Varieties of English

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According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, varieties of English include British English (including Irish English), American English and Canadian English, Australian/New Zealand English (listed together by EB), India-Pakistan English (also listed together), and African English (especially as spoken in South Africa).[1]

As a natural language[edit]

Major varieties of spoken English[edit]

English is spoken by large numbers of people in Africa, North America, the British Isles, Australia and New Zealand, and parts of Asia.

One million or more native speakers[edit]

Major English speaking countries/regions with one million native speakers or more include (data from Ethnologue[2] unless noted):

Millions of non-native speakers[edit]

Many countries have millions of non-native English speakers. International English is sometimes considered a distinct variation of English. The countries with substantial numbers of English speakers and their own varieties of English are listed below.

India[edit]

English is the first language of 230,000 people in India. English has 125 million speakers in India, more than any other language except Hindi.[6]

Nigeria[edit]

Nigeria was the third- or fourth-place English speaking country worldwide in 2000, behind the U.S., the U.K. and ahead of India if c. 30 million speakers of Nigerian Pidgin English are counted.[7][8]

As of 2010, there were 83 million speakers of English in Nigeria, with growth of approximately 6% per year. English is an official national language, and the de facto national language for business, government and education.[9]

Others[edit]

Other countries with 50 million or more speakers of English include Pakistan (Pakistani English) and the Philippines (Philippine English).

Pidgins and creoles[edit]

Pidgins and creoles exist which are based on, or incorporate, English, including Chinook Jargon (a mostly extinct trade language), American Indian Pidgin English, and Manglish (Malaysian English-Malay-Chinese-Tamil).

A pan-Asian English variation called Globalese has been described.[10]

As a constructed language[edit]

Several constructed languages exist based on English, which have never been adopted as a vernacular. These constructed languages include Basic English, E-Prime, Globish, Newspeak, Pure Saxon English,[11]:302 Special English, Simplified English, Synthetic English,[11]:309 Merican,[11]:310 and Inglish.[11]:313 Language scholars have stated that constructed languages are "no longer of practical use" with English as a de facto global language.[12]

Technical and occupational[edit]

English has been adopted in many fields of international endeavor. Specialized subsets of English are used in certain fields.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brittanica 1974.
  2. ^ English at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ Bolton 2002, p. 2.
  4. ^ a b HONG KONG GOVERNMENT'S CENSUS AND STATISTICS DEPARTMENT 2011
  5. ^ Crystal 2003, p. 109.
  6. ^ "Indiaspeak: English is our 2nd language", The Times of India, Mar 14, 2010 
  7. ^ Barbara Wallraff (November 2000), "What Global Language?", The Atlantic, retrieved 2015-10-22 
  8. ^ Ethnologue 2009
  9. ^ Robert Pinon, Jon Haydon (2010), The Benefits of the English Language for Individuals and Societies: Quantitative Indicators from Cameroon, Nigeria, Rwanda, Bangladesh and Pakistan (PDF), Euromonitor International 
  10. ^ Nunan 2012, p. 186.
  11. ^ a b c d Okrent 2010.
  12. ^ Fischer 2004, p. 181 "[T]he goal [of constructed languages] is no longer of practical use... Living languages are of far greater influence in the world ... world languages are emerging naturally for the first time in history. Indeed, the English language -- by historical circumstance, not by design -- presently counts more second-language speakers than any other tongue on Earth and numbers are growing."
  13. ^ Sharkey, Joe (2012-05-21), "English Skills a Concern as Global Aviation Grows", The New York Times, retrieved 2015-10-22 
  14. ^ Millward, David (2008-03-05), "English to become compulsory for pilots", The Telegraph, retrieved 2015-10-22 
  15. ^ Hu, Claire (2014-02-26), Language of air travel: How traffic control keeps you safe, CNN, retrieved 2015-10-22 

Books[edit]

External links[edit]