Template talk:English official language clickable map

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Singapore should be listed as english as its main language

Bhutan, Maldives[edit]

Bhutan and the Maldives should probably not be listed. --dab (𒁳) 09:54, 26 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]


English is not an official language in Quebec, although it is an official language nationwide in Canada. Turns out, the only bilingual province in Canada is New Brunswick. KriZe 16:25, 13 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

For the five-hundred-millionth time... QUEBEC IS NOT A COUNTRY!!! Please make it dark blue with the rest of Canada. Roger (talk) 15:59, 25 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Québec is not a country, and language is not a federal jurisdiction. God forbid anyone should get the impression that ALL of Canada is perfectly homogenous.. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:46, 9 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Solomon Is[edit]

Can someone who knows how change the clickable area over the Solomon Islands to not point to New Guinea, as it is a separate country! Thankyou Graeme Bartlett (talk) 02:38, 4 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

US English[edit]

As United States English redirects to American English, I've changed the link to American English. – Marco79 14:15, 27 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Anglosphere / Anglophone World[edit]

This template gives a helpful and useful visual representation of the Anglosphere, but perhaps it's description presents the Angloshere in terms which are too linguistically based - ie the Anglosphere seems to be more a matter of socio-cultural values, and politico-legal ideas than language. It does not seem that the Anglosphere is the same thing as the Anglophone world, although there is a lot of overlap. Arcan (talk) 11:07, 9 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]

South Africa?[edit]

Shouldn't South Africa be light blue? While it certainly has a higher percentage of its population as native English speakers than, say, India, that percentage is still minority by a substantial amount. --Jfruh (talk) 20:15, 11 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Languages_of_South_Africa agrees with this: only a sixth are native English. --BozMo talk 21:42, 2 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Here's my reasoning for keeping SA dark blue... If there were only one language above English that was spoken by 32.5 million people, then we could call the 8.2% English speakers (2001 census) "insignificant". Yet there are not one, but five different languages listed that sport more speakers than English. There are:
  • Zulu – 23.8%
  • Xhosa – 17.6%
  • Afrikaans – 13.3%
  • Northern Sotho – 9.4%
  • Tswana – 8.2%
So the 8.2% of the total population who speak English is also 34.5% of the number of people who speak the most widely spread tongue, Zulu, and...
  • 46.6% of Xhosa speakers
  • 61.7% of Afrikaans speakers
  • 87.2% of Northern Sotho speakers
  • 99.9% of Tswana speakers
And when one remembers that there are also five other main languages that are spoken by fewer people than those who speak English, this makes English much more significant than it would appear at first glance, doesn't it?
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  02:07, 8 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

English language in Quebec[edit]

There is an error in this template. English language is not an official language at all of Quebec. It is spoken by some people (most of the time in Montreal) but is not official (see Charter of the French Language).

Jimmy Lavoie × Vive le Québec! talk 18:25, 25 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Canada is officially bilingual, with English one of the official languages of the country. Why should the provincial level be considered more significant than the federal one? (talk) 00:11, 12 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
In very short - French is the only official language of Quebec. But it is not the only official language in Quebec. WilyD 05:09, 12 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]
It doesn't ask whether it is an official language, it asks whether "English is spoken natively by a significant population", which it is in Quebec (even though not by the majority or government). ----Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 04:55, 28 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]
And English not being official in la Belle Province is racism, pure and simple. Good old-fashioned ethnic oppression.
Varlaam (talk) 05:58, 22 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
This issue comes up practically every time a page contains both the words "English" and "Canada". Quebec is not a country! End of discussion. Roger (talk) 15:33, 27 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]


Is there a reason there is no link to Scottish English while the template links to Mid-Ulster English? The political status of both areas are practically identical, and British English is the written variety in both while being the spoken variety in neither. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 11:27, 18 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Working on it, DoP; thank you for noting this!
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  10:56, 8 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Asian links not good[edit]

