List of official languages by state

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This is a complete list of the official languages designated in the sovereign states of the world. It includes all languages that have official language status either statewide or in a part of the state, or that have status as a national language, regional language, or minority language.

Only states, which are defined as sovereign, internationally recognised, independent political entities, are listed. This is not a list of countries or nations, although many states listed are simultaneously also countries and/or nations.

For dependent territories, refer to the corresponding sovereign states.

Definitions[edit]

  • Official language: one designated as having a unique legal status in the state, typically, the language used in a nation's legislative bodies, and often, official government business
  • Regional language: one designated as having official status limited to a specific area, administrative division, or territory of the state (on this page a regional language will have parentheses next to it that contain a region, province, etc. where the language has regional status)
  • Minority language: (as used here) one spoken by a minority population within the state and officially designated as such; typically afforded protection and designated an officially permissible language for legal and government business in a specific area or territory of the state (on this page a minority language will be followed by parentheses that identify its minority status)
  • National language: one that uniquely represents the national identity of a state, nation, and/or country and so designated by a country's government; some are technically minority languages (on this page a national language will be followed by parentheses that identify it as a national language status). Some countries have more than one language with this status.


A[edit]

  •  Armenia
    • Armenian[8] (only official language according to the constitution)
    • Russian (de facto co-official, widely used in education))

B[edit]

C[edit]

  •  Canada
    • English (federal; de jure official language)
    • French (federal; de jure official language)
      • De jure official language for the provinces and territories of Manitoba, New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Quebec and the Yukon.
    • Chipewyan (regional; de jure official language in the Northwest Territories)
    • Cree (regional; de jure official language in the Northwest Territories)
    • Gwich’in (regional; de jure official language in the Northwest Territories)
    • Inuinnaqtun (regional; de jure official language in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut)
    • Inuktitut (regional; de jure official language in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut)
    • Inuvialuktun (regional; de jure official language in the Northwest Territories)
    • North Slavey (regional; de jure official language in the Northwest Territories)
    • South Slavey (regional; de jure official language in the Northwest Territories)
    • Tłı̨chǫ (regional; de jure official language in the Northwest Territories)
  •  Chile
    • No official language, Spanish is the de facto official language. (the languages and dialects of ethnic groups are also official in their territories[22])
  •  Colombia
    • Spanish (the languages and dialects of ethnic groups are also official in their territories[23])

D[edit]

E[edit]

  •  Ecuador
    • Spanish (nationwide official language)
    • Quechua (official language of intercultural relation), ancient languages are official in their territories.[30]
    • Kichwa (official minority language)[30]
    • Shuar (official minority language)[30]
  •  Egypt

F[edit]

G[edit]

H[edit]

I[edit]

J[edit]

  •  Japan
    • Japanese (national)

K[edit]

L[edit]

M[edit]

  •  Mauritius
    • English (official)
    • French (national)

N[edit]

O[edit]

P[edit]

  •  Peru
    • Spanish (Official)
    • Aymara (co-official)
    • Quechua (co-official)
    • All native languages in areas where they are spoken by the majority of people

Q[edit]

R[edit]

S[edit]

(all 11 official, statewide)

T[edit]

U[edit]

  •  United States
    • No official language nationwide. English is the de facto but not the de jure official language (at the federal level). Spanish is the second-most commonly used language in the U.S. and many forms and documents are published in both languages.

