The languages of the world always have a certain charm, as do the dialects, slangs and idioms, because it is these that somehow allow us to discover the most authentic part of the cultures we wish to explore. What if we know that English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, as well as the main one for many of the countries we know, what we know about second languages?
In addition to satisfying our personal curiosity, knowing which are the major languages spoken by the populations can also be strategic for planning the next trip and for knowing some more details about a new culture. So dictionary in hand, let's go.
Thanks to data collected by The World Factbook, an annual publication of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the English company MoveHub, which helps people move to other parts of the world, has created a map of the most popular second languages around the globe.
Even if not all the countries belonging to the continents have been included, the data we have in our possession allow us to have quite a clear picture and also, unexpectedly, varied. For example, did you know that the second most spoken language in the United States is Spanish? And the one in Canada, on the other hand, is French? Maybe yes, but we are sure you would never expect that second most spoken language in Australia is Chinese, as well as in the United Kingdom it is the Polish one.
Unexpected discoveries which, however, are perfectly justified by the history of colonization and immigration. For example, French is very common in North Africa because many of the Maghreb territories in the past were French colonies. As well as Tagalog, one of the main languages of the Philippines and the most widespread in the country, it is the second most spoken language in Saudi Arabia at home to Filipino citizens' immigration. And again, Polish is the second language of the United Kingdom because the Blair government gave the citizens the opportunity to enter the UK without a visa.
English remains the primacy of the most widely spoken and known second language in the world with 55 countries in total, followed by French and Russian which represent, respectively, the second language for 14 and 13 countries. 8 are the countries that also speak Spanish and Creole.
And about the Italian? The list shows that our language is in ninth place and is the second main language of three countries: Argentina, Libya and Liechtenstein.