The link over Malaysia seems to be to "languages of Uganda"? Singaporean English should be listed? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:15, 20 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Hiya 78! Thank you for noting this. The Uganda link has been fixed and is now over Uganda. Malaysia and Singapore have been added with their own links. Some of the islands in Oceania still need work, and they will hopefully be up and running in a few days.
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  10:36, 8 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]


Singapore has a "predominantly English-speaking society". its main language is english [1] (talk) 22:43, 21 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Singapore is working and "in the blue".
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  10:38, 8 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Denmark, and maybe others[edit]

Denmark, and most likely other nations, English is the predominant second language spoken by a majority of people. It should be added to the map, and in fact the map should be updated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 13 April 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Denmark is linked by mouseover to the English as lingua franca section of the "English language in Europe" article. English is not a "native" tongue of the Danes, and the only official language of Denmark is Danish, so its gray color on the map appears to be correct.
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  10:53, 8 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Citations for all included countries please[edit]

Note. This request was brought over from the archived talk page.
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  12:55, 10 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Hi, please provide citations for any included countries and not make assumptions which is very misleading and unencyclopedic. --Bardcom (talk) 20:10, 4 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Since this is a template, it does not list reference citations, and instead it relies upon the verifications utilized in each of the articles to which it links. Happy editing!
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  12:55, 10 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Hong Kong?(2)[edit]

It would be a stretch to have it in dark blue, IMO Nicholas.tan (talk) 21:09, 28 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, noted. I've changed the maplink to Hong Kong English, which gives a better idea of the standing of English in this fascinating city. Over time, the consensus appears to be that English is spoken there by a significant number of people, and this verifiable item (as cited in the article above) keeps Hong Kong in the dark blue. If you can find a verifiable source to the contrary, then please do produce it.
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  04:56, 1 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
This template is flirting with NPOV violation and can be accused of bias if it does not clearly state its rationale and show that the definitions it is using aren't arbitrary. The article List of countries by English-speaking population seems to give a basis for comparison. If a better one can be found please provide.
Please also list some articles where "|titlestyle = padding-right: 7%;" is detrimental to the overall layout so I can understand the problem. Thank you. Lambanog (talk) 13:16, 3 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
To be honest, I agree that the Philippines should be dark blue. And I will study the list you gave more closely to see if there are other countries, like perhaps Nigeria, that should also be dark blue. As for the titlestyle, you should use a sandbox to see how your changes work across skins and compared with other Navbars. The padding change you made uncentered the title and placed the [Show]/[Hide] link on this template far to the left of all those on other Navbars in my IE7 browser. What are you hoping to accomplish by nonstandardizing the titlestyle?
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  08:08, 5 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
The only thing that would make me hesitate with Nigeria is that Pidgin English has been counted as English in the counting and since I have not visited the country I am unqualified to judge how material that is.
I have my suspicions that some unofficial English speaking nations might have more and better English speakers than some of the blue colored nations including the Philippines but my main issue is that relative comparisons be accurate and that misconceptions not be created or perpetuated. The same standards should be applied to all the same way. I'm guessing the map is derived from a map on the English Commonwealth and that's why some former members of the British Empire seem more likely to pass as dark blue.
I think I see the problem with the the center alignment I've been trying to solve. By browser automatically disables some javascript from running and that apparently affects the layout of navboxes so that the titles do not appear centered. I'll try to keep that in mind and test using both scenarios before making changes in the future. Thank you. Lambanog (talk) 12:23, 5 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, the Nigerian English may be a bit iffy. It's going to take some time to sort things out. Any help's appreciated greatly! Don't be too concerned with making mistakes around here, Lambanog. Heaven knows I've made my share. With the widespread usage of most templates, it's almost always best to test before "going live". I like your ideas about clearly stating the Navbar's rationale and showing that the definitions it is using aren't arbitrary. We should probably consider using a /doc for this. Verifiability, always of the utmost importance, would be much easier to show that way and would not clutter the template itself. I'll start one, and then editors can go from there.
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  02:30, 6 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

(out). Okay, that's done, along with a new sandbox and a new testcases page. The sky's the limit?
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  04:02, 6 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

The basic "definitions" that this map is biased on have serious errors of logic[edit]

These two statements are not logically mutually exclusive: "Dark blue: Countries and territories where English is spoken natively by a significant population." "Light blue: Countries where English is an official language but not widely spoken."

