What’s up everyone?
If we asked you to say a country where English is widely spoken, you would most likely say “Great Britain” or “The United States”, but there are many more countries in the world that have a great level of English or even list English as one of the official languages. In today’s post we’re going to take a look at 5 countries where English is an official language or is very widely used, so you can travel there with peace of mind knowing you can communicate with ease, or maybe go there to practice your speaking skills.
I know, right? Officially, Israel has two languages; Hebrew and Arabic, but what if we told you that close to 85% of the population are said to be proficient in English? It’s a staggering figure, isn’t it?
Many television programmes are broadcast in English (perhaps one of the reasons Israelis speak it so well?), but most road signs and official logos are as well. This means you can lose your fear of traveling in the MIddle East because you don’t speak Arabic, since you are certain to find someone who speaks English there.
We couldn’t believe it either! Make no mistake, South Africa is not the country with the most English speakers on the African continent; it is in fact Sierra Leone. So, just how good at English are they? English is the unofficial language and considered Sierra Leone’s second language with over 84% of the population claiming to be proficient in English.
Most people’s native language is Krio which is the Lingua Franca of this West African country. Krio is an offshoot of languages and it borrows a lot of vocabulary from English, brought over by settlers from Nova Scotia and North America, as well as from Jamaica. The Sierra Leone patois is quite challenging to decipher, so we recommend you speak in English, especially if you’re headed to the bustling capital city of Freetown.
Tucked next to Sierra Leone on Africa’s western coast is Liberia. Another small country with an outstanding record when it comes to the English language. A massive 83% of the population are said to be proficient in English and English is in fact the official language of the country.
In Liberia itself, many people speak smaller regional languages daily but have no problem conversing in English, much like their next door neighbours in Sierra Leone.
When we think of Latin-American countries and their languages, we tend to think of Spanish and Portuguese but did you know that Belize is the only Southern American country whose official language is English? We didn’t. With over 82% of the population being proficient in English, you’re not likely to encounter any communication problems here.
Even though English is the official language, most people also speak Belizean Creole whose roots come from both Spanish and English as it was part of the British Empire for well over 100 years. But even their creole is close enough to English that you might be able to befriend the locals with a “Gud maanin! Weh yuh naym?” (Good morning! What’s your name?).
After having added Latin-American and African countries to the list, we had to make sure that we found a surprise from Asia too. The official language of Singapore is English with around 80% of the population being proficient in it.
About half of this small but powerful city state in Asia speaks Mandarin Chinese as their first language, but most speak English too. However, Singaporeans don’t just boast two official languages: they have four,including Malay and Tamil, making most citizens bilingual at worst.
It’s time to start using English where you would least expect to…
Now that you know about these countries and their high level of English, the world is your oyster! Tell us which of these countries you would love to visit first. Happy travelling!
Would you like to keep learning English to explore the world?