15 Countries That Speak English

English is the most spoken language in the world. In fact, it is the dominant language of many countries in Asia and Oceania. But what about those other places? How are they represented? Here’s a list of countries that speak English as their primary or secondary language.

What countries speak English? That’s a question that’s been on the minds of many people, especially those who have come to live in or have spent time in the UK. This is because of the language that you would hear spoken by people living in these places. Well, we have a list for you.

There are two main factors that determine the number of English speakers in a country:  1. The availability of English-speaking countries in the region where you live and/or 2. The population size of the country you live in. In order to get an idea about how many people speak English, it is better to look at the number of English speaking populations rather than the percentage or absolute numbers.

What do you think about when you hear the word “English”? For many, it is a country that has a unique way of speaking. However, most people don’t know that the language has actually spread around the world and today is spoken by millions of people across every continent except Antarctica.

List of majority native English speaking countries

The UK government classifies the following overseas countries as majority native English speaking:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada*
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

No other country may be considered as being ‘majority English speaking’ for visa purposes.

*Applicants presenting Canadian degrees or postgraduate diplomas will not normally need to provide other evidence of English language ability so long as they supply sufficient proof from the institution that the degree was taught and examined in English. See also, european countries that speak English.

What is the difference between British and American English?

English is a multi-ethnic language with half English, German, Portuguese and many more languages come together in the UK. An interesting point to note is that British English contains much more Americanisms than an American speaks on his/her own because of the influence of movies and television programs all around the world which grammatically changes our speech patterns almost every day even though people do not understand it when they see us speaking.

It’s also widely believed there is a caste system for people speaking British English “speaking English” and those who talk American.

This is not entirely true because there are many people from Britain (Northern Ireland, Scotland, England) that have become familiar through their life in the United States to use too much uniquely British words. An example: “brilliant” is also used as a term of approval or praise meaning ‘amazing’ which has got nothing to do with any particular group’s dialect.

The word “yank” is used to describe someone from the US and can be offensive if not commonly done when talking about a particular race. The use of “old Yankee state” to describe an English-focussed individual can also offend United Kingdom citizens because it could be associated with an American origin for their country, birthmark or accent since even locals take note that some Americans trade cultural traits and customs only minorly towards what they call “the land of their birth”.

It is best not to say anything that could offend anyone or make you sound like a yank or an old Yankee state. It’s always bad manners to call another person something related with nation, race etc. Because big personalities should show respect even though they may be speaking in completely different languages (even when both are British English) and use very precise terms. You may like learn English.