Denmark ranks low among multilingual nations – The Post

Denmark ranks low among multilingual nations

Denmark has seven indigenous languages and 14 immigrant languages

Denmark ranked 101st in the world when it comes to being multilingual (photo: iStock)
November 23rd, 2015 3:14 pm| by Christian W

Denmark ranks 101st in the world when it comes to being multilingual, according to a new report by Ethnologue, one of the premier authorities on languages.

According to Ethnologue there are a total of 21 languages spoken in Denmark: seven indigenous languages and 14 immigrant languages.

The seven indigenous languages are Danish (spoken by 5,380,000 people), Danish Sign Language (5,000), Faroese (66,000), Greenlandic (7,000), German (25,900), Jutish and Swedish, while an eighth indigenous language, traveller Danish, has been deemed extinct.

The 14 immigrant languages are English (spoken by 23,100 people) Croatian (10,000), Icelandic (7,000), Iranian Persian (12,000), Iu Mien (8,000), Northern Kurdish (20,000), Polish (14,000), Serbian (15,000), Somali (16,000), Standard Arabic, Tamil (9,000), Thai (7,000), Turkish (30,000), Urdu (15,000) and Vietnamese (12,000).

READ MORE: A sixth of Danes would welcome English as an official language

North Korea – 1 language
The ranking (here in English) was topped by Papua New Guinea, which is estimated to have 839 indigenous languages and no immigrant languages within its borders, followed by Indonesia (706, 1), Nigeria (520, 6), India (447, 7) and the US (216, 206).

Other notables included China (ranked 6), Australia (9), Brazil (10), Canada (13), Russia (15), Germany 38), France (49), the UK (42), Sweden (90), Finland (106), Japan (117), Norway (123), Ireland (172), South Korea (199) and Iceland (206).

North Korea and British Indian Ocean Territory finished rock bottom with just one language.