In North America, the most commonly spoken languages are English, Spanish, and French, in that order. That makes sense, of course, when you consider “North America” includes the United States, Canada, Central America, and the islands of the Caribbean.
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At least 178 countries in the world have at least one official language; approximately 100 countries, have more than one. In Mexico (of Central America), the official language is Spanish; obviously this is mostly true throughout many of the other Central American countries. The Caribbean Islands might be an exception, too, when you consider just how many tongues contribute to the creole that is commonly spoken there.
Oddly, the United States of America is one of 58 countries that does not have an official language; though it is commonly understand that [American] English is the central vernacular. Canada, on the other hand, is a different kind of exception: the US neighbor to the North has two official languages. These languages, of course, are French and English.
WHAT IS AN OFFICIAL LANGUAGE?
It is important for a country to have an “official language” so that it has special status in government proceedings. Basically, it helps to have all people in parliamentary, judicial, jurisdictional, or state government hearings speaking the same languages for the sake of efficiency. In essence, then, the term “official language” refers more to the language most commonly used by the government than by the citizens of that country. Typically, of course, these traits are the same.
WHY LEARN ANOTHER LANGUAGE?
Well, in the days of yesteryear, it was almost unnecessary to learn another Institut Linguistique language. This was mostly because you would spend the majority of your life, most likely, among people who are just like you, in your country. With globalization and the internet, though, it is very easy, now, to come into contact with people from all over the world. This is true in all facets of life: the workplace, school, churches, social events, public attractions, etc.
Of course, the simple fact that you are more likely than ever before in the history of mankind to come into contact with a human being who speaks a different language is not really enough of a reason to learn another language. But the desire to connect with other people certainly is. So, it never hurts to explore another language; whether for business or personal benefit.