International Languages Spoken in Singapore

The English language enjoys the dominant status among the international languages spoken in Singapore. Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and Indonesian are the other international languages spoken in Singapore. English, the most popular among the international languages spoken in Singapore is also the official language of Singapore. Besides English, Malay and Mandarin are the common international languages spoken in Singapore.

English is used as the language for communication in the offices and in the business houses in Singapore. English is ranked next only to Mandarin in the international language category with over 900 million people speaking in this language.

It is the mother tongue of more than 380 million people, the world over. Though England is the birthplace of English, it is also the mother tongue of many of the residents of the U.S., U.K., New Zealand, Ireland, Canada and Australia. English has been touted to gain the status of the 'first universal language' of the world. English is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. The modern English language is called the 'lingua-franca' of the world. It is the only language, which can be used for communication in any part of the world.

Mandarin, the commonly spoken international language in Singapore also acts as the official language of Singapore and the People's Republic of China. The Chinese language, Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world with over 867.2 million people speaking in this language the world over. Mandarin is mainly spoken by the Chinese community in Singapore. It has been accorded the status of an official language by the United Nations.


Tamil is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Tamil is predominantly spoken by the Sri Lankan and Indian population of Singapore. It is the official language of Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and India. Tamil is also widely spoken in Sri Lanka, India, South Africa, Trinidad, Fiji, Mauritius, and Dubai and in Malaysia.

The Malay language is spoken by over 30 million people worldwide and has been ranked 54th in the international language category. Malay is the "native tongue" of majority of the people residing in Australia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. This language is spoken by the Malay population residing on the Borneo coast, Riau islands, Sumatra, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. Malay is uniquely similar to the 'Indonesian' language. Malay has been awarded the status of an official language in Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia. It is believed that Malay originated in the 'Riau islands' and so the Malay language that is spoken in the Riau Islands has been accepted as the standard form of Malay in Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia.

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