countries and Territories

Flag of PortugalList of Portuguese Speaking Countries

Portuguese is a Romance language spoken in Portugal and Brazil and to varying degrees in eight other countries or territories.

List of countries where Portuguese is the official language or where Portuguese is regularly used by a large part of the population.

The official language of Portugal is Portuguese.
Portuguese is the official language of Angola and is spoken by about 70% of the population; it is the mother tongue of about 40% of Angolans.
Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking nation in the Americas; it is the country's official language, spoken by the vast majority.
Cape Verde
Portuguese is the official language in the archipelago, used by the government, in education, and the media.
Equatorial Guinea
The country became independent from Spain in 1968. Equatoguinean Spanish and French have been the official languages.
Portuguese was adopted as an official language in 2010. Fa d'Ambô, a Portuguese creole, is spoken in Annobón Province, and Malabo (the capital).
Portuguese is the official and most widely spoken language in Mozambique and is spoken by about half the population.
90% of the population speak Guinea-Bissau Creole (Kriol). Portuguese is spoken by about one-third of the people.
Portuguese shares equal status with Chinese in all official proceedings, but it is spoken only by a minority as a native language.
São Tomé and Principe
Portuguese is spoken by the vast majority of the population in the island state in the Gulf of Guinea.
Timor-Leste (East Timor)
East Timor's official languages are Portuguese and Tetum, an Austronesian language spoken on the island of Timor.
Portuguese is the official language in nine countries**

Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde, and São Tomé and Príncipe.

German Speaking Countries and Territories

Flag of GermanyList of German Speaking Countries

German is a West Germanic language used in Germany, Austria, parts of Switzerland, and South Tyrol in Italy.

List of countries in which German is the official language or in which German is spoken by part of the country's population.

Modern Standard German is the official language of Germany. Germany knows a number of German dialects. Depending on the region, the local dialect is spoken in daily life.
In Austria they speak a number of German-Bavarian dialects.
About 62% of the population speaks Swiss German, an Alemannic variant of Standard German.
German is the official language. Alemannic, a German dialect is mainly spoken in the principality.
German is a co-official language in the kingdom, but spoken by less than 1% of the population.
In the multilingual Grand Duchy, German-based Luxembourgish is the national language. German is co-official and still in use as an administrative and judicial language and in print media.

German is an official or co-official language in six countries.

* Primary language, also called the first language (or mother tongue, native language, or L1) is the first language a human being learns.

** Official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or territory. An official language is also (one of) the working language in international organizations like the United Nations or the European Union.
Bookmark/share this page
  Instagram button