V[edit]

Y[edit]

Z[edit]

(English, Shona and Ndebele are the most widely spoken languages)

Partially recognised states[edit]

See also[edit]

References and footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Constitution of Afghanistan (Article 16)
  2. ^ Constitution of Albania (Article 14)
  3. ^ Constitution of Algeria (Article 3) (MS Word format)
  4. ^ Constitution of Andorra (Article 2)
  5. ^ "Angola". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 
  6. ^ Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda, 1981 (Article 29)
  7. ^ Provincial Law Nº5598
  8. ^ Constitution of Armenia (Article 12)
  9. ^ Constitution of Austria (Article 8)
  10. ^ a b Constitution of Austria, Article 8 & State Treaty for the Re-establishment of an Independent and Democratic Austria (Article 7, Page 188)
  11. ^ Constitution of Azerbaijan, Constitution of Azerbaijan (English translation) (Article 21)
  12. ^ Constitution of Belgium, in Dutch, French and German (Article 4)
  13. ^ Pomerode institui língua alemã como co-oficial no Município.
  14. ^ Pomerano!?, acessado em 21 de agosto de 2011
  15. ^ No Brasil, pomeranos buscam uma cultura que se perde, acessado em 21 de agosto de 2011
  16. ^ Lei dispõe sobre a cooficialização da língua pomerana no município de Santa maria de Jetibá, Estado do Espírito Santo
  17. ^ Cooficialização da língua alemã em Antônio Carlos
  18. ^ Vereadores aprovam o talian como língua co-oficial do município, acessado em 21 de agosto de 2011
  19. ^ Lei municipal oficializa línguas indígenas em São Gabriel da Cachoeira, acessado em 24 de agosto de 2011
  20. ^ Na Babel brasileira, português é 2ª língua – FLÁVIA MARTIN e VITOR MORENO, enviados especiais a Sâo Gabriel da Cachoeira (AM), acessado em 24 de agosto de 2011
  21. ^ Município do MS adota o guarani como língua oficial, acessado em 24 de agosto de 2011
  22. ^ Indigenal Act, art. 28
  23. ^ Constitution of Colombia, 1991 (Article 10)
  24. ^ a b The Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus. 1960. art. 3, § 1. 
  25. ^ a b "Implementation of the Charter in Cyprus", Database for the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (Public Foundation for European Comparative Minority Research), retrieved 11 August 2013 
  26. ^ Slovak language is defined as official language together with Czech language by several laws – e.g. law 500/2004, 337/1992. Source: http://portal.gov.cz. Cited: "Například Správní řád (zákon č. 500/2004 Sb.) stanovuje: "V řízení se jedná a písemnosti se vyhotovují v českém jazyce. Účastníci řízení mohou jednat a písemnosti mohou být předkládány i v jazyce slovenském..." (§16, odstavec 1). Zákon o správě daní a poplatků (337/1992 Sb.) „Úřední jazyk: Před správcem daně se jedná v jazyce českém nebo slovenském. Veškerá písemná podání se předkládají v češtině nebo slovenštině..." (§ 3, odstavec 1). http://portal.gov.cz
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Citizens belonging to minorities, which traditionally and on long-term basis live within the territory of the Czech Republic, enjoy the right to use their language in communication with authorities and in front of the courts of law (for the list of recognized minorities see National Minorities Policy of the Government of the Czech Republic). The article 25 of the Czech Charter of Fundamental Rights and Basic Freedoms ensures right of the national and ethnic minorities for education and communication with authorities in their own language. Act No. 500/2004 Coll. (The Administrative Rule) in its paragraph 16 (4) (Procedural Language) ensures, that a citizen of the Czech Republic, who belongs to a national or an ethnic minority, which traditionally and on long-term basis lives within the territory of the Czech Republic, have right to address an administrative agency and proceed before it in the language of the minority. In case that the administrative agency doesn't have an employee with knowledge of the language, the agency is bound to obtain a translator at the agency's own expense. According to Act No. 273/2001 (About The Rights of Members of Minorities) paragraph 9 (The right to use language of a national minority in dealing with authorities and in front of the courts of law) the same applies for the members of national minorities also in front of the courts of law.
  28. ^ Constitution of Timor-Leste, section 13. [1]
  29. ^ Constitution of Timor-Leste, section 13. [2]
  30. ^ a b c Constitution of Ecuador 2008, (Article 2)
  31. ^ Constitution of France (Article 2)
