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Albanian

Native to Southeastern Europe and Albanian diaspora – Albania, Kosovo, Turkey, the Republic of Macedonia, Greece and Italy (Arbereshe)

Native speakers 7,436,990

Language family: Indo-European > Albanian

The Albanian language is an Indo-European language in a branch by itself, sharing its branch with no other language

Arabic

Native to Majorities in the countries of the Arab League, minorities in neighboring countries: Israel, Iran, Turkey, Eritrea, Mali, Niger, Chad, Senegal, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Arabic-speaking communities in the Western World

Native speakers 295 million

Language family: Afro-Asiatic > Semitic > Central Semitic > Arabic

Classical Arabic is the language of the Qur’an. Arabic is closely associated with the religion of Islam because the Qur’an is written in the language, but it is nevertheless also spoken by Arab Christians, Mizrahi Jews and Iraqi Mandaeans.

Arabic (Egyptian), Basic – Learn to Speak and Understand Egyptian Arabic. Arabic (Eastern), Conversational – Sixteen 30-minute lessons of spoken Eastern Arabic language instruction.

 

Armenian

Native to Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Russia, United States, Georgia, Lebanon, Iran, Syria, Turkey

Native speakers 7,000,000

Language family

Indo-European

Armenian

Eastern Armenian is the official language of the Republic of Armenia. It is also spoken in parts of Azerbaijan and Iran. Western Armenian is the dialect most often encountered among Armenians outside of Armenia. It is spoken by Armenians in the U.S, Egypt, Istanbul, Egypt, and other parts of the Diaspora.

Cantonese Chinese

Native to China, overseas communities

Region the Pearl River Delta and neighboring areas

Language family

Sino-Tibetan

Chinese

Yue

Yuehai

Cantonese

Cantonese ia a tonal language, which means that each sound’s meaning is affected by the tone used to pronounce it. There are six tones or Cantonese.

Mandarin Chinese

Region Most of northern and southwestern China

(see also Standard Chinese)

Native speakers 955 million

Language family

Sino-Tibetan

Sinitic

Chinese

Mandarin

Mandarin is a tonal language, which means that each sound’s meaning is affected by the tone used to pronounce it. There are four tones for Mandarin.

Croatian

Native to Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia (Vojvodina), Montenegro, Romania (Caraș-Severin County), Slovenia, and diaspora

Native speakers 5.55 million

Language family

Indo-European

Balto-Slavic

Slavic

South Slavic

Western

Serbo-Croatian

Shtokavian

Neo-Shtokavian

Eastern Herzegovinian

Standard Croatian

Croatian, a member of the South Slavic branch of Indo-European, is the official language of Croatia. There are three main dialects: kajkavski, čakavski, and štokavski (ijekavski), the official dialect.

Czech

Native to Czech Republic

Ethnicity Czechs, Moravians

Native speakers 10 million

Language family

Indo-European

Balto-Slavic

Slavic

West Slavic

Czech–Slovak

Czech

Czech was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century. Czech is similar to and mutually intelligible with Slovak and, to a lesser extent, to Polish and Serbian.

Danish

Native to Denmark, Greenland, Schleswig-Holstein (Germany)

Native speakers 5.6 million

Language family

Indo-European

Germanic

North Germanic

East Scandinavian

Danish

Danish is derived from Old Norse. Because of the large number of similarities between Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish, knowledge of any one of these languages makes it possible to understand the others. This is true for both spoken and written forms.

Dari Persian

Native to Afghanistan, Eastern Iran

Native speakers ca. 15–18 million

Spoken by between 25% to 50% and understood by over 90% of Afghanistan’s population Also spoken and understood by around 2.5 million people in Pakistan and Iran with communities who speak Dari as their primary language, but understood by every Iranian.

Language family

Indo-European

Indo-Iranian

Iranian

Western Iranian

Southwestern Iranian

Persian

Dari

Dari is one of the two official languages of Afghanistan. Dari is the primary means of communication, taught in schools and heard on national radio. It serves as the language of business and higher education. Dari is considered a purer form of Persian.

Dutch

Native to mainly the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, also in Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten, as well as France (French Flanders).