South Africa is an excellent example of a country where both statements can be argued to be true depending on how one defines some of the key phrases.

The phrase "a significant population" needs a proper numeric definition. I think practically everyone would agree that 50% is "significant", but how many would accept 25% as the cut-off, or how about 10% or even 5%? Deciding on a number will instantly solve many disagreements.

The phrase "widely spoken" is similarly problematic. Does it apply to first language speakers only? If it is taken to include second language speakers the "not mutually exclusive" problem comes up. How many countries even have statistics for second language use? South Africa does not.

There are countries where English is official but have practically zero native speakers. Depending on the numeric definition of "significant" there could also be countries where "English is spoken natively by a significant population" but it is not an official language.

Returning to the example of South Africa - the following statements are all true: English is an official language. English is the native language of only a small minority (under 10%). English is widely understood and used as a second language. So what colour should SA be on the map?

Roger (talk) 14:04, 7 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Yeah, agree with Roger. So problematic. FYI, English is not the official language in Malaysia, except in the states of Sabah and Sarawak. But English is certainly spoken by big number of people. There are a small percentage of native english speakers but also a high percentage of English as second language speakers. It is not a foreign language but not a native either. Also English is the lingua franca in most businesses. To sum it all: Malaysia is a country where English is not (or partly) the official language but widely spoken. There is no link in the country box at the bottom either. Tikar aurum (talk) 18:26, 26 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I've changed the definitions to match what's on the map more closely. Whether it's best to include English Creoles is debatable, but it's clearly what the map does.
My opinion is that South Africa has a significant native English-speaking population, both in relative (7%) and absolute (3 million) terms. (talk) 15:23, 18 April 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I found the criteria listed in the legend to be convoluted, vague and not mutually exclusive. I changed the criteria to indicate two specific categories: countries with a majority of native engish speakers; and countries with a minority of native speakers but with english as an official language. Note that majority refers specifically to "greater than 50%", and that "native language", "first language" and "mother tongue" are synonymous. This does not consider second language speakers nor places where widely used nor where it is a lingua franca. Conveniently, the map already had evolved toward these criteria. I adjusted the lists to match. I also italicized all non-sovereign territories on the list. Bcharles (talk) 15:38, 25 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Native language, first language, and mother tongue are not synonymous. A country can have many native languages with only one of them a mother tongue for a citizen of said country. The criteria this map uses currently in its classification is as arbitrary and biased as the one used earlier. Why is majority first language a better criterion than simply majority? It is biased towards the older notion of Anglosphere. For example is English really "native" to Ireland? The national language of Ireland is Irish. Why is Ireland in dark blue? Lambanog (talk) 07:49, 29 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]


Fiji is labelled as "not widely spoken". When I was there in the 1980s, everybody on Viti Levu anyway spoke English, shopkeepers, cart vendors, bus drivers, panhandlers. At this point, I don't recall anyone who did not speak English.
Varlaam (talk) 06:06, 22 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]


Malaysia is highlighted as light blue on the map, but English is not an Official language here. However it is correctly not listed beneath the map. (talk) 17:48, 20 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

United States Official Language/Map problem[edit]

English is not the official language of the USA. The US doesn't have an official language. (talk) 04:24, 2 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

According to the map legend The US is identified as a country with a significant population of native English speakers. In fact the majority of Americans are English speaking, so what is the problem? The official status or lack thereof is not a factor at all in the countries marked with dark blue. Roger (talk) 08:19, 6 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Actually the map legend specifies "where English is an official language" in both cases. The legend needs to be changed to either get rid of the official language bit or specify a new color to signify countries with no/different official languages but an English-speaking majority.-- (talk) 19:40, 17 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Perhaps a better legend for the dark blue would be "Countries and territories where English is an official language and/or spoken natively by a significant population" (replace "and" with "and/or"). Goustien (talk) 12:41, 28 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]