  32. ^ Though not explicitly specified in the constitution, this is regulated in §23 Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz (Administrative Procedures Act)
  33. ^ Publication by Ministry of the Interior (in German)
  34. ^ Constitution of Hungary, Article H - www.kormany.hu/download/4/c3/30000/THE%20FUNDAMENTAL%20LAW%20OF%20HUNGARY.pdf
  35. ^ a b c d e f Recognized by Hungary as minority language by the Ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by the Hungarian Parliament - Resolution 35/1995, April 7, 1995 - http://www.complex.hu/kzldat/o95h0035.htm/o95h0035_0.htm
  36. ^ Constitution of Ireland (Article 8)
  37. ^ The Constitution of Jamaica section 20(6e) (implicit)
  38. ^ Priedīte, Aija (2005). "Surveying Language Attitudes and Practices in Latvia". Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 26 (5): 409–424. doi:10.1080/01434630508668413. <quote>In 1992, following further amendments to this directive, Latvian was established as the only official language. It took 410 Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development seven more years before the State language law was adopted in 1999, with further amendments in the years 2000, 2001 and 2002.</quote>
  39. ^ Jarinovska, Kristine. "Popular Initiatives as Means of Altering the Core of the Republic of Latvia", Juridica International. Vol. 20, 2013. p. 152 ISSN1406-5509
  40. ^ Malaysia's Legal System, Eurasia International Legal Network, Malaysia.
  41. ^ a b Article 152 of the Constitution of Malaysia designated Malay as the national language. Section 2 of that article allowed English to be used officially until otherwise provided by Parliament. In 1967, the Parliament of Malaysia passed the National Language Act, making Malay the official language of Malaysia. The act does, however, allow the use of English for some official purposes. On 11 July 1990, following the amendment of the National Language Act 1963/67 (Act 32) (Revised in 1971), Malay replaced English as the official language of the courts in West Malaysia. The amending Act provided English to be used in the Courts in West Malaysia where it deems necessary in the interest of Justice. East Malaysia continued using English as the official language in their courts.[40] Since 2007, the official policy is to refer to the national language as the Malaysian language (Bahasa Malaysia), although legislation still refers to the Malay language (Bahasa Melayu).
  42. ^ Constitution of Monaco (Article 8)
  43. ^ "Article 3 – Language". The Constitution of The Republic of Namibia. orusovo.com. Retrieved 23 April 2008. 
  44. ^ https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/wa.html 32% Namibians speak German
  45. ^ "United Kingdom; Key Facts". Commonwealth Secretariat. Retrieved 23 April 2008. 
  46. ^ "Cornish gains official recognition". BBC News. 6 November 2002. Retrieved 8 May 2008. 
  47. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at Crawford, James (June 24, 2008). "Language Legislation in the U.S.A.". languagepolicy.net. Retrieved April 27, 2011. 
  48. ^ "Alaska Supreme Court Upholds State's Official English Law". Business Wire. November 5, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  49. ^ "Arizona makes English official". Washington Times. November 8, 2006. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  50. ^ "Keetoowah Cherokee is the Official Language of the UKB". http://keetoowahcherokee.org/. Keetoowah Cherokee News: Official Publication of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma. April 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  51. ^ "UKB Constitution and By-Laws in the Keetoowah Cherokee Language (PDF)". http://www.keetoowahcherokee.org/. United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  52. ^ "The Cherokee Nation & its Language". University of Minnesota: Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition. 2008. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  53. ^ Slipke, Darla (November 3, 2010). "Oklahoma elections: Republican-backed measures win approval". NewsOK. The Oklahoman. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  54. ^ "Samoa now an official language of instruction in American Samoa". Radio New Zealand International. 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  55. ^ Crawford, James. "Puerto Rico and Official English". languagepolicy.net. Retrieved April 27, 2011. 
  56. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". visitusvi.com. United States Virgin Islands. Retrieved April 27, 2011. 
  57. ^ "Taiwan Information: People and Language". Asia-planet.net (Information provided by Tourism Bureau, ROC). Retrieved 30 August 2009.