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Q: % of English-speaking people worldwide, by country ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: % of English-speaking people worldwide, by country
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: ma0213-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 17 Apr 2006 11:41 PDT
Expires: 17 May 2006 11:41 PDT
Question ID: 719847
We need to know how many English-speaking people there are in the top
10 or so countries in the workd, excluding the United States. We are
especially interested in this figure for these countries: Japan,
China, and France. Thanks for your help!

Request for Question Clarification by rainbow-ga on 17 Apr 2006 12:00 PDT
Please take a look at this and let me know if it suffices as an answer
to your question:

Best regards,

Clarification of Question by ma0213-ga on 03 May 2006 07:48 PDT
Hi Rainbow,

I really appreciate the help! There is another post which seems to be
right-on that says the Wikipedia table you found is not reliable. If
you can find something else for me that is more reliable, I'd be
grateful. Thank you!

Clarification of Question by ma0213-ga on 10 May 2006 03:55 PDT
We could really use some help on this question. We need a reliable
source that lists English-speaking people in top countries, especially
Japan. It would be helpful if this list included age brackets for
Japan. Thank you!
Subject: Re: % of English-speaking people worldwide, by country
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 10 May 2006 04:59 PDT
This list from the Encyclopedia Britannica looks to be more reliable:

English        English      English    English
     Mother    (Lingua     Bilingual    Creole
     Tongue    Franca)

  224,900,000 253,410,000                           United States
   56,830,000                                       United Kingdom
   17,700,000                696,000                Canada
   15,188,000  17,300,000                           Australia
    3,620,000                                       South Africa
    3,340,000                                       Ireland
    3,205,000                150,000                New Zealand
    1,190,000                            36,000     Trinidad and Tobago
      310,000  30,000,000                           India
      240,000                                       Zimbabwe
      132,000   1,890,000                           Hong Kong
      106,000                           160,000     Belize 
      100,000   6,000,000    220,000                Malaysia
      100,000                                       Spain

Note that there are quite a number of countries (not shown above) with
large numbers of people for whom English is not their first language. 
For instance, there are 36 million in the Phillipines, and 14 million
in Nigeria.

The Wikipedia entry that rainbow-ga linked to takes it data from a
resource called Ethnologue which -- though quite respected -- is also
rather dated, as some of the statistics date back to the 1960's.

I trust this information fully answers your question, but if there's
anything else you need, just let me know by posting a clarification
request, and I'll be happy to look into this further.



search strategy -- Google search on: [ number english speakers OR
speaking "in the world" ]
Subject: Re: % of English-speaking people worldwide, by country
From: geof-ga on 17 Apr 2006 15:20 PDT
There is something very wrong about the Wikipedia table Rainbow has referred to. 

First, for some reason it omits Japan and all the countries of Europe,
except for the UK itself and Ireland. There are of course many English
speakers throughout Europe, especially in Germany, the Netherlands and
Scandinavia, but also in Eastern Europe and Russia.

Then, it shows only 59,000 English speakers in China, which seems a
tiny figure for a nation with about 1.3 billion people; and the table
excludes Hong Kong, many of whose 6 million inhabitants speak English.

Also, it shows India as having only something over 11 million people
who speak English; but the note in the last column states that a over
25% of the population speak English, and about 50% understand the
language (which would agree with my experience of that country). Well,
the current Indian total population is over one billion, which would
mean that about 250 million people speak English, and 500 million
understand it.

Altogether, I think this table is unreliable
Subject: Re: % of English-speaking people worldwide, by country
From: ma0213-ga on 03 May 2006 07:48 PDT
Dear Geof,

Thank you very much for your post! I appreciate the help. If you can
find a more reliable source for the stats I need, I'd be grateful. :)

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