27 English-Speaking Countries: Where to Practice Language
The world is becoming increasingly interconnected, and English is the dominant language of business and technology. As a result, many people are interested in learning it to better participate in the global economy and culture. There are different methods of learning English, but the best way is to practice it in English-speaking countries. It will allow you to immerse yourself in the culture and practice various aspects of the language in a real-world setting, which will help you become more proficient.
There are a lot of English-speaking countries in the world with unique cultures and attractions. Whether you are planning a short trip and want to practice the language in a new country or looking for a long-term destination to study English, there is an English-speaking country that is perfect for you.
A Brief History of the English Language
English is a West Germanic language brought to Britain by Germanic settlers from what is now northwest Germany, southern Denmark, and the Netherlands. It was further influenced by the North Germanic languages of the Viking invasions in the 8th and 9th centuries. The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 also significantly impacted the English language's development, as the new ruling class introduced many French words into it.
Over the centuries, English has been influenced by several other languages, including Latin, Greek, Dutch, and, more recently, French, German, and Spanish. As a result, it has a rich vocabulary, with many words borrowed.
English has become the language of business, technology, science, and culture during the last few centuries. It is estimated that there are over 1.5 billion English speakers worldwide. With so many of them, it is no surprise that English has become the language of choice for international communication. It is also the official language of several multinational organizations, so it is helpful to know if you are planning to work or study in one of these institutions.
How Many Countries Speak English
Although English is spoken in many countries worldwide, it is not an official language in all of them. In fact, it is only the official language of a handful of countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and some others.
As for the rest of the world, English is considered a foreign or second language. For example, in countries such as France, Germany, and Spain, English is taught in schools as a foreign language. Therefore, it is unsurprising that it is the world's most commonly spoken second language.
As for the number of English-speaking countries of the world, it takes work to count them all. Some countries, such as the Philippines and India, have many English speakers, but English is not one of the official languages. Overall, there are around 60-70 English-speaking countries.
With so many countries to choose from, it can be challenging to decide where to travel or study English. To help you make a decision, we have compiled a list of the best English-speaking countries in the world for language learning.
List of English-speaking countries in Europe
Europe is a continent with a rich history and different cultures. English is not an official language in most European countries; however, it is widely spoken as a second language. Many Europeans learn it in school, and it is estimated that over half of the continent's population can speak English. Here is a list of all English-speaking countries in Europe:
- The United Kingdom. As the birthplace of the English language, the United Kingdom is one of the most popular destinations for English learners. The UK comprises England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and each region has its unique culture. The British accent is also one of the most popular to learn.
- Ireland. The country is known for its friendly people, beautiful landscapes, and rich culture. Dublin, the capital city, has a lively atmosphere with many pubs and restaurants. English is the official language in Ireland, so it is a great place to practice your speaking skills.
- Germany. Although English is not an official language in Germany, it is widely spoken, and most Germans can speak English fluently. In fact, over 70% of the population can speak English, so you will have no problem finding someone to practice your language skills with.
- The Netherlands. It is a small country with just over 17 million people. English is widely spoken in the Netherlands, and it is estimated that over 95% of the population can speak it. The Dutch are known for their friendly and welcoming attitude and tolerance of other cultures.
- Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Sweden. These countries are known as the Scandinavians. English is widely spoken in Scandinavia, with over 80% of the population estimated to be able to speak it. When it comes to proficiency, Scandinavians rank among the top English speakers in the world.
- Poland. It is a Slavic country with a population of over 38 million people. While English was not historically spoken in Poland, it has become increasingly popular recently. English is taught in schools, and many Poles are fluent.
- Malta. As a former British colony, Malta has a long history with the English language. English is one of the official languages, along with Maltese. There are numerous opportunities to practice English on the island, and the locals are typically very friendly and welcoming to English speakers.
Of course, it is not an exhaustive list. If you want to know what other countries speak English, they are Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, and others. Also, the number of English speakers is growing rapidly in Eastern Europe.
English-speaking countries in Africa
Most African countries have a lot of languages spoken within their borders. For instance, South Africa has 11 official languages, making it one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. However, English is also widely spoken throughout the continent. So, let's look at which countries speak English:
- Nigeria. It is a large country in West Africa with over 170 million people. English is the official language and is widely spoken in business and government. In fact, Nigeria has the largest number of English speakers in Africa.
- Kenya. Located in East Africa, Kenya is known for its beautiful scenery and wildlife. The capital city, Nairobi, is a cosmopolitan metropolis with many hotels and restaurants that cater to English-speaking tourists.
- Ghana. This West African country is known for its beaches, rainforests, and culture. The official language is English, commonly spoken throughout the country, especially in the capital, Accra. With its friendly people and laid-back atmosphere, Ghana is a great place to relax and practice your English.
- Liberia. It is a small country on the west coast of Africa. Freed American slaves founded it in 1847, and English has been the official language since then. Around 86% of the population speaks English, making it one of the most English-speaking countries on the continent.
- Sierra Leone. With a population of just over 7 million people, Sierra Leone is one of the smallest countries in Africa. However, it has a rich history and culture. English is spoken by most of the population. With its beautiful beaches and lush rainforests, Sierra Leone is a great place to visit if you want to immerse yourself in the African experience.
- Cameroon. French is the official language in Cameroon, but it is one of the English-speaking foreign countries. With around 38% of the population speaking English, the country is perfect for those who want to learn a new language while enjoying the sights.
While these are some of the English-speaking countries, there are many others where English is also spoken. These include Botswana, Ethiopia, Gambia, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Most of them have designated it as a "national" or "official auxiliary" language.
