A map of the world according to second languages

A map of the world according to second languages

Language remains an inescapable leftover of conquest and empire.

Algeria's second language is French - a remnant of France's occupation - and much of Africa speaks English, Italian or French as a result of their colonialism alongside their many countries' native tongues.

MoveHub, an online resource for people looking to move abroad, created an infographic to demonstrate the second languages of countries around the world.


The countries which once belonged to the former Soviet Union – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine – still hold Russian as their second language. Romania, Serbia and Slovakia’s collective second language is Hungarian, from their membership in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

North America

Canada's second official language is French, whereas both Alaska and the US's second language is Spanish. The second most popular language in Mexico is the indigenous Nahuatl (known historically as Aztec).

South America

South America is rich in second languages: the native Quechua (Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia), the inheritance of Spanish in Brazil and English in Suriname - from the state’s English settlers during the colonial period beginning the 17th century.

Central America


Italian is spoken in Libya, and English is the second language of both Egypt and Sudan.

Indigenous languages are more popular the further south one goes, with Botswanans speaking Kalanga, and Zimbabweans speaking Shona.

Asia and the Middle East

Many Malaysians also speak English, and the fraught history between Japan and Korea can be seen by the former country's aptitude for Korean.

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