digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

A national language is a language (or language variant, i.e. dialect) which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country. National language may alternatively be a designation given to one or more languages spoken as first languages in the territory of a country.

C.M.B. Brann, with particular reference to Africa, suggests that there are "four quite distinctive meanings" for national language in a polity:[1]

  • "Territorial language" (chthonolect, sometimes known as chtonolect[2]) of a particular people
  • "Regional language" (choralect)
  • "Language-in-common or community language" (demolect) used throughout a country
  • "Central language" (politolect) used by government and perhaps having a symbolic value.

The last is usually given the title of official language.

Standard languages, such as Standard German, Standard French, and Standard Spanish, may serve as national (language-in-common), regional, and international languages.

Official versus national languages[edit]

"National language" and "official language" are best understood as two concepts or legal categories with ranges of meaning that may coincide, or may be intentionally separate. Obviously a stateless nation is not in the position to legislate an official language, but their language may be considered a national language.

Some languages may be recognized popularly as "national languages," while others may enjoy a high degree of official recognition. Some examples of national languages that are not official languages include Cherokee, Navajo, and other living Native American languages.[citation needed]

In many African countries, some or all indigenous African languages are legally recognized as "national languages" with "official language" status being given to the former colonial language (English, French, Portuguese, or Spanish).

Certain languages may enjoy government recognition or even status as official languages in some countries while not in others.

National and official languages[edit]

Albania[edit]

Albanian is the national language in Albania.

Algeria[edit]

Arabic and Berber are national languages in Algeria.

Andorra[edit]

Andorra's national language is Catalan; moreover Catalan is an official language in several territories in Spain (Catalonia, Valencian Community, Balearic Islands, the Catalan-Aragonese borderlands known as La Franja and the Murcian municipality of El Carche), and is spoken (without official recognition or status) in territories in France (Pyrénées Orientales) and in Italy (Alghero).

Bulgaria[edit]

Bulgarian language is the national language in Bulgaria.

Bangladesh[edit]

Bangla (Bengali) is the national language of Bangladesh.

Canada[edit]

Canada's official languages since the Official Languages Act of 1969 are English (Canadian English) and French (Canadian French). Depending on one's views of what constitute a "nation" these two languages may be considered two equal national languages of a nation called "Canada", or the national languages of two nations within one state, English Canada and French Canada.

Quebec nationalists consider Quebec French the national language of the Quebec nation.

Besides this there many Aboriginal languages of Canada which are the national languages of one or more of Canada's First Nations groups (formerly "Indians"), Inuit (formerly "Eskimos"), and Metis (mixed First Nations-European people). Notably the Cree language is spoken (with variations) from Alberta to Labrador.

Greater China[edit]

See also: Languages of China, Standard Chinese and History of Mandarin.

In China, plenty of spoken variants exist in different parts of the country. In ancient times, several local dialects were chosen as the official spoken language, such as the dialects from Hangzhou, Nanjing, etc.

After the Xinhai Revolution in 1911, the Kuomintang (Chinese nationalists) founded the Republic of China (ROC). In order to promote a sense of national unity and enhance the efficiency of communications within the nation, the ROC decided to designate a national language. The Beijing dialect of Mandarin and Guangzhou dialect of Cantonese were the most popular options. Ultimately the Beijing dialect was chosen as the national language and given the name 國語 in Chinese (Pinyin: Guóyǔ, lit. national language, commonly known as "Standard Chinese" in English). In the beginning, there were attempts to introduce elements from other Chinese spoken variants into the national language, in addition to those existing in the Beijing dialect, but this was deemed too difficult and was abandoned in 1924. Since then, the Beijing dialect became the major source of standard national pronunciation, due to its prestigious status in the preceding Qing Dynasty. Elements from other dialects exist in the standard language.

