Over 2 billion people speak English, making English the largest language by the number of speakers, and the third largest language by the number of native speakers. With 300 million native speakers, the United States of America is the largest English-speaking country.
In the European Union, English is one of 24 official languages and is widely used by institutions, and by a majority of the population as the native language in the United Kingdom and Ireland and as a second language in other member states.
When combining native and non-native speakers, English is the most widely spoken language worldwide.
There are six large countries with a majority of native English speakers that are sometimes grouped under the term Anglosphere. In numbers of English speakers they are: the United States of America (at least 231 million), the United Kingdom (in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) (60 million), Canada (at least 20 million), Australia (at least 17 million), Republic of Ireland (4.8 million) and New Zealand (4.8 million).
English is also the primary natively spoken language in the countries and territories of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Indian Ocean Territory, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guernsey, Guyana, the Isle of Man, Jamaica, Jersey, Montserrat, the Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.
Another substantial community of native speakers is found in South Africa (4.8 million).
Although the majority of the world does not speak English, it is still considered the Diplomatic language due to its widespread presence in developed nations. This has been widely criticized by scholars who believe there should be other languages considered “diplomatic” despite the Headquarters of the United Nations residing in New York City.
Because English is so widely spoken, it has often been referred to as a “world language“, the lingua franca of the modern era, and while it is not an official language in most countries, it is currently the language most often taught as a foreign language. It is, by international treaty, the official language for aeronautical and maritime communications. English is one of the official languages of the United Nations and many other international organizations, including the International Olympic Committee. It is also one of two co-official languages for astronauts (besides the Russian language) serving on board the International Space Station.
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Довнар Снежана Владимировна, Боровцова Ольга Леонидовна
учителя английского языка