Languages of USA

Languages of USA

English is what comes to mind when talking about the languages of USA. The United States of America was once colonized by the British; therefore, much of the culture and the language was influenced by the then British Colonial Masters.

There is no official language in the US in the real sense of it. What they have is a de facto language spoken by all, and that happens to be English due to Britain’s influence.

However, the US is home to more than 300 languages. Over half of them are indigenous languages- this is so because the US is home to several immigrants who brought their language along with them as they migrated and settled in the US. As a result, you will find the American culture unique in some ways. If you are planning to visit USA, then you should be aware of American culture to avoid social mistakes.

We shall look at the most prominent among these languages that you will still find in the US today. This insight is an interesting eye-opener about the languages of USA.

Languages of USA - Map of USA

English and Spanish

The top spot goes to English, which has over 230 million speakers, followed by Spanish with over 37 million speakers. As more and more Mexican Spanish speakers immigrate to the US, the percentage of Spanish speakers is set to increase significantly over the next few decades.

In a study by Pew Research, Spanish was one of the fastest grown languages in the US between 1980 and 2013, Spanish would continue to be among the fastest-growing languages of USA.

Indigenous Languages of USA

Hopi Language

Hopi is one of the indigenous languages of USA, and you will get in contact with it if you go to northeastern Arizona in present-day America. We have more than 5,000 speakers of the language today, and the language is part of the Uto-Aztecan language family and O’odham.

The use of Hopi language could have been more widespread if not for the decline that it suffered in the 1900s.

Ojibwe Language

This language is also known as Chippewa, and it represents the indigenous language of the Algonquian language family. This language is spoken in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and parts of North Dakota and Montana. In addition, Ojibwe is also spoken in some parts of Canada.

O’odham Language

This language is spoken by the Tohono O’odham and Pima people and it has 12 dialects in all. O’odham is the language spoken in southern Arizona.

The three major dialects of the 12 are Tohono O’odham, Akimel O’odham, and Hia C-ed O’odham. You will get linguistic data on all the three major dialects except Hia C-ed O’odham.

Zuni Language

Zuni is one of the indigenous languages which linguists believed became a language on its own over 7000 years ago. It is now a language isolate in the US, and the speakers can be found in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. In addition, you will find other minor languages such as Navajo, Hopi, Tanoan, and Keresan. The alphabets have only 18 letters.

Choctaw Language

Choctaw is the language that you will find in the southeastern US. We have three different Choctaw writing systems based on the Latin writing system and differ from each other only very slightly.

A group of Choctaw Indians used the language as code during the last stages of world war one and the language popularity because of this. It led to other indigenous languages introducing theirs and a code language.

Cherokee Language

Cherokee is the native language of the people that you will find around Oklahoma, Arkansas, North Carolina, and the Great Smokey Mountains who are native Cherokee. Cherokee is one language that is documented more than the others due to the influence of the invention of a vocabulary devoted to it in 1821.

There is literature in the Cherokee language today in the US. However, this language is a hard nut for most native English speakers because it is a polysynthetic language.

Keresan Language

How can we describe this indigenous language other than saying it is a group of intelligible dialects that were mutually brought together. You will find this dialect spoken by several tribes in the New Mexico area and other parts of the southwest.

The following are some of the dialects of the language: Acoma Pueblo, Laguna Pueblo, Cochiti Pueblo, and several others. This language has a complicated tone and is regarded as one of the language isolates in the US

Yupik Language

Yupik is the language spoken in Alaska and few surrounding islands near Alaska. It refers to several languages, and the most popular among them is Central Alaskan Yup’ik. All the versions of the language belong to the Eskimo family. This language has the highest percentage of people that do identify with the language through their knowledge of it, and they are referred to as the Yupik people in the US.

Sioux Language

The number of dialects of this language has made it one of the most interesting indigenous languages in the US. Over 30,000 people speak one form of the dialect or the other in the US.

The speakers of this language can be found in Dakotas and northern Nebraska, southern Minnesota, and northeastern Montana. The three main varieties of the language are Lakota, Western Dakota, and Eastern Dakota. The Sioux writing system uses the Latin alphabet.

Navajo Language

Navajo is by far the most prominent among the indigenous languages in the US. The stats show that in 2011, there are over 170,000 speakers. This language was once threatened, but the Navajo nation took prompt actions by setting up programs to teach the language. The establishment of many bilingual schools made their efforts have paid off with its dominance over all other indigenous languages of USA.

The movie Star Wars has been translated into this language. Few radio stations also broadcast in this language in the US today.

Languages spoken at home other than English and Spanish

Immigrant Languages of USA

Hebrew Language

The US is the place where you will find the highest number of Jews living outside the nation of Israel. There are about 212,747 speakers of the language in the US.

Spanish Language

Spanish is yet another language that has clear visibility in the US. There are about 37,458,470 speakers of the language in the US today.

Chinese

The Chinese language includes all spoken dialects such as Cantonese, Mandarin, other dialects. The estimated number of people speaking the Chinese language is put at a conservative estimate of 2,896,766. The Chinese language is indeed alive in the US.

French and French Creole Language

If you are French or a speaker of the language, then you will get to meet more than 2,047,4675 speakers of the language when you get to the US.

Tagalog Language

There are about 1,613,346 speakers of this language in the US.

Top 20 Growing Languages of USA

Let us take the stats of other prominent languages of USA that can be found spoken as the primary language in a tabular column detailing the language and the estimated number of people that speak it.

Primary Language Spoken at Home in the USNumber of speakers
Vietnamese1,399,936
Korean1,117,343
German1,063,773
Arabic924,374
Russian879,434
Italian708,966
Portuguese693,469
Hindi643,337
Polish580,153
Japanese449,475
Urdu397,502
Persian391,113
Gujarati373,253
Greek304,932
Punjabi253,740
Bengali257,740
Telugu247,760
Armenian237,840
Hmong214,943

Conclusion

The US is a place of a diverse culture of several nations that have come together to live and call the US home. The languages listed above are the indigenous and common language that will welcome any visitor to the US.

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