List of multilingual countries and regions
This is an incomplete list of areas with either multilingualism at the community level or at the personal level.
There is a distinction between social and personal bilingualism. Many countries, such as Belgium, India, South Africa and Switzerland which are officially multilingual, may have many monolinguals in their population. Officially monolingual countries, on the other hand, such as France, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Australia can have sizable multilingual populations. And some countries have official languages but have regional and local official languages, notably the UK, Russia, China and Mexico.
- Cameroon : English & French (official) + Cameroonian Pidgin, Basaa, Duala, Bikya, Bung, Fula, Kanuri, Ngumba, Yeni, Bamum, Bakweri language and fluency in the German, Portuguese and Spanish languages.
- Central African Republic : French (official) + Sango and 50 other tribal languages.
- Chad : Arabic & French (official) + more than 100 tribal languages.
- Democratic Republic of the Congo : French (official), + Lingala, Kongo, Swahili & Tshiluba (national languages) + 238 other languages.
- Equatorial Guinea : Spanish + Portuguese + French
- Republic of the Congo : French (official) + Lingala & Kituba national languages + other dialects, including Kikongo and Kituba (Kikongo creole).
- Burundi : French & Kirundi (official) + Swahili.
- Kenya : English & Swahili (official) + other indigenous languages.
- Rwanda : English, French & Kinyarwanda (official languages).
- Seychelles : English, French & Seychellois Creole (official languages)
- Tanzania : Swahili (national) + English, Gujarati, Arabic & Portuguese.
- Uganda : English (official) + Arabic, Luganda, Swahili + other Bantu languages & other Nilo-Saharan languages.
Horn of Africa
- Djibouti : Arabic & French (official) + Somali & Afar.
- Eritrea : no official language with two dominant language families: Semitic (Arabic, Tigrinya, Tigre and Dahlik) and Cushitic (Afar, Beja, Blin & Saho) + Kunama & Nara + English, Amharic & Italian from the colonial era.
- Ethiopia: Amharic (official) and 100 other tribal languages.
- Somalia : Somali & Arabic (official).
- Algeria: Arabic (official) + Tamazight languages (a national language) + French (in general decline), from the French era.
- Egypt: Arabic (official) + Egyptian Arabic, English & French.
- Libya: Arabic (official) + Tamazight, Tamahaq + Italian & English.
- Mauritania: Arabic (de facto) + Hassaniya & French.
- Morocco: Arabic + French + Spanish, Amazigh & Moroccan Arabic.
- Sudan: Arabic & English + indigenous languages.
- Tunisia: Modern Standard Arabic (official) + Tunisian Arabic, French & several Tamazight languages.
- Botswana : English (official) + Tswana (national).
- Comores : Arabic, Comorian, French, Indian languages and Chinese languages.
- Lesotho : English + Sotho.
- Madagascar : French + Malagasy.
- Malawi : Chewa (national) + English (official).
- Mauritius : English (official) + French (administrative), Mauritian Creole (lingua franca), Bhojpuri ("Hindi"), Hakka, Tamil, Urdu, Marathi and Arabic.
- Namibia : English (official) + Ovambo (half of the population), Afrikaans & German (former official languages), Portuguese (Angolan immigrants, both of African & European-descent)
- South Africa : Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Tswana, Swati, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu and immigrant languages from Asia, Africa and Europe.
- Swaziland : English + Swati.
- Zimbabwe : English (official), Shona, Ndebele and Afrikaans.
- Benin: French (official) + many indigenous languages including Fon & Songhay.
- Burkina Faso: French (official) + indigenous Sudanic languages.
- Cape Verde: Portuguese + Cape Verdean Creole.
- Côte d'Ivoire: French (official) + 60 indigenous dialects.
- Gambia: English (official) + Mandinka, Wolof, Fula & others.
- Ghana: English (official) + Akan, Dagaare/Wale, Dagbane, Dangme, Ewe, Ga, Gonja, Kasem & Nzema + 70 others.
- Guinea: French (official) + Arabic, Fula & Susu.
- Guinea-Bissau: Portuguese (official) + Kriol + indigenous languages.
- Liberia: English (official) + 20 ethnic group languages.
- Nigeria: English (official), Hausa, Ibo, and 100 ethnic/tribal languages.
- Togo : French (official) + Ewe, Mina & le Kabiyé.
- Argentina has several ethnic communities of European (esp. the Welsh language in Patagonia), Asian and indigenous origins (the Andean and northeast regions), whom speak their own languages, but Spanish is the sole official language of the country.
- Belize: English, Spanish and Mayan languages have some official usage, although the legacy of British rule emphasized English to be most commonly used.
- Bolivia is officially multilingual, supporting Spanish and 36 native languages.
- Brazil, Portuguese (official) and upwards to 100 languages spoken mainly in the urban areas (European and Asian) and indigenous languages in the Amazon.
