Most spoken languages in Oceania: Oceania is a geographical region located in the western Pacific Ocean that includes thousands of islands that together make up 14 sovereign states.
One such country is Papua New Guinea, which is considered the most linguistically diverse country in the world.
The language in Papua New Guinea
The number of languages spoken by the people of this country is 839 different languages (languages, not dialects), according to the Ethnology website.
Papua New Guinea is no exception in Oceania, however, despite a large number of indigenous languages in the region, colonial languages are the most spoken among the population, especially English.
Colonial languages are the languages introduced by Europeans to the islands of Oceania and are part of the three main groups of languages in the region, the others being indigenous languages and immigrant languages (eg Arabic).
The most spoken languages in Oceania
English is the most spoken language in Oceania, and it is the official and de jure national language in all of its countries.
The largest number of English speakers live in Australia, and although more than 80 percent of the population speaks it, it does not have official or legal status in Australia.
The second most spoken language in the region is the Papuan language, a large group of languages numbering about 800 divided into about sixty small language families.
The number of speakers of these languages is estimated at 4 million people around the world, the majority of whom live on the island of New Guinea and neighboring islands.
Immigrant languages in Oceania
With about 600,000 speakers, Mandarin Chinese is considered the first immigrant language in Oceania, followed by Arabic with 330,000 speakers, and Cantonese with 290,000 speakers.
The other major immigrant languages are:
- Vietnamese: 280,000 speakers
- Italian language: 280,000 speakers
- Greek: 240,000 speakers
- Tagalog: 190,000 speakers
- Hindi: 160,000 speakers
- Punjabi language: 140,000 speakers
Most spoken languages in Oceania
|#||Languages||Number of Speakers (Estimated)|
|1||English language||30 million speakers|
|2||Papuan languages||4 million speakers|
|3||Chinese Mandarin||600 thousand speakers|
|4||Fijian language||500 thousand speakers|
|5||Indian language||400 thousand speakers|
|6||Arabic||340 thousand speakers|
|7||French||300 thousand speakers|
|8||Cantonese||300 thousand speakers|
|9||Vietnamese language||280 thousand speakers|
|10||Polynesian languages||100 thousand speakers|