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Official language

An official language is a language that is specifically mentioned to be so, in the constitutions of countries, states, and other territories. (States and areas without a constitution, by this definition, lack official languages.)

Half the countries in the world have official languages. Some of them have only an official language, such as Albania, France (although there are more native languages in France) or Germany. Some of them have more than one official language, as Finland, Afghanistan, Bolivia, India, Switzerland or South Africa. In some countries, such as Iraq, Italy or Spain, there is an official language for the country, but some languages are co-official in some important regions. Some countries, such as the United States, have no official languages, but there are official languages in some component states (See Languages in the United States). Finally, some countries have no official languages, such as Eritrea, Luxembourg, Sweden, Tuvalu or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

As a consequence of colonialism and/or neocolonialism, in some countries in Africa and in the Philippines the official and learning languages[?] (French or English) are not the national languages or the most spoken. In contrast, as a consequence of nationalism, in the Republic of Ireland what is the state's official national language (Irish) is actually spoken by only a small proportion of people, while the language given secondary inferior legal status (English), is actually the spoken language of the majority.

See List of official languages

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