Region mainly Western Europe, today also in South America and the Caribbean.

Afrikaans is spoken in Southern Africa.

Native speakers 23 – 28 million

Language family

Indo-European

Germanic

West Germanic

Low Franconian

Dutch

Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands and one of the three official languages in Belgium, along with French and German. The variant of Dutch spoken in Belgium is called Flemish (Vlaams) and is spoken by 5 million people. Linguistically, Dutch and Flemish are almost identical and they are mutually intelligible.

English

Native speakers: 360 million. English is a second language for 375 million and a third for 750 million.

Language family: Indo-European > Germanic > West Germanic > Anglo–Frisian > Anglic > English

In a variety of mutually intelligible dialects, English has become the lingua franca in many regions of the world. It is the international language of business, technology, and science. English is an official language of Canada, the European Union, the UK and many Commonwealth countries, Australia, New Zealand, and many world organizations, such as the UN. The United States does not have an “official language”; however, English is the de facto national language.

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English for non-native readers and speakers is offered from three pedagogical viewpoints. They are:

English as a Foreign Language — English as a Second Language — English for Speakers of Other Languages

English for Arabic Speakers

English for Arabic Speakers

English for Cantonese Chinese Speakers

English for Mandarin Chinese Speakers

English for Farsi Persian Speakers

English for French Speakers

English for German Speakers

English for Haitian Speakers

English for Hindi Speakers

English for Italian Speakers

English for Korean Speakers

English for Portuguese Speakers

English for Russian Speakers

English for Spanish Speakers

English for Vietnamese Speakers

Farsi

Native to Iran, Afghanistan (as Dari), Tajikistan (as Tajik), Uzbekistan, Iraq, Bahrain, Azerbaijan

Native speakers 60 – 110 million total speakers

Language family

Indo-European

Indo-Iranian

Iranian

Western Iranian

Southwestern Iranian

Persian

Persian has three major dialects: Farsi (spoken in Iran), Dari (spoken in Afghanistan), and Tajik (spoken in Tajikistan). Dari and Tajik are considered a purer form of Persian – that is, they show less Arab influence. All three dialects are, for the most part, mutually intelligible.

Finnish

Native to Finland, Estonia, Ingria, Karelia, Norway, Sweden, Russia

Native speakers c. 5 million

Language family

Uralic

Finnic

Finnish

The closest relative to Finnish is Estonian; Hungarian is a distant cousin. There are three varieties of standard Finnish that are spoken throughout Finland: kirjakieli (“book language”) – used in official documents, official speeches and the daily news, yleiskieli – the standard language used in schools; it is formal and correct, though more relaxed than the “book language,” and puhekieli (“spoken language”) – more casual variety used in everyday conversation, which changes frequently.

French

Native to:Mexico, Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada (Quebec; less than 3% outside), Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Guinea, Haiti, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo, Vanuatu

Native speakers 75 million (220 million L1 and L2 speakers)

Language family

Indo-European

Italic

Romance

Western Romance

Gallo-Romance

Oïl

French

French is an official language in 44 countries and an official language of the United Nations. An estimated 50 million people around the world speak French as a second language.

German

Native to Primarily German-speaking Europe, as a minority language and amongst the German diaspora worldwide

Native speakers Standard German: 95–120 million (L2 speakers: 80 million)

Language family

Indo-European

Germanic

West Germanic

High German

German

German is the official language of Germany and Austria and is one of the official languages of Switzerland. It is also an official language in Belgium, Lichtenstein, and Luxembourg.

Greek

Native to Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Turkey, Albania, Egypt, Georgia, Bulgaria, Romania, France, Ukraine, Russia and the Greek diaspora

Native speakers c. 13 million

Language family

Indo-European

Hellenic

Greek

Greek is the official language of Greece and one of the official languages of Cyprus. Modern Greek is written using an alphabet which is based on and similar to the ancient Greek alphabet. Many modern scientific and technical words in English are derived from Greek, and it has been estimated that 12% of the English vocabulary is of Greek origin.

