Speaking the Language of Business

Languages of the World – Part 2

We continue a six part (week) series blog series this week that will cover all the countries of the world and the dominant languages within those countries. This data is meant to improve identifying and selecting target languages when considering a geographical area to market/translate into. For this second post, we have 41 countries ranging from Central African Republic to Germany. All of these numbers and facts can be attributed to research done in the CIA’s World Factbook. Please note: This list is in no way meant to be an exporting destination guide as not all listed countries are cleared by The U.S. Government for international trade.

Central African Republic
French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), and some tribal languages

Chad
French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in the south), more than 120 different languages and dialects beyond these top few

Chile
Spanish (official), Mapudungun, German, and English

China
Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, and other minority languages

Christmas Island
English (official), Chinese, and Malay

Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Malay (Cocos dialect), and English

Colombia
Spanish

Comoros
Arabic (official), French (official), Shikomoro (a blend of Swahili and Arabic)

Congo, Democratic Republic of the
French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, and Tshiluba

Congo, Republic of the
French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), and many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)

Cook Islands
English (official), and Maori

Costa Rica
Spanish (official), and English

Cote d’Ivoire
French (official) and 60 native dialects with Dioula the most widely spoken

Croatia
Croatian 96.1%, Serbian 1%, other and un-designated 2.9% (including Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and German according to a 2001 census)

Cuba
Spanish

Cyprus
Greek, Turkish, and English

Czech Republic
Czech 94.9%, Slovak 2%, other 2.3%, unidentified 0.8% (from a 2001 census)

Denmark
Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic (an Inuit dialect), German (small minority); note: English is the predominant second language

Dhekelia
English and Greek

Djibouti
French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, and Afar

Dominica
English (official) and French patois

Dominican Republic
Spanish

Ecuador
Spanish (official) and Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)

Egypt
Arabic (official) while English and French is widely understood by educated classes

El Salvador
Spanish, Nahua (among some Amerindians)

Equatorial Guinea
Spanish 67.6% (official), other 32.4% (includes French (official), Fang, Bubi) (1994 census)

Eritrea
Afar, Arabic, Tigre and Kunama, Tigrinya, and other Cushitic languages

Estonia
Estonian (official) 67.3%, Russian 29.7%, other 2.3%, unknown 0.7% (2000 census)

Ethiopia
Amarigna 32.7%, Oromigna 31.6%, Tigrigna 6.1%, Somaligna 6%, Guaragigna 3.5%, Sidamigna 3.5%, Hadiyigna 1.7%, other 14.8%, and English (major foreign language taught in schools) (1994 census)

European Union
Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Gaelic, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish; note: only official languages listed; German, the major language of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, is the most widely spoken mother tongue – over 19% of the EU population; English is the most widely spoken language – about 49% of the EU population is conversant with it (2007)

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
English

Faroe Islands
Faroese (derived from Old Norse) and  Danish

Fiji
English (official), Fijian (official), and Hindustani

Finland
Finnish 91.2% (official), Swedish 5.5% (official), other 3.3% (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities) (2007)

France
French 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish) overseas departments: French, Creole patois

French Polynesia
French 61.1% (official), Polynesian 31.4% (official), Asian languages 1.2%, other 0.3%, unspecified 6% (2002 census)

Gabon
French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, and Bandjabi

Gambia, The
English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, and other indigenous vernaculars

Gaza Strip
Arabic, Hebrew (spoken by many Palestinians), English (widely understood)

Georgia
Georgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7% note: Abkhaz is the official language in Abkhazia

Germany
German
Next Week – Ghana to Lebanon!


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