So what countries speak english? As the world becomes increasingly connected, English is becoming an international language. At least 200 million people speak it as a second language, and more than 1 billion people use it daily. With so many people using English, there are bound to be some countries that have developed their own versions of the language. Here’s our list of countries with English as their official language.
Countries with English as an Official Language!
Most of the English speaking countries are former colonies, which means that they possess less than 50% native speakers today. Here are some interesting facts about these countries!
Most of them have more than 10 million inhabitants while several ones only had around 1000 people before independence. The notable exception is New Zealand, whose population exceeds three times this figure at just under five million in 2015 based on official statistics by the Department of Statistics.
If we had to describe the national language of India, it would be English (along with Hindi and a handful of regional languages like Punjabi and Telugu). The official name for the country’s principal language is Hindustani or Hindi—but even that has been controversial. From sometime around the mid-19th century, some people wanted to create their own Indian identity by adopting English as an “Indian” tongue. So they changed what vernacular languages were acceptable for use. In 1835, English became the “official” language of India and Hindi was demoted to a lingua franca (a term, technically) after it fell out of favor because people realized how poorly written English looked in schools—even though the writing is still official.
After the revolution in 1838, English was adopted as a new vernacular, replacing Spanish which had been established since 1655. “Jamaica” now stands for two things: “the birthplace of Columbus”; and also an archaic form of “(Land) of heroes.”
Singapore is a city-state on the southern end of Peninsular Malaysia, mostly an island town with population being more than 2.7 million people. To have English as one’s official language has been declared since its independence from British colonial rule in 1965—up until 2015 when Malay replaced it for bilingual purposes by forming Singaporeans’ foundation to the nation and home country of Singaporean civil service officials.
After being colonized by the British in 1876, English came to be recognized as the lingua franca of Botswana itself. Apart from its own practice, it now acts as a common language for communication with neighbors. Approximately 20 million people speak English as a first language, and it is the 2nd official language of Botswana. Motswana or Zimbabwean English serves as lingua franca among those who speak it though some other African countries have made their own languages an official one.
After the British colonized the country in 1890, there was thereafter no other language which could be considered as an official one; it made English that much more important during public functions and the government’s due diligence. The colonial administration each year pays 100 million Zimbabwe dollars (about $1 billion USD) to support English-medium education alone.
English is one of the two official languages, an emblematic symbol for Australian nationhood. It was first introduced as a language to be used by people under the British administration in the 1810s; since then it has always remained there even after other countries like New Zealand, Canada and the United States also had English-speaking societies under their dominion over different parts of Australia’s territory.
Despite having had only limited contact with the United Kingdom during its thousand of years, Irish people have entitled it as one of their official languages when they established themselves into an independent nation in 1922. It is taught in all the schools there but you will still need to learn how to speak English if you wish to communicate better in public events or for work purposes too.
The Bahamas has been involved into several military campaigns under British rule and as a result and owing to its military importance it became an official language of the British government even though at first there had been no native speakers either.
The independence of Guyana had also led to an officialization of English as the second language. The status accorded it by law is very significant considering that French remains the first native language. Altogether around 80% of Guyanese are able to speak some basic English but only about one-tenth actually choose it for everyday communication.
Grenada achieved independence in 1974 after nearly 100 years under British colonial rule. As a result, it was also made an official language by that time, which then meant that the vast majority of citizens are able to understand this native language easily even though they do normally not speak it fluently anymore today.
YOU MAY LIKE european countries that speak english, listening is a skill.
What are the benefits of having English as an official language?
It is important to mention that English is spoken fluently all over the world. If you are looking for a job or want to study, an official language will guarantee that your employer or university can communicate with you respectively, making assimilation easier. Also having at least one native speaker of this common language ability helps when dealing with other international institutions too as most people there will be able to understand what they say!
What are the disadvantages of having English as an official language in some countries around the world?
No non-specific language of the people!
This is one of the major disadvantages of having English as an official language. In fact, you can derive a clear picture from this negative statement by saying that it does give rise to various complex socio-cultural attitudes where many different groups may have some sort behavior or attitude against each other. Only a few local languages are spoken and they do not get any attention at all in national affairs under British rule. In fact, in social formal matters, English is all overdone by a few colonial politicians and government officials even to the detriment of local languages.
In conclusion, English is still an official language in many countries. It has not ceased to hold this status for centuries already, so therefore the advantages are mainly visible today but if you research further you can easily notice that some of these aspects have been ignored by political colonialism from the beginning on and even now after half a century or more out most people will agree that not having English as an official language causes nothing good at all.