Haitian Creole

Native to Haiti and Dominican Republic (Haitian descents)

Native speakers 9.6 million

Language family

French Creole

Antillean Creoles

Haitian Creole

French-based creole heavily influenced by various West African languages and it is classified as part of the Romance group in the Indo-European language family. The standard dialect is that of the central district and the capital, Port-au-Prince. Other key dialects include the northern dialect, centered around Cap-Haitien; the southern dialect, centered in the Cayes area; and the plateau dialect.

Hebrew

Native to Israel, Jewish settlements in the West Bank; used globally as a liturgical language for Judaism

Native speakers 5.3 million

Language family

Afro-Asiatic

Semitic

Central Semitic

Northwest Semitic

Canaanite

Hebrew

Ancient (or Classical) Hebrew flourished as a spoken language from sometime before the 10th Century BC. It faded as a spoken language around the 3rd or 4th Century BC, replaced by Aramaic, but it remained as a lingua franca with scholars and was used by the Jewish community around the world. It continued as a written form for contracts, laws, commerce, and poetry. Near the end of the 19th Century, it was revived in its present form as Modern Hebrew and replaced a score of languages spoken by Jews at this time. It was declared an official language in British-ruled Palestine in 1921, along with English and Arabic. In 1948 it became an official language of the newly-declared state of Israel.

Hindi

Native to India, significant communities in South Africa, and Nepal

Native speakers 180 million

Language family

Indo-European

Indo-Iranian

Indo-Aryan

Central zone

Western Hindi

Hindustani

Khariboli

Hindi

Hindi is one of 23 official languages of India, and is reported to be the second most commonly spoken language in the world. Approximately 500 million people around the world speak a dialect of Hindi. Included in that estimate are speakers of the many regional dialects of the language, which are often quite different. “Hindustani” is the term used to describe a closely related series of languages or dialects. Hindi is a close relative of the Urdu language spoken in Pakistan, and speakers of the two languages can often understand one another to some extent.

Hungarian

Native to Hungary and areas of Austria, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine

Native speakers c. 13–15 million

Language family

Uralic

Finno-Ugric

Ugric

Hungarian

Hungarian is an “agglutinative” language, which means that grammatical relations (past tense, possession, plural, etc.) are expressed by adding suffixes and prefixes to words. The vowels of the suffixes change according to the dominating vowels of the word they are attached to. This important feature of Hungarian is called “vowel harmony.”

Indonesian

Native to Indonesia, East Timor

Native speakers 23 million (Over 140 million L2 speakers)

Language family

Austronesian

Malayo-Polynesian

Nuclear Malayo-Polynesian

Sunda–Sulawesi

Malayic

Malayan

Malay

Malacca (“Riau”) Malay

Indonesian

While only a small percentage of Indonesia’s population speaks Indonesian as its first, or native, language, almost 100 percent of the population speaks it as a second or third language. Indonesian is mutually intelligible with Malay, the language of Malaysia, although minor dialectical differences exist. There are numerous Indonesian dialects, all of which are mutually intelligible.

Irish

Native to Ireland, United Kingdom, Gaeltachtaí

Native speakers

133,000 native (1.77 million (native + L2) in the Republic)

Language family

Indo-European

Celtic

Insular Celtic

Goidelic

Irish

Irish and English are the official languages of Ireland. Irish is also called Irish Gaelic. The three major dialects of Irish are: Connemara (spoken in the west of Ireland and centered

around the city of Galway), Munster (spoken in Counties Kerry and Cork), Ulster (spoken in County Donegal). The dialects are mutually intelligible, and all three dialects are heard in Dublin.

Italian

Native to Italy, San Marino, Malta, Switzerland, Vatican City, Slovenia (Slovenian Istria), Croatia (Istria County), Argentina, Brazil, Australia. Widely known among older people and in commercial sectors in Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Libya; used in the Federal Government of Somalia.

Native speakers 61 million Italian proper, native and native bilingual. 85 million all varieties.

Language family

Indo-European

Italic

Romance

Italo-Dalmatian

Italian

Italian is the official language of Italy and San Marino, and one of the official languages of Switzerland, Croatia, and Slovenia. Historically, Italian is a daughter language of Latin. Italian uses the Roman alphabet and the pronunciation of the language follows the spelling very closely.