After the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party established the People's Republic of China (PRC) in mainland China. The Kuomintang regime of the Republic of China retreated to the island of Taiwan and maintained the same policy. Similarly, the People's Republic of China, which administers mainland China, continued the effort and renamed the national language, largely based on the Beijing dialect, as 普通话 (Pinyin: pǔtōnghuà, lit. common speech).[3]

Finland[edit]

Main article: Languages of Finland

Finland has two national languages: namely the Finnish language and the Swedish language. The Constitution of Finland guarantees the right to use Finnish and Swedish in courts and other state institutions.[4][5] The Language Act details the use of the languages by public authorities.[6] Finnish is spoken by circa 90 percent of the population while Swedish is spoken by circa 5 percent. Despite the large difference in the numbers of users, Swedish is not officially classified as a minority language but equal to Finnish. Both national languages are compulsory subjects in school (except for children with a third language as mother tongue) and a language test is a prerequisite for governmental offices where a university degree is required. The constitution also grants the Sami and the Roma peoples the right to maintain and develop their languages: The Sami have partial right to use Sami languages in official situations according to other laws.[7]

Haiti[edit]

Main article: Languages of Haiti

Haiti's official languages are Haitian Creole and French. While French is the language used in the media, government and education, 90-95% of the country speak Haitian Creole as the home language while French is learned in school.

India[edit]

Main articles: Languages of India and Sanskrit

Today, there are 22 official languages in India. Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu. Even though English language is not included in Eighth Schedule as it is a foreign language, it is one of the official languages of Union of India.[8] However, a plurality of speakers in India speak Hindi or English. Till 1965, Articles 343 and 345 of the Constitution of India specified that the official language of India to be Hindi in Devanagari script, though states of India were free to adopt one or more local languages for all or any of the official purposes of that state.[9] Pursuant to agitations particularly in South India in the 60s, today all 22 languages carry official status and Government documents can be in any of the 22 recognized official languages. This has been clarified by court rulings as well, most recently in 2010 Gujarat High Court affirming equal role to all 22 languages.[10][11] India is a Common law country---therefore, unless overturned by the legislature or a higher court explicitly, the ruling in 2010 takes precedence and all 22 official languages are meant to be taken on equal footing. Currency notes in India typically carry the denomination in all languages as well.

Indonesia[edit]

Indonesia only recognize one official language: Indonesian language. Meanwhile, Indonesia have the more than 700 living languages, making it the second largest in the world after Papua New Guinea. The 700+ languages, therefore, are without official status, and in danger of extinction, notwithstanding the largest local language of them all, Javanese language.

Ireland[edit]

Main article: Languages of Ireland

Irish is recognised by the Constitution of Ireland as the national language and first official language of Ireland, and the English language is recognised as a second official language.[12]

Israel[edit]

Main article: Languages of Israel

Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages of Israel, though English is also used extensively (e.g. on road signs).

Italy[edit]

Main article: Languages of Italy

The Italian language is the de jure and de facto official language of Italy.[13][14] Italian is also referred to as national language for historical and cultural reasons, because since the 15th century, Italian became the language used in the courts of every state in Italy and in general among all educated Italians (scholars, writers, poets, philosophers, scientists, composers and artist) who contributed to what is nowadays the culture of Italy.[15] Furthermore, Italian was often an official language of the various Italian states before unification, slowly replacing Latin, even when ruled by foreign powers (such as the Spaniards in the Kingdom of Naples, or the Austrians in the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia).[16]

Kenya[edit]

Main article: Languages of Kenya

While English and Swahili are official languages, Swahili also has a special status as national language. None of the country's biggest languages (Gikuyu, Luo, Kamba, Kalenjin, etc.) have any explicit legal status on the national level, however the 2010 constitution enjoins the state to "promote and protect the diversity of language of the people of Kenya."[17]

Lebanon[edit]

In Lebanon, the Arabic language is the "official national" language.[18]

Macedonia[edit]

The national, and official language of the Republic of Macedonia is the Macedonian language.

Malta[edit]

The Maltese language is the national language of Malta. It is also the official language of the island, together with English. Maltese only is recognised as "national" in Chapter 1 of the Laws of Malta.

Namibia[edit]

Main article: Languages of Namibia

Although English is the only nationwide official language in Namibia, there are also 20 National languages, which are each spoken by more or less sizeable portions of the population and are considered Namibia's cultural heritage. All national languages have the rights of a minority language and may even serve as a lingua franca in certain regions. Among Namibia's national languages are German, Afrikaans, Oshiwambo, Otjiherero, Portuguese, as well as the languages of the Himba, Nama, San, Kavango and Damara.