- Canada is officially bilingual under the Official Languages Act and the Constitution of Canada that require the federal government to deliver services in both official languages. As well, minority language rights are guaranteed where numbers warrant. 59.3% of the population speak English as their first language while 22.9% are native speakers of French. The remaining population belong to some of Canada's many immigrant populations or to the indigenous population. See Bilingualism in Canada
- The Canadian province of New Brunswick, with a large Acadian population (33% French-speaking).
- The Canadian province of Quebec, (7.9% English-speaking) Note: Although there is a relatively sizable English-speaking population in Quebec, French is the only official language. At the same time, most government services are available in English and French.
- There are also significant French language minorities in the provinces of Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Prince Edward Island. Though these provinces are not officially bilingual they do provide a number of services in French.
- Nunavut is a Canadian territory with a population that is 85% Inuit. Its official languages are the Inuit dialects of Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun as well as English and French.
- In many of Canada's First Nations' communities in the more isolated regions, aboriginal languages are retained. English and French are accepted in the community at the community elders' discretion.
- In the 2006 Canadian census, information and questions are available in sixty-two languages, including eighteen First Nations languages.
- Chile declared Spanish the official language. The Chilean constitution in 2006 ratified to permit the official usage of four indigenous languages: Aimara, Mapudungan, Quechua and Rapa Nui (Easter Island in Polynesia) in certain regions and communities. In the southern portion, there is a sizable but bilingual German-speaking population.
- Colombia Spanish (official), but Andean indigenous languages can be found and Afro-Caribbean languages with the Choco region on the Pacific coast.
- Ecuador defines Spanish as its official language, but Spanish, Quechua and Shuar — as official languages of intercultural relations in the Article 2 of the 2008 Constitution.
- In Guatemala, the official language is Spanish, however, there are 23 distinct Mayan languages. Not all Guatemalans speak Spanish, while some may do so only as a second or third language.
- Guyana, English (official), Hindi languages, Chinese languages, indigenous languages and a small Portuguese-speaking community.
- Honduras: Spanish is the official language, despite Afro-Caribbean English and indigenous languages can be found in the rural outskirts of the country.
- In Mexico, the government recognizes 62 indigenous languages, including Nahuatl spoken by more than 1.5 million people and Aquacatec spoken by 27 people, along with Spanish. There is no official language at the federal level, although Spanish is the de facto state language.
- In Nicaragua, even while Spanish is the official language spoken broadwide (almost 95%, according to some sources), there are other de facto languages such as Creole, Miskitu, Rama language and Mayangna (Sumu) in their own linguistic communities.
- In the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, where Dutch is the official language, but most inhabitants of Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire are multilingual and speak Papiamento, Dutch and sometimes English and Spanish. Most inhabitants are fluent in all four.
- Paraguay, 48% of its population is bilingual in Guaraní and Spanish (both official languages of the Republic), of whom 37% speak only Guaraní and 8% only Spanish but the latter increases with the use of Jopará. There is a large Mennonite German colony in the Gran Chaco province as well.
- Peru's official languages are Spanish and, in the zones where they are predominant, Quechua, Aymara, and other aboriginal languages.
- Puerto Rico's official languages and Spanish and English, yet 85 percent of its inhabitants reported that they did not speak English "very well."
- In Suriname, Dutch, Sranan, and English are spoken by almost everyone. In addition, various Chinese and Indian languages are spoken.
- In the United States, at the federal level, there is no official language, although there have been efforts to make English the official language.
- The US state of Louisiana is unofficially bilingual (de facto) in English and French.
- The US state of Hawaii is officially bilingual in English and Hawaiian.
- Three US territories are also bilingual: American Samoa (Samoan and English), Guam (English and Chamorro), and Puerto Rico (Spanish and English). One US territory is trilingual: Northern Marianas Islands (English, Chamorro, and Carolinian).
- In US, states with a large Hispanic immigrant population such as California, Texas, and Florida will often provide government services at the municipal level in Spanish as well as English. For example in Florida, Hialeah recognizes both English and Spanish while Miami recognizes English, Haitian Creole, and Spanish as official government languages.
- Some Indian Reservations in the US have began to use indigenous languages of their tribal nations, but the official language of all the reservations is English.
- Uruguay has a large Italian-speaking minority although are proficient in Spanish and their border with Brazil has a mixed Portuguese-speaking presence.
- Venezuela has declared Spanish the official language, while there are some European and Arabic languages spoken in urban areas, Afro-Caribbean dialects in the Caribbean and indigenous languages spoken in the Guayana department.
- In Afghanistan Pashto and Dari (Afghan Persian/Farsi) are the official languages of Afghanistan. Other minor languages include Uzbek and Turkmen, Balochi and Pashayi, Nuristani (Ashkunu, Kamkata-viri, Vasi-vari, Tregami and Kalasha-ala), Pamiri (Shughni, Munji, Ishkashimi and Wakhi), Brahui, Hindko, Kyrgyz.