English is an official language of Somaliland, can it please be included in the map. Outback the koala (talk) 20:40, 11 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Removal of Somaliland[edit]

This has been removed here by User:Dodger67 with the explanation that "it's not a UN recognised country" . This is not a valid argument as on wikipedia we do not take sides in international conflict between states and there is a long consensus to list all states on the List of states with limited recognition along with all other states. Given it's status and User:Doger67's objection to this, maybe we can put a footnote in or something? Would that be alright? Outback the koala (talk) 21:35, 30 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Can you please provide a link to some discussion or guideline on the " long consensus to list all states on the List of states with limited recognition along with all other states"? Can you also provde a link to the guideline that shows how "This is not a valid argument as on wikipedia we do not take sides in international conflict between states"? Otherwise I'd have to agree with Dodger's removal on this one, and remove the item again. Thanks. - BilCat (talk) 06:16, 31 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Regarding Somaliland specifically I can point to this discussion here [2] however the debate continues over the next 2 archive pages (archive 2 and 3) After a mediation here I have not been challenged about this issue as of yet. There has also been discussion on the limited states talk and the Somaliland talk directly regarding this. Now, we even include it on the List of sovereign states under "other states". Would you be interested in reopening the discussion? If so I would like to be a participant. As for this page, I think a footnote would be a fair compromise to the situation where two+ editors disagree. Outback the koala (talk) 06:57, 31 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Pitcairn Islands and Seychelles[edit]

English is one of the three official languages of Seychelles, so it should be included here in the "Countries and territories where English is an official language, but not the majority language" list.

Also, shouldn't the Pitcairn Islands be in the same list as Norfolk Island? They both have English as an official language and both speak the same English-based creole language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:48, 31 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Belize and other Caribbean creoles[edit]

I moved Belize from the list of "official" English countries to the list of "majority" English countries. Arguably, none of the Caribbean countries where an English based Creole is the majority language should be treated as English majority countries. But drawing the line between Creole and "standard" English can be difficult, and every other Caribbean country with an English based Creole was treated as "majority". I'm not sure how to fix the map color for Belize, and I am not at all opposed to moving all the other countries (Guyana, Jamaica, various states in the Lesser Antilles) to the "official" list. It might be better to treat Creole majority countries as separate category, however. There are also countries in Melanesia (Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands) where an English based creole is more widely spoken than "standard" English and has official status, but the creole is still not a majority language.Plantdrew (talk) 20:46, 4 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Ethiopia and Eritrea[edit]

Both are listed under the map in the Official language section, but are not marked in light blue! best, Sunil060902 (talk) 21:22, 24 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]


This needs a bit of cleanup. I added quite a number of articles to this template, but this template is so complicated that I was barely able to figure out how to do it. In the process I introduced some formating errors and oddities in the code, nothing urgent or too serous, but could someone who's more experienced with templates then I am clean this up please. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 13:23, 4 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Creole countries[edit]

There are several countries where the most spoken language is an English-based creole and the official language is English. Said creoles are consistently described as separate languages in the literature on the subject. Thus I suggest that these countries be coloured light blue rather than dark blue. Munci (talk) 04:17, 3 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]

