Talk:English-speaking world

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MAP - suggest more detail - unofficial widespread English[edit]

While the map of Anglophone countries is pretty inclusive, it is not complete.

In many countries (for instance Israel, Myanmar and most of Western Europe), English -- while it is neither the native language nor official language -- is nevertheless spoken by a very large minority of the population (in some cases, probably, a bi-lingual majority), and has enormous national importance: cultural, political, commercial, technological, and in education and media -- and largely shapes their relations with the rest of the world.

~ Penlite (talk) 22:59, 8 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm somewhat confused by all the Germanic countries that are coloured in orange: "Not official and majority language". My initial assumption was that we were talking about languages that they speak natively, which obviously isn't the case for over 50% of the population of, say, Germany. So we must be including second languages too, but what level does someone need to have to "speak English"? Is this being tracked systematically for all the countries on the map (so all of them) and are the same criteria being applied to each?
I suppose the difficulty here is that the descriptions need to be inclusive but selective enough such that countries like the USA (obviously an English speaking country) that have a highish proportion of Spanish speakers (and others) are included as core Anglophone countries, while countries like India (where English is native for a portion of the population, learnt by many more, but is more consciously of colonial origin) gets a reasonable description that fits it also. This difference is important and cannot not be reflected by this map, because while Germany may have a majority of L2 speakers, there is no German English, while India has only a minority of L2 speakers, but Indian English is a totally legit dialect.
Additionally, I think it would be nice if grey countries (i.e. those that aren't coloured in) were included in the legend. Anditres (talk) 18:22, 27 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is in fact, kind of, if you open the file on Commons you'll additionally see "Tan: NA". I suppose tan is grey and NA no data available. Anything else would be surprising too, as knowledge of English is clearly more widespread in Poland today than in say Russia. And yes, putting a country like Germany in the same category as the Nordics, or the Netherlands (where English is basically SL) provokes a chuckle. The whole thing isn't sourced anyhow, "own work". It doesn't even have a date! Someone please remove it. - (talk) 11:17, 4 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Moving the word British Language to first of the list of countries[edit]

On the section of a list of Varieties of English, I'm surprised that American English comes first instead of British English, now given that the United Kingdom is the birth place of the English Language, I would like to place British English first on the list and I would also like to place Australian English second because both the United Kingdom and Australia are Commonwealth countries. (talk) 17:09, 14 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

While I can understand your point on British English (though I disagree), you seem to forget that Canada is also a Commonwealth country, has a larger population, and was both settled earlier and federated before Australia. In addition, the US was also settled earlier, and became independent long before Canada and Australia. (The Commonwealth didn't exist then either, which was the major reason the US had to fight for full independence). So really, there are two main options that will take nationalism completely out of the picture: the size of the English-speaking population, as it is currently, and has been for a long time, or alphabetical order. Also, please restore the previous order while this is under discussion. BilCat (talk) 21:41, 14 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The United Kingdom is not the birthplace of the English language, given that English long predates the UK. (Wikipedia tells me that the UK began in 1801, so I guess the US is technically older.) No one natively speaks English as it originally existed, American English is as much derived from Early Modern English as British English is, and none of the contemporary national varieties of English are "older" in any meaningful sense. Listing in order of the number of speakers is fine. I guess if a different unsatisfactory order is desired, we could go from north to south. CAVincent (talk) 03:52, 15 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think this information might suggests otherwise, English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, with its earliest forms spoken by the inhabitants of early medieval England.[1][2][3] It is named after the Angles, one of the ancient Germanic peoples that migrated to the island of Great Britain. And Great Britain is the island of the Country of the United Kingdom, So technically CAVincent, You're wrong. (talk) 09:42, 15 September 2022 (UTC) (talk) 09:42, 15 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Or there is a option of which country used the English Language first which we know is Great Britain and which came second and which came third, (talk) 10:02, 15 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Anyway, that wouldn't be easy either, as your response has already illustrated. Again, either keeping the original order by population, or going alphabetically, seems best. Not everyone is going to be happy no matter which we choose, so we need to pick one. BilCat (talk) 20:32, 15 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ The Routes of English.
  2. ^ Crystal 2003a, p. 6.
  3. ^ Wardhaugh 2010, p. 55.

Proposed merge from Anglosphere[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

  • Oppose (speedy dismissal). They are not the same thing. The English-speaking world is a (socio) linguistic concept, but the Anglosphere has strong political overtones nowadays. Kaihsu (talk) 17:43, 20 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Proposed merge[edit]

Speedy close was correct, but I thought I would throw in two cents in case it comes up again, and also to confirm a consensus. The Anglosphere is not just "countries where people speak English", and is an entirely different concept from English-speaking world. The articles are distinct subjects. CAVincent (talk) 01:23, 21 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Indeed the Anglosphere article says: While the nations included in different sources vary, the Anglosphere is usually not considered to include all countries where English is an official language, so it is not synonymous with anglophone, though the nations that are commonly included were all once part of the British Empire. Kaihsu (talk) 11:28, 21 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Potential confusion of the number of first language speakers ?[edit]

The United States and India have the most total English speakers, with 283 million and 125 million, respectively. There are also 108 million in Pakistan, 79 million in Nigeria, and 64 million in the Philippines.[1] When those who speak English as a second language are included, estimates of the number of Anglophones vary greatly, from 470 million to more than 2 billion.

  1. ^ "English Speakers By Country". WorldAtlas. 2018-05-14. Retrieved 2021-12-06.

Am I the only one that got the impression that the first sentence, immediately followed by the second one, suggests that (US), India, Pak., Ni., Phi. have that many first language speakers ? If you're attentive, you'll realize that there is indeed the word «total» in the fist phrase, and that the math for that minimum of 470 M doesn't work out under the abovementioned assumption, but Wikipedia can probably do better than that ?

(The source is IMHO much clearer about it (of course it's easier, when one can go into more detail)) :

There are 125,344,736 English speakers in India, making India the country with the second largest number of English speakers. However, about 220,000 people speak English as the first language while the rest take it as a second language.

BlueTemplar (talk) 19:01, 15 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]