Asian English-speaking countries list
Asia is known for its vast size and population. It is also home to many languages and dialects. With over 4 billion people, Asia is the most populous continent in the world. While English is not an official language in most Asian countries, it is de facto the lingua franca of business and education. Here is a list of what countries speak English in Asia:
- Singapore. As an Asian country with many expatriates, Singapore is home to many languages. However, English is spoken by most of the population. The country also hosts many international businesses, making it a hub for communication in the region.
- Hong Kong. It is a cosmopolitan city with a large expatriate population. English is the common language spoken among the business community and in education. While Chinese is the predominant language, English remains an important tool for communication.
- The Philippines. The country has a strong American influence due to its history as a US colony. It can be seen in many aspects of everyday life, including English as the primary language of education and business.
- Pakistan. The country has a population of over 200 million people and is the sixth most populous nation in the world. The official language of Pakistan is Urdu, but English is also widely spoken. The education system is based mainly on the British model, and English is the language of instruction in most schools.
- India. As a former British colony, India has a long history with the English language. Today, around 10% of the population, or about 125 million people, speak English as their first language. In addition to being one of the world's most populous countries, India is also home to many native speakers of other languages, including Hindi, Bengali, and Punjabi.
- Malaysia. English is one of the official languages in Malaysia, along with Malay, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil. The country has a population of over 30 million people, and the majority speak Malaysian English – a dialect of English influenced by the local languages.
As you can see, there are different English-speaking countries in Asia. Each country has its unique history and culture to offer visitors and residents. Whether you're interested in business, education, or simply exploring new places, these Asian countries provide an excellent opportunity to do so while using English as your primary language of communication.
Caribbean countries that speak English
The Caribbean is a region located in the Caribbean Sea. It is home to many small island nations and some larger countries. The region is known for its sunny weather, sandy beaches, and friendly people. The following is a list of English-speaking countries in the Caribbean:
- Jamaica. As it is an island in the British West Indies, most Jamaicans speak English, and the language mixes British and American English with a Jamaican dialect. The island is also home to a significant number of people who speak Spanish, as well as other languages such as French and Creole. Jamaica is a popular tourist destination, so English is widely spoken by locals to communicate with visitors.
- Bahamas. It is located in the Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Florida. English is spoken by the majority of residents. With a long history of British colonization, the Bahamas has a variety of English dialects.
- Barbados. As an island in the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is one of the English-speaking Caribbean countries. It was colonized by the British in 1627 and remained under their control until 1966. It is one of the native English-speaking countries, and 96% of the population speaks it.
- Grenada. The official language of Grenada is English. The vast majority of the population (95%) speaks English as a first language, while 5% speak French Creole or another language. It makes the country a perfect tourist destination for English-speaking visitors.
- Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago is a twin island nation located off the northern coast of South America. English is the official language, but over 30% of the population speaks Trinidadian Creole.
Of course, the list of English-spoken countries in the Caribbean does not end here! There are also Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and many others – all great travel destinations for those who want to practice their English while enjoying the stunning natural scenery and friendly locals.
The Benefits of Practicing English in an English-speaking Country
Now that you know a little bit about the history of and where it is spoken, let's look at the benefits of practicing the language in an English-speaking country. There are a lot of them, but here are some of the most important ones:
- You can practice the language in a real-world setting. With so many countries where English is spoken, you will have many opportunities to practice the language. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, you can use the language in different real-world situations. For instance, you can practice your skills while ordering food in a restaurant, shopping in a store, or asking for directions.
- The immersion experience will help you learn the language quicker. When surrounded by the language, you will have no choice but to pick it up fast. It is because you will constantly hear and see the language used in everyday situations. In addition, you will be able to practice the language with native speakers daily.
- The opportunity to learn about different cultures. When you travel to an English-speaking country, you will have the chance to learn about the culture and customs of the locals.
- You can meet new people and make new friends. Language can help you form new relationships with people from all over the world. In addition, it will be easier to meet other travelers who are also looking to practice their English skills.
- The experience will be a lot of fun. You will have the opportunity to explore the country and see all the different sights. Traveling to a new place is always an exciting experience, so you will surely enjoy yourself.
While learning the language in an English-speaking country is a great way to improve your speaking and listening skills, it is essential to remember that there are other ways to learn English. If you want to have a more well-rounded English education, you should consider taking a language course. It will allow you to study in a more structured setting and to practice all the language skills, from speaking to grammar.
Promova can help you learn English in an immersive setting with experienced tutors from all over the world. We offer group and private lessons, as well as various programs to meet your needs. Whether you live in an English-speaking country and want to enhance skills like writing and grammar or travel and focus on conversation with locals, we can help you achieve your goals. With our experienced teachers, you will be able to learn the language quickly and effectively in a fun and supportive environment.
Learning English in countries where locals speak English is a great way to improve your language skills. You will be able to practice in a real-world setting, learn about different cultures, meet new people, and have a lot of fun.
Many countries have English as an official language, so you have many options when choosing a destination. Just remember that studying English is not only about speaking and listening. Learning grammar and vocabulary is essential, and an English course will help you achieve a well-rounded education.
What countries speak English as their primary language?
English is the primary language in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, Liberia, and others. There are also other countries that speak English as a second language, such as the Philippines and India.
How many countries have English as their official language?
There are around 60-70 countries where English is the official language. However, it's not easy to count them all because, in some cases, English is the only one of the official languages.
What is the main benefit of learning English in an English-speaking country?
When you learn English in an English-speaking country, you can practice your language skills in a real-world setting. It means you will learn how to use the language in an organic way.
Are there any challenges I should be aware of when learning English in an English-speaking country?
One challenge you might face is being surrounded by fluent speakers. It can be frustrating if your language skills still need to be at the same level. Also, some countries have different dialects and accents, making it challenging to understand the locals.