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First in a series of articles on the
English language and
English is one of the most widely used languages in the world. Recent estimates suggest that around 375 million people speak English as a first language and a further 375 million speak it as a second language. The largest number of English speakers is in the United States. English has also been adopted as the official language by all major international businesses. Of the total estimated 40 million Internet users, 80% currently use English as their medium of communication. English is the official language, or has special status, in 75 territories around the world.
In the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, the majority of the population speak English. In other countries, it is only a minority who speak English, even if it is the 'official language' of that country.
Find out how much you know about the English-speaking world by answering the questions in this quiz.
Next in the series
Would you like to learn more about the English language? You can read about its origins in the next edition of MED Magazine.
A Spanish language version of the text above is available in the 'Guía Cultural' section of Macmillan Diccionario Pocket, a brand-new bilingual English-Spanish/Spanish-English dictionary.