Asia is a vast and diverse continent, home to numerous countries that speak English as one of their official languages. From bustling metropolitan cities to tranquil rural landscapes, these Asian countries offer a unique blend of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and linguistic diversity.
English, being a widely spoken language, plays a significant role in facilitating communication and international relations within these nations. Whether it is for tourism, business, or educational purposes, the ability to converse in English has become increasingly important in these Asian countries.
In this introduction, we will explore some of the Asian countries where English is commonly spoken, highlighting their cultural richness and the benefits of English proficiency in these diverse and captivating destinations.
English speaking countries in Asia
In a world that’s going global at a rapid pace, English is the language of business and trade. It has become the go-to language for communication across all regions. It is estimated that more than 1 billion people speak it as their first language.
Next, it is the language of international communication. It is spoken by more than 450 million people, making it the most widely spoken language in the world.
English has also become a lingua franca, which means that it is used as a common language among different countries and cultures.
The future of English has much to do with its status and use in Asia. The largest number of users of English comes from Asia and it seems to be growing. English is deeply embedded in Asia’s multilingual languages habitats and functions as a (first or second) official language, a foreign language or a lingua franca. 1
Top 10 English speaking countries in Asia
English is Singapore‘s official language and it is taught in all schools. In addition, English is the second language of most people in Singapore. It is also used as a lingua franca between different ethnic groups in the United States of America.
Singapore is very famous for respect towards foreign countries because its system of government was called with Singapore Statement Rule which means that every country wants this stage to keep its integrity.
Filipinos use English as their official language and it is taught in all schools. In addition, English is the second language of most people in the Philippines.
Malaysia has the native Malay language but most of them are happy to learn other languages such as Japanese because there was a close relationship between the two countries.
English In Malaysia is spoken as the national lingua franca.
Malaysia”s school system uses both English and Mandarin as official languages. All Malaysian students start their education by learning the national language and then switching to English.
About 40% of the population in India can communicate in English.
Some Indians think that India has a large number of native speakers but they are mistaken. The national language, Hindi is from Sanskrit and it is not related to the English language which was borrowed from French.
the official language of India is Hindi which belongs to the Indo-Aryan subfamily of languages, mainly spoken by the Hindu caste most are using English but currently are 20 members states have their official language.
India was very popular for education places because plans were saying that all plans should be based on English.
As an official language, Mandarin is mainly used in the main cities with English being used to communicate between different cultures. Plus, there are many English language schools and universities in China. English there is taught as a second language.
These days, more and more Chinese people attend English courses to improve their language skills and increase their chances of getting better jobs.
However, Chinese schools follow a similar system but they start their education by starting at the other end. They switch from learning in Chinese to studying in English for two years before also bringing them back to learn Mandarin during either of their last three years of secondary school.
These days, English is the second language in China and should be learned for sure because of the Sino-British relationship that continues through to this day.
Chinese parents realized that English is essential for their children to succeed in life and they love having their borders full of international schools.
Indonesian people are very used to learning other languages because many of the Indonesian citizens have lived in different countries over their entire lifetime, therefore they can learn English.
Indonesia is the third most populous country in Asia, with a population of over 193 million people. Indonesia has diverse languages and ethnicities, which makes it a complex society. It also excepts many different cultures from outside Asia. The official language for Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian).
These people were able to maintain their social status because of knowing English.
Although most Taiwanese had started learning English only by the end of primary school, they learned it more intensely during middle school and higher education. Most teachers did not encourage them to learn oral communication but instead audio-visual presentation, so they did not have much practice talking in English.
Other than the cause of lack of confidence, what is considered the main obstacle for Taiwanese people to study and speak English fluently is their limited time available for such education. This can be described by several surveys among council leaders who graduated from English language training institutes in Taiwan whose main concern was the time they spent on their language studies.
In Pakistan, English is used as a second language. In addition to being learned by students in schools and universities, it continues to be an important means of communication for business people as well not only with many businesses across the world but also with their foreign customers. There are numerous companies offering courses on how to improve one’s English.
Former president of Pakistan and head of the “Literary Club” on Pakistani television, General Pervez Musharraf has been quoted as saying: “Pakistan has achieved a great deal despite lacking resources and we will achieve more if we learn to maximize our limited superpower”.
Due to continued problems regarding the education of Thai children, many parents are taking their preschoolers abroad for English Education. This shows that despite the public school system in Thailand being very good at the secondary level, it is far behind when compared with other developed countries like South Africa during the Apartheid era where only 10 years of education was mandatory.
10- Hong Kong
English is one of the official languages in Hong Kong, and it is widely spoken in the business and tourism sectors. Many Hong Kongers are bilingual in English and Cantonese.
All the above mentioned answer the question “which Asian countries speak English?” and they are top 10 English speaking countries in Asia.
