The Most Multilingual Countries in the World

There is basically no country in the world wherein only a single language is spoken. And as we become more and more globally connected, the number of polyglots per capita will only continue to grow. Here’s a look at the most multilingual countries in the world.

Luxembourg
This small European country has a population that is essentially fluent in four languages. In fact, these languages have converged to become a language that is affectionately known locally as “Luxembourgish.” It’s a sort of amalgamation of French and German — which are both official languages of the country. But most citizens can speak English as well, as it tends to be compulsory in secondary school. Spanish, Italian, and other European languages can be found there in spades as well, making it a tiny country where most citizens are fluent in four languages.

Singapore
This tiny little Southeast Asian country has four official languages: Malay, Mandarin, English, and Tamil. It is a profoundly ethnically diverse city-state, boasting residents from Australia, China, India, and other smaller Asian countries. Like Luxembourg, some of the languages have sort of melded together to create its own slang, known as “Singlish,” which is largely understandable to English speakers, but not completely.

South Africa
Boasting one of the highest counts of official languages, countless languages are spoken in South Africa. There are 11 official languages, including Zulu and Xhosa, but English is the primary language of their government. Though they might not be completely fluent in the 11 languages spoken there, most South Africans can converse in at least three different languages.

India
There are two national languages in India: Hindi and English. Typically speaking, the educated Indian has a knowledge of both, but the interesting thing about language in India is that the Hindi dialect changes dramatically from state to state. People who work or travel frequently between states tend to pick up the different ways the language is spoken from region to region, thus making them polyglots in their own right. In fact, most educated Indians are at least trilingual.

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