Official Language

Official language definition

For a country, the official language definition is established when a country determines what its primary spoken and written language will be for all of its business. An official language for every country needs to be established as a means of uniting the population by a uniform process. The official language is a legal establishment on its own so that the people can all work to understand the same thing at the same time.

Still, the official language is more an establishment for the government and by the government, rather than for the people and by the people. Most countries still have multiple languages within their own population. An official language of a country may not be the official language of a person in that country.

Countries With Official Languages

It is estimated that approximately 178 countries have their own official language, and over 100 of them will have more than one official language. There are approximately 195 countries in the world. Some of them that do not have an official language have the same primary language as other countries, it is just not denoted as their official language. In Italy, Italian wasn’t even the official language until 1999, as this country is a melting pot of many languages and has been for centuries.

The official language for a country is often found in its constitution. When a country does not have an official language established in its constitution, an informal official language develops.

History of Official Languages

The notion of official languages has been around for hundreds of years, even though many countries have only had official languages for a few decades. English is the most popular spoken and written language in the world. Over 65 countries have declared English as their official language. Some countries with this language, such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and Canada, have this as their official language and one of the multiple official languages.

In the early years of 221 B.C. Chinese was one of the most common languages. That language was transformed into Mandarin for one population, and Mandarin is now the second most popular language in the world today.

Spanish is third, and French ranks as the fourth most popular language. Each of these languages is used in multiple countries as the official language. Official languages do not keep changing, but in many countries, new languages are added as second or third official languages. For example, the United States recognizes Spanish as an official language and Canada recognizes French as an official language. With the population in these countries, these designations may be aiding in those languages being in the top four of most popular languages in the world.