Japanese

Native to Japan

Native speakers 125 million

Language family

Altaic? (controversial)

Japonic

Japanese

Japanese has many “registers” – levels of politeness. In the 3rd and 4th century AD, the Japanese borrowed the Chinese writing system of ideographic characters. Since Chinese is not inflected and since Chinese writing is ideographic rather than phonetic, the Chinese characters did not completely fill the needs of the inflected Japanese language in the sphere of writing. In the 8th century AD, two phonetic alphabets, or kana, were devised: Hiragana and Katakana. They are used along with the ideographic characters (or kanji) to indicate the syllables that form suffixes and particles and for foreign loan words.

Korean

Native to South Korea, North Korea, Jilin·Liaoning·Heilongjiang, China, Japan (Koreans in Japan)

Native speakers 76 million

Language family

Altaic (disputed)

Koreanic

Korean

Korean is the official language of both North and South Korea. It’s also spoken widely in neighboring Yanbian, China. There are approximately seven regional dialects. All dialects, except that spoken on the Jeju Island, are mutually intelligible. Korean is written in the Hangul alphabet, a phonetic alphabet created by King Sejong the Great in the 15th Century. It is characterized by syllable blocks containing two to four letters.

Lithuanian

Native to Lithuania

Native speakers 3.2 million

Language family

Indo-European

Balto-Slavic

Baltic

Eastern Baltic

Lithuanian

Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they are not mutually intelligible. Lithuanian has two main dialects: Aukštaičių (Aukštaitian, Highland Lithuanian) and Žemaičių/Žemaitiu (Samogitian, Lowland Lithuanian). Each has three sub-dialects. The standard Lithuanian is based on W. High Lithuanian. Lithuanian is written using a modified Roman alphabet.

Norwegian

Native to Norway

Native speakers 5 million

Language family

Indo-European

Germanic

North Germanic

West Scandinavian

Norwegian

Norwegian is closely related to Swedish and Danish. There are hundreds of spoken dialects that are mutually intelligible. There are two official written forms of Norwegian: nynorsk (literally, new Norwegian) and bokmål (literally, book language). These standards emerged after Norway separated from Denmark in 1814.

Ojibwe

Native to Canada: Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, groups in Alberta, British Columbia; United States: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, groups in North Dakota, Montana

Ethnicity Ojibwe people

Native speakers 56,531 (47,740 in Canada; 8,791 in the United States)

Language family

Algic

Algonquian

Ojibwe–Potawatomi

Ojibwe

Ojibwe were historically located mainly around the outlet of Lake Superior, which the French colonists called Sault Ste. Marie, they referred to the Ojibwe as Saulteurs. Ojibwe who subsequently moved to the prairie provinces of Canada have retained the name Saulteaux. Ojibwe who were originally located about the Mississagi River and made their way to southern Ontario are known as the Mississaugas.

Pashto

Native to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Pashtun diaspora

Native speakers 40 million

Language family

Indo-European

Indo-Iranian

Iranian

Eastern Iranian

Northeastern

Pashto

Pashto has many dialects, the three primary ones are: Northern – as spoken in Kabuland Jalalabad (Afghanistan) and in the Northwest Frontier Province (Pakistan); Southern – as spoken in Kandahar (Afganistan) and Balochistan (western Pakistan and eastern Iran); Central – as spoken in Wazirstan (northern Pakistan). These three dialects are mutually intelligible. The northern dialect is spoken in Kabul, which will be understood through all Pashto-speaking regions. Pashto is also called Pakhto, Pushto, Pukhto, Pashtu, or Pushtu.

Polish

Native to Poland; bordering regions of Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic; along the Belarusian–Lithuanian and Belarusian–Latvian border; Germany, Romania, Israel. See also Polish diaspora.

Native speakers 40 million (2007)[1]

Language family

Indo-European

Balto-Slavic

Slavic

West Slavic

Lechitic

Polish

There are many dialects of Polish. Standard Polish is spoken or at least understood throughout contemporary Poland.

