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English
Pronunciation /ˈɪŋɡlɪʃ/
Native speakers 360 million  (2010)
Second language: 375 million and 750 million EFL
Language family
Indo-European
  • Germanic
    • West Germanic
      • Anglo–Frisian
        • Anglic
          • English
Early forms:
Old English
  • Middle English
    • Early Modern English
      • English
Writing system Latin script
Official status
Official language in 54 countries
Language codes
ISO 639-3


English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and is now the most widely used language in the world. It is spoken as a first language by the majority populations of several sovereign states, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and a number of Caribbean nations. It is the third-most-common native language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. It is widely learned as a second language and is an official language of the European Union, many Commonwealth countries and the United Nations, as well as in many world organisations.