English in Asia
There are few native English speakers in Asia, but a large number of the population use English as a second or third language. A good example of English being used as a lingua franca in India. At present, more than 2% of the world’s 975 million native speakers are residents of Asia. Famous places where it is spoken include Bahrain, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Other examples include Australia and Japan.
Of course, some people like to learn other languages such as Japanese due to the cultural connection between Japan and English-speaking countries in Asia–the United States and the United Kingdom; while Malaysia’s national language is Malay which uses a phonetic alphabet derived from the Latin.
Asia is seen as the future for the internationalization of higher education, and the globalization of English is enabling this future. 2
Proficiency of English in Asia
The proficiency of English in Asia varies greatly depending on the country and region. Some countries, such as Singapore and the Philippines, have a high level of English proficiency due to their history of colonization by English-speaking countries.
In other countries, such as China and Japan, English proficiency is still relatively low despite efforts to increase language education. This can be due to a lack of resources, cultural differences in language learning, and a focus on other subjects in the education system.
However, with the increasing importance of English in the global economy and job market, there has been a growing emphasis on improving English proficiency in many Asian countries.
English Speaking Countries In Asia
English speaking countries Asia, including India, Pakistan, Singapore, the Philippines, and Malaysia. English is an official language in India, and is widely spoken in the business and education sectors. In Pakistan, English is also an official language and is commonly used in government and education.
Singapore has a bilingual policy, with English being one of the official languages alongside Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. The Philippines has a high level of English proficiency, with English being used in education, media, and government. Malaysia also has a significant English-speaking population, with English being used in education and business.
English speaking countries Asia pacific
English speaking countries in the Asia Pacific region include Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. Australia and New Zealand are both located in the southern hemisphere and have a shared history with the United Kingdom, which is reflected in their language and culture.
Singapore, on the other hand, is a small island city-state located in Southeast Asia and has a diverse population with a mix of Chinese, Malay, and Indian cultures. English is the official language of these countries and is widely spoken by the majority of the population. This makes them attractive destinations for English-speaking tourists and business travelers. Read down below about top English speaking countries in Asia; Asia English speaking countries. However, here is a list of the best countries that speak English to live in.
Asian English speaking countries ranking with percentage
There are several English-speaking Asian countries, each with varying levels of proficiency in the language. According to the EF English Proficiency Index 2020, Singapore ranks the highest with a score of 63.52%, followed by the Philippines at 60.22%, Malaysia at 58.93%, and India at 57.24%.
Other countries in Asia with relatively high English proficiency include Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan. However, it is important to note that English proficiency levels can vary within each country, and these rankings are based on overall averages.
1. What countries in Southeast Asia speak English?
English is widely spoken in several countries in Southeast Asia, including:
- Singapore: English is one of the official languages in Singapore and is widely spoken by the majority of the population.
- Philippines: English is an official language in the Philippines and is widely spoken and understood, especially in urban areas.
- Malaysia: English is widely spoken in Malaysia, particularly in urban areas and among the younger generation.
- Brunei: English is widely spoken and used as a medium of instruction in schools and universities in Brunei.
- Thailand: While not as widely spoken as in other countries, English is commonly understood and spoken by people in the tourism industry and urban areas.
- Vietnam: English is becoming increasingly popular in Vietnam, especially among the younger generation and in major cities.
It’s important to note that while English may be spoken to some extent in these countries, the level of proficiency may vary. It’s always helpful to learn a few basic phrases in the local language to enhance your travel experience.
2. Is English an official language in Asia?
English is not an official language in most Asian countries. However, it is widely spoken and used as a second language in many countries, especially in business and education. Some countries, such as India and the Philippines, have English as an official language alongside their native languages.
3. Which English is used in Asia?
There is no one specific type of English used in Asia. However, in many countries, such as India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, British English is often taught in schools and used in formal settings.
In other countries, such as Singapore and Malaysia, a form of English that incorporates local languages and dialects is commonly spoken. Additionally, American English is also widely used in many parts of Asia, particularly in business and technology sectors.
4. Which Asian countries mostly speak English?
The Asian countries that mostly speak English are Singapore, the Philippines, and India. These countries have a significant population of English speakers due to their historical ties to the British Empire and the widespread use of English as a language of business and education.
5. What are the Asian countries that speak English?
- Singapore is a country in Asia where English is an official language.
- The Philippines is another Asian country where English is widely spoken and considered an official language.
- India has a large population of English speakers and is home to many English-medium schools.
- Malaysia also has a significant population of English speakers, especially in urban areas.
6. What is the English speaking country in Asia?
The English speaking country in Asia is the Philippines. English is one of the official languages of the Philippines and is widely spoken and understood throughout the country. It is taught in schools and used in business, government, and media. Many Filipinos are fluent in English, making it easy for English speakers to communicate and navigate their way around the country.
7. What is the most spoken language in North Africa & the Middle East?
Arabic is by far the most widely spoken language in the Middle East and North Africa (henceforth MENA)
Which English speaking Asian countries have English as their official language?