- Cambodia: Khmer is the official language, but French is spoken by a minority and sometimes used in government and education.
- Philippines: Filipino and English are official languages. Some people in native Tagalog areas are bilingual, while in non-Tagalophone areas it is common to be multilingual in Filipino, English, and in one or more of the regional language/s, or as in other cases in languages such as Spanish, Min Nan (Hokkien), and Arabic due to factors such as ancestry and religion. Eleven regional languages are recognised by the government as auxiliary official languages in their respective regions, while 90+ other languages and dialects are spoken by various groups.
- In Iraq, Arabic is the official language of the state, Kurdish is the official language of the north where 4 million native speakers live. Other languages also exist among Christian communities north of and around Baghdad, such as Aramaic.
- In Lebanon, Arabic is the official and national language, French and English are spoken alongside Arabic as foreign languages. Many young Lebanese are fluent in English, whereas the older Lebanese are more fluent in French. Armenian is also a language mainly used in the Armenian community.
- In China, Standard Mandarin (Putonghua) is the official language and is spoken in all regions. It is used for official and formal purposes, by the media and in education as the language of instruction. However in every locality and region, local dialects of spoken variants of Chinese are spoken in daily life. These dialects range from being quite similar to Putonghua, such as Tianjin dialect, to varieties that are mutually unintelligible with Putonghua such as Shanghai dialect (Wu) or Guangzhou dialect (Cantonese). In the autonomous regions, minority languages are used (such as Tibetan in Tibet or Mongolian in Inner Mongolia).
- In Hong Kong, English and Chinese are official languages. All road signs are written in both languages. English is the dominant language in the judiciary and in higher education. Hong Kong Cantonese is the first language of the majority of the population, and is the dominant language in many aspects of everyday life. While Cantonese is the widely spoken form of the Chinese language in Hong Kong, Standard Mandarin is also taught in schools. The degrees of proficiency in English and Mandarin vary from person to person.
- Laos: Lao is the official language, but French is spoken by a significant number of the population and used in the government.
- In Macau, both Chinese and Portuguese are official languages. While Cantonese is the dominant Chinese language, Standard Mandarin (Putonghua) is also spoken. Chinese is taught in all schools, while Portuguese is mainly taught in government schools. In addition, English is also taught in many schools.
- India. Puducherry. For more information, see Languages of India.
- Pakistan. There are two official languages (English and Urdu) and many regional languages and dialects (the latter are often unintelligible from other dialects of the "same language"). As in India, most Pakistanis are trilingual, being fluent in both English and Urdu as well as their own regional language.
- In the South-western Iranian province of Khuzestan, most people speak native Khuzestani Persian, Khuzestani Arabic and Standard Persian, sometimes in addition to their own community languages such as Lur, Qashqa'i, Domari or Mandaic where applicable.
- Many people in Indonesia are bilingual at an early age. They speak a local native language with their families whereas the official Indonesian language is used to communicate with people from other regions and is taught in schools as a compulsory subject. Indonesia has 746 native languages.
- In Israel, Hebrew and Arabic both have official status. The Jewish population largely speaks Hebrew, though many Jewish immigrants to Israel (especially from Europe) have a different mother tongue, such as Arabic, Amharic, Yiddish, Ladino, Russian, Romanian, Polish, Ukrainian, English, or French and many Jewish immigrants from Latin America speak Spanish and Portuguese. The Arab population of Israel speaks Arabic, which is also the language of instruction in Arab Israeli schools. Functionally, almost all Arabs in Israel also speak Hebrew. English is widely spoken and understood as a second language by both Jews and Arabs. Officially, road signs must be in Hebrew, Arabic, and a romanized Hebrew transliteration.
- In Malaysia, nearly all people have a working knowledge of Malay and English. Malay, the official language of the country, and English are compulsory subjects taught in all public schools, and English is the language of instruction for Science and Maths. Chinese (Mandarin) and Tamil are spoken by the Chinese and Indian communities respectively, and are the languages of instruction in Chinese and Tamil primary schools respectively. Among the Chinese community, apart from Mandarin, several Chinese dialects especially Hokkien, Cantonese and Teochew are spoken by the respective communities. The indigenous peoples of Sabah and Sarawak speak their ancestral languages (Dayak, Iban etc.). However, it is not uncommon for the locals to be fluent in several of the above languages.
- Singapore: English, Mandarin Chinese, Malay and Tamil are all official languages. While Malay is the national language, English is the main language used in Singapore. As English links the different races, a group with diverse races communicate using English. Most of the population can speak, read and write in English. In addition to English, many Singaporeans can speak their respective ethnic language fairly well, as it is a compulsory subject in school. In Chinese communities, the older generation usually speak their own dialects besides Mandarin and/or English. Learning another language is becoming popular in many schools and Japanese, French or German are usually the choices.
