National language

The logo of the Swiss Federal administration, in the four national languages of Switzerland.

Language that has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a nation.

- National language
The logo of the Swiss Federal administration, in the four national languages of Switzerland.

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A conversation in American Sign Language

Regional language

Language spoken in an area of a sovereign state, whether it be a small area, a federated state or province or some wider area.

Language spoken in an area of a sovereign state, whether it be a small area, a federated state or province or some wider area.

A conversation in American Sign Language

For example, Catalan (a regional language of Spain, Italy and France, albeit the national language of Andorra) has more speakers than Finnish or Danish.

Clickable map showing the traditional language families, subfamilies and major languages spoken in Africa

Languages of Africa

[[File:Map of African language families.svg|thumb|upright=1.35|A simplistic view of language families spoken in Africa:

[[File:Map of African language families.svg|thumb|upright=1.35|A simplistic view of language families spoken in Africa:

Clickable map showing the traditional language families, subfamilies and major languages spoken in Africa

Although many mid-sized languages are used on the radio, in newspapers and in primary-school education, and some of the larger ones are considered national languages, only a few are official at the national level.

Bengali language

Indo-Aryan language native to the Bengal region of South Asia.

Indo-Aryan language native to the Bengal region of South Asia.

Present-day distribution of Indo-European languages in Eurasia. Bengali belongs to easternmost spoken Indo-European language family
Indo- Iranian language family, Bengali marked yellow
The descent of proto-Gauda, the ancestor of the modern Bengali language, from the proto-Gauda-Kamarupa line of the proto-Magadhan(Magadhi Prakrit).
Silver coin of Maharaj Gaudeshwar Danujmardandev of Deva dynasty, circa 1417
Silver coin with proto-Bengali script, Harikela Kingdom, circa 9th–13th century
A mural with Bengali letters in Hamtramck-Detroit, United States
An example of handwritten Bengali. Part of a poem written in Bengali (and with its English translation below each Bengali paragraph) by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore in 1926 in Hungary
An 1855 Dobhashi manuscript of Halat-un-Nabi written by Sadeq Ali using the Sylheti Nagri script.

Bengali is the official and national language of Bangladesh, with 98% of Bangladeshis using Bengali as their first language.

Idealised portrayal of the author Homer

Monolingualism

Condition of being able to speak only a single language, as opposed to multilingualism.

Condition of being able to speak only a single language, as opposed to multilingualism.

Idealised portrayal of the author Homer

In a different context, "unilingualism" may refer to a language policy which enforces an official or national language over others.

Ancient Libyco-Berber inscriptions in Zagora, Morocco

Berber languages

The Berber languages, also known as the Amazigh languages (Berber name: Tamaziɣt, Tamazight, Thamazight;, , ), are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family.

The Berber languages, also known as the Amazigh languages (Berber name: Tamaziɣt, Tamazight, Thamazight;, , ), are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family.

Ancient Libyco-Berber inscriptions in Zagora, Morocco
Percentage of Berber speakers in Morocco at the 2004 census
Map of Berber-speaking areas in Morocco
Shenwa language in the central-western part of Algeria
A diagram depicting one understanding of the classification of Berber languages

In 2001, Berber became a constitutional national language of Algeria, and in 2011 Berber became a constitutionally official language of Morocco.

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Official language

Language given a special status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction.

Language given a special status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction.

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A bilingual Soviet-era street name sign in the two de facto official languages of the Latvian SSR (Latvian and Russian)

Many of the world's constitutions mention one or more official or national languages.

De facto political map of the world, May 2019.

De facto

De facto (de facto, "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, whether or not they are officially recognized by laws or other formal norms.

De facto (de facto, "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, whether or not they are officially recognized by laws or other formal norms.

De facto political map of the world, May 2019.

Several countries, including Australia, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States, have a de facto national language but no official, de jure national language.

Indigenous language

Language that is native to a region and spoken by indigenous peoples.

Language that is native to a region and spoken by indigenous peoples.

Indigenous languages are not necessarily national languages but they can be; for example, Aymara is an official language of Bolivia.

Mandarin Chinese

Group of Sinitic languages and dialects that are natively spoken across most of northern and southwestern China.

Group of Sinitic languages and dialects that are natively spoken across most of northern and southwestern China.

Mandarin Chinese is not listed in the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger. It is classified as being safe from endagerment.
A page of the Menggu Ziyun, covering the syllables tsim to lim
Zhongguo Guanhua (中國官話), or Medii Regni Communis Loquela ("Middle Kingdom's Common Speech"), used on the frontispiece of an early Chinese grammar published by Étienne Fourmont (with Arcadio Huang) in 1742
Distribution of the eight subgroups of Mandarin plus Jin Chinese, which many linguists include as part of Mandarin, according to the Language Atlas of China (1987)

By the early 20th century, a standard form based on the Beijing dialect, with elements from other Mandarin dialects, was adopted as the national language.

The West Germanic languages

German language

West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, mainly spoken in Central Europe.

West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, mainly spoken in Central Europe.

The West Germanic languages
The Germanic languages in contemporary Europe
German language area and major dialectal divisions around 1900.
The widespread popularity of the Bible translated into High German by Martin Luther helped establish modern Standard High German.
Ethnolinguistic map of Austria-Hungary, 1910, with German-speaking areas shown in red.
Map shows Austria and South Tyrol, Italy.
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Bilingual German-English sign at a bakery in Namibia, where German is a national language.
Self reported knowledge of German as a foreign language in the EU member states (+Turkey), in per cent of the adult population (+15), 2005
Selfreported knowledge of German within the nations of the European Union
The national and regional standard varieties of German
The Low Franconian dialects
The Central German dialects
The Franconian dialects (Low Franconian, Central- and Rhine Franconian, and High Franconian)
The Upper German and High Franconian (transitional between Central and Upper German)
Volume 1 "German Orthography" of the 25th edition of the Duden dictionary
42nd edition of the Österreichisches Wörterbuch ("Austrian Dictionary")
The Deutsches Wörterbuch (1st vol., 1854) by the Brothers Grimm
Austria's standardized cursive
Germany's standardized cursive
A Russian dictionary from 1931, showing the "German alphabet" – the 3rd and 4th columns of each half are Fraktur and Kurrent respectively, with the footnote explaining ligatures used in Fraktur.

It is also a co-official language of Luxembourg and Belgium, as well as a national language in Namibia.