Portuguese

Native to Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Macau, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe

Native speakers 250 million

Language family

Indo-European

Italic

Romance

Western Romance

Ibero-Romance

West Iberian

Galician-Portuguese

Portuguese

The Portuguese spoken in Portugal differs from the Portuguese spoken in Brazil, although in vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation they are mutually intelligible.

Punjabi

Native to India, Pakistan

Native speakers 100 million

Language family

Indo-European

Indo-Iranian

Indo-Aryan

Central[2]

Punjabi

Punjabi is the only tonal language in the Indo-European language family. It is most commonly written using the Gurmukhi script. There are ten Punjabi dialects which are , for the most part, mutually intelligible.

Romanian

Native to

Romania, Moldova, Transnistria (Disputed region)

Minority in:

Israel, Serbia, Ukraine, Hungary, diaspora in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and other parts of Western Europe

Native speakers 24 million (Second language: 4 million)

Language family

Indo-European

Italic

Romance

Eastern Romance

Romanian

There are four main dialects of the language: Daco-Romanian is the official language spoken in Romania. Megleno-Romanian is spoken in the Balkans. Istro-Romanian is spoken in Istria and Croatia, closer to Italian than to Daco-Romanian. The Daco-Romanian dialect is used in both Romania and Moldovain the mass media, in schools, and in colloquial speech and writing. Romanian is written in a modified Latin alphabet.

Russian

Native to Russia, other post-Soviet states, Germany, Israel, the United States, Canada, and other parts of Western Europe

Native speakers 155 million (110 million L2 speakers)

Language family

Indo-European

Balto-Slavic

Slavic

East Slavic

Russian

Moscow and St. Petersburg, account for slight pronunciation differences between speakers, but accurately depicts contemporary spoken Russian. The new editions reflect substantial changes in the language in the post-Soviet period. Russian is written using the Cyrillic alphabet.

Spanish

Region Spain, Latin America, Equatorial Guinea, Western Sahara, Philippines, and Easter Island

Native speakers 406 million. (60 million as a second language.)

Language family

Indo-European

Italic

Romance

Western Romance

Ibero-Romance

West-Iberian

Castilian languages

Spanish

Spanish is a common second language — the most studied after English. The difference between Castilian Spanish as spoken in Spain and Spanish as spoken in the Americas (now called Latin American Spanish) is due to the diminishing contact between Spain and the Americas over the centuries and to the influence of local languages in the Americas. These two main variants of Spanish are mutually intelligible.

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Swahili

Native to Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya, Mayotte (mostly Comorian), Mozambique (mostly Mwani), Oman, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda

Native speakers 15 – 26 million (40 million L2 speakers)

Language family

Niger–Congo

Atlantic–Congo

Benue–Congo

Bantoid

Bantu

Northeast Coast Bantu

Sabaki

Swahili

Swahili is the most widely-spoken African language, with approximately 50 million speakers in East and Central Africa. Business and cultural exchange have one begun to make it more prominent and useful to outsiders. Swahili is now used throughout the region, in settings ranging from everyday communication to government and commerce.

Swedish

Native to Sweden, Finland

Native speakers 8.7 million

Language family

Indo-European

Germanic

North Germanic

East Scandinavian

Swedish

Swedish is similar to Danish and Norwegian. These languages are mutually intelligible to a certain extent, more so in written than in spoken form. Swedish is a descendant of Old Norse, the language spoken in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. New vocabulary was introduced during different eras as a consequence of religious and commercial interaction with other cultures. The Gustav Vasa Bible (1541), began a movement towards a more consistent Swedish. The Swedish alphabet is a Latin-based alphabet consisting of twenty-nine letters: the same twenty-six as in English plus three additional vowels (å, ä, ö). Pronunciation, however, is quite different from English.

Swiss German

Native to Switzerland (as German), Liechtenstein, Vorarlberg (Austria), Piedmont & Aosta Valley (Italy)

Native speakers 4,500,000

Language family

Indo-European

Germanic

West Germanic

High German

Upper German

Alemannic

Swiss German

The Swiss federation is composed of 23 “cantons (states)”. The majority of the population, about 65%, speaks Swiss German, and it is spoken in 11 out of the 23 cantons. The first l

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