- Sri Lanka. Sinhala and Tamil are official languages.
- Taiwan: Mandarin Chinese is the "official" language, but Taiwanese is commonly used in most people (especially adults and elders). In the Hakka community, some people are trilingual in Hakka, Mandarin and Taiwanese. Some 10 Aboriginal languages are also spoken in the mountain and eastern portion of the island.
- Tajikistan: Tajik and Russian are widely spoken.
- Kazakhstan: Kazakh and Russian both have official status—Kazakh as the "state" language and Russian as the "official" language of commerce.
- Kyrgyzstan: Kyrgyz and Russian both have official status.
- In Uzbekistan, Uzbek, Tajik, and Russian are all widely spoken.
- Vietnam: Vietnamese is the official language, and English is the most commonly used and studied second language, especially in education, international relations, and the media. In addition, French is spoken by a small minority of people and elders as it used to be the most common second language.
- Austria has one official language, German. However it also has Croatian, Hungarian and Slovenian minorities, all of whose languages are protected under federal laws.
- Belgium has three official languages: Dutch (59%) in the North, French (31%) in the South and a small minority speaks German. Its bilingual capital, Brussels (10%), is mainly French with Dutch as minority. These languages have the status of 'official language' only in specified language areas as defined by the constitution. In Flanders, 59% and 53% of the Flemings know French or English respectively; in Wallonia, only 19% and 17% know Dutch or English. In each region, Belgium's third official language, German, is notably less known than Dutch, French or English. Wallonia recognises all of its vernacular dialect groups as regional languages, Flanders does not.
- In the Czech Republic, several municipalities of Zaolzie area have official bilingualism (Czech and Polish). Bilingual signs are permitted if a minority constitutes at least a 10% of the population of the municipality.
- Estonia has one official language, Estonian, but there is also a sizeable Russian-speaking community (around 30% in 2000) who speak Russian. Russian and other minority languages can theoretically be used in communication with local government and state institutions within the borders of certain constituencies where most permanent residents belong to a respective national minority (Article 51 of the Constitution). In reality this provision has never been applied due to the fact that only citizens of Estonia are legally counted as national minorities and a significant part of ethnic Russians living in Estonia are either the citizens of Russian Federation or do not have any citizenship at all due to citizenship policy of independent Estonia after 1991 and are therefore deprived of the right to be identified as a national minority of Estonia. Many Estonians can speak Russian, but many Russians are not fluent in Estonian including those who are Estonian citizens, however fluency varies considerably between age groups.
- Finland has two "national languages", Finnish and Swedish, and the minority languages Sami (Northern Sami, Inari Sami and Skolt Sami), Romani and Finnish Sign Language are recognized by the constitution. Swedish is spoken by a minority, about 5.5% native speakers (Swedish-speaking Finns) concentrated along the coast and on the Åland Islands. Municipalities are bilingual if the Swedish or Finnish minority is at least 6–8 %. Åland is monolingually Swedish by law. Sami is official language (besides Finnish) in the municipalities of northern Finland.
- France has a strict monolingual policy for the French Republic to conduct government business only in French. There are, however, levels of fluency in regional languages: Alsatian, Basque, Breton, Catalan, Corsican, Flemish and Occitan/Provençal. The entire population of France is reportedly French dominant in language.
- Germany has German as its official national language. Low Saxon (“Low German”) is recognized as a regional language in eight North German states. Lower Sorbian is an official minority language in Brandenburg, Upper Sorbian in Saxony, Sater Frisian in a part of Lower Saxony, and North Frisian varieties and Danish in Schleswig-Holstein. A language without its own territory, Romany (including the language of the Sinte people) is an official minority language as well. Germany is home to large numbers of people from other regions, and some of their languages, such as Turkish, Russian, and Polish, are widely used throughout the country. However, those languages are considered foreign and thus are given no official status.
- Gibraltar is a British overseas territory whose sole official language is English. Given Gibraltar's size, most of the population is also fluent in Spanish due to its vicinity with Spain. Gibraltarians also use Llanito as their local vernacular.
- Hungary. The country has small enclaves and pockets of Croat(ian), German, Romanian, Rusyn or Ruthenian, Serb(ian), Slovak, Slovene and Ukrainian speakers.
- Ireland, where two languages have some form of official status. Irish (one of the Goidelic languages) is the first official language while English is the second. Approximately 1.7 million Irish citizens are either fluent or semi-fluent in Irish, where an estimated 42% of the population are competent Irish speakers. However, the English language is used as the main community language outside of designated Gaeltacht regions. Though people who completed their education through Gaelscoil are found to be using Irish as their main language, with its daily use by citizens increasing.