Nepal[edit]

Main article: Languages of Nepal

Nepali is the official language of Nepal. Nepal is rich in culture and language there are many languages spoken.

Nigeria[edit]

Main article: Languages of Nigeria

Besides official English (Nigerian Standard English), Nigeria recognizes three 'majority', or national, languages. These are the big three, Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba, each with some 20 million speakers or more.[19]

Pakistan[edit]

Main article: Languages of Pakistan

Article 251(1) of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, titled National language, specifies: "The National language of Pakistan is Urdu, and arrangements shall be made for its being used for official and other purposes within fifteen years from the commencing day. Although it has been declared as an official language, so far all the documentation, legislation, legal orders and every thing related on legal front is done in Pakistani English. Mostly the studies at the higher level i.e Masters , M.Phil and Phd. level is done in English."[20]National Language Authority is an organization established to make these arrangements since 1979.

Philippines[edit]

The 1973 Philippine constitution designated Pilipino (a Tagalog-based language) and English (Philippine English) as official languages, "until otherwise provided by law" and mandated development and formal adoption of a common national language to be known as Filipino.

The 1987 constitution designated the Filipino language, which is based on Tagalog with the inclusion of terms from all recognized languages of the Philippines, as the national language. It also designated both Filipino and English as the official languages for purposes of communication and instruction, and designated the regional languages as auxiliary official languages in the regions to serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein.

More than 170 languages are spoken in the Philippines and almost all of them belong to the Borneo–Philippines languages group of the Austronesian language family. In 2007, a six-part series titled The Case of Ilokano as a National Language authored by Dr. Aurelio Solver Agcaoili of the University of Hawaii appeared in the Culture, Essays, Lifestyle of Tawid News Magazine.[21] In September 2012, La Union became the very first province in Philippine history to pass an ordinance proclaiming a non-official language and a vernacular, Ilokano, as its official language. This move aims to protect and revitalize the use of Ilokano in various government and civil affairs within the province.[22]

Russia[edit]

Main article: Languages of Russia

The Russian language is the only official language of Russia, but 27 other languages are considered official in different regions in Russia.

Singapore[edit]

Singapore has four official languages: English (Singapore English), Chinese, Malay and Tamil. Although English is the primary language of business and government and the main language used in education, Malay is designated as the national language. This is due to the geographical and historical ties to Malaysia as well as the recognition of ethnic Malays (about 14% of the population) as the indigenous people of Singapore.

Traditionally, the lingua franca among the different ethnic groups in Singapore was Bazaar Malay, a Malay-based creole. Since independence, the government has been promoting English as the main language of Singapore. The bilingual education policy requires students to study only two languages: English and a "mother tongue" corresponding to the student's ethnicity. Malay is only offered to non-Malay students as an optional third language in secondary schools. As a result, English has displaced Bazaar Malay as the common language among Singaporeans. Therefore, despite the status of Malay as the national language, the majority of the population do not speak the language.

Notable official usage of Malay includes the national anthem Majulah Singapura, and drill commands in the Singapore Armed Forces.

South Africa[edit]

South Africa has 11 official languages. Namely: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. South African Sign Language and Dutch are distinct in South Africa though incompletely emerged national standard languages which also subsumes a cluster of semi-standardised dialects.

The above mentioned languages can be considered as minority Lingua francas — none of these languages are of Official Language Status in the country.

Switzerland[edit]

Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh.[23]

All but Romansh maintain equal status as official languages at the national level within the Federal administration of Switzerland.[24]

Turkey[edit]

Main article: Languages of Turkey

Ethnically, 10-18% of Turkey's population are of Kurdish origin, and their language is Kurdish. But 95-98% of population can speak Turkish as their first language.[citation needed] In that fact, Turkish is a national language of Turkey. Also there are many other ethnic origins like Circassians, Arabians or Bosnians, and they all can speak Turkish as native language.

United Kingdom[edit]

The English language (British English) is the de facto official language of the United Kingdom and is spoken monolingually by an estimated 95% of the British population.[citation needed] Interestingly, official regional languages exist without reference to a national language.[25]

United States[edit]

In the United States, English (American English) is the national language only in an informal sense, by numbers and by historical and contemporary association. The United States Constitution does not explicitly declare any official language, although the constitution is written in English, as is all federal legislation.

