English is by far the world’s most widely spoken language (although more people speak Chinese and Spanish as a first language). One can travel far and wide with English as it is now seen as the main language of business, travel, and international communication.
English is the official language in many countries. In many countries English is the native language of the people there (like in most of Canada) and in others it is learned as a second language and used as a language of interethnic communication (like India and Nigeria).
English As An International Language
English has become the undisputed international language – all flights are conducted in English (and other languages), hostels around the world work in English, many people’s high education is in English. Visa applications and other such forms are invariably offered in English (with other languages).
- Official Language: In Around 59 Countries
- Native Speakers: 360-400 Million (Almost Two-Thirds Americans)
- Total Speakers: Well Over One Billion
Still if one is traveling to a non-English speaking country, it is good to learn some local lingo. And if one would like to spend much time traveling in Latin American countries, it is advisable to learn Spanish (and Portuguese). Visit some countries like China, Turkey, or Italy and most people will not speak English. There are many countries where the locals love tourists much more if they speak some of their native language.
- Other Significant International Languages: Spanish and French
- Tip: Downland Google Translate
When traveling to non-English speaking countries, download Google Translate. Google Translate is incredibly useful and can translate very effectively when used correctly. One can even take a picture of text, and it will translate that too.
Where English Is Spoken About The World
English In the Americas
In the America’s English is spoken in the United States and most of Canada (excluding French-speaking Quebec and parts of New Brunswick). Elsewhere, English is spoken in the small Central American country of Belize and in the small South American country of Guyana (and widely spoken in neighboring Suriname).
Where English Is Spoken:
- North America: United States, Canada, Belize
- South America: Guyana
- Caribbean: Numerous Caribbean Countries
English is also the official language of many Caribbean countries including Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, The Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, The Cayman Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Montserrat, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Most of the rest of the Caribbean speaks Spanish with some islands speaking French and Dutch.
English In Europe
English is a national language of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta, and Gibraltar. It is also widely spoken across the continent as an international language of communication – particularly in Central, and Northern Europe.
- Officially Spoken: In The United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta, and Gibraltar
Generally speaking it is easy to travel across Europe with just English. One may find there are less English speakers in countries like Spain, Italy, and France compared with the Netherlands, Nordic countries, and Germany.
English In Africa
English is spoken in many Africa countries. Most African countries have dozens of tribal languages and so to communicate most countries use English, French, Swahili, or Portuguese to communicate.
- English In Africa: Particularly Eastern and Southern Africa and Nigeria
English is spoken in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Eswatini, Botswana, Tanzania (although Swahili is more common there), Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, Nigeria, The Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, the Seychelles, parts of Cameroon, and Liberia.
In Eastern and Southern African, English is very widely spoken. English is also widely spoken in parts of North Africa like Egypt.
English In Asia & Oceania
English is an official language of India, Pakistan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. It is also widely used in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Malaysia. In the Middle East it is often used countries like Israel, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. It is very easy to travel to all these countries speaking only English (but learn basic phrases in their local languages before traveling!).
- Australia & New Zealand: Native English-speaking Countries
In the Pacific English is spoken in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and many Pacific Island nations (like Fiji).