- Italy. The official language overall is Italian, while bilingualism is applied in some territories. In the province of South Tyrol German is co-official. In the Aosta Valley region French is co-official, as is Slovene in some municipalities of the provinces of Trieste and Gorizia. Ladin municipalities of South Tyrol are trilingual (Italian, Ladin, and German). Italian law n. 482/1999 enforce bilingualism also in Sardinia (with Sardu), Friuli (with Friulian), Western Alps in Piedmont (with Occitan) and other linguistic minorities.
- Kosovo[a] has two official languages, Albanian, and Serbian. Other languages such are Turkish, Bosnian, and Roma hold official status on a regional level.
- Latvia has one official language, Latvian, but also a sizeable Russian-speaking minority (37%) in 2000. Most Latvians can speak Russian.
- Lithuania has a small Polish speaking minority and a great amount of fluency in Russian.
- Luxembourg is a rare example of a truly trilingual society, in that it not only has three official languages, Luxembourgish, French and German, but has a trilingual education system. For the first four years, Luxembourgish is the medium of instruction, before giving way to German, which in turn gives way to French. (In addition, children learn English and another European language, usually Spanish or Italian.) Similarly in the country's parliament, debates are conducted in Luxembourgish, draft legislation is drafted in German, while the statute laws are in French.
- Malta has two official languages, Maltese and English. Italian is also spoken by a large percentage of the population.
- The Netherlands has two official languages, Dutch which is the primary language and Frisian which is recognized as a minority language and spoken by between 300,000 and 700,000 people. Frisian is mostly spoken in the province of Friesland (Fryslân) where it is the official first language, though a large majority of the population speaks Dutch most of the time. Low Saxon is recognized as a regional language in the northeastern provinces of the country, and Limburgish is an official regional language in Netherlands Limburg.
- Poland — 20 bilingual communes in Poland (mostly Polish-German) speak forms of the German language. Historic languages in the country like Prussian, Kashubian, Silesian and Yiddish of the Polish Jewish community has greatly declined to near extinction from the two World Wars.
- Portugal – although Portuguese is practically universal, the Mirandese language, a related Leonese language is spoken in Miranda do Douro, in northeastern Portugal, is officially recognized (see: Languages of Portugal), and there is some familiarity with the Spanish language in border towns with neighboring Spain.
- In Romania, the official language is Romanian but significant minority languages are recognized on the local level. The biggest ethnic minority is the Hungarian community of 1.4 million (6.6 %).
- ex-Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact countries: many people fluently speak Russian, especially in Slavic countries within the area of the former USSR (typically in Belarus and Ukraine), along with Moldova, which has a Slavic minority. However, few Polish, Slovak or Czech people speak Russian, despite huge expenditures in the past.
- Republics of Russia. The language of titular nation is also official in those republics (though usage of a titular language is often not widespread).
- Chuvash, Bashkir and Mari residents of Tatarstan also speak three languages: their own Chuvash language, Russian and Tatar.
- Among the Maris, widespread trilingualism has been reported (Mari-Russian-Tatar; Mari-Chuvash-Russian; Mari-Udmurt-Russian; even four languages used intermittently: Mari-Tatar-Udmurt-Russian in Mari-Turek areas)
- In the 1980s, almost all the Karelians were bilingual, speaking both Karelian and Russian (being Karelian-Finnish bilingual in Finland). Trilingualism Karelian-Finnish-Russian also occurred in the Karelian ASSR.
- Abkhazia. According to Georgian law, Georgian and Abkhazian are official languages; according to Abkhazian law — Abkhazian and Russian. The elder generation of Abkhazis spoke Georgian, Russian and Abkhazi.
- Republics of Russia. The language of titular nation is also official in those republics (though usage of a titular language is often not widespread).
- Slovakia has a Hungarian minority of 520,000 (9.7%). And some Polish and Rusyn/Ruthenian speakers.
- Slovenia. In the costal area (Koper, Izola and Piran) Italian is also an official language, in addition to Slovene. In the eastern part of Prekmurje, Hungarian is used as an official language next to Slovene. In the bilingual areas, all children are taught both languages.
- Spain, (see also: Languages of Spain) where several autonomous communities have their own official language, additional to Spanish, official all over Spain:
- Euskadi and Navarra: Basque, unrelated to any known world language.
- Galicia: Galician.
- Valencia and Balearic Islands: Catalan (officially called Valencian).
- Catalonia: Catalan and Aranese (Occitan).
- There are a number of languages which have official recognition of some kind but which are not fully official:
- Sweden, has Swedish as official language. Finnish, Meänkieli, Romani, Sami and Yiddish are recognized as minority languages. Meänkieli, a variant of Finnish, is spoken in Tornedalen and Haparanda in North Bothnia. Meänkieli, Finnish and Sami have a special status in the areas were speakers are significant minorities.
- Switzerland has four national languages; German, French, Italian and Romansh. The cantons Valais, Fribourg and Bern are bilingual (French and German), while canton Graubünden is trilingual (German, Romansh and Italian).
