The English language around the world

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340 million people speak English worldwide. (1st Chinese → 1.2 billion, 2nd Spanish → 360 million, 9th German → 98 million)

It's not clear how many people around the world use English as a second language. Numbers vary from 350 million to one billion.

English is spoken in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Botswana
  • Brunei
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • The Gambia
  • Gyuana
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Malaysia
  • Micronesia
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Tonga
  • UK
  • USA
  • Vanuati
  • Zimbabwe
  • many Carribean states.

The following words are used in American English and were taken from German:

  • Doppelgänger
  • Kindergarten
  • Poltergeist
  • Rucksack
  • Wanderjahr
  • Weltanschauung
  • Weltschmerz
  • Zeitgeist

Another German word commonly used in American English is ›Gesundheit‹. No one in the USA really knows what it means, but you say it after someone sneezes, just like in German speaking countries.

Thanks to Mark.


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