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Written by Javier Arizpe

September 23, 2020

Countries With The Most Language Diversity

There are over 5000 languages in the world. However, the majority of languages belong to small communities that have a maximum of 100,000 speakers, in some cases these languages are on the verge of extinction being spoken by a single person. In this article you will learn about the 5 countries that have the most quantity of people speaking different languages within its territory.

 

Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea, there are 820 languages. However, this quantity includes the largest number of endangered languages. This country has three official languages: Tok Pisin which is spoken by about 30% of the population and is the lingua franca of the region. English is one of the three official languages of the country, but it’s only spoken by about 1 or 2% of the population. Hiri Motu is another one of them, this one is spoken by 120,000 people and it’s the second language of them all.

 

India

In second place, we have India. There are 780 languages in this country and it has no official language. Although the three most spoken languages are Hindi, with 53.60% of the population speaking it, English, being used by 12.18% of people, and Bengali, used by 8.86% of the population. English is the language needed for traveling to India.

 

Indonesia

The official language of this country is Indonesian. About 200 million speakers use it. However, more than 700 languages are spoken in Indonesia. Indonesian language was stablished as Lingua Franca and official language of the country in 1945. They use the Latin alphabet. It is similar to the Malay language, with small differences. The second most spoken language is Javanese with 84.3 million of speakers and the third one is Sundanese with 27 million.

 

Nigeria

Nigeria has 521 languages. English is the official language, but the 3 main languages are Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba. Although English is the official language and the Lingua Franca, Nigeria mostly speaks indigenous languages.

 

United States

The US is a nation of immigrants, more than 500 languages are spoken in it, from highly known languages such as Spanish and Chinese, to indigenous languages from throughout the Americas. According to the 2016 census, the most spoken languages in addition to English are: Spanish with 40.5 million of speakers, Chinese with 3.4 million and Tagalog with 1.7 million.

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