- In most countries of the Former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian are understood by all three groups (see Serbo-Croatian) - and smaller languages in the other republics of Slovenia (Slovenian), Macedonia (Macedonian) and (Montenegro) Montenegrin.
- In Carpathian Ruthenia, Ukraine, Slovaks living near Uzhgorod speak Ukrainian and Hungarian in addition to their mother tongue, Slovakian. In villages near Mukachevo Germans (Swabian dialect speakers) also speak Hungarian and Ukrainian.
- The United Kingdom has no official language de jure however the Home Nations vary:
- Ulster Scots, a variety of Scots, is spoken by some in Northern Ireland, but again English is far more commonly used and Ulster Scots is less actively used in media. Irish and Ulster Scots now both have official status in Northern Ireland as part of the 1998 Belfast Agreement.
- Scotland. 58,652 Gaelic speakers, mostly concentrated in the Highlands and the Hebrides, the traditional heartland of Gaelic culture. Also Scots with approximately 2 to 3 million speakers — a Germanic language closely related to English.
- Wales with 611,000 Welsh speakers, including the majority of the population in parts of north and west Wales.
- England, No official multi-lingualism, despite the presence of immigrant languages in urban centres and the Cornish language in Cornwall after two centuries of extinction was revived in the Cornwall region in the early 20th century.
- In New Zealand, a small percentage of the population has some reasonable degree of bilingualism with English and Māori, mostly among the Māori themselves; few are fully fluent in Māori. New Zealand Sign Language is also an official language. English is the main language with over 99% of the population speaking it fluently.
In many cities around the globe, a majority of the population frequently speaks two or more languages. There are also large cities with high numbers of immigrants such as Amsterdam, Netherlands; London; New York; Paris; Sydney; and Vancouver, where dozens of languages can be heard, but the majority of the population are monolingual.
There are many more cities of multi-lingual speakers where multilingualism a part of everyday life.
The following list is an example:
- Accra, Ghana — English, Akan, and Ga.
- Ahmedabad, India — English, Hindi, and Gujarati.
- Alghero, Italy — Italian and Catalan Algherese
- Andorra, Andorra — Catalan (official), Spanish (more spoken and co-official), Portuguese, French (co-official) and Occitan.
- Aosta, Italy — Italian, French and Franco-Provencal language.
- Baguio City, Philippines — English, Tagalog, Ilokano, Ifugao, and others.
- Baku, Azerbaijan — Azeri and Russian (not official).
- Bangalore, India — English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu
- Barcelona, Spain — Catalan and Spanish.
- Beirut, Lebanon — Arabic, French, English, Armenian.
- Berlin — German, but includes large ethnic communities known to speak their languages (i.e. Turkish).
- Biel, Switzerland — French and German.
- Bilbao, Spain — Spanish and Basque.
- Bilwi formerly known as Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua — Spanish and Miskitu.
- Bluefields, Nicaragua — Spanish, Creole, and Miskitu.
- Bolzano, Italy — German, Italian and Friulian-Rheatian.
- Brussels, Belgium — Dutch, French (both official) and English due to the EU and NATO headquarters.
- Buenos Aires — Spanish, but ethnic communities founded by immigrants brought Italian, German, French, Levantine Arabic and Serbo-Croatian among others.
- Cape Town, South Africa — English, Xhosa, Afrikaans and other African languages.
- Cardiff, — Welsh, English.
- Cebu, Philippines — Cebuano, English, Tagalog, Chinese, and others.
- Chennai, India — English, Tamil, Urdu and others.
- Tricity of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula, India — English, Hindi, Punjabi and fluency in French.
- Chicago, Illinois, USA — English, but immigrant languages (i.e. Spanish and Polish) can be found spoken and printed on businesses in ethnic neighborhoods.
- Coachella, California, USA — English, but Spanish can be in documents as the city council represents a 90% Hispanic majority, esp. Mexican-Americans.
- Darjeeling, India — Nepali, English, Hindi, Bengali and Drukyal language.
- Delhi, India — English, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and many others representing the country's ethnocultural diversity.
- Diyarbakır, Turkey — Turkish and Kurdish.
- Dublin, Ireland — English, Irish (both official, despite English is more common) and recently, Polish immigrants brought the language to Ireland.
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates — English, Arabic, Malayalam, Hindi, Urdu, Farsi and Tagalog.
- Dunkerque, France - a sizable West Flemish-Dutch speaking population from being in historic Flanders.
- Durban, South Africa — English, Zulu, Hindi and Tamil.
- El Paso, Texas, USA/ Ciudad Juarez, Mexico — English and Spanish (which is dominant).
- Fribourg, Switzerland — French, German (both official) and Italian.
- Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil — Portuguese, Spanish and there is substantial Korean, Chinese and Arabic-speaking immigrant settlement.
- George Town, Penang — Penang Hokkien (Lingua Franca), English, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and other Indian Languages, Teochew and other Chinese Dialects, Thai (spoken by Malaysian Thais) and other languages spoken by expatriates (e.g. Japanese, Indonesian, Vietnamese, German, etc.)
- Gibraltar — English, Spanish, Llanito and Maghrebi Arabic.
- Gorizia, Italy — Italian, Friulian, Slovene and fluency in Serbo-Croatian.
- Helsinki — Finnish, Swedish (both official) and Russian.
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam — Vietnamese, Cantonese, French and fluency in English from the Vietnam war era.
- Hong Kong — Cantonese, English, Mandarin and some others.
- Hyderabad, India — English, Hindi, Telugu, Urdu and many others.
- Jerusalem — Hebrew, Arabic, English, large Russian-speaking community, Yiddish and Ladino (Judeo-Spanish).
- Kabul — Afghanistan — Pashto, Persian and others from the country's ethnically diverse countryside.
- Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo — French, Lingala and Dutch (legacy of the Belgian colonial era).
- Kolkatta, India — English, Hindi, and Bengali.
- Koper, Slovenia — Slovene, Italian and Serbo-Croatian.
- Kuala Lumpur — Malay, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tamil, English and small Arabic speaking colony.
- Lahore — Pakistan — Punjabi(Western), Urdu and Hindi.
- Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA — The region surrounding the city has a history of Amish, Mennonite and Pennsylvania Dutch German-speaking people. Today, it is universally English and bilingualism declined in the 20th century.
- Laredo, Texas USA/Nuevo Laredo, Mexico - Spanish speaking majority with a high fluency in English.
- Lomé, Togo — Ewe, French and some usage of English.
- London — English is universal, but it has 80 to 100 immigrant languages.
- Los Angeles — English, large Spanish-speaking minority (about 40%, could be the largest Spanish-speaking city in the USA) and about 100-150 languages make up the remainder.
- Luxembourg City, Luxembourg — French, German, Luxembourgish, English, and large Turkish-, Polish- and Portuguese-speaking communities.
- Macau — Cantonese, Mandarin Portuguese and fluency in English.
- Mangalore, India — Kannada, Hindi, and Tulu.
- Metropolitan Manila, Philippines — English, Tagalog, other Philippine languages, and others.
- Mexico City — Spanish is the most commonly spoken language, but rural-to-urban migration brought indigenous languages often are Mayan and Aztec-Nahuatl.
- Miami, Florida — English, French Creole, Spanish (from the Cuban exile community and other Latin Americans) and Afro-Caribbean languages.
- Montreal, Canada — French (2nd largest French speaking city in the world) and English.
- Mumbai, India — English, Hindi, Marathi, Urdu and 100 other languages.
- New York City — English (official), large Spanish-speaking community, and 100 to 150 languages, mostly found in ethnic communities, examples include Chinese in Chinatown, Manhattan and Russian in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.
- Nicosia, Cyprus — Greek, Turkish (both official) and English.
- Oranjestad, Aruba — Dutch, English, Papiamento, Spanish and French.
- Ottawa, Canada — English, French (esp. in nearby Gatineau, Quebec).
- Panama City, Panama — Spanish and fluency in English.
- Patna, India — English, Hindi, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Magahi and many others.
- Pomerode, Brazil — Portuguese, German and Italian.
- Pretoria, South Africa — Afrikaans, Sotho, English and Zulu.
- Pristina, Kosovo — Albanian (predominant), Serbian (from previous Serbian-Yugoslavian rule) and Turkish (from former Ottoman Empire rule).
- Pula, Croatia — Croatian, and Italian.
- Pune, India — English, Hindi, and Marathi.
- Rome — Italian but many others, while neighboring Vatican City has used Latin for liturgal and diplomatic purposes.
- San Antonio, California, USA — English (official), and Spanish (commonly spoken by large Hispanic/Mexican/Tejano community).
- San Diego, California, USA — English (official, most common) and Spanish, due to proximity to the border in Tijuana.
- San Francisco, USA — Chinese, English, French, Italian, Spanish and . The Oakland public schools decided in 1996 to make Ebonics an African-American English dialect an instructional language.
- San Juan, Puerto Rico — English, Spanish (both official, however the latter is spoken as a mother language).
- Santa Ana, California, USA — English (official in city government), but has emphasized the usage of Spanish for its Hispanic majority, Vietnamese for its many Vietnamese-American residents and 50 known languages in the city.
- Sanandaj, Iran — Official Language is Persian but most of the people speak Kurdi.
- Seattle, Washington, USA — In the Downtown and International districts, one can find street signs, business strips and trash can labels in six to eight languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Korean, Vietnamese; and in some cases Russian and Japanese.
