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Languages in Use per Country - Checklist

Many countries have more than one official language, but the linguistic world just gets more complicated from there.

Many countries that can be a great choice for your localization efforts have tens, hundreds or even thousands of languages and dialects in active use. Check out this comprehensive list or languages actively in use per country as your quick cheat sheet.


There is a difference between a language and scripts used to write down the language. These can differ on the writing direction, while some languages have dual alphabets.

Country Language in Use
AfghanistanDari Persian, Pashtu (both official), other Turkic and minor languages
AlbaniaAlbanian (Tosk is the official dialect), Greek
AlgeriaArabic (official), French, Berber dialects
AndorraCatalán (official), French, Castilian, Portuguese
AngolaPortuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages
Antigua and BarbudaEnglish (official), local dialects
ArgentinaSpanish (official), English, Italian, German, French
ArmeniaArmenian 98%, Yezidi, Russian
AustraliaEnglish 79%, native and other languages
AustriaGerman; Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian
AzerbaijanAzerbaijani Turkic 89%, Russian 3%, Armenian 2%, other 6%
BahamasEnglish (official), Creole
BahrainArabic, English, Farsi, Urdu
BangladeshBangla (official), English
BelarusBelorussian, Russian
BelgiumDutch (Flemish), French, German
BelizeEnglish (official), Spanish, Mayan, Garifuna, Creole
BeninFrench (official), Fon, Yoruba, tribal languages
BhutanDzongkha (official), Tibetan dialects, Nepalese dialects
BoliviaSpanish, Quechua, Aymara
Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnian, Croatian, Serbian
BotswanaEnglish 2% (official), Setswana 78%, Kalanga 8%, Sekgalagadi 3%
BrazilPortuguese (official), Spanish, English, French
BruneiMalay (official), English, Chinese
BulgariaBulgarian 85%, Turkish 10%, Roma 4%
Burkina FasoFrench (official); native African (Sudanic) languages 90%
BurundiKirundi and French (official), Swahili
CambodiaKhmer 95% (official), French, English
CameroonFrench, English (both official); 24 major African language groups
CanadaEnglish 59.3%, French 23.2% (both official); other 17.5%
Cape VerdePortuguese, Criuolo
Central African RepublicFrench (official), Sangho (lingua franca, national), tribal languages
ChadFrench, Arabic (both official); Sara; more than 120 languages and dialects
ChinaStandard Chinese (Mandarin), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects
ComorosArabic and French (both official), Shikomoro (Swahili/Arabic blend)
Congo, Democratic Republic of theFrench (official), Lingala, Kingwana, Kikongo, Tshiluba
Congo, Republic ofFrench (official), Lingala, Monokutuba, Kikongo, many local languages and dialects
Costa RicaSpanish (official), English
Côte d'IvoireFrench (official) and African languages (Dioula esp.)
CroatiaCroatian 96% (official), other 4% (including Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, German)
CyprusGreek, Turkish (both official); English
Czech RepublicCzech
DenmarkDanish, Faroese, Greenlandic (Inuit dialect), German; English is the predominant second language
DjiboutiFrench and Arabic (both official), Somali, Afar
DominicaEnglish (official) and French patois
Dominican RepublicSpanish
East TimorTetum, Portuguese (official); Bahasa Indonesia, English; other indigenous languages
EcuadorSpanish (official), Quechua, other Amerindian languages
EgyptArabic (official), English and French widely understood
El SalvadorSpanish, Nahua (among some Amerindians)
Equatorial GuineaSpanish, French (both official); pidgin English, Fang, Bubi, Igbo
EritreaAfar, Arabic, Tigre and Kunama, Tigrinya, other Cushitic languages
EstoniaEstonian 67% (official), Russian 30%
EthiopiaAmharic, Tigrigna, Orominga, Guaragigna, Somali, Arabic, English, over 70 others
FijiEnglish (official), Fijian, Hindustani
FinlandFinnish 92%, Swedish 6% (both official)
FranceFrench 100%
GabonFrench (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
GambiaEnglish (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous
GeorgiaGeorgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azerbaijani 6%, other 7%
GhanaEnglish (official), African languages (including Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, and Ga)
GreeceGreek 99% (official), English, French
GrenadaEnglish (official), French patois
GuatemalaSpanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (23 officially recognized Amerindian languages)
GuineaFrench (official), native tongues (Malinké, Susu, Fulani)
Guinea-BissauPortuguese (official), Criolo, African languages
GuyanaEnglish (official), Amerindian dialects, Creole, Hindi, Urdu
