Official Languages and Second Languages

The three most commonly spoken languages in North America are English, Spanish, and French; and in that order. This should come as no surprise to someone who was born or grow up in the United States, Canada, or one of the many countries of Latin and Central America.  

But while the United States shares three international tongues, it is one of the few countries in the world does not have a singular official language. Perhaps that is a good thing, as this is supposed to be a country that welcomes immigrants. Perhaps, though, it is not so good: it could serve to separate people who might otherwise wish to share in a community.

Nearly 180 countries around the world have at least one official language but the United States is among the roughly 5 dozen that does not.  It is an interesting statistic, actually, especially when you think about smaller, regional countries—like those of Europe or Latin America—who are close together but might speak several different official languages.  

Of course, there is also something to be said about the 100 or so countries that have more than one native language.  In Canada, for example, the official languages are French and English.  

Is An Official Language Important?

Is it important or necessary for a country to have an “official language”?  Well, this depends on how concise this country hopes to hold its political proceedings.  Essentially, it helps to have all people who hold a governing seat to speak the same language. This is true for parliamentary chairs, jurisdictional hearings, and other state governments around the world.  Having an “official language,” then, ensures that everyone who participates can have a voice and, more importantly, can be understood.

Is Learning A Second Language Important?

There was once a time when you could say, quite definitively, there is absolutely no need to learn a second language. But when mankind started to traverse the globe, it started to become more apparent just how beneficial it could be to learn a new language.

Of course, during the time of Man’s earliest travels, the ability to learn new language was not nearly as simple and convenient as it now. Now you can use the internet or take Institut Linguistique cours prive anglais to help you learn English, for example, as a second language. And since the internet also makes it easier to connect with people all over the world, there has never been a more important—and more facilitating—time than now to learn a second language.

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