Countries With The Same Official Language

Several languages are officially used in two countries

Countries With The Same Official Language

There are several key languages which are spoken in multiple countries across the world.  

And why is this relevant?  Because even though the language name is the same, each country will have its own specific approach, so when it comes to translation, it is important to consider whether you need to be looking for a country-specific derivative.  This will be determined not only by the degree of variation between the language dialects (for example, Brazilian Portuguese should be considered as a completely separate language from European Portuguese) as well as by the level of local sensitivity for your requirements (e.g. respondents to a survey relating to everyday items such as food or television habits will be more sensitive to localisation issues than a technical manual relating to car engines).

Below is a list for consideration :

Language World Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania Countries
English 59 24 16 4 3 12 India, United States, Pakistan, United Kingdom. See the full list
French 29 21 2 - 5 1 France, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Canada, Madagascar. See the full list
Arabic 26 14 - 12 - - Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Morocco. See the full list
Spanish 21 1 19   - 1 Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina. See the full list
Portuguese  10 6 1 1 1 1 Brazil, Portugal, Mozambique, Angola. See the full list
Russian 8 Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Abkhazia*, South Ossetia*, Transnistria*.
German  Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg
Italian  4 Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City
Malay 4 - - 4 - Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei
Chinese  China, Taiwan, Singapore
Dutch  3 - Netherlands, Belgium, Surinam
Persian Iran, Afghanistan (known as Dari), Tajikistan (known as Tajik)
Romanian  Romania, Moldova, Transnistria* (uses Cyrillic script there)
Serbian  3 - - - 3 - Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*
Swahili 3 3 - - - - Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda

Several languages are officially used in two countries, these are :

Albanian - Albania and Kosovo* Sotho - South Africa and Lesotho
Armenian - Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh* Swati - South Africa and Swaziland
Aymara, Quechua - Bolivia and Peru Swedish - Sweden and Finland
Chewa - Malawi and Zambia Tamil - Singapore and Sri Lanka
Croatian - Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina Tswana - South Africa and Botswana
Greek - Greece and Cyprus Turkish - Turkey and Cyprus
Korean - North Korea and South Korea Ukrainian - Ukraine and Transnistria*
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