- Singapore — English, Mandarin, Hokkien, Malay, Tamil, Cantonese and many nationalities speak their own languages.
- Strasbourg, Alsace, France. — The inhabitants of the region can speak French (official), Alsatian (the regional German dialect and locally dominant) and German (High German).
- Tabriz, Iran — Official language is Persian but most of the people speak Azeri.
- Tallinn, Estonia — the only official language is Estonian, however a large proportion of the population speak Russian as their native language (46,9% in 2010) and other minority languages — Ukrainian (1,35%), Belarusian (0,53%) and others, while Estonian is the mother tongue of 49,8% of the inhabitants. Despite the lack of official recognition Russian is very widely used in commerce (e.g. bilingual advertisements, announcements at shopping centers etc.).
- Târgu Mureş, Romania — Romanian, Hungarian and some Roma may use the Romani language.
- Tel Aviv, Israel — Mainly Hebrew, (in parts of Jaffa) Arabic, (Immigrant Communities) Russian, English, and Aramaic.
- Thibodaux, Louisiana — An example of Louisiana Creole and Cajun French speakers, but English is dominant and some Isleno Spanish speakers.
- Toronto — English, but a highly multi-cultural community leads to city, province (Ontario) and Canadian governments to use 100 different languages, from Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese, Punjabi and Tamil, in documents.
- Trieste, Italy — Italian, Slovene; immigrants speak Serbian, Albanian and Friulian.
- Trivandrum, India — Malayalam, Tamil, English, and Hindi.
- Valencia, Spain — Valencian, and Spanish.
- Vancouver, Canada — English, Mandarin Chinese/Cantonese Chinese (large ethnic Chinese community), Punjabi, Persian/Farsi, Tagalog, Korean, Italian, German, French and a few First Nations languages in Indian Reserves of the region.
- Vigo, Spain — Galician, and Spanish.
- Ilocos Sur, Philippines — Ilokano, English, Tagalog, Spanish, and others.
- Vilnius, Lithuania- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish.
- Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia — Tatar, Bashkir and Russian.
- Willemstad, Curaçao — Papiamento, Dutch and Spanish; and Bonaire — Papiamento and Dutch.
- Zamboanga, Philippines — Chavacano, Tagalog, English, Tausug, Visayan languages, and Spanish from the colonial era.
Notes and references
- ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, while Serbia claims it as part of its own sovereign territory. Its independence is recognised by 85 UN member states.
- ^ Bolivian Constitution, Article 5-I: Son idiomas oficiales del Estado el castellano y todos los idiomas de las naciones y pueblos indígena originario campesinos, que son el aymara, araona, baure, bésiro, canichana, cavineño, cayubaba, chácobo, chimán, ese ejja, guaraní, guarasu'we, guarayu, itonama, leco, machajuyai-kallawaya, machineri, maropa, mojeño-trinitario, mojeño-ignaciano, moré, mosetén, movima, pacawara, puquina, quechua, sirionó, tacana, tapieté, toromona, uru-chipaya, weenhayek, yawanawa, yuki[disambiguation needed ], yuracaré y zamuco.
- ^ http://www.asambleaconstituyente.gov.ec/documentos/constitucion_de_bolsillo.pdf
- ^ [". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 2007-12-13. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/af.html.]
- ^ http://www.iloubnan.info/fr/actualite/id/43259/titre/%22Hi,-kifak,-%C3%A7a-va?:-quand-l'arabe-p%E2tit-du-m%E9lange-des-langues-au-Liban
- ^ Peluncuran Peta Bahasa Indonesia (not in English)
- ^ Van Parijs, Philippe, Professor of economic and social ethics at the UCLouvain, Visiting Professor at Harvard University and the KULeuven. "Belgium's new linguistic challenges" (pdf 0.7 MB). KVS Express (supplement to newspaper De Morgen) March–April 2007: Article from original source (pdf 4.9 MB) pages 34–36 republished by the Belgian Federal Government Service (ministry) of Economy – Directorate–general Statistics Belgium. http://www.statbel.fgov.be/studies/ac699_en.pdf. Retrieved 2007-05-05. — The linguistic situation in Belgium (and in particular various estimations of the population speaking French and Dutch in Brussels) is discussed in detail.
- ^ http://pub.stat.ee/px-web.2001/I_Databas/Population_census/databasetree.asp
- ^ http://www.cso.ie/census/documents/Final%20Principal%20Demographic%20Results%202006.pdf
- ^ http://data.csb.gov.lv/DATABASE/tautassk/databasetree.asp?lang=16
- ^ a b Paul Ariste Keelekontaktid. Tallinn: 1981 (Estonian)
- ^ Swiss Constitution/Part 1, article 4, states: The national languages are German, French, Italian, and Romansh.
- ^ Map of percentage able to speak Welsh, 2001
- ^ Vilnius city municipality#Demographics
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