List of official languages

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This is a list of official languages of sovereign countries.

Official languages of supra-national institutions[edit]

Different organisations sometimes refer to their principal languages of administration and communication as "working languages", whilst others refer to these as being "official".

Official languages of sovereign countries, wholly or partly[edit]

A[edit]

Afar:

Afrikaans:

Aja-Gbe:

Akan (Akuapem Twi, Ashante Twi, Fante):

Albanian:

Amharic:

Anii:

Arabic (see also List of countries where Arabic is an official language):

Armenian:

Assamese:

  • India (with 21 other regional languages, and with English as a link language)

Aymara:

Azerbaijani:

B[edit]

Balanta:

Bambara:

Bariba:

Basque:

Bassari:

Bedik:

Belarusian:

Bengali:

Berber:

Biali:

Bislama:

Boko:

Bomu:

Bosnian:

Bozo:

Buduma:

Bulgarian:

Burmese:

C[edit]

Cantonese:

Catalan:

Chinese, Mandarin:

Chichewa:

Chirbawe (Sena):

Comorian

Croatian:

Czech:

  • Czech Republic
  • Slovakia (legislation states that a person using Czech language at a Slovak institution must be treated as if using Slovak language)

D[edit]

Dagaare:

Dagbani:

Dangme

Danish:

Dari:

  • Afghanistan (a local variant of Persian, but defined as "Dari" in the Afghan constitution; together with Pashto)[25]

Dendi:

Dhivehi:

Dioula:

Dogon:

Dutch:

Dzongkha:

E[edit]

English (see also List of countries where English is an official language):

Estonian:

Ewe-Gbe:

F[edit]

Fijian:

Filipino:

Finnish:

Fon-Gbe:

Foodo:

Formosan:

French (see also List of countries where French is an official language):

Fula:

G[edit]

Ga:

Gàidhlig:

Gbe:

Gen-Gbe:

Georgian:

German:

Gonja:

Gourmanché

Greek:

Guaraní:

Gujarati:

  • India

H[edit]

Haitian Creole:

Hakka:

Hassaniya:

Hausa:

Hebrew:

Hindi:

Hiri Motu:

Hungarian:

I[edit]

Igbo:

Icelandic:

Indonesian:

Irish:

Italian:

J[edit]

Japanese:

  • Japan (de facto)

Jola:

K[edit]

Kabye:

Kalanga:

Kannada:

  • India (with 21 other regional Languages, and with English as a link language)

Kanuri:

Kasem:

Kazakh:

Khmer:

Kinyarwanda:

Kirundi:

Kissi

Khoisan:

Korean:

Korean Sign Language:

Kpelle:

Kurdish:

Kyrgyz:

L[edit]

Lao:

Latvian:

Lithuanian:

Lukpa:

Luxembourgish:

M[edit]

Macedonian:

Malagasy:

Malay:

Malinke:

Maltese:

Mamara:

Manding (Mandinka, Malinke):

Mandinka:

Mandjak:

Mankanya:

Manx Gaelic:

Māori:

  • New Zealand (with English and New Zealand Sign Language)

Marshallese:

Mauritian Creole

Mbelime:

Moldovan

Mongolian:

Montenegrin:

Mossi:

N[edit]

Nambya:

Nateni:

Nauruan

Ndau:

Ndebele (Northern):

Ndebele (Southern):

Nepali:

New Zealand Sign Language:

  • New Zealand (with English and Māori)

Noon:

North Korean:

Northern Sotho:

Norwegian:

  • Norway (two official written forms - Bokmål and Nynorsk)

Nzema:

O[edit]

Oniyan:

Ossetian:

P[edit]

Palauan:

Papiamento:

Pashto:

Persian:

Polish:

Portuguese:

Punjabi:

Q[edit]

Quechua:

R[edit]

Romanian:

Romansh:

Russian:

S[edit]

Safen:

Samoa

Sango

Sena:

Serbian:

Serer:

Seychellois Creole

Shona:

Sinhala:

Slovak:

Slovene:

Somali:

Songhay-Zarma:

Soninke:

Sotho:

Spanish:

Susu:

Swahili:

Swati:

Swedish:

Syenara:

T[edit]

Tajik:

Tagalog:

Tamasheq:

Tamil:

Tammari:

Tasawaq:

Tebu:

Telugu:

Tetum:

Thai:

Tigrinya:

Tok Pisin:

Toma:

Tonga:

Tongan

Tsonga:

Tswana:

Turkish:

Turkmen:

Tuvaluan

U[edit]

Ukrainian:

Urdu:

  • Pakistan (with English)
  • Fiji (with English and Bau Fijian; known constitutionally as Hindustani as an umbrella term to cover Urdu, as well as Hindi.)

