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English in the Commonwealth of Nations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The use of the English language in current and former member countries of the Commonwealth of Nations was largely inherited from British colonisation, with some exceptions. English serves as the medium of inter-Commonwealth relations.[1]

Current Commonwealth members (dark blue), former members (orange), and British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies (light blue)

Many regions, notably Australia, Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the Caribbean, have developed their own native varieties of the language. In Cyprus, it does not have official status but is widely used as a lingua franca. English is spoken as a first or second language in most of the Commonwealth.

Written English in the current and former Commonwealth generally favours British spelling as opposed to American, with some exceptions, particularly in Canada, where there are strong influences from neighbouring American English. Few Commonwealth countries besides Canada and Australia have produced their own variant English dictionaries and style guides, and may rely on those produced in other countries.