It's not quite as cut-and-dried as that. Most speakers of a given English Creole also speak English with varying degrees of fluency. Further, the difference between English and its Creole is not a line, but a continuum between the two languages. In addition, almost all education and media in those countries is almost exclusively in English, and as a result, most Creole speakers in those countries are functionally bilingual from a very young age. Most speakers of English Creoles would probably consider themselves English speakers, and many speak better English than some speakers of rural SAE, or AAVE in the US. The only exceptions to that would be in countries where other languages are also common, and the English Creole serves as a lingua franca, such as in Belize, where Spanish and native languages are also spoken. (Note that Belize is colored light blue, probably for that reason.)
For these reasons, it's probably better to keep the map as-is. - BilCat (talk) 05:10, 3 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
The difference between creoles and English (or other source languages) is clear enough to get their own ISO codes. 'better English' is personal judgement which irrelevant to an encyclopedia. Munci (talk) 20:36, 3 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Even with separate ISO codes, the languages are closely related enough that Creoles have been, and to some degree still are, considered variants or dialects of English. As to "better English", it was an example, not a citation, nor the crux of my response. The point is that English is widely spoken and understand in English Creole speaking countries to the point that those countries are as English-speaking as the US, Canada, the UK, or even Ireland. If you're going to split hairs, then Quebec and parts of the UK and US should be colored light blue also! - BilCat (talk) 22:51, 3 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
@BilCat: 1) "considered variants or dialects of English" by who? Because the opinions that matter are those of experts. Would you trust the opinion of some randomer on medicine? So why anything different on lingustics? 2) The reason for the knowledge of English is not the creole itself; it's the status of official language for English (which can of course be changed). There are examples of creole languages being spoken in countries where the official language is not closely related e.g. Sranan Tongo in Suriname 3) and yes, Quebec and parts of the UK and US should be colored light blue also. Munci (talk) 07:20, 12 May 2016 (UTC)[reply]
A bad linguist isn't generally going to kill someone, except in an extreme situation of a bad translation causing a deadly misunderstanding! It's certainly not on the level of bad medicine. And you missed my point entirely. The "by whom" is often the speakers of those Creoles, which I know from both personal knowledge and reading on the subject. The point was that there is a such a close relationship between English and its Creoles that is is hard to draw a hard line between them. As to Sranan Tongo in Suriname, it's a creole of several languages, so its not the same situation as what we're discussing. I've certainly not suggested changing Suriname to blue because it's Creole is partly based on English (a bare minimum, as far as I know), and I wouldn't. In the countries were discussing (the former British West Indies), if the official languages were changed, either to the Creoles or some other language, especially a non-Anglic one, the people would still be speaking English, because they've already learned and speak English, and probably speak it would for generations. In fact, it's happened a few times already.
Back to the main point, since no one else has chimed in in 2 months to support you, I guess the colors will stay the same for now. I couldn't change them even if I wanted to, as I don't know how! - BilCat (talk) 08:49, 12 May 2016 (UTC)[reply]
1) What exactly do people say? 2) Some Chinese claim that Cantonese is a dialect of Mandarin, which is a claim not taken seriously by linguists. 3) And my point is that the situation has more to do with diglossia than to do with the creoles themselves 4) With the French-based creoles, it's pretty clearcut, even if people sometimes mix French with creole, it's usually clear which is which 5) Sranan Tongo might be influenced a lot by other languages but it is English-based at origin http://linguistics.byu.edu/classes/ling450ch/reports/Sranan1.html 6) "In fact, it's happened a few times already." When? 7)Noone else has chimed in to oppose the idea either 8) Another solution is a specific shade (or, even clearer, colour) specifically for creoles with shading. Munci (talk) 12:28, 12 May 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Sorry I missed your reply last week. - I have over 18,000 items in my watchlist! I'm done answering point by point, as we're just going in circles. English is spoken in these countries by most of the population, so they are English-speaking, therefore the map is correct, and the color don't need to be changed. They aren't included here solely because they speak an English-based Creole, or Suriname would be blue. (It isn't included, as English isn't a majority language there, TMK, and Dutch is the official language.) If you need sources as to the degree of diglossia present in each country to support the map, that can probably be done, but that's beyond my abilities or desires to attempt. I'll oppose changing the map, but if your want to do it anyway without other editors supporting it, go ahead. I'll take whatever actions per WP policy necessary show it's a non-consensus change and get it reverted. - BilCat (talk) 21:17, 19 May 2016 (UTC)[reply]