HaitiCreole and French (both official)
HondurasSpanish (official), Amerindian dialects; English widely spoken in business
HungaryMagyar (Hungarian) 94%, other 6%
IcelandIcelandic, English, Nordic languages, German widely spoken
IndiaHindi 30%, English, Bengali, Gujarati, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Kannada, Assamese, Sanskrit, Sindhi (all official); Hindi/Urdu; 1,600+ dialects
IndonesiaBahasa Indonesia (official), English, Dutch, Javanese, and more than 580 other languages and dialects
IranPersian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%
IraqArabic (official), Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions), Assyrian, Armenian
IrelandEnglish, Irish (Gaelic) (both official)
IsraelHebrew (official), Arabic, English
ItalyItalian (official); German-, French-, and Slovene-speaking minorities
JamaicaEnglish, Jamaican Creole
JordanArabic (official), English
KazakhstanKazak (Qazaq, state language) 64%; Russian (official, used in everyday business) 95%
KenyaEnglish (official), Swahili (national), and numerous indigenous languages
KiribatiEnglish (official), I-Kiribati (Gilbertese)
Korea, NorthKorean
Korea, SouthKorean, English widely taught
KosovoAlbanian (official), Serbian (official), Bosnian, Turkish, Roma
KuwaitArabic (official), English
KyrgyzstanKyrgyz, Russian (both official)
LaosLao (official), French, English, various ethnic languages
LatviaLatvian 58% (official), Russian 38%, Lithuanian
LebanonArabic (official), French, English, Armenian
LesothoEnglish, Sesotho (both official); Zulu, Xhosa
LiberiaEnglish 20% (official), some 20 ethnic-group languages
LibyaArabic, Italian, and English widely understood in major cities
LiechtensteinGerman (official), Alemannic dialect
LithuaniaLithuanian 82% (official), Russian 8%, Polish 6% (2001)
LuxembourgLuxermbourgish (national) French, German (both administrative)
MacedoniaMacedonian 67%, Albanian 25% (both official); Turkish 4%, Roma 2%, Serbian 1%
MadagascarMalagasy and French (both official)
MalawiChichewa 57.2% (official), Chinyanja 12.8%, Chiyao 10.1%, Chitumbuka 9.5%, Chisena 2.7%, Chilomwe 2.4%, Chitonga 1.7%, other 3.6%
MalaysiaBahasa Melayu (Malay, official), English, Chinese dialects; several indigenous languages
MaldivesMaldivian Dhivehi (official); English spoken by most government officials
MaliFrench (official), Bambara 80%, numerous African languages
MaltaMaltese and English (both official)
Marshall IslandsMarshallese 98% (two major dialects from the Malayo-Polynesian family), English widely spoken as a second language (both official); Japanese
MauritaniaHassaniya Arabic (official), Pulaar, Soninke, French, Wolof
MauritiusEnglish less than 1% (official), Creole 81%, Bojpoori 12%, French 3% (2000)
MexicoSpanish, various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional indigenous languages
MicronesiaEnglish (official, common), Chukese, Pohnpeian, Yapase, Kosrean, Ulithian, Woleaian, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi
MoldovaMoldovan (official; virtually the same as Romanian), Russian, Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)
MonacoFrench (official), English, Italian, Monégasque
MongoliaMongolian, 90%; also Turkic and Russian (1999)
MontenegroSerbian/Montenegrin (Ijekavian dialect—official)
MoroccoArabic (official), Berber dialects, French often used for business, government, and diplomacy
MozambiquePortuguese 9% (official; second language of 27%), Emakhuwa 26%, Xichangana 11%, Elomwe 8%, Cisena 7%, Echuwabo 6%, other Mozambican languages 32% (1997)
MyanmarBurmese, minority languages
NamibiaEnglish 7% (official), Afrikaans 60%, German 32%; indigenous languages: Oshivambo, Herero, Nama
NauruNauruan (official), English
NepalNepali 48% (official), Maithali 12%, Bhojpuri 7%, Tharu 6%, Tamang 5%, others. English spoken by many in government and business
NetherlandsDutch, Frisian (both official)
New ZealandEnglish, Maori (both official)
NicaraguaSpanish 98% (official); English and indigenous languages on Atlantic coast (1995)
NigerFrench (official), Hausa, Djerma
NigeriaEnglish (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani, and more than 200 others
NorwayBokmål Norwegian, Nynorsk Norwegian (both official); small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities (Sami is official in six municipalities)
OmanArabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
PakistanUrdu 8%, English (both official); Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Siraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, and other
PalauPalauan 64.7%, English 9.4%, Filipino 13.5%, Chinese 5.7%, other languages
Palestinian State (proposed)Arabic, Hebrew, English
PanamaSpanish (official), English 14%, many bilingual