Many countries in Asia have English as their official language. If we want to name what Asian countries speak English some of them include Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan.
8. Is English widely spoken in Asia?
The answer to this question is a simple yes. Asia countries that speak English include India, China, Japan, and Vietnam.
9. Which country in Asia speaks most English?
- The Philippines has the highest English proficiency in Asia according to the EF English Proficiency Index.
- English is an official language in Singapore and is widely spoken.
- India has a large English speaking population due to its colonial history and education system.
- Malaysia also has a significant number of English speakers due to its colonial history and education system.
10. What Asian countries speak English the best?
The Asian countries that speak English the best are Singapore, the Philippines, and India. These countries have a high level of English proficiency due to their history of colonization and emphasis on English education. And in regards of worldwide countries read here about what countries speak English.
11. What are the top 3 Asian countries most proficient in English?
- Singapore is the most proficient Asian country in English.
- The Philippines is also known for its high proficiency in English.
- Malaysia ranks third in English proficiency among Asian countries.
12. How many countries are in Asia in English?
There are 48 countries in Asia according to the United Nations. The number of countries in Asia may vary depending on the definition of the region.
Some sources may include transcontinental countries that have territories in both Asia and Europe. The largest country in Asia by land area is Russia.
13. Is Malaysia a English speaking country?
No, Malaysia is not considered an English-speaking country. However, English is widely spoken and understood in Malaysia, particularly in urban areas and among the younger generation. English is also one of the official languages of Malaysia, along with Bahasa Malaysia (Malay).
Many Malaysians are bilingual, speaking both English and Malay fluently. In addition, English is commonly used in business, education, and tourism sectors in Malaysia. So, while Malaysia may not be an English-speaking country in the strictest sense, English is still widely used and understood throughout the country.
14. What country speaks English and Chinese?
15. What percentage of Asians speak English?
The percentage of Asians who speak English varies depending on the country. In countries like Singapore and the Philippines, English is widely spoken and understood.
In countries like China and Japan, the percentage of English speakers is lower, but still growing. Overall, it is estimated that around 20-25% of the Asian population speaks English.
16. What is the most English speaking countries in Asia?
The most English speaking countries in Asia are typically Singapore, the Philippines, and India. These countries have a strong emphasis on English language education and a significant portion of their populations are proficient in the language.
17. What are the best English speaking countries in Asia?
The best English speaking countries in Asia are Singapore, the Philippines, and India. Singapore is known for its high proficiency in English and it is the language of instruction in schools. The Philippines also has a high level of English proficiency and it is widely spoken in business and government.
India has a large English-speaking population due to its history of British colonization and it is also the language of instruction in many schools and universities. Other countries like Malaysia, Hong Kong, and South Korea also have a good level of English proficiency, but they may not be as widespread as in the aforementioned countries.
18. What are most and least proficient Asia countries that speak English?
According to the EF English Proficiency Index 2020, the most proficient English-speaking country in Asia is Singapore, followed by the Philippines, Malaysia, and India. These countries have a high level of English proficiency due to their education system, exposure to English media, and a high demand for English in their job markets.
On the other hand, the least proficient English-speaking countries in Asia are Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar. These countries have limited access to quality education and English-language resources, which contributes to their lower proficiency levels.
It’s important to note that English proficiency levels can vary within countries as well, depending on factors such as region, age, and socioeconomic status. However, overall, these rankings give a general idea of the English proficiency levels across Asia.
19. Which Asian countries speak English like native speakers?
While English is not the native language of any Asian country, there are a few countries where English is widely spoken and taught as a second language from a young age. These countries include:
1. Singapore – English is one of Singapore’s official languages, and it is widely spoken in business, education, and government.
2. The Philippines – English is an official language of the Philippines, and it is widely spoken and understood.
3. India – While English is not an official language in India, it is widely spoken and used in business and education.
4. Malaysia – English is widely spoken in Malaysia, especially in urban areas and among the younger generation.
5. Hong Kong – English is one of the official languages of Hong Kong, and it is widely spoken in business and education.
It’s important to note that while English may be spoken fluently in these countries, there may still be differences in accent and dialect compared to native speakers from countries like the United States or the United Kingdom.
In conclusion, the English language has a significant presence in many Asian countries, particularly those with a history of British colonization or American influence. English proficiency has become increasingly important in the global economy, and many Asian countries have recognized this and invested in English language education.
This has led to a growing number of English-speaking professionals in Asia, making it easier for businesses to communicate and collaborate across borders. Furthermore, the popularity of English has also created opportunities for English language teachers and those in related fields. Overall, the English language is an important aspect of Asian culture and society, and its importance is likely to continue to grow in the years to come.
- English in Asia’s Languages Habitats and Europe’s Asia competence. (n.d.).
- The English language in the ‘Asian century.’ (n.d.). University World News.