On 11 February 2009, Representative Steve King (R-IA.) introduced House Bill H.R.997, to declare English as the official language of the United States. On 5 May 2009, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) introduced Senate Bill S.991 as a companion bill.

On 26 February 2009, Representative Steve King (R-IA.) introduced House Bill H.R.1229, a bill to amend title 4, United States Code, to declare English as the official language of the Government of the United States, and for other purposes. On 6 May 2009, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) introduced Bill S.992 as a companion bill.

On 10 March 2011, Representative Steve King (R-IA.) introduced House Bill H.R.997, a bill to amend title 4, United States Code, to declare English as the official language of the Government of the United States, and for other purposes. On 8 March 2011, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) introduced Bill S.503 as a companion bill.

On 17 March 2011, Representative Peter T. King (R-NY.) introduced House Bill H.R.1164, a bill to amend title 4, United States Code, to declare English as the official language of the Government of the United States.

As of August 2011, the last major actions on these bills were:[26]

Bill Last Major Action Date
H.R.997 Referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties 23 July 2009
S.991 Referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs 6 May 2009
H.R.1229 Referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties 19 August 2009
S.992 Referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs 6 May 2009
H.R.997 Referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution. 21 March 2011
H.R.1164 Referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution. 1 June 2011

Vietnam[edit]

In Vietnam, the Vietnamese language had been the de facto national language for many years, but it was not until Decree No. 5 of the 2013 constitution that the Vietnamese language was officially described as the National Language.[27]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Brann, C.M.B. 1994. "The National Language Question: Concepts and Terminology." Logos [University of Namibia, Windhoek] Vol 14: 125–134
  2. ^ Wolff, H. Ekkehard "African Languages: An Introduction Ch./Art: Language and Society p. 321 pub. Cambride University Press 2000
  3. ^ General Information of the People's Republic of China (PRC): Languages, chinatoday.com, retrieved 2008-04-17 
  4. ^ Finland – Constitution , Section 17. International Constitutional Law website.
  5. ^ Constitution of Finland, § 17
  6. ^ Language Act : Unofficial Translation. Ministry of Justice. (PDF) Retrieved 2009-11-06.
  7. ^ Decree on the Sami Parliament FINLEX. Access date: 3 July.
  8. ^ Stories they tell about languages, The Hindu, retrieved 2013-06-11 
  9. ^ Official Language related—Part 17 of the Constitution of, Government of India, retrieved 2007-11-15 
  10. ^ There's no national language in India: Gujarat High Court, The Times of India, retrieved 2012-03-30 
  11. ^ Hindi, not a national language: Court
  12. ^ Article 8, Bunreacht na hÉireann.
  13. ^ Law 482, December 15, 1999. camera.it
  14. ^ Italian language. ethnologue.com
  15. ^ Lingua nazionale: le ragioni del fiorentino. accademiadellacrusca.it
  16. ^ Bruno Migliorini, (1960). Storia della lingua italiana. 1st ed. Italy: Sansoni.
  17. ^ Constitution of Kenya Accessed 2010-10-28.
  18. ^ Constitution of Lebanon {Adopted on: 21 September 1990}. Constitutional Documents
  19. ^ Article 55, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria : 1999.
  20. ^ "PART XII (contd); Miscellaneous; Chapter 4. General", The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 14 August 1973, retrieved 2008-04-22 
  21. ^ Aurelio Solver Agcaoili, The Case of Ilokano as a National Language; Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (May 2007), Tawid News Magasin
  22. ^ Elias, Jun (September 19, 2012). "Iloko La Union's official language". Philippine Star. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  23. ^ "The Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation, article 4". Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  24. ^ "Diversité des langues et compétences linguistiques en Suisse". Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  25. ^ In the United Kingdom, English is established by de facto usage. In Wales, the Bwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg is legally tasked with ensuring that, "in the conduct of public business and the administration of justice, the English and Welsh languages should be treated on a basis of equality". Welsh Language Act 1993, Office of Public Sector Information, retrieved 3 September 2007  Bòrd na Gàidhlig is tasked with "securing the status of the Gaelic language as an official language of Scotland commanding equal respect to the English language" Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, Office of Public Sector Information, retrieved 9 March 2007 
  26. ^ The library of Congress : Thomas.
  27. ^ http://vnexpress.net/tin-tuc/thoi-su/quoc-hoi-thong-qua-hien-phap-sua-doi-2916328-p2.html

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_language — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1000000 videos foundNext > 

Know about India - Is Hindi our national language?