Papua New GuineaTok Pisin (Melanesian Pidgin, the lingua franca), Hiri Motu (in Papua region), English 1%-2%; 715 indigenous languages
ParaguaySpanish, Guaraní (both official)
PeruSpanish, Quéchua (both official); Aymara; many minor Amazonian languages
PhilippinesFilipino (based on Tagalog), English (both official); eight major dialects: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense
PolandPolish 98% (2002)
PortugalPortuguese (official), Mirandese (official, but locally used)
QatarArabic (official); English a common second language
RomaniaRomanian (official), Hungarian, German
RussiaRussian, others
RwandaKinyarwanda, French, and English (all official); Kiswahili in commercial centers
St. Kitts and NevisEnglish
St. LuciaEnglish (official), French patois
St. Vincent and the GrenadinesEnglish, French patois
SamoaSamoan, English
San MarinoItalian
São Tomé and PríncipePortuguese (official)
Saudi ArabiaArabic
SenegalFrench (official); Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka
SerbiaSerbian (official); Romanian, Hungarian, Slovak, and Croatian (all official in Vojvodina); Albanian (official in Kosovo)
SeychellesSeselwa Creole 92%, English 5%, French (all official) (2002)
Sierra LeoneEnglish (official), Mende (southern vernacular), Temne (northern vernacular), Krio (lingua franca)
SingaporeMandarin 35%, English 23%, Malay 14.1%, Hokkien 11.4%, Cantonese 5.7%, Teochew 4.9%, Tamil 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 1.8%, other 0.9% (2000)
SlovakiaSlovak 84% (official), Hungarian 11%, Roma 2%, Ukrainian 1% (2001)
SloveniaSlovenian 91%, Serbo-Croatian 5% (2002)
Solomon IslandsEnglish 1%-2% (official), Melanesian pidgin (lingua franca), 120 indigenous languages
SomaliaSomali (official), Arabic, English, Italian
South AfricaIsiZulu 23.8%, IsiXhosa 17.6%, Afrikaans 13.3%, Sepedi 9.4%, English 8.2%, Setswana 8.2%, Sesotho 7.9%, Xitsonga 4.4%, other 7.2%
South SudanEnglish (official), Arabic (includes Juba and Sudanese variants) (official), regional languages include Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Zande, Shilluk
SpainCastilian Spanish 74% (official nationwide); Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2% (each official regionally)
Sri LankaSinhala 74% (official and national), Tamil 18% (national), other 8%; English is commonly used in government and spoken competently by about 10%
SudanArabic (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, Sudanic languages, English
SurinameDutch (official), Surinamese (lingua franca), English widely spoken, Hindustani, Javanese
SwazilandEnglish, siSwati (both official)
SwedenSwedish, small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities
SwitzerlandGerman 64%, French 20%, Italian 7% (all official); Romansch 0.5% (national)
SyriaArabic (official); Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian widely understood; French, English somewhat understood
TaiwanChinese (Mandarin, official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects
TajikistanTajik (official), Russian widely used in government and business
TanzaniaSwahili, English (both official); Arabic; many local languages
ThailandThai (Siamese), English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects
TogoFrench (official, commerce); Ewé, Mina (south); Kabyé, Dagomba (north); and many dialects
TongaTongan (an Austronesian language), English
Trinidad and TobagoEnglish (official), Hindi, French, Spanish, Chinese
TunisiaArabic (official, commerce), French (commerce)
TurkeyTurkish (official), Kurdish, Dimli, Azeri, Kabardian
TurkmenistanTurkmen 72%; Russian 12%; Uzbek 9%, other 7%
TuvaluTuvaluan, English, Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui)
UgandaEnglish (official), Ganda or Luganda, Swahili, Arabic
UkraineUkrainian 67%, Russian 24%, Romanian, Polish, Hungarian
United Arab EmiratesArabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu
United KingdomEnglish, Welsh, Scots Gaelic
United StatesEnglish 82%, Spanish 11%
UruguaySpanish, Portunol, or Brazilero
UzbekistanUzbek 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%
VanuatuBislama 23%, English 2%, French 1%; more than 100 local languages 73%
Vatican City (Holy See)Italian, Latin, French, various other languages
VenezuelaSpanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects
VietnamVietnamese (official); English; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)
Western Sahara (proposed state)Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic
ZambiaEnglish (official); major vernaculars: Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga; about 70 other indigenous languages
ZimbabweEnglish (official), Shona, Ndebele, numerous minor tribal dialects

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