Uzbek:

V[edit]

Venda:

Vietnamese:

W[edit]

Waama:

Waci-Gbe:

Wamey:

Welsh:

Wolof:

X[edit]

Xhosa:

Xwela-Gbe:

Y[edit]

Yobe:

Yom:

Yoruba:

Z[edit]

Zimbabwean sign language:

Zulu:

Number of countries with the same official language[edit]

This is a ranking of languages by number of sovereign countries in which they are de jure or de facto official (or with a national language status).

Language World Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania Countries
English 59 24 16 4 3 12 India, United States, Pakistan, United Kingdom. See the full list
French 29 21 2 - 5 1 France, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Canada, Madagascar. See the full list
Arabic 27 14 - 13 - - Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Morocco. See the full list
Spanish 20 1 18 - 1 - Spain, Mexico, Equatorial Guinea, Easter Island in (Oceania). See the full list
Portuguese 10 6 1 2 1 - Brazil, Portugal, Mozambique, Angola. See full list
Russian 8 - - 3 5 - Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Abkhazia*, South Ossetia*, Transnistria*. See also the full list
German 7 1 - - 6 - Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Namibia
Fula 7 7 - - - - Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal
Italian 4 - - - 4 - Italy, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican City
Malay 4 - - 4 - - Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei
Manding 4 4 - - - - Burkina Faso (Dioula), Guinea (Malinke), Mali (Bambara), Senegal (Maninka)
Northern Sami 4 - - - 4 - Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia
Swahili 4 4 - - - - Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda
Danish 3 - 1 - 2 - Denmark, Faroe Island*, Greenland*
Dutch 3 - 1 - 2 - Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname
Gbe 3 3 - - - - Benin, Ghana, Togo
Mandarin Chinese 3 - - 3 - - China, Singapore, Taiwan
Tamil 3 - - 3 - - India, Singapore, Sri Lanka
Persian 3 - - 3 - - Iran, Afghanistan (known as Dari), Tajikistan (known as Tajik)
Romanian 3 - - - 3 - Romania, Moldova, Transnistria*
Serbian 3 - - - 3 - Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*
Somali 3 3 - - - - Djibouti, Somalia, Somaliland*
Soninke 3 3 - - - - Mali, Mauritania, Senegal
Tswana 3 3 - - - - Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Bengali 2 - - 2 - - Bangladesh, India
Armenian 2 - - - 2 - Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh*
Aymara & Quechua 2 - 2 - - - Bolivia and Peru
Berber 2 2 - - - - Algeria and Morocco
Catalan 2 - - - 2 - Andorra and Spain
Chichewa 2 2 - - - - Malawi and Zimbabwe
Croatian 2 - - - 2 - Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Greek 2 - - - 2 - Greece and Cyprus
Hausa 2 2 - - - - Niger and Nigeria
Hindi 2 - - 1 - 1 India and Fiji
Korean 2 - - 2 - - North Korea and South Korea
Lingala 2 2 - - - - Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of the Congo
Samoan 2 - - - - 2 American Samoa and Samoa
Slovak 2 - - - 2 - Slovakia and Czech Republic
Songhay-Zarma 2 2 - - - - Mali, Niger
Sotho 2 2 - - - - Lesotho and South Africa
Swati 2 2 - - - - Eswatini (Swaziland) and South Africa
Swedish 2 - - - 2 - Sweden and Finland
Tamasheq 2 2 - - - - Mali and Niger
Tigrinya 2 2 - - - - Eritrea and Ethiopia
Turkish 2 - - - 2 - Turkey and Cyprus
Ukrainian 2 - - - 2 - Ukraine and Transnistria*
Venda 2 2 - - - - South Africa and Zimbabwe
Wolof 2 2 - - - - Mauritania and Senegal
Xhosa 2 2 - - - - South Africa and Zimbabwe
Finnish 1 - - - 1 - Finland
Norwegian 1 - - - 1 - Norway
Icelandic 1 - - - 1 - Iceland
Note
Asterisk shows the countries which independence is disputed

Official regional and minority languages[edit]

Abaza:

Adyghe:

Aghul:

  • Dagestan (as one of the Dagestan peoples languages; with Russian)[63]

Aklanon:

  • Visayas (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Kinaray-a, Surigaonon, Tagalog, and Waray)[64]

Albanian:

  • Serbia (in Kosovo and several municipalities in Central-Serbia)
  • Macedonia (in some municipalities)

