Speaking the Language of Business

Languages of the World – Part 4

Part 4 of 6 in a blog series this week that will cover all the countries of the world and the dominant languages within those countries. In this 4th post, we have 41 countries ranging from Lesotho to Norway. All of these numbers and facts can be attributed to research done in the CIA’s World Factbook. This data is meant to improve identifying and selecting target languages when considering a geographical area to market/translate into. 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.

Lesotho
Sesotho (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa

Liberia
English 20% (official), and some 20 ethnic group languages

Libya
Arabic, Italian, English, all are widely understood in the major cities

Liechtenstein
German (official), Alemannic dialect

Lithuania
Lithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other and unspecified 4.4% (2001 census)

Luxembourg
Luxembourgish (national language), German (administrative language), French (administrative language)

Macau
Cantonese 85.7%, Hokkien 4%, Mandarin 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 2.7%, English 1.5%, Tagalog 1.3%, other 1.6% (2001 census)

Macedonia
Macedonian 66.5%, Albanian 25.1%, Turkish 3.5%, Roma 1.9%, Serbian 1.2%, other 1.8% (2002 census)

Madagascar
English (official), French (official), Malagasy (official)

Malawi
Chichewa 57.2% (official), Chinyanja 12.8%, Chiyao 10.1%, Chitumbuka 9.5%, Chisena 2.7%, Chilomwe 2.4%, Chitonga 1.7%, other 3.6% (1998 census)

Malaysia
Bahasa Malaysia (official), English, Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai note: in East Malaysia there are several indigenous languages; most widely spoken are Iban and Kadazan

Maldives
Maldivian Dhivehi (dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English spoken by most government officials

Mali
French (official), Bambara 80%, numerous African languages

Malta
Maltese (official) 90.2%, English (official) 6%, multilingual 3%, other 0.8% (2005 census)

Marshall Islands
Marshallese (official) 98.2%, other languages 1.8% (1999 census) note: English (official), spoken as a second language

Mauritania
Arabic (official and national), Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof (all national languages), French, Hassaniya

Mauritius
Creole 80.5%, Bhojpuri 12.1%, French 3.4%, English (official; spoken by less than 1% of the population), other 3.7%, unspecified 0.3% (2000 census)

Mayotte
Mahorian (a Swahili dialect), French (official language) spoken by 35% of the population

Mexico
Spanish only 92.7%, Spanish and indigenous languages 5.7%, indigenous only 0.8%, unspecified 0.8%; note – indigenous languages include various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional languages (2005)

Micronesia, Federated States of
English (official and common language), Chuukese, Kosrean, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi

Moldova
Moldovan (official, virtually the same as the Romanian language), Russian, Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)

Monaco
French (official), English, Italian, Monegasque

Mongolia
Khalkha Mongol 90%, Turkic, Russian (1999)

Montenegro
Serbian 63.6%, Montenegrin (official) 22%, Bosnian 5.5%, Albanian 5.3%, unspecified 3.7% (2003 census)

Montserrat
English

Morocco
Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French often the language of business, government, and diplomacy

Mozambique
Emakhuwa 26.1%, Xichangana 11.3%, Portuguese 8.8% (official; spoken by 27% of population as a second language), Elomwe 7.6%, Cisena 6.8%, Echuwabo 5.8%, other Mozambican languages 32%, other foreign languages 0.3%, unspecified 1.3% (1997 census)

Namibia
English 7% (official), Afrikaans common language of most of the population and about 60% of the white population, German 32%, indigenous languages 1% (includes Oshivambo, Herero, Nama)

Nauru
Nauruan (official; a distinct Pacific Island language), English widely understood, spoken, and used for most government and commercial purposes

Nepal
Nepali 47.8%, Maithali 12.1%, Bhojpuri 7.4%, Tharu (Dagaura/Rana) 5.8%, Tamang 5.1%, Newar 3.6%, Magar 3.3%, Awadhi 2.4%, other 10%, unspecified 2.5% (2001 census) note: many in government and business also speak English (2001 est.)

Netherlands
Dutch (official), Frisian (official)

Netherlands Antilles

Papiamento 65.4% (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect), English 15.9% (widely spoken), Dutch 7.3% (official), Spanish 6.1%, Creole 1.6%, other 1.9%, unspecified 1.8% (2001 census)

New Caledonia
French (official), 33 Melanesian-Polynesian dialects

New Zealand
English (official), Maori (official), Sign Language (official)

Nicaragua
Spanish 97.5% (official), Miskito 1.7%, other 0.8% (1995 census) note: English and indigenous languages on Atlantic coast

Niger
French (official), Hausa, Djerma

Nigeria
English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani

Niue
Niuean, a Polynesian language closely related to Tongan and Samoan; English

Norfolk Island
English (official), Norfolk – a mixture of 18th century English and ancient Tahitian

Northern Mariana Islands
Philippine languages 24.4%, Chinese 23.4%, Chamorro 22.4%, English 10.8%, other Pacific island languages 9.5%, other 9.6% (2000 census)

Norway
Bokmal Norwegian (official), Nynorsk Norwegian (official), small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities; note – Sami is official in six municipalities

Next Week – Oman to Sudan!

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