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Languages of USA

by Sankalan Baidya
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United States of America is the most powerful nation in this world. However, that is not the only identity that the country has.

It is also known for a lot of other things like NASA, Disney Land and more. This great country is also known to be linguistically diverse.

Just how much do you know about the languages spoken in the country? Take this small quiz on languages of USA and find out the extent of knowledge.

You will get to know the correct answers for each question once you complete the quiz. Good luck!

English is both the Official and National language of USA.

Correct! Wrong!

English is neither the Official language nor the National language of USA. In fact, the country has no National or Official language. English is the de facto primary language that is used widely across the country. However, it is not the only popular language. There are many other extremely popular languages that are used in the nation.

Historically, how many languages have been spoken in the USA?

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USA is one of the most historically diverse nations in the world. Historically, approximately 500 different languages have been spoken across the country over time. Today, despite English being the widely popular language, there are many other languages that are spoken in country.

French is the second-most popular language in the USA.

Correct! Wrong!

Spanish is the second-most popular language in the country. There are approximately 40 million Spanish speakers living in the USA. In fact, the government of the state of New Mexico uses Spanish for offering documents and services.

How many people in the USA use the American Sign Language?

Correct! Wrong!

The American Sign Language is a natural language that is used in North America by approximately 500,000 people. The language is used by the deaf community in the nation.

English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog and Vietnamese are the top 5 languages spoken in the USA.

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English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), Tagalog (an Austronesian language that nearly 1/4th of the Philippines population uses as the primary language) and Vietnamese are the 5 major and top-spoken languages of the USA.

In what is known as English-Only Movement, how many US states consider English as the Official language?

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There are 32 states in the USA that consider English as the Official language according to what is known as the English-Only Language. Despite this fact, the nation as a whole has no Official or National language at federal level.

How many states that are a part of the ‘English-Only Movement’ do not use only English as their Official language?

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There 30 states out of 32 states that use only English as their Official language. The remaining 2 states have declared other languages as their Official language alongside English. Those two states are Hawaii and Alaska.

Hawaii – an isolated volcanic archipelago and a state of the USA – has 8 Official languages.

Correct! Wrong!

Hawaii has two Official languages. The two languages are English and Hawaiian.

Alaska has 18 Official languages that are in use.

Correct! Wrong!

Alaska has in total 21 Official languages that are in use. Of these 21 languages one is English. There remaining 20 are indigenous languages.

The territories of the USA do not use English as their Official language.

Correct! Wrong!

All the US territories have English as one of their Official languages. There are in total 16 territories that the USA administers as insular areas.

English is not the sole language used in USA for court rulings, regulation and legislation.

Correct! Wrong!

English is the sole language that is used in the USA for court rulings, regulation and legislation. However, as per law, it is mandatory to print certain important documents (such as the ballot paper) in other languages in places where non-English speaking people are more.

USA has approximately 41 million Spanish speakers. That makes USA…

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With approximately 41 million Spanish speakers, USA has the 5th largest pool of Spanish speakers in the whole world. However, some other sources say that USA has approximately 50 million Spanish speakers, which puts US on the second position after Mexico in terms of the total number of Spanish speakers.

How many people in USA speak English?

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According to American Community Survey of the US Census Bureau 2016, there are approximately 230 million people (at least of age 5) in USA who speak English.

Dakota, Lakota and Nakota will become the Official language of South Dakota on which date?

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A law has been passed which will make Dakota, Lakota and Nakota the Official languages of South Dakota from 1st July, 2019. These three languages are indigenous to South Dakota.

Which one of these is not a Native American language?

Correct! Wrong!

Hausa is one of the Official languages of Nigeria in Africa. In total there are 40 million people who speak this language as either native language or second language. Rest of the languages on the list, that is, Zuni, Inupiat, Tiwa, Hidasta are all Native American languages.

Frederick Muhlenberg (of German origin), the first speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of English and prevented German from becoming the Official language of the USA in 1794. What is the incident known as?

By Joseph Wright (1756 - 1793) - Flickr, Photograph: Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA, Taken in 26 August 2008, Public Domain, Link
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The incident is known as the Muhlenberg Legend. It is only an urban legend with many iterations. One iteration says that a group of German immigrants filed a petition with the US House of Representatives asking for translation of certain laws in German. The House debated on the petition but did not act on it. A vote to adjourn the petition and reconsider it later was taken. 42 people voted against it and 41 in favor. Frederick Muhlenberg did not vote at all and was later quoted saying, ‘the faster the Germans become Americans, the better it will be.’ There are several other iterations of the legend but there is no conclusive proof.

No American school is required to provide English classes at every grade level.

Correct! Wrong!

It is the opposite. Every American school is required to provide English classes at every grade level irrespective of whether the school is a private school or a public school.

New Mexico has a different Spanish dialect.

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New Mexico has its own Spanish dialect that differs from the Spanish that is spoken in the rest of Latin American countries.

Which Native American language has the largest number of speakers in USA?

By Unknown - Library of Congress archives at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c19344, Public Domain, Link
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Navajo is the most widely spoken Native American language in the USA. There are approximately 170,822 Navajo speakers which makes up 45.68% of total speakers of all Native American language speakers taken together.

There were no attempts to declare English as the Official language of USA.

Correct! Wrong!

In 1780, a proposal was put forward to Continental Congress by John Adams to declare English as America’s Official language. It was declined on the grounds that doing so will threaten the individual liberty of the people.

Languages of USA
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1 Comment

Aroosah Ehsan 07 Sep, 2019 - 8:14 am

it was too hard for a grade 8th student 🙁

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