Altay:

Arabic:

Aranese see Occitan

Armenian:

Assamese:

Avar:

  • Dagestan (as one of the Dagestan peoples languages; with Russian)[63]

Azeri:

  • Dagestan (as one of the Dagestan peoples languages; with Russian)[63]

Balkar:

Bashkir:

Basque:

Bengali:

Bikol:

  • Luzon and Visayas (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Aklanon, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ibanag, Ilocano, Ivatan, Kapampangan, Kinaray-a, Pangasinan, Sambal, Surigaonon, Tagalog, and Waray)[64]

Bosnian:

Buryat:

Cantonese Chinese:

  • China:


Catalan:

Cebuano:

  • Luzon and Mindanao (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Aklanon, Bikol, Chavacano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Kinaray-a, Maguindanao, Maranao, Surigaonon, Tagalog, Tausug, Waray, and Yakan)[64]

Chavacano:

  • Mindanao (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Maguindanao, Maranao, Surigaonon, Tagalog, Tausug, and Yakan)[64]

Chechen:

Cherkess:

Cherokee:

Chipewyan:

  • Northwest Territories (with Cree, English, French, Gwich'in, Innuinaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey and Tłįchǫ (Dogrib))

Chukchi:

  • Sakha (local official language; in localities with Chukchi population)[72]

Chuvash

Cree:

  • Northwest Territories (with Chipewyan, English, French, Gwich'in, Innuinaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey and Tłįchǫ (Dogrib))

Crimean Tatar

  • Crimea (with Russian and Ukrainian)

Croatian:

Dargwa:

  • Dagestan (as one of the Dagestan peoples languages; with Russian)[63]

Dolgan:

  • Sakha (local official language; in localities with Dolgan population)[72]

Dutch:

English:

  • parts of Canada:
  • The United Kingdom:

Erzya:

Even:

  • Sakha (local official language; in localities with Even population)[72]

Evenki:

  • Sakha (local official language; in localities with Evenki population)[72]

Faroese:

Finnish:

  • Karelia (authorized language; with Karelian and Veps)[75]

French:

  • parts of Canada

Frisian (West):

Gagauz:

Galician:

  • part of Spain

German:

Greek:

Guaraní:

Gujarati:

Gwich'in:

  • Northwest Territories (with Cree, Chipewyan, English, French, Innuinaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey and Tłįchǫ (Dogrib))

Hawaiian:

Hiligaynon:

  • Visayas and Mindanao (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Aklanon, Bikol, Cebuano, Chavacano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Kinaray-a, Maguindanao, Maranao, Surigaonon, Tagalog, Tausug, Waray, and Yakan)[64]

Hindi:

Hungarian:

Ibanag:

  • Luzon (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Bikol, Ilocano, Ivatan, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Sambal, and Tagalog)[64]

Ilocano:

  • Luzon and Mindanao (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Bikol, Cebuano, Chavacano, Hiligaynon, Ibanag, Ilocano, Ivatan, Kapampangan, Maguindanao, Maranao, Pangasinan, Sambal, Surigaonon, Tagalog, Tausug, and Yakan.)[64]

Ingush:

Inuinnaqtun:

  • Northwest Territories (with Cree, Chipewyan, English, French, Gwich'in, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey and Tłįchǫ (Dogrib))
  • Nunavut (with English, French, and Inuktitut)

Inuktitut:

  • Nunavut (with English, French, and Inuinnaqtun)
  • Northwest Territories (with Cree, Chipewyan, English, French, Gwich'in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey and Tłįchǫ (Dogrib))

Inuvialuktun:

  • Northwest Territories (with Cree, Chipewyan, English, French, Gwich'in, Innuinaqtun, Inuktitut, North Slavey, South Slavey and Tłįchǫ (Dogrib))

Irish:

Italian:

Ivatan:

  • Luzon (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Bikol, Ibanag, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Sambal, and Tagalog)[64]

Japanese:

Kabardian

Kalaallisut:

Kalmyk:

Kannada:

  • India (with 21 other regional languages)

Kapampangan:

  • Luzon (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Bikol, Ilocano, Ibanag, Ivatan, Pangasinan, Sambal, and Tagalog)[64]

Karachay:

Karelian:

  • Karelia (authorized language; with Finnish and Veps)[75]

Kashmiri:

Kazakh:

Khakas:

Khanty:

Kinaray-a:

  • Visayas (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Aklanon, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Surigaonon, Tagalog, and Waray)[64]

Komi:

Komi-Permyak:

Korean:

Kumyk:

  • Dagestan (as one of the Dagestan peoples languages; with Russian)[63]

Kyrgyz:

Lak:

  • Dagestan (as one of the Dagestan peoples languages; with Russian)[63]

Lezgian

  • Dagestan (as one of the Dagestan peoples languages; with Russian)[63]

Macedonian:*part of Albania

Maguindanao:

  • Mindanao (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Cebuano, Chavacano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Maranao, Surigaonon, Tagalog, Tausug, and Yakan)[64]

Malayalam:

Mansi:

Maranao:

  • Mindanao (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Cebuano, Chavacano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Maguindanao, Surigaonon, Tagalog, Tausug, and Yakan)[64]

Marathi:

Mari (Hill and Meadow):

Mayan:

Moksha:

Mongolian:

Náhuatl:

  • Mexico (*only recognized)
  • El Salvador (*only recognized)

Nenets:

Nepali:

  • India (with 21 other regional languages)

Nogai:

Occitan:

Odia:

  • India (with 21 other regional languages)

Ossetic (Digor and Iron dialects):

Pangasinan:

  • Luzon (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Bikol, Ibanag, Ilocano, Ivatan, Kapampangan, Sambal, and Tagalog)[64]

Portuguese:*part of the People's Republic of China

Punjabi:

Romanian:

  • Vojvodina (with Croatian, Serbian, Hungarian, Slovak and Ruthenian)

Russian. Russian is fixed as a state language in the Constitutions of the republics of the Russian Federation:

Rusyn:

  • Vojvodina (with Croatian, Serbian, Romanian, Hungarian, Slovak)
  • Ukraine
    • Zakarapts'ka region (with Ukrainian, Hungarian)

Rutul:

  • Dagestan (as one of the Dagestan peoples languages; with Russian)[63]

Sakha:

Sambal:

  • Luzon (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Bikol, Ibanag, Ilocano, Ivatan, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, and Tagalog)[64]

Sami:

  • Finland (in four municipalities)
  • Norway (in six municipalities in two provinces)
  • Sweden (in four municipalities and surrounding municipalities)

Sanskrit:

  • India (with 21 other regional languages)

Saraiki

Sarikoli:

Scottish Gaelic:

  • Scotland (United Kingdom) (with English and Scots)

Scots:

Selkup:

Serbian:

Sindhi:

  • India (with 21 other regional languages)
  • Pakistan (Official language in the Province of Sindh along with Urdu and English)

North and South Slavey:

  • Northwest Territories (with Cree, Chipewyan, English, French, Gwich'in, Innuinaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, and Tłįchǫ (Dogrib))

Slovak:

  • part of Serbia
  • Vojvodina (with Croatian, Serbian, Hungarian, Romanian and Ruthenian)

Slovene:

Spanish:

Surigaonon:

  • Visayas and Mindanao (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Aklanon, Bikol, Cebuano, Chavacano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Kinaray-a, Maguindanao, Maranao, Tagalog, Tausug, Waray, and Yakan)[64]

Tabasaran:

  • Dagestan (as one of the Dagestan peoples languages; with Russian)[63]

Tagalog:

  • Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Aklanon, Bikol, Cebuano, Chavacano, Hiligaynon, Ibanag, Ilocano, Ivatan, Kapampangan, Kinaray-a, Maguindanao, Maranao, Pangasinan, Sambal, Surigaonon, Tausug, Waray, and Yakan)[64]

Tahitian:

Tamil:

Tat:

  • Dagestan (as one of the Dagestan peoples languages; with Russian)[63]

Tatar:

Tausug:

  • Mindanao (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Cebuano, Chavacano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Maguindanao, Surigaonon, Tagalog, Maranao, and Yakan)[64]

Telugu:

Tibetan:

Tłįchǫ:

  • Northwest Territories (with Cree, Chipewyan, English, French, Gwich'in, Innuinaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, and South Slavey)

Tsakhur:

  • Dagestan (as one of the Dagestan peoples languages; with Russian)[63]

Tswana:

Turkish:

Tuvan:

Udmurt:

Urdu:

Uyghur:

Veps:

  • Karelia (authorized language; with Finnish and Karelian)[75]

Vietnamese:

Waray:

Welsh:

  • Wales (United Kingdom) (with English)

Yakan:

  • Mindanao (Philippines) (with Filipino, English, Cebuano, Chavacano, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Maguindanao, Maranao, Surigaonon, Tagalog, and Tausug)[64]

Yiddish:

Yukaghir:

  • Sakha (local official language; in localities with Yukaghir population)[72]

Zhuang:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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