What did we learn in our schools? Is Hindi the national language of India? See this video for the right answer. Know About India - An initiative by http://ww...

National language: What's that?

We The People: The shocking incident in the Maharashtra Assembly wherein Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi was physically assaulted by MNS MLAs for taking his oat...

Is Hindi really India's National Language?

Hindi is not Indias national language It is an anti south propaganda of North Indians.

Jaago hindi- national language

ma frst short film.. frst creation frst experiment... plz watch n share... n keep supporting....

Ahadi: Pashtu is the National Language in Afghanistan

Anwar-ul Haq Ahadi, the minister of Finance says: the Pashtuns are the majority in Afghanistan, and their language, Pashtu is and should be the only national...

Xiao Time: Ang 'Institute of National Language of the Philippines'

News@1 - Xiao Time: Ang 'Institute of National Language of the Philippines' - [November 13, 2012] Para sa karagdagang balita, bumisita sa: http://www.ptvnews...

Sanskrit might be national language-Rajiv Malhotra

English, National Language of the US?

Request video: This can apply to any country, so if anyone has an opinion, would love to hear it. But should government officially say one language is the na...

Tv9 Gujarat - Raj Thakrey :" Hindi is not a National language"

Raj Thakrey on Visit to Surat addresses a press conference in which on Hindi he said that Hindi is not a national language it is only a state language. On UP...

National Language Revolution

Oh Chen, you're so Chen. This is a remix of Touhou 7 - Perfect Cherry Blossom's Stage 2 Theme (Original: The Fantastic Legend of Tohno), done by IRON ATTACK!...

1000000 videos foundNext > 

5189 news items

 
Inquirer.net
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 09:07:30 -0700

Yes, it is different because Tagalog is the native language of the Tagalog and was selected in 1939 to be the basis for the national language as decreed by the 1935 Constitution. And not much difference “if it is considered that Tagalog did not really ...

Rappler

Rappler
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:58:39 -0700

My “Pilipino” teachers tried to inculcate in me how our “national language” back then was so beautiful and melodic. Truly, whenever I listened to someone do an oration in straight and uninterrupted “Pilipino,” it felt as if I was listening to a ...

Rappler

Rappler
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 20:33:07 -0700

His proposal bore fruit in Article XIII, Section 3 of the 1935 Constitution, which directed the National Assembly to “take steps toward the development and adoption of a common national language based on one of the existing native languages.” It also ...
 
Inquirer.net
Mon, 04 Aug 2014 09:11:40 -0700

The answer to this question is perhaps worth at least the smallest lotto prize, especially during the celebration of Buwan ng Wika (National Language Month) this August. But even before we attempt to answer it, as important perhaps is what to expect ...
 
Bulatlat (blog)
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 03:17:06 -0700

That is the national language as defined by the national democratic movement. Just like Filipino – the national language set by the 1987 Philippine Constitution – the movement's Pilipino is largely based on Tagalog, the language spoken in Luzon, but ...
 
Rappler
Sun, 10 Aug 2014 03:00:31 -0700

The Philippines holds the disreputable distinction of being the only country in the world where the national language is extolled for a month, only to be dismissed for the rest of the year as unworthy of recognition as the official language of ...
 
The Straits Times
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 12:51:07 -0700

It is timely to reflect on our lack of proficiency in Bahasa Melayu, our national language. Much has been said about the importance of the language for political, economic and social reasons, given that we are a nation located in the heart of a Malay ...
 
GMA News
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 23:45:00 -0700

The Filipino Departments of the University of the Philippines-Diliman, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, in partnership with the Guro Formation Forum, and with the support of the Department of Education (DepEd Advisory 233 s 2013), and ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About National language

You can talk about National language with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!