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Most Widely Spoken Languages

___ Official and Spoken Languages of Australia and the Pacifics.

List of official, national and spoken languages of the Pacifics.

Melanesian Pidgin, Hawaiian, Polynesian languages, Tahitian, Maori, are all languages spoken throughout island nations in the South Pacific Ocean. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages of Australia are endangered, Australia is the continent where languages are disappearing the fastest.

There are two major language groups in the Pacific islands, Papuan with about 750 languages, spoken on some of the East Indonesian islands, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. Papuan languages are considered to be quite ancient between 20- and 50,000 years.

Austronesian with about 1000 languages, spoken throughout Maritime Southeast Asia and the islands of the Pacific Ocean, are considered much younger, with their origins in Taiwan and the south coast of mainland China, about 6,000 years ago. Austronesian languages are spoken by the indigenous population of Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore - and Madagascar, Malagasy is an Austronesian language and the national language of the island.

Countries of the Pacifics


Official and national Languages

Other spoken Languages
American Samoa English Samoan (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), note: most people are bilingual
Australia (no official language) Australian English (80% of the population) Mandarin, Italian,
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, many of those languages are considered to be ‘endangered’.
Cook Islands English Maori
Fiji EnglishFijian, Hindustani
French Polynesia French Tahitian
Guam EnglishChamorro, Japanese
Kiribati English I-Kiribati
Marshall Islands English, Marshallese, (two major Marshallese dialects from the Malayo-Polynesian family) Japanese
Micronesia (Federated States of) English Trukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosrean, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi
Nauru Nauruan (a distinct Pacific Island language), English English is widely understood, spoken, and used for most government and commercial purposes.
New Caledonia French 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects.
New Zealand English, Maori 
Niue English Niuean (a Polynesian language closely related to Tongan and Samoan).
Northern Mariana Islands English Chamorro, Carolinian; note: 86% of population speaks a language other than English at home.
Palau English and Palauan official in all states except Sonsoral (Sonsoralese and English are official), Tobi (Tobi and English are official), and Angaur (Angaur, Japanese, and English are official)
Papua New Guinea Hiri Motu (in Papua region), Tok Pisin, English (spoken by 1%-2%)Melanesian Pidgin serves as the lingua franca, 823! living indigenous languages.
Pitcairn English Pitcairnese (mixture of an 18th century English dialect and a Tahitian dialect)
SamoaSamoan (Polynesian), English 
Solomon Islands English is official but spoken by only 1%-2% of the population Melanesian pidgin is lingua franca in much of the country; note: 120 indigenous languages
Tonga Tongan, English  
Tuvalu English Tuvaluan, Samoan, I-Kiribati (on the island of Nui)
Vanuatu English, French, Bislama (Bichelama) plus more than 100 local languages.

Sources: Ethnologue, ISO Country Names (ISO 3166-1), ISO Languages Names (ISO 639-1), CIA World Factbook and others.

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