Guinness World Records - Officially Amazing

Most official languages (country)

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  • Who: South Africa

  • What: Most official languages (country)

  • Where: South Africa

The country with the most official languages is the Republic of South Africa with 11. These are: English, Afrikaans, isiZulu, isiXhosa, Sesotho, Setswana, Sepedi, Xitsonga, siSwati, isiNdebele and Tshivenda. The population of South Africa is 43,792,000 (2001).

India has 18 languages that are recognised by its constitution and can be considered as official, however the difference is that each language is recognised as the official language of a certain area e.g Kashmiri in Kashmir.  The overall official language is Hindi, and this is what all central government decrees are written in, along with English.  English is not considered an official language of the country,  but rather a 'second language'.

These languages (and area) are: Assamese (Assam), Bengali (West Bengal), Gujarati (Gujarat), Hindi (Bihar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh), Kannada (Karnataka), Kashmiri, Malayalam (Kerala), Manipuri, Marathi (Maharashtra), Nepali, Oriya (Orissa), Punjabi (Punjab), Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil (Tamil Nadu), Telugu (Andhra Pradesh), Urdu (Kashmir and Jammu), Konkani.

Information c/o High Commission of India, London 020 7836 8484 ext 115.


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