They say that English is the international language. It is currently the world’s most widely-spoken lingua franca and is the world’s second most widely-spoken language, next to Mandarin.
The prominence of English began with the rise of England as the world’s leading empire in the 19th century. The industrial revolution brought about huge advancements in the field of science, technology, and employment in England and this added great wealth to this small but very powerful archipelago. This was also the time of Queen Victoria who proudly stated that “The sun never sets on English soil,” perhaps pertaining to the expanse of colonies that England possessed in the 19th century.
The dominance of English in the geopolitical sphere continued when the United States gained the upper hand and became the world’s largest economy in the 20th century. Currently, many of the world’s population are both obsessed and pressured to learn the English language to be able to communicate in the international arena. This is why English remains to be the world’s lingua franca and most countries whose population can speak the language fluently open themselves to more advantages in so many levels.
This list reveals the 10 nations with the most number of English speakers. Is your country part of the list? Find out for yourself!
10.Italy – 17 million English speakers
The land of pizza and pasta is also the land where a significant percentage of its population can speak in English. Thanks largely to the many highly competent English schools that have blossomed all over the country and the number of Italians who were educated abroad.
9.Australia – 19 million English speakers
The land down under opens up the top 10 with roughly 20 million English speakers. English is Australia’s official language and the only language understood by a great majority of the population. Australian English though is heavily accented and quite difficult to understand especially for non-Australians.
8.France – 23 million English speakers
The French may love everything about their sophisticated culture and heritage but that does not stop more than a third of the French population to study English. Most of these English speakers are concentrated in the urban centers such as Paris, Marseilles, Nice, Lyon, and the summer vacation hub of Cannes in the south of France.
7.Canada – 29 million English speakers
Canada is the second largest country in the world in terms of land area but is actually one of the least densely populated. The western half of Canada is its English-speaking sphere while its eastern half speaks French. Canadians too have an accent that is relatively easy to understand. Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary are key English-speaking cities.
6.Germany – 46 million English speakers
More than 50% of the German population currently living in Germany are fluent in the English language. This is largely due to the Germans being innate lovers of learning of all sorts. Its highly skilled and educated population also take foreign language studies very seriously.
5.United Kingdom – 60 million English speakers
The land where the English language all began sits only on the fifth spot when it comes to the number of English speakers. The United Kingdom’s power and influence started with the rise of England during the Elizabethan period and right after the Protestant Reformation and along with their claim to fame came the supremacy of the English language all over the world.
4.Nigeria – 82 million English speakers
Nigeria is the largest English speaking nation outside of Asia and North America. It is located in the heart of Africa and is one of the continent’s most populous nations.
3.Philippines – 90 million English speakers
The Philippines was colonized by Spain but did not outrightly learn Spanish. Nevertheless, the Americans freely and widely taught English. This has made the Philippines the present capital of BPO companies as Filipinos can easily write like a native English writer and also mimic the American accent excellently.
2.India – 125 million English speakers
India is home to the largest population of English speakers outside the continental US. This is largely due to British influence, as England colonized India for many years back in the day.
1.United States of America – 290 million English speakers
The USA is the undisputed benchmark when it comes to the English language – the center of American life, power, and language.